FVM April 2014

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col lamb
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

FVM April 2014

Post by col lamb »

Well it landed on my hall floor on Saturday the 22nd Feb.

First impressions from the cover, wow! what an image!!!!

Inside a totally mixed bag, sorry if what follows hurts, it is meant to: -
Book review, reminiscing in the past, it really is time to drop reviews of old, outdated technology and systems.

Chairman's Chat, sort of relevant and feed back to the question he posed on the forum many, many months ago.

Phase 1 films, Ken's usual tongue in cheek style rambings

Positive Image, sorry short on time this month, I'll throw some images together about some of my kit and add a few words. Not the best of Toms writings by a long shot and the tip about using an old film canister as a cable tidy is very questionable. Copper is typically nearly 100% pure and has a property that you cannot change, its called age hardening and as the name says it hardens with age and so repeatedly bending your copper cables into a tight small radius bend and stuffing them into a 25mm diameter piece of plastic can do damage.

104 year old film clip, what is the point? It's old it's in the past, now I would have been impressed by an article headed......a new way to shoot movies with your iPhone.

IAC Editing Group. I quit this old selective, outdated and IRRELEVANT group in May 2013. Well I was very surprised to see an e-mail post of mine included in this issue. Come on Colin I originally sent this out on the 5th March 2013 or nearly a year ago. It's so outdated you should be ashamed of yourself for including it. It really is time to drop this feature from the mag and to drop the NLE e-mail group, you can get a far quick response on the forum. By the way Colin, please do not use any of my posts again.

The Jumblies, a great article, looking forward to the second instalment.

Late FVM, Garth Hopes behind the scenes. Very informative, but at 1800 copies and nearly £2k postage there has to be a cheaper way of issuing the mag. I wonder how many like me would prefer an electronic copy?

Four Way Stop, a nice behind the scenes article by Ned of a movie I sort of liked at BIAFF 2013, I say sort of liked because this was one of the movies that to me is not a 4 star. It is a 4 star all the way to the shootout scene at the end then that scene alone is only a 2 star. The problem is with the editing, in this scene they shoot each other and from the time the trigger is pulled to the person being hit is not realistic, a Leslie Neilson movie would have a shorter duration. So this totally spoiled the effect and the movie.

12 years a slave, OK we know it is a great movie but why does it have to be in FVM?

Gerald's Cine Courant, updates as usual but it needs a new, state of the art name, not something that gives the impression of a 100 year old movie.

Revolution, not personally interested so have not been following so no comment.

Letters, enough said

Published once a while ago - but worth repeating. No it was not worth repeating. Item 3 upgrade RAM is way, way out of date. Never, ever just add RAM into a new(ish) PC. RAM now has to be balanced and compatible and used as a matched set with a minimum of 2GB per CPU core, where the RAM is installed matters, the number of memory sticks matter, the type of RAM matters, the specification of RAM matters, do you get the point?

Defining The film Maker, a nice article but a shame the word film crops up so many times, film is an old technology and the use of the word should stop, it is an f word after all.

Audio, Never read this column.

Club News, OK, keeps everyone sort of up to date.

A few recent press releases, fills up the blank pages I presume.

AV Column, you cannot miss this the images leap out at you a great job Marion and John

The Evolution of the Magic Lantern, come on let's get into the 21st century. Absolutely not appropriate for a modern progressive forward-thinking organization that needs to gain a new YOUNGER audience, this is just the thing to drive potential newbies away.
So there you are: my take on what promised to be the best issue to date but mine now resides in my re-cycling bin, hopefully to be shredded and recycled into a useful product.

I await the fury.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
Ken Wilson
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Ken Wilson »

Well well, someone got out of the bed the wrong side didn`t they? Col (Colin/ Colonel) Lamb invites us to retaliate. Is he being deliberately provocative to stir us up, yes I think so, but quite a crude attack nevertheless.
At present, I don`t have the April issue of FVM, so I cannot reply on a page-by-page, article by article basis, so I am left with defending myself and a general overview of the FVM from recent issues.

