Do we need a new editor for FVM?

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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by RichardCurry » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:08 pm

I am rather bemused by all this ..... why are we wanting to change editor and/or printing ? What we have is working well - very well !

If Council have good reasons for it why haven't we had a statement in the magazine itself - after all it is the only means of communicating with ALL the membership and affiliated clubs - and why is the "call for tender" only on the website ?

In supporting Garth for the excellent job he does I also have concerns about jobs in the North West - Naylers have done a good job for us over the years too !

But I do have an underlying feeling that there is a lack in transparency in all of this and that bothers me a lot !!

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:37 pm

When Liz Donlan took over as editor, Amateur Film & Video Maker had been 24 pages long, she raised that to 28 at once and later to 36 pages where it remains today. She also quietly dropped the word "amateur" from the magazine title during her regime. Her first issue had four pages with "spot color" (i.e. headlines, no pictures). Nine years later by the end of her run there were usually 8 pages of "full colour" (i.e. photos). No change today.

Liz had regular contributions from Ken Wilson and Tom Hardwick - no change today.

Most of the regular features like club news, festival reports and so on remain inevitably the same.

So what has Garth added in almost 7 years as editor? Better visual design - certainly. Howard Gregory's column. The IAC editing group page. Lou Ambrose's memories of professional filming. Oh and he moved What's On to the inside back cover.

In the last few years the internet has become a more important part of our lives. In the current issue Garth still gets the web address of the IAC website wrong, misses a vital "k" off the end of the Competition Manager's email address ... but best of all in the page of extracts from the IAC Editing Group emails there is a web link which is 141 characters long! Jim, who posted it, sent the Google link which made it 47 characters longer than necessary, but neither Colin Jones or Garth thought to shorten it for print purposes. Months ago I sent them and regional magazine editors a note about how to create short web addresses for free as most print publications do, but they both seem to have forgotten. Then to add to the fun Garth has printed all 141 characters twice.

Probably the most annoying thing he does is to split longer articles over two or more issues ... not really sensible when there is an 8 week gap between them ... and prints the last few paragraphs of many articles several pages away from the main piece.

It looks to me as if Garth has been earning his modest IAC pay mainly by doing the complex, demanding but routine aspects of magazine production. There is little indication of him going out to seek stories. When was the last time you saw him at an IAC event?

I am surprised at the people who are heaping praise on him and implying that he has built up our magazine. So far as I can see he has kept it ticking over. That is fine, but I had always hoped for more.


Mike Shaw

Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:04 pm

Hmmm. Bears out my thoughts that there's more to it than meets the eye Dave. You've certainly shown that there are two sides to every discussion.

Must admit it is a bit peeving to have an article split through a magazine (a necessary practice in the old days of hot metal typesetting I think?) - let alone over two issues. And to get incorrect links (in the current issue, the Seriac secretary is still shown as Gwen - who in May retired from the job after seven years) isn't very helpful.

I also have to agree that articles by some 'outside' writers and interviews with eminent people and so on would help to raise the level a bit.

I often wonder for example how many people read (are interested in) the Regional stuff ... one of which I can be blamed for :-( (I try to make it a palatable read for people outside of our region, but...)

On the other hand, editing is a very demanding job (paid? - well paid? I don't know). They do say a volunteer is better than a conscript, though it is very easy to fall into 'a rut'.

I shall now go and sit in my favourite position.

On the fence!

Whatever happens, what we all want is a strong and interesting Journal - I shall watch this space, as they say!

Lee Prescott
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Lee Prescott » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:32 pm

Great guy my friend Dave Watterson BUT --- BUT at 12.11am! It is a pity Dave that you set too, somewhat in similar vein as BIAFF "judges", with a Hatchet and Nit Picking Job - on Garth. After this, if I was Garth, I'd be presenting a UK, (note the K) reverse victory salute immediately and then drop 'em all in it before next January - 2011.! Then again of course Garth isn't me, fortunately! Then again also, perhaps Dave, although as he states - "not a MEMBER OF THE cOUNCIL -- has had "discussions" with the "hierarchy".....!!!

No Dave, the Internet is not "a more important part of our lives" not for a great number of people anyway including myself. The Internet is just another tool and should be used as such. OK if you're looking for something specific but not for boring browsing through an incredible amount of utter clap-trap. "Life" for many people offers much more than being perched in front of a screen like so many game box addicted youngsters.

As to the comment about the web site address - well it aint wrong in my current edition and in any case I find, when desired, that just "qwertying" in finds the site in milliseconds! As it does with virtually everything else.

As to the esteemed Competition Manager's e-mail address and the typographical missing K from UK...obviously all of us video/film makers are so brain dead that we couldn't possibly work out that it's "UK" especially since the K in UK is present in the FOUR lines immediately above it!

