Would you join a club?

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Chrisbitz
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:31 pm
Location: Orpington, Kent

Would you join a club?

Post by Chrisbitz »

I've just posted the above question on a quite vibrant YouTube film maker forum. Since YouTube seems to be where the majority of filmmakers hang out nowadays, I thought why not ask them?

http://yttalk.com/threads/would-you-joi ... ost-365689

I don't know if non members will be able to read the link, but I'll give it a try..
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"
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TimStannard
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Location: Surrey

Re: Would you join a club?

Post by TimStannard »

Bookmarked. I'll be watching closely.
Interesting that the first two responses say "Yes, I'd join". I guess the follow up is "Then why haven't you?" which may provide us with the answer to all our questions.
If only it was that simple.

On a forum I frequent, the advice "Join a club" is regularly given out (not just by me), yet to my knowledge only one other regular is a club member. Two other potential members have used teh excuse "the nearest one is too far away".

I definitely get feeling that many think that clubs are for the old boys with old fashioned ideas and I've a feeling they are right. It's not an image that fits well with the people who post on this forum, but to be honest we are probably not typical club members.

We hosted an evening for James Webber where he showed, among other films, his two BIAFF "Best British Entry" winners. Whilst many members appreciated the production values and technical excellence and indeed praised him for it, they didn't "enjoy" the content as they found it "all rather bleak and depressing". I wonder if this is the biggest barrier to entry for people with a slightly more modern outlook on film making than "My trip to San Francisco".
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
ned c
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Would you join a club?

Post by ned c »

I hope that Jan/Dave don’t mind a lengthy comment. This is a spin off from the posts on the problems experienced at AMPS (The American Motion Society www.ampsvideo.com ) with the 2012 Festival. Michael posed a question regarding the wide use of video cameras and why organized n-c film making is so poorly supported in N America.

Some history; when we moved back to the USA in 2001 there was a club scene and the annual AMPS Festival was well attended. There were 4 clubs in the LA area and 3 in the Bay Area, a club in San Diego; a club in Salt Lake City; a club in Portland; all supported both AMMA (a national organization now defunct) and AMPS. They also organized an annual Ten Best of the West contest. As I write this there is one struggling club in LA and one in the Bay area; the others no longer exist. AMMA (Amateur Movie Makers Association) was interesting as its origins lay in a spin off from the IAC! It failed from lack of people willing to take on the management positions as the long serving management sought replacements. This I suspect is where ultimately most clubs/organizations fail. The story of clubs on the East Coast and the Midwest is much the same, perhaps 3 or 4 survivors with minimal and aging membership.

So where have all the film makers gone? Where I live in the Southwest there is a thriving film making scene involving a number of young people (mid 20s to mid 30s). They are not organized in the sense of a club but get together to make films when they have the time and the money. One of them is the manager of a local cinema multiplex and he persuaded his owners to run a Festival using one of the screens. We attended enthusiastic, packed showings of films that would have caused cardiac arrest to most aging club members. The manager of one of the local supermarkets is a film buff and runs the two annual Guerilla Festivals; (you can see our entry here http://vimeo.com/user3134480/videos ). They subscribe to www.withoutabox.com so every day receive a listing of Festivals and details of their requirements. They load their films to YouTube and Vimeo and get comments and viewings. I persuaded one of them to enter a film into the BIAFF and he got a Diamond award and Best Story; he sells toffee apples for a living!!

These film makers do not need a club nor do they see the need for a national organization; they arrange local viewings that are overwhelming supported. They have an audience. They are amazingly talented. This seems to be where the future lies.

ned c
Michael Slowe
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Re: Would you join a club?

Post by Michael Slowe »

Absolutely Ned, films are being made as we can see from the withoutabox organisation who, for those that don't know, are the agency who collate film festivals world wide and facilitate people entering films. Both Ned and I have done this. it is surprising to see just how many festivals there are, both here, throughout the UK, and (many, many more) in North America. I have only attended ones here in London, but they all sound great fun and provide a fertile area for films and film makers. Most amateur film makers seem only to enter and attend BIAFF which is a pity. Where does this leave clubs? in a backwater I'm afraid to say.
Peter Copestake
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Location: Colne, Lancashire

Re: Would you join a club?

Post by Peter Copestake »

"all rather bleak and depressing".

We in 'Pendle' have the same feeling about recent films seen. Why does this seem to equate with modern?
I don't mean the reality of the Midway Island film promoted elsewhere on the forum - a wake up before it's too late if ever there was one - but suicide, psychotic, depression, dramas. Even if some possible good may come in the end do we have to go through the mill first? Aren't there any stories about success, even love?
Perhaps I've just seen the wrong films and they are there somewhere. If so please point me towards them, please.
Peter Copestake
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TimStannard
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Re: Would you join a club?

Post by TimStannard »

Peter Copestake wrote: "all rather bleak and depressing".

... why does this seem to equate with modern?
...even if some possible good may come in the end do we have to go through the mill first? ...
I would argue, basically "yes". In order to have resolution, you need conflict. Even in a comparatively "gentle" movie such as last year's Best British at BIAFF - "Pigeon Post" both main characters were going through an inordinate amount of pain - he because he was so dissatisfied with the life he thought he had in comparison to the life he thought he would have had and she because of the pain she saw in him and the frustration she must have felt at his inability to see who she was.

And James Webber's films (Geoff Harmer's too) tend to have a positive and/or uplifting resolution.

I wonder if part of this (the idea that the films are bleak and depressing) comes from the fact that successful writing (or so we are told) comes from "writing what we know". The, ahem, older film makers were brought up in a time when we were less affluent and one was encouraged to knuckle down and get on with it, to put up or shut up, show a stiff upper lip. The younger makers were brought up in a time where the opposite was true - we were encouraged to express our emotions and ourselves. Pehaps it is only natural that younger writers would try to show more of their characters inner conflict/turmoil and perhaps express that externally in their characters actions as well.

I'm purely speculating. A little armchair (or computer desk) psychology :)
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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Betamax Kid
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Re: Would you join a club?

Post by Betamax Kid »

First joined a cine club in early 70’s I guess and have fond memories of sharing film making with fellow members. In later years we went through what was for many a painful transition into video film making but the learning still continued as did the fun. If you are not in a club sharing this hobby with others you are missing a real treat and not least the camaraderie to be found in many a good group of members around the country. Getting hands on in a club room, special visitors to entertain you, club projects over summer, clubs visits out and about and even in some cases public presentations of films to local people. Ah the fun to be had in a film making club..
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