Where to from here?

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ned c
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Where to from here?

Post by ned c » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:03 pm

Elsewhere there has been discussion under the heading of "Film Look" that has wandered into the areas of nostalgia, basic techniques and "young" film makers. First and foremost, story telling is what it is all about whether it is narrative, documentary, family record etc. That hasn't changed since we sat by the fire, under the stars listening to the spinners of yarns and wondered why are we here?

Segue; some time ago we were asked to make suggestions about the future of the IAC and this produced a lengthy discussion; since when, silence. I am a great believer in the potential of the IAC but it needs revision, some rethinking as to what its role is. So, question, where to from here?

ned c

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Willy
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Willy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:34 pm

ned c wrote: Segue; some time ago we were asked to make suggestions about the future of the IAC and this produced a lengthy discussion; since when, silence.
ned c
Yes, you are right, Ned. Since then silence. I hope there will be a "new look" in a short time. We also had a pleasant discussion about the word "IAC". I wonder if the IAC is not too conservative. I don't mean the political meaning of the word "conservative". Maybe it's "time for a change". Wasn't this a political slogan in Britain some years ago?
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:12 pm

You are right - we should be hearing at least some ideas from the centre. Perhaps the Chairman is saving it up for the AGM weekend next month. I hope it will not simply wait for the next Chairman to take over the reins.

It is a problem also facing UNICA the international non-commercial film body and has long plagued the club scene. The enthusiasts who got things rolling have stayed on committees because no one else wants to take over - or to seem to push them out. The enthusiasts are tired, having done their bit for many years. So everyone settles back into a reactive mode and just keeps things ticking over until forced into action.

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John Roberts
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by John Roberts » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:14 am

I'm glad you mentioned the AGM, Dave - I was going to reply but got sidetracked!

I agree in the main about no-one wanting to take hold of the reins on club committees (in my very limited experience as a humble club member and also as a club committee member) but also feel I must comment that club programmes are 'member-led' so in fact the chairman, vice, secretary etc are sometimes unable to enforce change simply because the members don't want it. It's a kind of catch-22 situation at times and the club never moves on. I have heard of clubs that have splintered due to newly elected pro-active committees trying to introduce fresh ideas (I don't want to specifically say that these fresh ideas might involve club members actually doing some work, or at least try something new, but you get the idea) and no-one on any committee wants to be accused of decimating a club's membership because of it.

Ultimately I feel the direction a club takes is dictated by its members, not the committee. Active members (and by that I don't simply mean filmmakers, but individuals or groups of members that have a desire to learn how to make better films in all aspects, try new things, try to do things differently, experiment, push the boundaries and listen to others) will result in a thriving and respected club with an excellent film catalogue.

Every club has a different style of core membership with different wants and needs, and some don't want to change at all. How the IAC as a 'parent body' can encourage clubs to be more productive, or increase the quality of a club's output (or even if it should) I have little idea - if a club's membership is happy to plod along and just get together once a week for a social gathering and the occasional film about where X went on holiday, then no carrot, financial or otherwise, will change it.

One wonders, in the light of easily accessible changing technology and the way in which films are presented over the internet via platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube, coupled with the slow but steady decline of the club scene, whether the IAC should in some way shift sideways slightly and think less about 'clubs' as its main target, but the 'individual filmmakers' within that club instead and what benefits might be afforded to them? Just a thought...

John

Michael Slowe
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:49 am

John, you've hit the nail on the head, the IAC is about individual film makers rather than clubs. It is a club itself, and I welcome this. The problem with the IAC is it's long (and distinguished) history. In the old days the amateur aspect was the thing, the professional had to be kept at bay. Now, the line has (thankfully) become blurred and we just want film makers in the IAC. I always find it difficult to sell the IAC to budding film makers, I honestly feel embarrassed explaining the title, IAC and the words involved. We really should re think the use of these three letters, venerable though they might be. We have to stress the film making aspect in our title. Stress that it's an association with film making at its heart, combined of course with socialising, well organised events and festivals. The magazine is, in my opinion, vital in showcasing the organisation and should, if at all possible, remain a printed entity.