As to errors in supplied information i.e. the 141 characters plus 47 by Jim on page 20 of the current edition....Note: The Editor's job is to publish exactly what is supplied / sent in to said Editor, any Editor. It is not the Editor's job to alter or change it. Any Newspaper or Magazine Editor will tell you that including Yahoo. Also to do that in some circumstances might well compound an error or worse. Hence so many mis-spelled "Letters to the Editor" in such publications. (A thought, who is censoring or checking the content of these Posts)?

As to splitting over long articles across a couple of editions: Any Editor will do that to enable, hopefully, more variable or variety of content and to avoid the costs of providing more pages! I did with my 14 years on SoCo News with the dreaded words..."To Be Continued".... Regarding the comment about "last paragraphs", similar applies, particularly IF one wants to include a number of photographs or, in some cases but not in FVM --- "advertising". However, since it does appear that there have been just one or two comments previously about this I think that it will be corrected to the satisfaction of those concerned.

So, Dave notes that Garth fails to get out on his bike "seeking stories". Yeah, it's lovely "init" when you're working alone and have a life to lead and income to earn... Get one thing straight: that's not part of the remit. Members know more than well that material is required for FVM. and by the deadlines set. It isn't that long ago when I know for a fact that Garth was desperately trying to get material for FIVE PAGES! You might have observed, those who bother to read it from cover to cover, that there were NOT five or any blank pages in the magazine.

As to IAC Events maybe Garth's like me, (particularly since he is not retired like me - and you Dave), his time is limited. Garth does have a full income to earn!

(As an aside: All IAC events are very costly, which is one of the reasons I do not attend. OK if you're "rolling in it" like some I could name).

Incidentally I do know that Garth has cut several certain costs and has helped the IACs situation in doing that.....

So, Brothers (and Sisters), Get Off Garth's Back and STOP the HATCHET and NIT PICKING JOB the IAC might be insular but it is not The House of Commons or The Kremlin yet!!! (Is it)?

Finally, I ask again: Does any of the hierarchy bother to read this / these Forums - or even listen to the membership? Or do "they" depend on others to keep them informed / misinformed as the case may be? Or is the IAC to slip into the "welcoming abyss" that awaits - as others have virtually done? .... Or will do!

Lee Prescott. FACI.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:57 pm

Just to tackle a couple of key points from Lee's message:

A) I strongly believe that the job of an editor is to edit - just as we edit our videos. That means cutting, extending, checking and changing as required. It also means seeking out and developing stories. It is the job of a publisher to print and distribute whatever he or she is given.

B) Garth is paid (albeit not much) to produce FVM. It is not something he does on a purely voluntary basis.

C) Attendance at the AGM is free. It has to be by law. If you choose to enjoy the events built around it, then you pay. You still have travel costs, but is always the case.

(PS I have had no contact whatsoever with any IAC Council members of officers about this matter.)

Lee Prescott
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Lee Prescott » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:01 pm

Response to the points in Dave's latest posting:
Well Dave, my friend, as usual no doubt we'll agree to disagree! Very healthy. Don't agree that editing a 'zine et al is the same at as editing our own videos. This is the difference. Our videos are ours to edit - as we please. Material written for the 'zine is is not the Editors material. OK so perhaps an Editor could contact a writer - but hell, Garth is working a l o n e no staff, no News Room people to chase for him. Time is therefore not just of "the essence" but for Garth more so.

The same fully applies to "seeking out stories". OK then if that's required let's get the "hierarchy" to provide Garth, or indeed any Editor, with a staff to do that work as with "professionally mounted publications". Oh yeah, Ha ha! I distinctly recall that the Editor of the late unlamented "Camcorder User" DID NOT seek out stories himself as such. The same applies to the Video Magazine in Canada! The staff do that.

I for one am fully aware that Garth receives, comparably, a pittance for Editing FVM. Good job he doesn't have to live on it I'm sure - so he must do other work to earn a crust to LIVE!

ATTENDANCE AT THE AGM IS (now) FREE? FANTASTIC. Superkalafragalistic! The last time I attended, with my wife Hilda in tow, I had to pay our hotel bill! Worthing 2010 - seems I would have to pay a fancy hotel bill too. Has anyone told 'em it's free? As far as I can see there's not and never has been even a reduced fee(s) for us "penurious pensioners" at any of these events! The IAC tends to carry on as if we're all multi Lottery winners et al. - Oh well, maybe I'm the only one not so!