So Col, first of all it is not Phase 1 but Phase 4. If you want to insult someone, at least get the name right.
I guess when you say "Ken`s tongue in cheek rambings" that you mean ramblings?I do take exception to the word ramblings as it suggest senility and is quite abrasive and confrontational and as I said, insulting.

I am not sure how long I have been writing for the magazine, but apart from one short break, it has been continous for quite a few years now. I have just looked at a pile of them and I was submitting articles in 2005 for certain and I believe for quite a time before then.
Each article is around 2000 words long and 6 are written each year making 12000 words a year all for no payment and in my free time. I try to look at different subjects and make them as interesting and varied as they can be. Several times I have suggested to Garth and his predecesor, Liz Donlan, that I will cease if other people want to contribute material, but each time I have been told that the articles are popular with many people and I have been asked to continue. In person at the IAC and other festivals, many people have approached me to say how much they enjoy reading my articles, so I have to take people at their word.

To make it very clear, I for one, DO NOT want the FVM in an electronic form. I spend many hours a week sat at the PC and I do not want to do the same with a magazine (or a book.) Why does Col keep banging on about this? he has a real Bee in his bonnet about it as it has been debated here numerous times, so take your own advice and write someting new!

Garth is somewhat hampered with the magazine as so few people will write for it. Articles have to be submitted and Garth can only work with what he has been sent.
Yes some material lives in the past, but many members like to look back at the past. I personally think that the "Making of..." articles are the best, but often are fairly superficial and I would like them to be more in depth. But that is often all that the maker wants to say about them. We are all film makers but not neccesarily writers.
Readers all have different areas of interest and are fascinated by specifics within film (sorry, video) as you obviously are with PC components, something which leaves me cold to be honest. Boring beyond belief.

I think the tone of your posting and aggressive attack on the contributors and editor of the magazine are unwarranted.
You asked for a response so there is mine. Ken
Michael Slowe
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Michael Slowe »

Ken, you fell straight into it, I had you in mind when I replied initially. We are old men (I rather more than you!), that's who Col is aiming for, don't fall for it!
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John Roberts
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by John Roberts »

Oooooh, can I join in? ;-)

Actually, I haven't received my copy yet, but I'm lead to believe my face adorns one of the 'blank pages', so my apologies for that if it came as a shock to anyone. It wasn't my idea, honest :-D

Brian Saberton
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Brian Saberton »

I've just finished reading my FVM and don't understand why Col is so upset. I found something of interest in all the articles including the book review which, funnily enough, mentions an old film by Dalziel Cine and Video Club in which I had some involvement. I happen to know Ian Craven, one of the co-editors of the book in question. Ian has done a massive amount of research into amateur movies, the club scene and the movement in general as part of his work at the film and media department at Glasgow University and his colleague, Graeme Spurr, sometimes contributes to this forum so I think Garth was quite right to include the book review in the magazine and am glad that he did. Professional film makers (Martin Scorcese is just one example) seek inspiration from the film makers of the past so why shouldn't we? After all, cinematic techniques are just as relevent to shooting in the electronic formats as they were when film was the recording medium - it's what is on the screen that matters. And whilst on that subject the commercial sector is still referred to as the film industry and festivals continue to be called "film" festivals so I don't agree that the word is out of date - it's far too embedded in the public conciousness for that to happen.

Ken Wilson's articles are always interesting and entertaining and this time I think he has latched on to an important issue concerning the general lack of public awareness to our hobby which adds something new to the debate about the future of our clubs. I also agree with Ken about not wanting FVM in electronic format.

I'm always interested in reading about how other film-makers go about their projects even if I haven't seen their films (I'm also a sucker for the "making of" extras on DVD's). I had seen and enjoyed Ned's film at BIAFF and the wonderful Jumblies, but haven't yet seen Revolution; however the article has whetted my appetite to see this movie.

In addition to making films I do quite a bit of AV so that section also appealed to me and Tom Hardwick always has some helpful technical points to make.

