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Looking Forward.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:40 pm
by John C
In April's edition of F&VM the Chairman poses some questions regarding the attraction of new members, both Individuals and Clubs, how to raise awareness of the IAC by people not familiar with the organisation etc etc.

In my struggles to become a better film maker the IAC have provided many helpful comments one of which was "remember Club members have a wealth on knowledge and are very experienced film makers" so I thought, was there anyway this expertise could be harnessed to help advertise the IAC ?

What, if they awarded a Certificate of Competence, allowing a film maker to add a prefix onto their film when they have won an official Club Competition and of sufficient merit, in the eyes of the Club members, for such an accolade.

The Certificate would consist of an official Graphic developed by the Council of the IAC, such graphic to be Informative, Interesting and Humorous so attracting the attention of the Viewer prior to watching a Certificated film.

Within the graphic Audio / wording could run along the lines of
This film has been awarded the IAC's Certificate of Competence
by the Members of
................. Club
on dd/mmm/201?

Such Graphic would be officially excluded from inclusion in any "Black to Black" timing rules should the film be entered in any future competitions

In the meantime could the IAC produce a quality file of the existing Logo so that it could be included in a Film's credits if the Film maker so wished.

John C

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:53 pm
by Dave Watterson
There is a bit of good thinking here, John. The problem I see is that the level of "competence" might be very different, depending on the club concerned.

The system of IAC honours: (see ... dmaci.html is mainly based around the annual competition so though standards might vary, they are at least roughly the same all over the country. What would happen if one club with half-a-dozen members and a low standard all round issued a certificate, it might not be anything like the standard of a film given the same award by a large club with generally high standards.

Maybe the actual standard is less important than a bit of praise from fellow club-members.

The notion of an official "trailer" with the IAC logo has been around for years. There was one, I think, on 16mm film. I don't recall one for the 8mm formats or for video. If you see many films from other countries, you will be aware that they often have both a national organisation and a club trailer.

I heard that there was a scheme to include a DVD with an issue of Film & Video Maker which would have the celebratory film about the IAC called The Noble Network and some other material. There seemed to be doubts in some quarters about including non-video material such as still images of the IAC Logo - and the idea was shelved. That seemed a pity.

On ... icity.html you will find among other things a downloadable version of the IAC Diamond logo that is 764 x 576 pixels - i.e. standard definition 4:3 ratio.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:13 pm
by John Roberts
Interesting idea!

I usually include a mention of my club in the credits of my films - in fact I have had emails from people who have seen my films and contacted my club for my email address (because I don't usually include any personal contact details.)

I'm not sure how the IAC stands with regard to using its logo on what is essentially something not promoting the IAC, but a film-maker. My concern would be quality control, especially in light of recent threads citing varying judging standards between clubs? So my idea is this...:

Some kind of blank certificate could be drawn up (in different colours, say bronze, silver and gold) to match a minimum of 3, then 4 and 5-star awards at BIAFF. This could then be completed by the film-maker with their details and title and used as a trailer at the start of that particular film. This would therefore represent an 'officially awarded' certificate, thereby hopefully avoiding any negative feedback as there might be should a particular club award a particular film a certificate of competence based on their own standards.

A certificate such as this should also encourage other film-makers who see these certificates to enter BIAFF - as I can attest you never know what you might end up with!


Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:06 pm
by John C
Hi Dave and John,
Nobody could sensibly disagree with the points you raise, but they only refer to existing members.
I understand we are trying to get our name out to the people who are not members yet.
I wonder if the "powers that be" are too close to Competition Standards and have forgotten the majority of people who are not members yet.

Are we only interested in new members who are already at the 4 and 5 star level?

The non-member "man in the Street" that views a "Competent Film" at the Rotary, Probus or Round table is often impressed but they do not know the difference between no award and a one Star film.

If a non member complains about a Film's "Certificate of Competence" they already have a level of knowledge well beyond a beginner and would be a likely target to recruit as a Member.

If the IAC Council feel a Club is below standard in its awards, what a wonderful opportunity for a training course in order to improve the Club's skills.