** I have been scanning through the more recent copies of FVM trying to find anything that would "rock the boat" for the "hierarchy". Based upon what happened to me in the past, I wonder:- In the Post Bag page, page 26 of the December 2009 edition, is an almost full page letter from Mr. Philip Bridge FACI (M) criticising and objecting to the BIAFF judges necessitating a response from Mr. David Newman FACI on page 26 of the February 2010 edition. This is the only thing that, related to a previous experience of mine, that I can find, would "rock the boat" and upset certain persons! Obviously the letter was written in good faith as the writer thought and felt. Garth of course, also in good faith, published
Mr. Bridge's letter....!

Now, immediately in effect following that is this hoo ha about replacing Garth. It has certainly set me thinking!!! Knowing the IAC set up, as I do........ and my own previous experience. Criticism in any form cannot be tolerated by the IAC hierarchy!

Dave's P.S. states that he has not had any contact with any Council members about whatever is going on. Fair enough, I certainly accept that. As with myelf, my comments and thoughts on this matter are entirely my own!

Lee Prescott.FACI.

Mike Shaw

Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Mike Shaw » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:25 pm

As one of those who is organising this year's AGM at Worthing, I can well sympathise with the costs: everything has to be costed out of course ... except the actual AGM itself and the Member's Voices: those two items are 'free' for anyone to attend. We of course have to supply the venue/room etc etc., but those costs are obviously amortised into the rest of the weekend. And believe me, down here in the South, things are NOT cheap! But, we are trying to mitigate the costs by introducing some extra things for the weekend in addition to the 'programmed' events.

We did try to soften the blow for people by offering a discount for those who booked early - early bookings of course help us make plans for the weekend, and the more earlies we have the easier it is. But that's now finished (and it wasn't a fortune anyway, just a small saving).

I just hope we get enough people to break even ... so (blatant plug and totally OT to the subject of this thread) your booking will help! Thanks for joining us!! :D

tom hardwick
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by tom hardwick » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:09 am

This thread shows the feelings that have been stirred by my original post and I'm glad that it's allowed all the various views on the subject to be aired so freely. One thing though has surprised me - there's been no feedback whatsoever from on high. I'd have thought that the original request for tender was put on the IAC's front page by Alan Atkinson, yet his silence on this thread is deafening.

Next - to mistakes in the mag. My current article on the Panasonic GH1 has mistakes added in print that are most certainly not there in my electronic transcript, so they've been added in the 'type setting'. No worries with that - as Dave W says, we all make mistakes. But what digs at me is that the IAC employ (meaning pays) a proof reader, yet this person seems to be taking the money under false pretences.

I've worked for many years on my Positive Image articles and am happy to give my time freely to the IAC. But when I see that others are being paid yet doing a half-hearted job, then I get cross.


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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by col lamb » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:42 pm

One thing that we have not got to the bottom of is exactly who initiated the tender.

Will the guilty party please own up?

What next, a tender for someone to update our outdated website?
Col Lamb
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Lee Prescott
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Lee Prescott » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:48 pm

TOM:-- Replies from "On High" --- Ha Ha! I have been in (and out) and in of the IAC to know distinctly that when the boaaat is a rockin' there never is, never was, a reply of any sort from "On High"! As I have already said and more than once in the past, if there's one thing that their "On Highnesses" cannot stand is ANYONE rocking the boaaat! This attitude was prevalent in 1960...yes...1960 and it has been handed down father to son fashion since 1932!

Neither will anyone ever "own up" to the idea / instigation of "Tendering For A REPLACEMENT EDITOR"! Believe it. Neither will anyone be given any sensible reason for doing so. .... Costs aren't in this "set-up" because I know that Garth has cut costs and instituted savings in several areas for "Their Hignesses"!

The truth of this matter is that in some way Garth has upset "Their Highnesses" one, two, or more of 'em -- "Brother Members", I write from experience. NOTE: NOT the IAC just "Their Highnesses"! Frankly, in my last Posting, I think that I have identified the cause. Just how insular can the IAC become?

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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:48 pm

Lee's vision of IAC is amazingly different from mine!

I have never come across the sort of behind-the-scenes politics and back-stabbing he talks about. No one has ever whispered in my ear that such-and-such has displeased "those on high". Sometimes people have arguments, but essentially we are all in it for the hobby. No one has the time, patience or energy for that sort of intrigue. So far as I know members of Council are far too busy working on their films, for their clubs and their regions as well as nationally. They give up their own time, money and energy to do the necessary business of running the IAC.

If anyone does not like what they do ... talk to them ... or take their place.

The members of council change regularly - very few of the people who served there in the three years I was involved are still involved. Anyone who goes to the AGMs can vote for who gets elected. The AGM meeting itself is free. It and the associated "Members Voices" discussion usually last about 90 minutes, so a day trip from many parts of the country is possible. (This year it is about 3 hours drive each way from Stroud.) Those meetings are the time to ask questions of "those on high".

