Attracting New Members

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Chrisbitz
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Chrisbitz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:56 pm

Mike Shaw wrote:Chris - I knew that! Nothing to stop you re-joining though, and getting stuck in (with like-minded others) and moving 'IAC' on to what it should, could and can become.
Of course, I was kinda expecting that response :-) but the fact remains, that the IAC is not an organisation that I want to join. The music license is not something that is of any use to me, and the printed magazine is pretty, but I'm used to reading my input online nowadays. FOR FREE. (advertising supported) What else do they offer?
Mike Shaw wrote: In other words, a members only area on the IAC website (OVFM and most clubs I know with websites have a 'members only' area), and 'teasers' or appetite whetters on the public pages to make people feel left out if they don't see the full whack.
I thought the IAC wanted MORE members and viewers, not less!! If this forum became IAC members only (as was suggested by you and others a while ago) it would lose about a quarter of it's regular contributors!

People like Tom Hardwick are fantastic assets to the IAC, but frankly (I hope he's not reading this) he could set up his own Youtube Channel (like film riot) with the sort of content that he does in his talks, and he'd probably eclipse the IAC in a few years.
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

john ingham
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by john ingham » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:28 pm

The Title ...Attracting new members...

I am not a member... yet i want to join an organisation or two. I believe its a good thing to be a member of an organisation where one can better his / her skills and at the same time enter into competitions and develop a bond with other members....

film making can be looked at in many ways .... a short film could be made by one man,/woman and his /hers trusty camera... or it could be made with a cameraman/woman sound recordist, lighting and ..well you know what i mean.. so the Organisation needs to attract all those who take part in what is produced...

to interest members, the need of projects & competitions, is a must... it could hold in-house competitions on certain subjects each month..where members submit a film,or audio clip onto the forum .members would then just submit a vote to their favourite...
one thing that is coming over seems, theres almost a fear of change... yes this would need people with a passion to help run these things... to many people will sit back and take without giving back...

this year will already see me working on 3 projects with the shooters in the pub group....because its got personal.. Channel 4 is also getting involved with the group... someone somewhere is making the most of their contacts......

ok! The IAC do not need to be like the shooters... but if it wants new members it needs to be interesting......

I belong to the biggest Kayak Angling forum in the UK with over 6000 members ...ok ! its free..but! many have said they would pay if the forum became a club and offered things like insurance, etc .. I have just introduced a 12 month competition with 4 sections... we have 20 teams competing ..we will have over 10 major meet ups where over 50+ people will attend... they get out what they put in

is there a real need for a magazine... why not do a on-line mag..that would save money

I would be more than happy to run some sort of monthly comp on here... this comp could have clubs participating as well as individual's ...in any organisation that is nation wide..the forum is the key to its success...its the place where everyone can meet

make the IAC forum exciting and you may attract new members .....by the way..not meaning to hurt anyones feelings...the logo is a little out of date 8)
Keep trying, for one day you will get it right

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:44 pm

Chris - you're actually a pro, so the IOV would probably be a more attractive proposition, organisation wise anyway.

I actually don't think whether this forum is public or private would make any difference to the number of people using it, quite honestly. I used to belong to another Video forum (well, still do...) - which up to a year or so ago was extremely active on an extensive range of editors, video making and general chit-chat. But it has virtually died in the last couple of years ... and anyone can join that.

I think the ability to shoot a video with a phone, and make it public seconds after shooting, has probably done for movie making what iTunes did for HMV.

So ... maybe there should be a 'home-phone' category of movie amongst the competition mix, to attract the YouTubers of the world ...

I give up. Or in. Whichever suits best...

ned c
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by ned c » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:42 pm

1. Put the magazine on line and put the money saved into awards at BIFF (get rid of the A) with most going to a student section judged by younger professional
film makers. If you want a young future this is where it is. Promote BIFF on Withoutabox.
2. Hold Regional film shows and open screenings.
3. Stop whining about judging; there is NO solution to this. Be lucky that there are people willing to do it at all.
4. Why is there an office? What does it cost? Put this money to supporting the Regional screenings.
5. The clubs are irrelevant; they are a declining group; good on you OFVM and the two or three other clubs like that but this is NOT the future and they don't need a central organization.
6. What is the plan for shutting down the IAC?