May I ask the "Powers that be" to stand back a bit and try to remember what basic competence is in film making, that it is supposed to be fun and that those who do not know about the IAC can enjoy films below IAC competition standard, which is a very high standard, that only a very small percentage of our members can achieve.

John C

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:28 am
by John Roberts
Hi John C,

I'm not quite sure I follow your point about aiming the certificates only at existing members? Existing members of clubs or the IAC? :)

At Sheffield you don't even need one hand to count the number of IAC members within its ranks of 30 or so club members, so having an 'IAC accreditation' certificate at the start of a film that has been awarded something at BIAFF might go some way towards prompting existing club members who have never heard of BIAFF or previously not considered entering it or joining the IAC, to think again. A film awarded a certificate might be shown on the IAC website, or if the film-maker's club presents public or arranged screenings (as Sheffield and a lot of other clubs do) this will help promote the IAC 'outside' of the usual club viewings. Also, one doesn't have to be a member of the IAC to enter BIAFF, so this award is not restricted to 'members only' yet still promotes the IAC.

I echo Dave's sentiments regarding the competence level, and giving clubs free reign to award a certificate promoting the IAC in the IAC's name might have exactly the opposite effect if said film is poorer in standard than potential members' current efforts. I think it needs some level of control, on a national level, and what better than BIAFF results to start with? After all, if the IAC is publicly declaring 'film X' to have a certain award, then they should allow that film to be proud of that award. I mentioned 3-stars and above because if the guideline text of the 2-star award is studied (I've pasted it below) this doesn't to me represent a level of achieved competence that we should be promoting to potential new members. The IAC should be interested in new members at any level, and promoting films above a certain standard (with a reference to what that standard is - gold, silver or bronze) should send a message out that these are attainable standards, through teaching, development and interaction with other film-makers within the IAC. Potential new members to a club or the IAC will be looking at how to improve their films with the experience offered by the IAC and its membership, and this in itself might suggest that they are already at or near the 2-star level anyway.

The bottom line is that your idea is a great one, John. I hope it's something that's discussed in more detail and with more input and something actually gets done, or a valid reason given as to why it can't be done. That in itself will represent a major step forward for the IAC.


Wording lifted from the BIAFF section of the IAC site regarding 2-star films: The work demonstrates a developing understanding of film-making techniques but there are still some significant weaknesses. Cinematography may be inadequate with little sign of attractive or well composed pictures. Sound may be uneven. Story may feel too long. The film may fail to show an adequate sense of purpose/structure/timing. Voiceover may state the obvious. Editing may not flow.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:16 am
by col lamb
Not sure about a certification system.

One mans meat is another .... etc

There are too many variables and any certification would have to meet specific criteria too be consistent.

Standardisation stifles creativity.

Look at it another way, just because someone has a certificate of competence does not mean that they will produce a great movie.

If we look at movie makers who have does well in past BIAFF competitions then those that have been consistent in results are very few

For me Bob Lorrimer, Michael Slowe and Willy Van d L are the few who automatically spring to mind as producing consistently great movies.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:47 am
by John Roberts
I agree Col, in part anyway :D

To give an award to a film-maker for his or her achievements is already covered in part by the IAC fellowships and awards system, but one has to achieve a certain standard in order to attain one, and this is how it should be. I'm not sure whether adding a further award for competency would be the way to go though - remember that any award carrying the IAC's name would surely have to be approved by the IAC and not handed out by clubs or members of clubs that might have no connection in any way with (or possible even be members of) the IAC. Curiously the wording on the IAC website regarding the FACI fellowship is: "Honorary Fellows are non-members of the IAC who have made significant contributions to the work of the IAC, or the hobby generally" but the award still needs to be approved by the IAC. As you say - just because a film-maker might be tagged as being competent, doesn't mean they consistently produce good films, each film has to be taken on it's own merit. Steven Spielberg doesn't always win an Oscar for his efforts :lol:

I agree that certification would have to meet certain criteria to be consistent, but those criteria can be found amongst the BIAFF guidelines for awarding the number of stars for each entry. The guidelines do not tell a film-maker how to tell a story or stifle his or her creativity - film-makers can enter just about anything they want to BIAFF and all standards of entry are accepted from 1-star (BIAFF: 'little understanding of the basics of film-making') to 4- and 5-star. Some wording used in the guidelines on the BIAFF site regarding 4- and 5-star films include "technically creative, something special/original about it, possibly stylish or innovative" so I don't see how this can be construed as stifling creativity. Film what you want, how you want, bung it in and see what comes back.

