Video Clubs and Future?

IAC General Discussions
Frank Maxwell
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by Frank Maxwell » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:48 pm

Firstly Col, how many members in the season attend the meetings per session? Also how many members do you have?. For the last six months I have been studying the video club situation. Some clubs have a healthy membership and some clubs have a skeleton membership.
As request I joined a video club of good standard but poor attentance and happy sitters and watchers. I had a six month plan once I identified the problem...New Members. Sorry to say they were more interested in what I said than what I could do.

Back to your problem. You are doing nothing wrong and by you posting you feel as if you are the only one who cares.
1. Hold a meeting and get all members to attend and I mean all.
2. As chairman tell them as you see it. No soft touch talking.
3. Tell them you were thinking of closing the club down. (See what reaction you get from that statement)
4. Ask each member what they want: viewing evenings or a mixture. Those who don't attend ask why and when will it be possible for them to support the club.

Also what age group are your members in 50-60......60-70plus?
If interested I have a way of getting clubs interest to the general public in your area. Not Advertising. But I'd rather talk on a one to one basis. Not that I don't wish to share this information but I have my reasons.............
If you take up my offer and it works we will take it from there.

edin
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by edin » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:42 pm

It must be frustrating to have a range of activities/workshops in your programme that on the face of it should appeal to many people, who want to improve their video skills. There is no easy answer to the need to initially attract new members and then retain them.

I don't know if it is the "club" environment and the commitment needed to maintain it that puts people off... it is a new generation of film makers who in the main come together via the internet on a project by project basis and meet up occasionally for a social/networking event. Maybe this is the future of "clubs" and the traditional format of a video centred club is no longer the offering that people want.

I don't know if any research has been carried out into this area as it may provide some of the answers that many clubs, with dwindling membership, are looking for.

ned c
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Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by ned c » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:24 pm

I believe that Edin has made an important a point that some research into why clubs succeed/fail would be very helpful. Surely an opportunity for the IAC to get a handle on what is happening and if as has been suggested the clubs are the IAC then perhaps a view of the future. A detailed survey to club chairs and IAC members with an analysis and report/suggestions would be a valuable project, OK - demanding but this could be about survival.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by TimStannard » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:27 pm

edin wrote: I don't know if it is the "club" environment and the commitment needed to maintain it that puts people off... it is a new generation of film makers who in the main come together via the internet on a project by project basis and meet up occasionally for a social/networking event. Maybe this is the future of "clubs" and the traditional format of a video centred club is no longer the offering that people want.
I think you have a valid point. If one excludes the social aspect (and quite honestly supping mass produced tea with a bunch of geriatrics doesn't appeal to me) then what is there that clubs offer that liaising on a "per project" basis doesn't?
One thing: showing your film on a large screen in front of a captive audience. There is nothing that helps you see your film as others might see it as this experience.
Festivals also offer this, but by then it's usually too late - your film has probably been sidelined (not good enough).
If there's anyone here who does not know what I'm, talking about, I venture to suggest they have never experienced this. It can be both scary and exhilarating. But it really helps you see how your film could be improved. Internet comments are great, but you're getting feedback from one person at a time (often me). Screenings in front of an audience cannot be beaten.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Frank Maxwell
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 4:44 pm

Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by Frank Maxwell » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:06 pm

Every club in the country has different set ups and work under the same umbrella. Meetings some weekly some every 2 weeks and once a month.
How can the IAC help???????????
The future with clubs need to address the motto... To Be Seen and Heard. Also stop making certain videos which are bad for a club image.
Glad this topic is getting feedback.

edin
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by edin » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:19 pm

Some club membership research may help but this will only benchmark the prevailing status within the clubs and not capture the thoughts of the many other filmmakers or prospective filmmakers, that are not currently club members. Again the IAC is a volunteer body with limited resources that serves all of the UK well, and is only as good as the people that support it.

To carry out a meaningful survey of the UK or a representitative sample of it, in regard to the filmmaking population is a major task and would require resources/funds that the IAC does not have. If it was carried out on a regional basis using the Universities/Colleges as part of their Media studies course it would provide a useful information source for the IAC and clubs to act on. The IAC could front it up and maybe some grant money would be available from the lottery to fund it. However this is just wishful thinking on my part, yet without the research and feedback any strategy for the future is a shot in the Dark. :D

ned c
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by ned c » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:33 pm

I am not suggesting a broad survey of amateur/non-commercial film makers but rather a survey of the IAC membership. I feel the survey should address two very general questions;

1. What do you expect from the IAC?
2. What do you expect from club membership?

Obviously there would be a number of other questions under each main heading and an opportunity to write in comments and suggestions. At present there is very limited communication between the IAC membership and the management so it would seem that all the management can reasonably do is "more of the same" plus the occasionally flash of a new idea. What the IAC needs is a paid (perhaps part time) General Manager who advises the board and is mandated to grow and strengthen the organisation. Volunteerism is almost a thing of the past and this is why I suspect that many clubs (and organisations) fail.