ned c

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:07 pm

1. Put the magazine on line and put the money saved into awards at BIFF (get rid of the A) with most going to a student section judged by younger professional film makers. If you want a young future this is where it is. Promote BIFF on Withoutabox.
However handy it may be for you to read on line when travelling or out in the park, Ned, it isn't for a large number of people who don't have or want to carry around massive iPads or whatever. Lose the 'A' in BIAFF ... and explain to people that no, as a pro you can't enter?
2. Hold Regional film shows and open screenings.
We already do - certainly in the South. Regional. And County shows and festivals. And local.
3. Stop whining about judging; there is NO solution to this. Be lucky that there are people willing to do it at all.
Yes, right, and yes!
4. Why is there an office? What does it cost? Put this money to supporting the Regional screenings.
Who, where, is going to look after the subs, the post, etc etc etc?
5. The clubs are irrelevant; they are a declining group; good on you OFVM and the two or three other clubs like that but this is NOT the future and they don't need a central organization.
On the contrary, club membership is greater apparently than IAC membership.
6. What is the plan for shutting down the IAC?
My guess - none.

Alan
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Alan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:54 pm

ned c wrote:1. Put the magazine on line and put the money saved into awards at BIFF (get rid of the A) with most going to a student section judged by younger professional
film makers. If you want a young future this is where it is. Promote BIFF on Withoutabox.
2. Hold Regional film shows and open screenings.
3. Stop whining about judging; there is NO solution to this. Be lucky that there are people willing to do it at all.
4. Why is there an office? What does it cost? Put this money to supporting the Regional screenings.
5. The clubs are irrelevant; they are a declining group; good on you OFVM and the two or three other clubs like that but this is NOT the future and they don't need a central organization.
6. What is the plan for shutting down the IAC?

ned c
Woah! All guns blazing there!

The thing is, if there is no need for 'The IAC' to fill then, over time, it will eventually shut down as it will be unsustainable. However, film making by the hobbyists will continue regardless.

At the moment, clubs are still relevant to a lot of people and so the IAC will continue for the time being. If 'The IAC' wants to carry on, however, it's got to evolve and fit in with the new order of things. Not only that, it has got to find out what gaps there are and fill them to remain relevant and useful.

My thoughts are that the only real gap that 'The IAC' can fill in the current arena is to be 'The Network Hub' for hobbyist film making.

At the end of the day film making is all about people. There are a lot of film making websites/forums/communities/Vimeoers/You Tubers out there. But there seems to be nothing that links them all together.

Enter stage left 'The IAC'? It might be that membership becomes via an online Networking Hub for film makers that is funded by advertising? But it will be serving a really useful purpose. It's getting close to decision time....

Am I repeating myself? :wink:

Alan

Brian Saberton
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Brian Saberton » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:57 pm

There have been so many postings since my own that I've only had a minute to skim through them but I sense that there may be a misconception about some of my comments which I must correct. In drawing a comparison with the PAGB I wasn't suggesting that the IAC should adopt a similar structure, I was simply highlighting some of the additional services they provide for clubs, such as producing lists of judges and speakers and that this is something that the IAC might consider.

I might also add that the printed magazine represents considerable value to me as an individual member and is almost worth the membership fee for that alone. I've tried on-line magazines and dislike them - ok, they might be cheaper for the organisation to produce but what about the cost to the recipient in ink and paper if you need or want to print anything off? Producers of on-line material have simply passed on the cost of printing to the end user.
Brian Saberton

ned c
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by ned c » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:48 pm

The BIAFF is all ready a place where professionals can win with films made for fun (no-one gets paid) look at the production of "Pigeon Post"; I don't know the details but were any "amateurs" involved? This is not a criticism; a statement of reality. In my view anyone who makes a wedding video or event video for money is a professional. Shades of the Welsh Rugby Union in the days of "shamateurism".

The number of members of clubs exceeding the membership of the IAC indicates two things; the IAC has done a poor job of recruiting in its own backyard; it does not prove that the clubs are flourishing; the indications are that most are not.

Whilst I appreciate your comment, Mike, re the magazine and readability it is a matter of priority of how the income is spent. The magazine will not attract membership or involvement; the BIAFF with a broad base will. The BIAFF is a very developable possession of the IAC and I feel this where the effort should be driven initially. Awards for genres; student awards; special awards for members and special entry rates for members (I mean VERY special). A wider based BIAFF (OK; for me BIFF) would attract a wider range of film makers who could in turn develop the Festival. The Festival should be funded so that the administration are supported; paid where necessary; and the judges expenses fully covered.

Regarding the Regional shows Mike; how is the IAC involved in your Regional efforts; does the IAC use the events as an IAC showcase?

Why are the AV makers part of the IAC? The RPS has excellent accommodation for them and what I remember from my membership is that they offer a music licence program as well.

The fundamental question all ready posed here but needs addressing in detail is: "What are the benefits of individual membership of the IAC? Basically a magazine; slightly reduced entry fees for BIAFF; the music licence. Curious; how many music licences issued each year?

ned c

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:34 pm

OK - all ideas are welcome from minor mods to extreme change. I do NOT want to divert us into all the possible objections to each idea ... but one big issue raises its head all the time.