We current members are probably quite happy, we know how it all works and we play our part as we wish. It's the new, younger people we want, and that is the tricky issue.

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TimStannard
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by TimStannard » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:14 pm

John, you have also hit the nail on the head regarding CLUBS. Very well put and I doubt there is a club member reading this who doesn't recognise the situation you decribe. To be fair, it is a problem that faces virtually all hobbiest/enthusiast clubs, but has been particularly at the forefront with cinema over the past generation as technology has changed both frequently and dramatically with the move from film stock to firstly analogue video, then digital as well as changes in formats and media.

Michael, I hope you not suggesting that the IAC is about individual film makers and NOT about clubs. Surely it can, and does, exist to support both. Clubs existing in isolation would be even worse off than they are now.
Tim
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John Roberts
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by John Roberts » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:19 pm

So... Anyone going to the AGM? It's a good chance to discuss where the IAC is going or might go, either formally in the meeting itself or, as I'm sure council won't mind 'off the record' suggestions down a dark corridor somewhere, informally?

I'll be there :D

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:00 pm

I try to avoid the AGM weekend myself since I prefer to watch films than to go on bus trips, no matter how interesting.

Anyone who is going can lobby people in the lobbies, but there is a standard part of the IAC AGM called "Members' Voices". It comes after the formal AGM is done and is a chance for anyone present to suggest ideas.

Lee Prescott
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Lee Prescott » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:05 pm

I have made various suggestions on and off - now in the distant past - to no avail and forgive me if I say it again, I go back to 1960!

For now let's put aside the IACs "glorious past"......... it's meaningless to todays Young People.

The remarkable thing here is that I find that all of your postings gentlemen contain concern, ongoing interest in the IAC to the extent that all your comments surpass anything that I ever read or hear from the (present) hiearchial incumbents who seem to me, as ever, "battery charged" with their own infallibility! (An attitude from some which permanently lost the IAC around 25 young members in my area - and ingnoring our New Unit, [club])!

I am struck with the thought that IF just 75% of the "Top Brass" showed as much interest in the IAC and its ongoing welfare as you show herein then much required improvement would be made - especially with people like you Young John Roberts whose comments I always read with avid interest. John is very much what the IACs "governing body" needs - if its to continue. Mind you if John or others of the same age were to become members of the governing body - my guess - is they would talk down to them - I know - even I at "my age" I've had to cope with it in the past.

Lastly the confounded title: "Institute of AMATEUR Cinephotographers"... these days this is a major "worst enemy"...
Pinching a non copyright error in our local Press awhile back - How about The Institute of ADVANCED Cinephotographers - that is IF the initials must be kept? After all this could suggest that interested people could learn from our expertise! It would certainly be more meaningful.

:idea: LEE. 8)

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TimStannard
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by TimStannard » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:39 pm

John Roberts wrote:So... Anyone going to the AGM?
I'm working on it, John. My wife would like a weekend in Stratford, but that's not really an option as we can't realistically bring a nine year old with us and can't expect older siblings to look after her all weekend. On the Saturday night I'm meant o be filming a band postponed from earlier in the month), but it's only a couple of hour's drive from where I am so I hope to make it. Also I have a film in the Mermaid :) Mainly I want to come to see Bob's presentation. But if the AGM kicks off I'm up for it!
Tim
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TimStannard
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by TimStannard » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:51 pm

Lee Prescott wrote: Lastly the confounded title: "Institute of AMATEUR Cinephotographers"... these days this is a major "worst enemy"...
You and Michael Slowe, Lee.
I accept I'm the only living person on this planet that reads amateur as meaning someone who does it for the love of it. I accept everyone else is so ignorant they think amateur means rubbish. It doesn't make me feel superior (well, not much). I've given in.

And yet ...

One of the benefits of carrying a membership card which states "amateur" is it CAN allow access to film in places or at events wher one would otherwise not be able to film or would be charged for the privilege of so doing. Saying one is an amateur is one thing. Showing membership of an organisation of amateurs is another matter altogether - it adds credibility. On the one hand it states "I'm not making money out of this/out of you" and at the same time is suggests "I take this seriously enough to belong to a national organisation, so I'm unlikely to produce total rubbish."