A survey could be distributed via F&VM with the completed forms mailed/faxed/scanned and e-mailed in. But, and this is the challenge it would need a lot of preparation and subsequent analysis then as Edin comments; without some knowledge the future plans are a "shot in the dark."

ned c

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John Roberts
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by John Roberts » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:19 pm

Hi Ned - I think the problem with surveying anything from IAC members, useful though this is, is that only a fraction of club members are also members of the IAC - within my own club this amounts to barely 10%, and if this is repeated across the majority of video clubs then any IAC survey will only scratch the surface. There are also IAC members who are not, and have no intention of becoming, club members. Becoming a member of the IAC usually indicates different wants, needs and aspirations, so 90% of club members won't have a say in any IAC survey.

Returning to the issue of declining club membership it might be useful to delve into all UK clubs records and look at details such as membership numbers, number of new members (for just a single year as well as those retained) and programme of events offered, over a period of time. This might help flag up why some clubs are more successful than others at attracting and retaining new members. Obviously there are going to be exceptions - some clubs are more 'active', some clubs are more 'social.'

What is the answer? I have no idea! I rejoined my club after 15 years away, and upset someone on my first night with a comment that everything is still the same as I remember. The club hasn't moved on, yet it has a thriving (and growing) membership.

John

ned c
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by ned c » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:27 pm

There are some unknowns here; is the IAC membership static, growing, declining? The views of current IAC members are surely important and a formal approach to collecting those views would at least be a departure point for future planning. The alternative is to do nothing and hope the status quo is a basis for survival. John; you write of the club you belong to as thriving and growing; what is it doing that bucks what seems to be the trend in many other clubs?

Why is this interesting to a person living 5,000 miles away? We have an active and thriving amateur/n-c film making community here and it is not club based. Groups come together and make a film and then disperse back to their day jobs and regular lives. There are two guerilla film contests each year and the local theatre group, The Space Between Theater Company, runs an annual screenwriting competition with the winning script being produced and funded by TSBTC plus two annual film production grants of $150 each. We also have a university with a film department and organizes DOCUTAH. The local cinemas ran a hugely successful annual festival for local film makers playing to packed houses, they have now been taken over by a large chain and the Festival dumped! So it's a constant challenge to get screen time and this is the point where some level of organisation is needed. I suspect that our local scene is probably typical of what is happening in many places and just will not appear on the club/IAC radar.

Although clubs may wax and wane an organisation such as the IAC has the potential to play an important part in getting film makers screen time and public exposure, support and participation.

ned c

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John Roberts
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Re: Video Clubs and Future?

Post by John Roberts » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:32 pm

Hi Ned :-)

Just a quick reply (off out in 10 minutes!) I didn't mean to come across as sounding as if IAC members didn't have an important opinion - indeed they do - but they represent a small proportion of club membership, which was the OP's topic I believe. The IAC can survive without clubs (it might have to in years to come) with changes to its structure, but it can survive. However, I still believe active IAC members have different opinions and needs from the 'average' club membership, which I believe has been discussed before. If you look at an average club and say 25% are active film-makers, 25% only socialise and 50% make films simply for their own enjoyment - will you be far from wrong? Does the IAC membership also have the same split? I would be surprised if it does.

Yes, the IAC has an important part to play - maybe even a critical part - but is it right to turn every single club into one consisting solely of active film-makers and dispensing with the social side of it? It's been mentioned before that pushing this side of the art causes members to drift away, presumably as their aspirations or abilities are exceeded.

And is this discussion also 'one-sided' because the majority (if not all) the contributors of this forum are IAC (or equivalent) members, and therefore look at their films in a different light to the average club member?

I don't mean to come across as negative at all (it's not my intention in any way) just to point out that not every club exists to make serious films and some - as I think seems to be the case, my own club - get more out of socialising and enjoying what they can do within their own limits? Maybe that's why we are thriving - no-one ever seems to get pushy or agitated over membership levels!

John :-)

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