The IAC is a registered charity, just like Oxfam and The Lifeboats. The money members pay in is supposed to be used for the charitable purposes of the organisation - loosely speaking encouraging film making. * But charities are NOT supposed to offer significant benefits to their own members.

A few years ago there were even questions about charities being able to offer people a paper flag on a pin in return for a donation. I think the rules have eased a touch, but suspect that discounts of any size are dodgy and "hefty discounts" are dangerous. It also makes me concerned about notions like a "members only" part of the website. A charity is supposed to help anyone within its remit ... in our case the general public.

Some think that being a Registered Charity raises the dignity and standing of the organisation. The major practical advantage is that members who are UK tax-payers can use the Gift Aid scheme. A Full Membership fee of £37.50 paid under Gift Aid is worth £48.00 to the IAC. Therefore to give up the charitable status would immediately mean a significant decrease in income.

I am not against abandoning charitable status - in fact I think its benefits should be given up in favour of freedom to do things of direct benefit to members. But you can see why it would make Council think twice.

Dave

* The IAC's Memorandum - the basis on which the company is established, lays down its aims:

(a) To promote the advancement and improvement of general education in relation to all aspects of cinematography and associated audio and visual arts and the development of public appreciation of such arts.
(b) In furtherance of the above-mentioned objects, but not further or otherwise, the company shall have power to secure for persons interested and active in support of cinematography otherwise than for profit or gain a recognised amateur status and to raise the standard of cinematic art generally
To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them.

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:50 pm

So, ned, drop absolutely everything in support of BIAFF, invite all and sundry to participate in BIAFF (pro's included), and hope to heaven the hobby film-maker isn't put off by trying to compete with the likes of Spielberg, (and don't think for a moment he will think it a super challenge. He won't).

And what are we left with as the big attraction for this wonderful new organisation?

No magazine. No interest in local clubs. Communication with those who choose to remain members will only be through the internet. No office to co-ordinate things or centralise communication for this amorphous group, and all voluntary (as now) - including running the hugely expanded website - unless you're also proposing the people who 'work' on it all are paid out of the funds that people will be willing to pay (really?) to have just a B(I)AFF once a year.

I could go on, but there is absolutely no point ned. You have been saying for as long as I can remember (almost uniquely and on your own, I might add) drop the magazine completely, pour the money so saved into BIAFF and forget everything else. I'm sure most members would have no objection to an online magazine - as long as there is a hard copy as well. And incidentally, the IAC supports the regions in a number of ways - freely (as far as the regions are concerned) distributing Regional Magazines for example. Oh yes. Printed magazines most of them. Why do the regions bother doing that, do you think?

Can I just remind you though that there is already an organisation that caters for most of the things you're asking for here. It's called IOV. The Institute of Videographers. (They don't mind being an 'Institute'). I'm not sure whether they run a film festival of any kind - but if not, that's probably all that's missing from your 'spec list'.

What you're asking for is no longer a hobby, a spare time activity that people can indulge in at leisure for pleasure and enjoyment. It's a stepping stone to becoming pro. And in my opinion, a way to lose even more (IAC) members than would be gained.

The clubs that are currently thriving, and enjoying the hobby, would continue, and will no doubt invent something akin to the current IAC to fill any void 'at the top'. The job of that overseeing group would and should be to help and encourage the clubs to grow in numbers.

Yes, the IAC has failed to attract members from the clubs, if the figures are anything to go by. That's what this thread was supposed to be addressing - more members for the IAC. If they (the IAC) were to pay more attention to club membership, they'd increase their numbers. If they were to switch to just running an annual festival ... kaboom. Why not just have a new organisation for the 'British Oscars', and done with.

What would be good is if BIAFF were promoted more widely - through the Broadcast news services (BBC et al), the national press and so on. All it needs is a hook for the story (maybe a well known film director as the leading judge), and someone who knows about publicity and PR. Max Clifford. Now there would be money well spent ... if one had a few hundred thousand to spend, of course.