In cases where it's important to look like you belong to a body of professionals, drag out your IOV cards!
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

col lamb
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by col lamb » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:48 pm

Alas Lee as ever I fear that your very succinct observations and comments shall gain no reflection or support from within the self perpetuating managerial style of the incumbent leaders.
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Peter B
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Peter B » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:41 pm

TimStannard wrote: I accept I'm the only living person on this planet that reads amateur as meaning someone who does it for the love of it. I accept everyone else is so ignorant they think amateur means rubbish. It doesn't make me feel superior (well, not much). I've given in.
You're not the only one Tim, I still read amateur as someone who does it for the love of it.
I have no problem with calling myself an amateur photographer, I'm not a professional and photography isn't something I do for a living. In fact most people I tell that I'm an amateur photographer take the description to mean that I'm not a professional, not that I'm a second rate rubbish photographer. There are, of course, people who look at my photos and videos and think they're a load of rubbish, but that's their opinion and it doesn't bother me- after all I'm not losing business through their opinion.
My attempts at videos & AV sequences can be found on my website- http://www.dragon-sanctuary.co.uk

Lee Prescott
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by Lee Prescott » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:46 pm

TimStannard wrote:
I accept I'm the only living person on this planet that reads amateur as meaning someone who does it for the love of it. I accept everyone else is so ignorant they think amateur means rubbish. It doesn't make me feel superior (well, not much). I've given in / and Peter B.
8) Don't get me wrong "fellas", please. The trouble as such, is that it's not what we ourselves realise - it's what other people regard. Firstly no one I ever talk with has a clue what the IAC is, they always say: "Never heard of it" - surprise, surpise!

It is also very true that displaying, offering, my IAC membership card has hardly ever failed to get me into places that would otherwise have been refused me as I have often stated. What I've always found is that 9 times out of 10 they just look at the blue front - "impressed" in effect - then when I tell 'em that my details are on the back in almost every case they "take it as read" and don't even look. I always explain who I am and what I am doing or want to do! Most people are quite helpful and that includes the Police - BUT - that word "amateur" does not help IF I utter it, so I don't!

As for the IOV - NO Tim, I'm not a member and do not wish to become one, why should I - so no IOV card to drag out!


In the 21st Century what the IAC needs is a completely different approach: A new updated style of "management" -
with a railroading out of the back slapping "infallibility" attitude, (certainly present since 1960). A stop to wallowing in the past. That's history and should be treated as such!

:roll: LEE.

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TimStannard
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Re: Where to from here?

Post by TimStannard » Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:34 pm

Well, it looks like I shall be going, whether alone or with wife in tow (who shall have to sit out the AGM - not that she'll consider that any great hardship) so i shall get to see for myself. I fully expect to witness the scenario you, Lee, and others paint.

The problem, as with just about every voluntary organisation (I've carefully avoided the word amateur) is quite simple:
The incumbent management will expect a certain amount of moaning from the ranks - after all even in the most successfull organisations the management have their detractors.
They will not perceive any problem unless they see a groundswell of opinion from the ranks backed by the ranks putting forward suitable alternative candidates.
Negative opinion without offering a feasible alternative is just that - negative opinion. Indeed, even if the management is aware of some negative opinion, what re they to do about it? The only thing they can do is ask the membership, which is exactly what Ivor Rose has done this year!

I'm sure we'd all like to see some younger, perhaps more "modern thinking" members of the council, but that requires people who are willing and who have support to stand. "Yet" another commitment is unlikely to appeal to anyone who is not retired, no matter how few meetings are held per year. Membership of any committee or council will mean less time available to making films. Thus membership of the council is more likely to appeal to retired people who like being on committees more than younger people who like making films.

I'm not for one moment suggesting that the council (or club committees for that matter) don't believe they are acting in the best interests of their members, but they might not be best placed to understand what the modern amateur/enthusiast wants to achieve. But unless an alternative comes forward, what can the council do?

Lee, your "new updated style of management" will only happen if there are people who are prepared to be part of that and if there is enough support for them.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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