As Ken says, Garth can only work with what he receives and personally I think he does an excellent job not only in managing to achieve such a variety of content but also in keeping the design of the magazine as fresh as possible. I happen to write a regular column for a film collectors magazine which is also six issues a year and I can tell you that it is quite a task to come up with something new each time so I think Ken and the other regulars deserve our thanks for maintaining what I think is a very high standard.
Brian Saberton
ned c
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by ned c »

I smiled at Col's posting obviously written to raise hackles, however I would like to expand on the subject of F&VM.

First; Garth does a great job under tough circumstances, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to maintain a magazine/newsletter that depends on volunteer writers. A quick check shows that it is some time since you wrote an article Col!!

Surely it is time to begin looking at electronic distribution. We all love to have a paper copy but with rising costs and other financial needs perhaps its time to move into the 21st century. In 2013 the IAC income from members subscriptions was GBP 74K and the cost of the magazine was GBP 33K, around 40% of the subscription. Obviously going to electronic distribution will not save all that cost but surely a substantial part of it. A change could be phased in, slightly reduced membership for those taking the electronic version? I suggest that the savings be put to valuable awards to student entries in a a student section at BIAFF. If the IAC wants to survive this is where the future lies.

Brian has got it right about the word "film" I want to be a film maker NOT a videographer (dreadful word) nor a digital image/story teller, perhaps a movie maker?

Ned c
Ken Wilson
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Ken Wilson »

Thank you to Brian for his comments and support. To Michael, yes you are clearly a little older and therefore wiser in your decision not to offer a comment to Colin with his deliberate attempt to stir things up. However, I was mentioned by name and therefore felt obliged to defend my position. I still have not received the new issue of FVM so cannot comment specifically on it.

I think it was due to the lack of the kinds of articles that I like to read myself within the pages of FVM that led to my offer to write for it in the first place. I used to send in the occasional piece after joining the IAC in 1994. This was the start and then I began doing reviews of professional films sent to Liz Donlan on DVD when she asked for a volunteer to do this. When the movies submitted dried up, I offered a series of film making articles which have continued for many years right up to the present day.

So if readers like Colin want newer, fresher and more exciting material, then why not submit some? As Ned has mentioned, you need to contribute something yourself Colin.

But what do most of us get out of our IAC subscription? The magazine is an important one in my view. We have the music copyright clearance scheme too and the IAC festivals which we have to pay for of course. If the money we pay is not to finance the magazine, then what else are we going to get for the subs?

It`s been said before but we will not (yet) be reading an electronic version of the FVM in the bath unless it were on a Kindle or similar (unlikely.) Or in the garden or on holiday. So at least in the forseeable future, it`s a glossy magazine for me.
Mike Shaw

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Mike Shaw »

it`s a glossy magazine for me.
And me! The thought of having to lug some electronic gizmo around so that I can read FVM on a train or in the garden horrifies me. I do have gizmos, but give me a magazine which lets me turn the pages every time. I hate the on-line books and newspapers.

The IAC can afford it. So what is the problem.
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by fraught »

Haven't read my copy yet, but i do like the paper format. Perhaps offer the magazine for digital download the following month? So there can be an online archive for reference at a later date.
Only Boring People Get Bored
Michael Slowe
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Michael Slowe »

I wrote a post immediately following Col's original post but, as so often happens with me, it didn't get there - no idea how or why!

Col, the best way to try and improve the magazine is to submit pieces for Garth to print, he's crying out for them.

Secondly, I firmly defend the word 'film', what do you go to the cinema to see? Mostly now they're originated digitally.

Thirdly, please, please, may we continue to have the opportunity to read a PAPER copy. Shaw has it dead right. Enough of these gizmos dictating all our activities "please teacher, can I visit the toilet?", "No, connect to your computer".
Lee Prescott
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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:20 pm

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Lee Prescott »

:) :( :shock: :lol: :cry: :roll: === It would make you!

Hi Posters,

Question: Is Col stirring it re FVM? Personally I don't think so. There is so much that could be "put right" with FVM - (please note my particular phraseology here)!!!