Dave Yes - I'd forgotten the IAC is a charity organisation. I think the IOV isn't. Another big difference in what each organisation can and cannot do. On the 'members only' area on the website, many clubs do it in order to keep certain lists and activities (membership lists eg) away from the public domain. and to keep their members informed of things that are of interest to no-one else except them. I see no harm in having a 'private' area - it would not be the area for videos, meetings arrangements. 'how to's, club details and so on, but for information of interest only to the members.

ned c
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by ned c » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:07 am

The question is "How can the IAC attract new members?" If the objective is to serve hobby film makers then keep going as is and if you look at the world of hobby film makers the majority are of pension age so the earlier suggestions of the U3A and old folks homes make the best sense. Also very clearly define what a hobby film maker is so that professionals cannot under any guise be a part of the organization. I suspect that the end result will be a continuing decline but it will be very pure. There are clearly two groups of film makers creating non-commercial films; the traditional club member and the growing mass of enthusiasts; probably younger; perhaps educated in film with professional aspirations and little or no hope of entering the profession but with a love of film and film making..

Mike; you seem to skirt around the professional issue and I understand that amateurs must be upset when a group of professionals win all the prizes but you can only avoid this by clearly excluding them which is obviously not the case at present. It is no good pretending that only true amateurs enter the BIAFF and win. I get the feeling that no-one wants to actually address this but it is easy to exclude professionals if the IAC wants to.

Here is a question, what is the cornerstone of the IAC? Obviously I believe it is the Festival and that is where the future lies, not with a print magazine. I see the Festival as the building block on which to expand the IAC and as the Festival grows so will an understanding of the needs of the younger generation pf film makers so the central organisation can be tailored to meet these needs.

You see the task of the central organization is to help and encourage the clubs to grow; how does the IAC do this currently? Reading Dave's comment re the charity status perhaps they are not permitted to be so selective.

re the IOV; I will visit their website and get back on that one as I don't know much about them.

ned c

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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by john ingham » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:58 am

As a new comer to the site........ as you can imagine i am getting a bit lost on all this....yet at the same time , i feel, it must be people like me, you are trying to get to join ..a person who has just started in film making..or am i wrong and its actually clubs you are after ?

I didn't realise the IAC was a charity.... and have no clue on what you raise money for... ???

can someone please outline what i would be joining if i fill out the forms and send money.....

from an outsiders looking in all i can see is bickering over a few words and no offers over the table..what will the IAC do for me if i join ?

can i also add if the IAC is a registered charity and needs to raise funds without actually asking its members to fork out their own cash..why don't they install easyfundraising to the site this is where when members buy things online the shop will donate straight towards the IAC..

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/?gcli ... tAodMCEAGA we have raised over £4k in the last 4 years on the kayak fishing site

john
Keep trying, for one day you will get it right

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:23 am

Some very salient and very relevant points there ned.

Yes, there is a confusion, a dichotomy if you like, over what constitutes an amateur or an amateur video. I think the phrase that summed it up best for me was one 'devised' for our local County festival by the chap in charge of publicity at that time - "movies made for fun, not for profit". To me, that says it all: if a 'pro' made a film purely for the heck of it, in his spare time, without intending to sell it or profit from it, in my book he qualifies. If a 'pro' retires and decides he/she wants to continue making films as a past-time and just for the fun of it, why not? That is my opinion, but the edges are 'blurred', and definitions muddied possibly by the aversion to the word 'amateur'. Golfers don't mind being called amateurs: I believe (not being a golfer) they even have a pro-am competition (?). In other words I see no reason why a 'pro' cannot let his/her hair down and make a movie 'off piste'.

So, yes, one of the things that should perhaps be (further) clarified once and for all is what constitutes an amateur movie. Maybe the IAC definition should be re-written to make it perfectly clear and totally unambiguous what does and what does not constitute an 'amateur movie'.

Yes, there are two groups making 'amateur' movies, as you say. The hobbyist, progressing perhaps from shooting family and holiday movies, encouraged maybe by the capability of today's editing programmes with all their whizzbangs and graphics and, in retirement, having more time on his/her hands to exploit the hobby. And the young student with ambitions of being the next Hitchcock or Spielberg. In our local county and regional festivals we do get schools within the area entering films - made by groups of students often under the watchful and guiding eye of a tutor/teacher (is he professional? Does that make the film non eligible? I don't think so, but...). Can we persuade those students to individually join the IAC? From experience, not yet. One or two school groups have joined I believe. Too few to count for anything.

You ask 'what is the cornerstone of the IAC', and suggest it is BIAFF. I disagree with that, and perhaps that's where our differences really lie. I believe BIAFF is its showcase, the 'public' result of what it provides (or should provide) its members with throughout the year - 'training' advice, and movie making help. And that is why I regard the magazine as being important - it is a key - major - element in passing on information, help and advice to its members. The website is another source. At the moment, I see those as being the cornerstones that would or should attract new 'customers'. BIAFF, as the showcase, says to the world 'look what we can do - for the fun of it' , and as such could or should get more attention, more notice, greater recognition.

