The Magazine

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
ned c
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Re: The Magazine

Post by ned c »

An organization can only honestly represent the demographic of its membership and I suspect that the membership of the IAC; both club and individual is predominantly white male of middle age and beyond. To pretend that it is otherwise by featuring the one or two members who do not fit this image is tokenism and basically dishonest. The two men featured in the magazine have made substantial contributions to our world and their stories are interesting to other film makers. I do feel that these do not make good cover illustrations which would be better served by a more film related subject. However; having been an editor in the past I know just how difficult it is to catch the readers attention and they have certainly done that.

This discussion raises yet again the question of just what is the role of the IAC in the burgeoning world of non-commercial film making. If the people the IAC and clubs attract are overwhelmingly old white males then this is their market and no amount of talking will change it. To know what the wider world of n-c film makers want of a central organization means going out and discussing their expectations with them. It may transpire that they do not want a central organization.

I take Tim's point about navel gazing; we have all been doing a lot of this and it is time for the management to share with us where we are headed.

Thanks Howard-Smith for the link which worked; I enjoyed Paula's very well made film.

ned c
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Re: The Magazine

Post by TimStannard »

As usual I've written far too much so heres' the executive summary:

Is FVM is rather too reflective when it should be relevant and aspirational?

End of executive summary.

I hope, Ken, you appreciate that I spoke of younger, livelier articles and did not take it to mean I was in any way disparaging existing contributors. Indeed I always enjoy your articles because they (1) they are written about things to which I can relate (the shenanigans of making films) and are (2) written in a very easy-to-read, lively, conversational style. Whilst some may refer to experiences years ago, they are nearly always experiences which still have relevance today.

The magazine frequently has articles harking back to "The good old days" and how we used to do things with Super8 or 16mm. These hold no interest to me - they hold no meaning - I didn't get involved until after standard definition digital video and so whilst I may well admire the work and effort that went into the craft of film making and all that it entailed (waiting for film to be processed, splicing, jumping through hoops to synchronise sound and all sorts of other thing) I cannot relate and I pass those articles by. Do I object to them being in the magazine - certainly not! They are clearly of interest to many readers and may even interest some who came to video/film making more recently recently from an academic point of view. They have their place.

The danger is the magazine becomes too reliant upon such articles.

Ned makes a valid point about the organisation honestly representing the demographic of the IAC. What he doesn't say is the magazine should, and had he done so I would, to some extent, disagree.

Most successful magazines don't represent their readership - rather they represent the aspirations of their readership. Any hobby/enthusiast magazine which reviews "kit" associated with said hobby, whether it's cameras, cars or aquariums, might review some which the average reader might buy, but will also review gear which most could never realistically justify buying. It will contain interviews with/articles by people who own top of the range cameras, cars and aquariums (aquaria?). Fashion magazines aren't full of people representing their readership, they are full of more glamorous representations of them to which the readers aspire.

Yes, they are trying to get people to buy stuff (something which FVM is not), but they are also serving to sell the hobby - not just to newcomers, but to reassure long time readers that they, themselves are still part of a relevant and exciting group of enthusiasts.

Articles like the "A Life In Film" series certainly have their place, but achieve the above. Articles about some of the BIAFF winners might. Gage Oxley's involvement in judging BIAFF last year helped make me feel what we were doing was more "relevant", I'd love to learn about Richard Miller's approach to film making - sadly I was unable to attend the Zoom meeting at which he presented to Nuneaton. And how about the team that put together the Best British entry - a musical of all things - last year? I know Jan Watterson has arranged interviews with many winners (and also rans). Would these (or expanded versions of them) be popular in the magazine?

Whilst I have a great deal of respect for many of the films of the past, enjoy watching them and appreciate many of the skills, techniques and talent involved, I don't aspire to making them. Indeed I could not because the technology that produced them is not generally available and neither do I have even the beginning of the skills required. I can however aspire to making something of the cinematic quality, beautifully choreographed long shots and passion of "Pulse" or containing the brilliant acting and dialogue of "Can't Hide It".
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tom hardwick
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Re: The Magazine

Post by tom hardwick »

It's really good to read all these different viewpoints - there must be more words here in this thread than in any issue of FVM.

I liked Ned C's reference to N C filmmakers. Nice one.

I pip Ken in that I've been writing Positive Image for over 21 years now, and just yesterday had an email from an IAC member expressing surprise that it wasn't the IAC sending me all these items of kit to review. I told him (an ageing white male) that it was me buying them (and sometimes borrowing them).

The article I'm about to submit to the editor for the April issue does mention Super 8 more than once, so don't be afraid to avert your eyes you young, digital age, whipper-snappers.