It is quite true that Garth, or indeed any editor, can only produce a magazine according to the contributors who submit articles / items. I myself used to submit such at one time fairly regularly UNTIL, if you all remember, the hierarchy instigated steps to remove Garth from the post of Editor. I "let fly" to support him and stop it happening on this Forum - as did some other members! In my case I have not been allowed to forget it!!! --- This is why I no longer - submit anything anymore, (except for my piece about the hierarchy and the lack of advice regarding "Filming in Public", (UK) which caused them to take much belated action on behalf of IAC members). I have not been allowed to forget that either.

So this is why I write regularly for The IAC Southern Counties ELECTRONIC News Letter. In this connection, a number of my articles, following permission, have been re printed abroad - quite true!

With regard to the current format of FVM. Much of it I no longer read, no point at all. In fact it usually only takes me 25 minus minutes to "read" through it, some issues not more than 10 or 12 minutes!!! - Until recently I used to send copies abroad at my own expense - the same has occurred - so I no longer waste my money in doing so.

Finally, FVM not only needs a completely NEW approach, in some cases different writers and contributors but that depends entirely on "Acceptance", not only from Garth but from "way above"!!!!

A comment about advertising: Whilst Liz Donlan was Editor I undertook the voluntary position of "Advertising Manager". This overlapped into the start of Garth's tenure. At the time, of necessity, I was advised that the magazine distribution was, per issue, 2,600 copies. (what a reflection on the falling membership)! I also had at times as many as 19 advertisers - I still have my copies of their payments. This continued until the hierarchy "decided" that they wanted someone else in the role....there is now and has been for a long time just one paid advertisement! OK no one wants FVM full of advertisers(?) BUT therein folks lies INCOME!

Do Try and keep :) ---ing!

tom hardwick
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by tom hardwick »

I'm saddened to read that Lee can read an entire issue of FVM in 10 or 12 minutes. It really makes me question the wisdom of spending 2 (and sometimes 3) solid days researching, photographing, writing, editing, checking and submitting my Positive Image articles.

I know Col Lamb considers that my current piece is a ... 'throw some images together about some of my kit and add a few words', but that piece still took me 2 days, two days that I have to find and two days that I now don't have.

It's great having an editor like Garth though. He sends me pdf files of how he's laid everything out and showing how the pages will look, I return them with suggested changes where necessary, he repeats the operation and slowly and surely we fine-tune things. It all takes a lot of time.

And then Lee tells me he can devote 10 minutes to the whole magazine. Sigh.

Lee Prescott
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:20 pm

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Lee Prescott »


Sorry Tom but my comments are the truth...BUT....be pleased, I always read through your material, well more or less depending, (against the day I come into money, ha ha, sorry)....quite frankly it is some of the other pieces that I have learned to ignore! Maybe I should also have added that I use what is sometimes called "speed reading" having been trained in the past, in the technique.

By and large the point I was in effect making is that there is too much "repetitive similarity" - this is NOT Editor Garth's fault!

In fact I have just renewed my annual subscription but for once I "sat on it" for almost a month trying to decide if continuing was worth the money! As an individual all one gets is FVM and the Regional Newsletters - everything else or whatever - has to be paid for separately! I know several people who were members, all left for similar reasons, part of the 900 or so!

One of the "happier" availabilities is the web site and this Forum - but - hey, as far as I know one does not have to be a member to access it or join it! Certainly its provision involves a considerable amount of work and expertise.

I first joined the IAC at a much younger age in 1960 and later left because the general attitude was "Toffee Nosed", ("Oh dear, haven't you got a 16mm camera" etc. etc?). I then rejoined in 1982 and again later left. (Currently) I joined again in 1994 /1995 I think it was.....! The IAC remains hide-bound by its 82 years of "tradition" in my view - and I am not (physically) a Young Person!