There is already an awards system in place, where everyone (IAC member or not, of any level of competence) can enter, receive a written critique and an award at the end no matter how good or bad their film is, that is judged by a panel of selected and pre-calibrated judges in a controlled environment that are publicly accountable for their decisions and under constant scrutiny by many members of this forum and internationally - what more do we need? I can't see the point of reinventing the wheel.


Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:32 pm
by Frank Maxwell
I'm not into the IAC set up regards awards etc. In the end of the day any video maker in the amateur status. Any work he produces, his main aim is to get his work shown. Most know that their work is not up to standard through lack of knowledge and experience. Most of the material ends up on YouTube or Forums. If one is lucky they will or might join a video club and have the glory of seeing their video on the screen and the possibility of making a video under the clubs control or go out and make it alone.

Is like being in the AA car service in a way. How many young people belong to that?

I think the IAC is a wonderful institution for certain age group and a platform for new members to get to know people who love making moving pictures on a higher level than Holiday videos.

Video clubs and IAC work together if implemented correctly. All clubs should strive to make a competion video locally or national.

My view at present is... a fee... then pay again if you attend....sit and be entertained...get involved, but not to fast..don't make any comments about videos you are watching, good or bad.....don't move a well established club forward with new ideas.

All forms of clubs are having trouble to attract new members. We are leading a different life style surrounded by technology and media has the edge in this field of working and entering competitions. Unless perhaps if a money prize is involved besides certificates or a trophy for dusting.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:20 pm
by John C
Hi John,
All new concepts require teasing out and discussion but can wander from the key factor which is how to use our mountain of good material to entice new members into the IAC family, either as individual members or for them to join a Member Club.
MY Concept is;
1 An IAC Member Club has competitions - some Judged externally and some internally.
2 The concept applies to winners only.
3 With us our winners are played to voluntary organisations such as Probus, Rotary, Round table and Inner Wheel Clubs and any voluntary body who would like a film show as part of their annual programme.
4 These are non-members - our target audience.

I agree with your second paragraph as far as it goes, promoting individual membership from within a Member Club, but these people would be another target within a recruiting Campaign as they already have committed themselves to a Club

Third paragraph points all noted as valid So how do we get these films that have attained certain IAC Standards so that non-members can view them?

If the IAC was to mount a recruiting campaign they would be part of a package of DVD's distributed to Public Libraries, Colleges, Community Centres and carried by members for giving to Strangers carrying a Camcorder!
(My definition of a stranger is a friend who I have not met yet)

I note Col's points but the concept is part of a recruitment campaign because no Club can work with people who have not Joined.
Our Club fell down to 10 members - old Age, death and complex technology being the main causes.
We built the membership back up to 28 by personal contact, word of Mouth, handing out leaflets to Strangers with Camcorders at functions both indoor and outdoor.

Once you have said Hello, it does not take much to fall into conversation when one has such a wide ranging hobby.

Maybe the IAC could help with a Grant for member Clubs to have a properly printed brochure?

John C

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:09 pm
by Bob Lorrimer
Hi, (and thank-you Col for your generous mention)

I am not a great one for certificates and awards....I think, for me, it is more about being judged good enough for one's 'film' to be seen by others, both in and out of our Club System.