You're right that the support for clubs from the IAC can be difficult to see. I fought hard to get some financial help for regions holding the festivals on behalf of the IAC. I believe that should change - suggestions have been made here in this thread - for example, provide lists of willing (and thick-skinned!) judges for clubs and local areas to call upon, trainers, speakers for club evenings and so on. Provide or link to lists of keen actors and actresses. Provide lists of people willing to help and get involved with a shoot (for fun, not for profit, naturally).

As a hobby, you will appreciate, it takes a lot of time to create a movie - time which is in more supply for those who have retired. Often, retired people also have a bit of cash they can spend on equipment - which could be denied to struggling families. That's why the clubs are crammed with wrinklies, and why, yes, U3A would be an excellent 'fishing ground' for new members.

Yes, I see the IAC as being an overseeing body that encourages and helps the clubs (and indie groups, why not) to grow and further the 'hobby'. Yes, I think the IAC could do more on that front - but, as Dave commented, it is a charitable organisation, and there are
probably reasons why their hands are tied to some extent. The people who 'run' the IAC are all volunteers (apart from the one-person office), devoting their time freely (and for the most part at their own expense): one cannot and should not expect them to perform like the paid directorship of a commercial organisation.

But, I think we both agree, to survive and continue, it must change.

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:39 am

As a new comer to the site........ as you can imagine i am getting a bit lost on all this....yet at the same time , i feel, it must be people like me, you are trying to get to join ..a person who has just started in film making..or am i wrong and its actually clubs you are after ?

No, you're right John - it's people like you AND clubs that the IAC would like as members

I didn't realise the IAC was a charity.... and have no clue on what you raise money for... ???

Charities don't necessarily have to raise money for any particular thing, as far as I'm aware. Many clubs register themselves as a 'charitable organisation' as it brings advantages along with strict rules on how they behave and what they can and cannot do.

can someone please outline what i would be joining if i fill out the forms and send money.....

An organisation that is devoted to the furtherment of amateur movie making.

from an outsiders looking in all i can see is bickering over a few words and no offers over the table..what will the IAC do for me if i join ?

Not bickering, debate, on what improvements can be made to the IAC to encourage new members. At the moment, you would get a magazine (none about movie-making on the bookstalls at the moment), and a music license so that you could show your films (at amateur shows) using any music you wish. You are probably aware that to even copy a piece of music, let alone use it in your movie, is illegal. (The alternative of course is to buy 'royalty free' music, but sometimes one wants a recognisable piece). There are other perks too - for example, the membership card can solve tricky situations with the authorities when filming 'on location' - and can (it has for me) even get you into places otherwise 'banned' for general camera wielding people

can i also add if the IAC is a registered charity and needs to raise funds without actually asking its members to fork out their own cash..why don't they install easyfundraising to the site this is where when members buy things online the shop will donate straight towards the IAC..

The IAC does sell stuff, and I do believe it is (surely?) available on the IAC website. Of course, if you got the magazine, youi'd know the IAC has a stock of stuff for sale... :-)

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TimStannard
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Re: Attracting New Members

Post by TimStannard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:30 pm

Just an aside on the Registered Charity thing - charities are very limited on what they can raise money for as I discovered recently. A local community choir set itself up as a charity to "further the involvement of music within the community" or words to such effect. They regularly hold very well attended concerts and wanted to donate the proceeds to various other local and national charities. They were not allowed to - unless that charity was also involved in futhering involvement in music. Thus, all monies the IAC raises MUST be used (and seen to be used) for the purposes for which the IAC exists. (So any ideas of BIAFF being held in aid of the World Wildlife Fund as a means of attracting publicity go out of teh window)

It has occurred to me that there is another "benefit" that the IAC brings both to clubs and individual members - whether or not they are members - and that is as a lobby group. Whether or not the IAC has ever been seen as a lobby group I've no idea, but I would think it extremely useful to have a body representing x thousand non-commercial film makers when issues such as copyright, privicy, the ability to take photos in public etc come under scrutiny by Government of the authorities. I would also hope that the IAC might even be able to offer support (legal or moral) to non-commercial film-makers who find themselves "testing" such laws.

Being able to publish in FVM the letter from the Chief Constable (?) of whichever constabulary it was last year explaining to his staff that members of the public are perfectly entitled to film in a public place so long they are not causing an obstruction or contavening any other laws) was a very useful example of this sort of thing in action.

We are all aware that copyright laws are not ideally suited to the digital age and there is little doubt in my mind that these will be reviews and hopefully get a major overhaul over the next 20 years. Rather than sit back and complain about whatever proposals come through, the IAC should plan to be part of the process and ensure the desires of the amateur filmmaker are well represented.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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