Being on Council does not feel like being on high ... IAC Council work feels more like serving the members. There is not much fun and lots of tedious work to be done.

As for being upset by those who rock the boat ... if that were true would you not have been banned for life many years ago, Lee? I do not imagine for a moment that Mr. Bridge's letter will have bothered anyone very much. It is common for people unhappy with their award to grumble about the judges.

I agree that the announcement about the job was badly handled. But just as we are amateur film makers, so Council members are amateur managers. They are not perfect and do not claim to be.
- Dave

Lee Prescott
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Lee Prescott » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:49 am


From memory I think I’ve remarked on this to you Dave it is again for general consumption:
In Liz Donlan’s time as FVM Editor she published a letter of mine very similar to that written by Mr. Philip Bridges about the standard and type of COMMENTS regarding the judging of what is now called BIAFF. After the ‘zine “hit the streets” I received two telephone calls – both anonymous in that the perpetrators refused to give me their names. Both told me emphatically “Never To Enter The IAC Competition Again – you’ll get nowhere”. At the time I informed Val Ellis about this, she said she couldn’t believe it! It was true, I wouldn’t make that up, wouldn’t have even dreamt of it!

In 1995 / 1996 or thereabouts I entered a film “The International Festival Of The Sea” – zilch – OK fair enough BUT at Malvern and before I “knew” you Dave, we met in a hotel corridor, you told me that you "couldn’t understand why your (my) film had got nowhere”!

These are the reasons I do not enter BIAFF! Or as a well known “Potteries” ceased member commented to me recently --- “If your face fits........”

Only last evening, (12th. July), and this is absolutely true, I had it said to me in a telephone conversation and by someone who has served on a “BIAFF Jury”, “virtually none of them if any, (the judges), make films”!

With regard to the conclusion of my fairly long sojourn as FVMs “Advertising Manager” – voluntary. The way that was “handled” is another case in point with regard to Garth’s situation now as FVM Editor! Apparently helpful suggestions, even polite, are not appreciated. I didn’t realise it at the time but only having the good of FVM /IAC in mind it would appear that I was telling them “how to suck eggs” as the saying goes!

As for “tedious work” Dave, even you know that I know all about that – far more than most!

Thank you Dave for the inference that I “rock the boat” in other words my expressing opinions and re: “Banning Me” --- I’ll pose this question which might be in your mind and the minds of others and then answer it: “Why am I a member of the IAC circa 1993 - (for the third time since 1960)” Answer:- “Because it’s a major way of communicating with other video film makers”! No it is NOT the quite cheap PRS etc. licences!!!

Mr. Bridges by the way was not writing about IAC / BIAFF judges as such but about their perspicacity or lack of it with very good reason! Many others have that opinion too.

With regard to your comment about Council pointing out Dave that it’s usually a 90 minute meeting and it’s only a 3 hours drive from’s not the time, simply put, it’s the cost of petrol etc. I am not and I’m far from one of those members “rolling in it”! That apart, as I have said, Council needs some younger people with verve, energy, and ideas to carry the IAC forward. My age does not fit me into that category plus other private reasons I won’t mention in such as this Forum!

Re the “thread” – Garth should stay as FVM Editor if he so wishes and he does. If Council dispense with his services I feel certain that they will regret it – as Tom Hardwick has posted herein – “the deafening”.

Lee Prescott
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RE: Editor for FVM?

Post by Lee Prescott » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:34 am


Hi Alls,

To let you know that our whizz Editor, Garth Hope, is to continue his excellent

From where I'm coming from - at last some commonsense has prevailed....
I am very pleased to say.

Congratulations Garth - keep up the good work and the ink flowing.

** My further note to all: Garth as Editor, can only produce the magazine
if people contribute...apart from the regular, come on down and
write articles for FVM - I do my bit from time to time.


tom hardwick
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by tom hardwick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:03 am

That's great news Lee, well done Garth and may the magazine go from strength to strength. First thing a flip-through shows is that we need is more colour pages.

Garth Hope
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Re: Do we need a new editor for FVM?

Post by Garth Hope » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:23 pm

Hi All
Lee seems to have jumped the gun a little !
I'm pleased to say that I remain FVM Editor after an interview last Tuesday afternoon. To be honest, I'm absolutely delighted and look forward to improving FVM with a number of ideas and innovations.
If anyone has any thoughts and ideas that might help us all improve OUR magazine, then I'd like to hear about them. It doesn't matter how absurd you initially think they might be, they could well be building blocks for something else. FVM must widen its horizons.

However, the important thing here and now is to thank everyone for their support and good wishes over the last two or three months. Also to thank the Chairman and other senior members of the IAC for their having confidence in my ability to carry on and improve Film & Video Maker.

Many Thanks and Very Best Wishes.
Garth Hope

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