My film ROCK BOTTOM is on VIMEO and a few years back it was selected as a "Staff Pick" .... this 'honour' comes with a watermark in the top left of the Vimeo Monitor...and I have to say I am rather proud of it as it is not only a difficult accolade to achieve but it also informs the viewer of a quality product. (It is Nigh impossible to achieve a "Staff Pick" today with the proliferation of high end and also very good 'indie' film makers.) You can see the logo here:

A "Staff Pick" today can give you half a million views (or hits) in a few weeks. My own film has long since departed from the Radar but it has still had some 60,000 views.


Another consideration might be to publish the FVM ONLINE as it was pointed out on of the other's forums that the magazine reaches only the existing Membership. (I would still buy my paper copy by annually subscribing to the IAC).


Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:36 pm
by TimStannard
Bob Lorrimer wrote:My own film has long since departed from the Radar but it has still had some 60,000 views.
But imagine how many that might have been if you'd had the foresight to film a cat in an amusing situation. :lol:

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:46 pm
by TimStannard
Frank Maxwell wrote: My view at present is... a fee... then pay again if you attend....sit and be entertained...get involved, but not to fast..don't make any comments about videos you are watching, good or bad.....don't move a well established club forward with new ideas.
Frank, if only people with the same ideas as you wold join our club. I' been chair for only three years but said at the beginning of this season it would be my last - not because I don't enjoy it (although there are moments) - but because I don't want the club to become stale. I feel I built on what my predecessor did (he basically moved the emphasis from "watching" to "doing" but we need a constant stream of fresh blood.

Inevitably, as we do not have a "Frank", no-one wants to take up the baton. I think we've made a compromise though - a small group will take over the planning of the programme, a task previously dominated by, or dumped on, the chairman. Newer members will be encouraged to take part in this. This means newer members can get their ideas considered (and hopefully introduced) and can feel they have a say in the running of the club without having to commit to being a full on officer or committee member.

This is for next season. It may work.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:17 pm
by Frank Maxwell
Tim at present I have been in a negative mood regards video club.

For a long time I have enjoyed the freedom of working with independent video makers and on my own. Out of the blue I got a request to help as this person has seen my work and ideas. To help them out as he could see them sliding down the scale. I respect the task the committee has to make a viable programme each meeting.

My first impression was of welcome but I soon learned all was not well with the club. Like a horse race ... "All happy just to be in the race, but did not want to win".

I never got the opportunity to win the race. Writing on this forum and making my points known did not go down well with the club and any technical tips on editing or sound etc, was out of order or my view on any video or cine film was taken in bad manners. Even the evening of making a test video did not go down well as it had a religious theme on how insurance companies use the power of "Act of God". I requested to re-shoot the idea. But none of the members had the manners to tell me it did not go down well.

Looking back I was running too fast in the race. Also I had to travel a fair distance to the club and to face a screen every meeting made me wonder. Let's face it if you were chairman would you let your members sit and watch a 45 minute wedding video ? or several holiday videos which are 30 minutes long?.

The video clubs I have visited for talk and lecture and have been a member were very good. But now we are in a different set and it is getting harder. The clubs which are well established work hard and the ones which are suffering are content to run in the race at there pace.

Sorry for having ranted to long on this subject. Like I said I felt I was on the Titanic and told them and was asked to get off in Ireland. Also one can't please everybody. I did enjoyed the experience and to be surrounded by people who have the same passion. For me the race is over as I was disqualified from first place in the race.

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:17 pm
by ned c
This thread is titled "Looking Forward" perhaps "Looking Outward" would be a better direction to gaze.

If a club has technical skills and I am sure most clubs can muster people who have those skills then ask the community to use them. I have written this before and will not dwell here as I have submitted a more detailed piece to Garth on the subject but we ( ) run an open annual script writing contest and produce the winner, this year's production is at BIAFF "Stan the Man". We also make small financial grants to struggling film makers and and this year's grant recipient is also at BIAFF "Over the Hill". In effect we ask the community what it wants to do in terms of film making and we get a positive response and work together to meet their vision

The technical part of film making is reasonably easy; it's the creative bit we need all the help we can get and this often resides with people who have a vision and need help in realizing it..

ned c

Re: Looking Forward.

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:38 am
by Frank Maxwell
Sorry for asking Ned, who are the community in your terms?.