LEE. :(
Peter Copestake
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Location: Colne, Lancashire

Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Peter Copestake »

Lest this item should end on a negative note which must be disheartening for Garth and the regular contributors I'd like to add my name to those who prefer a paper magazine.
I find the NLE section interesting as I forget what has been posted there and I find some interest in most of the rest. Anyone who reads any publication cover-to-cover must have time on their hands, surely? And if they have and do read everything in FVM we are doing them a service.
However non IAC members of our club are not really interested though I can usually find someone to take the copies the club receives.
I feel any staleness can be corrected by other people submitting articles that may be of interest but would suggest it would be sensible to ask Garth first if he wants them.
IAC members are a very mixed bunch with a great range of skill-levels and interests only some of which make good copy for a mag.
The parts I personally find most interesting are those which describe how people have overcome practical problems when filming and editing in general. It is astounding that such good films can be made by small amateur (yes, there is only this word which positively describes us) groups or individuals, and, while I have very little interest in dramas myself I am interested in how these people overcome their challenges. In my area of interest, documentary and actuality, problems arise which have to be overcome on the spot, just like wedding films, and they can rarely be solved by asking people to move out of the way, do that bit again or speak a bit louder or face the camera when I say go.
Finally, good advice can be repeated. There will, we hope, always be people who haven't met a problem before. I am interested, for example, to see the advice to use a flash gun to synch a multi-camera shoot, something I suggested 20 years ago. It is sometimes easier than soundwaves on the timeline.
Peter Copestake
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Dave Watterson
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Re: FVM April 2014

Post by Dave Watterson »

Our copy arrived on Saturday. Score one for e-publication, when everyone receives the information at the same time.
Has IAC Council considered actually spending more on the magazine so that a commercial fulfilment house can send out all the magazines at the same time instead of asking Garth to load up boxes into his car and drive to a local post-office several times per issue?

Most regions now present their magazines in e-publication format. (That alone should make stuffing the FVM envelopes simpler.) Some, like SoCo have adapted the design of their publication to suit reading on screen.

Just moving FVM to e-publication would save money, but not half the IAC budget. The magazine would still have to be assembled, edited and so on.

But speaking of money ... can no one else think of better ways to use IAC funds?
  • What about free video library loans?
    What about free access to events for the people who work so hard to put them on?
    What about expenses for people giving up their time to travel to council meetings?
    What about putting the relationship between Regions / SAM and IAC on a logical structure so that they are formally part of the same organisation? (That would reduce the stress on Regions to find funding for their events.)
    What about promotional materials for clubs to over-print with their own details? (Hard copy not just access to soft copy downloads.)
As to the contents:
  • Remember that FVM is only seen by IAC members, so has almost no influence on recruitment.
    Almost every magazine has a slightly less inspired issue when the content is prepared over a holiday period. (See most mags which appear in January/February).
    Ken and Tom have both produced many even better articles, but these ones were interesting, relevant to the readership and amusing.
    I am torn on the issue of covering commercial films ... many of our movie-makers could learn a lot if they moved away from watching re-runs of Dad's Army.
    Cine-Courant ... am I the only one who noticed that the plug for the wonderful Festival of Nations appeared at the end of February, when the closing date was the 9th?
    The club news columns always promise more than they deliver. We all want to get ideas from what other clubs do ... but that means knowing whether each new meeting idea worked or not. Few clubs write-up failures in their own publications, so how can the reviewers gather such information? If they cannot ... then what is the function of those reports? Does it give a club a morale boost to be mentioned there? Are we impressed that clubs survive?
I do read all of each issue, but not in one sitting! Much of what is in the magazine I enjoy. Very little is in any practical sense useful. The "making of" articles have almost all been on the IAC website for months before they appear on the printed page, so I know them already. As an IAC member I could join the email groups and read all the material from them already. Are those two pages catering for IAC members without internet access? How many of those are there?

If there were no magazine ... would people start asking what they actually get for their 37pounds 50pence subscription?

Garth makes the best of what he receives every two months. He is not in a position to commission articles as most editors are.

What Col's comments make clear is that there is very little sign of people in the IAC who are willing/able to write about movie making as practised by the majority of people outside our movement.

Final thought: e-publications can have movies in them ... when at best a print magazine can only give a web address for people to type in. Which makes more sense in our hobby?
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