But just to say that in all my years of writing, no article of mine has generated anything like the response I've had from my piece in the current issue - you know, the one about the two black boxes (Tendak&EZcap, the well known firm of solicitors) that let you make MP4s out of almost anything (except Christmas cake and grass cuttings, natch). (I'm trying to write more creatively and young-ly).

Yup, many IACers have written expressing a real interest in mp4ing their own collection of media, and three days ago a big box of Video-8 tapes arrived from Scotland with a letter saying please digitise this lot. Each tape is 2 hrs 20 mins long, recorded in 4:3 using the long play mode to save a quid. Did we really watch stuff of this quality?
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Re: The Magazine

Post by TimStannard »

tom hardwick wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:33 pm The article I'm about to submit to the editor for the April issue does mention Super 8 more than once, so don't be afraid to avert your eyes you young, digital age, whipper-snappers.
LOL! You don't say what the content is so I wouldn't like to predict whether I will be interested or not. But I would say, Tom, your article about black boxes for converting. whilst has no relevance to me, is both relevant (people still want to do this) and aspirational (people want to know how they might be able to do it, or do it better).
You are certainly not guilty of harking back to the good old days.

Indeed, I'm not pointing the finger at any of the contributors or indeed the editor. Just making the case (prompted by this discussion) that the magazine mustn't become just a collection of retrospectives and obituaries but must also cover the present and look to future.
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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Re: The Magazine

Post by Willy »

Paula Webster in "Nectar"!
Me, too, I enjoyed Paula Webster's film. I enjoyed the drone shots, the interviews, the different birds, the music, the narration, the atmosphere of "Sons of the Savanna". Of course you can always say something about things that could be improved. I love splitting hairs, but not now. No, her film is really excellent and I can understand she is proud of it! Also her next short film was interesting. In "Nectar" we meet ... Paula Webster, no less! She is much younger than we are. She seems to be a charming lady. That's what Michael told me in his letter. Also other friends, who have already met her, said something like that. And I praised Paula's writing style (see latest FVM-issue page 20). Very easy to read. That's why I also love Ken's writing style. I agree with Tim.

New Generation
Paula belongs to the New Generation, a generation that we really need. I would like to repeat what I wrote in the December issue: "Après nous le déluge?" I hate that attitude. We old chaps need a young, exciting diverse talent coming into our circle of friends... We should listen to them and they should listen to us. We need a meeting of minds, younger and older." In the article "The Sons of the Savanna" she asks us to watch her film on Let me know what you think she added... I did.

Shock effect
OK. Paula used very hard words. I could not sleep for one night. But let's forget these words. Let's throw sand on them (=Dutch expression).Let's say that she has just tried to create a shock effect. But now it's time to work together. More than ever Michael is our FVM-boss. We appreciate his work very much. Today I have asked our chairman and young man Werner if he could find some nice pictures for the interview in FVM. He has one of his main actor who is holding a potato in his hand in a very expressive way. Do you remember the diamond BIAFF-film "A Bargain"? Another one of Werner himself together with our black athlete Nafti Thiam. She beat the British favourite at the Olympic Games in Rio (teasing, isn't it?). Werner is a professional cameraman who works for Belgian TV Channel 1... I am sure he will tell you a very interesting story.
Willy Van der Linden
Ken Wilson
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Re: The Magazine

Post by Ken Wilson »

There has been a lot of interesting comments here on this thread. Thanks to those who have said they enjoy my articles. It`s always nice to hear some positive feedback.
Tim makes some good comments as others have done too. I agree with lots of points made.

On a personal note, I have tried to vary the things I write about from issue to issue. There is a place for nostalgia, writing about films and equipment from the past, but it`s also important to include up to date stories of creating new films that are being made and experiences with the latest equipment or techniques and I have aimed to do that. Of course, writing 6 articles a year at 2000 words each, I wouldn`t be able to continuously only cover the new films we make. We are not so prolific to be able to do that. So I try to cover varied subjects such as perhaps filming weddings, writing scripts, working with actors and so on as regular readers will know. But there are always differences of opinion about what members want and what the aims of the IAC or contents of FVM magazine are or might be.

I think Mike Whyman is doing a good job with FVM. It can be a thankless task when you are working hard, doing your best and just hear criticism. I would also like to mention that it is a silly argument to say the magazine features mainly elderly white males when this is largely the make up of the IAC membership. The world has gone a bit crazy on the equality issues. We do have lady members and some make films and some write articles, but we should all just be seen as film-makers. If the IAC had 1999 members from Earth and 1 Martian, would the Martian expect to be in FVM and on the cover as many times as us? Perhaps he/ she would as he/she would be quite unique...but you get my point?
Michael Slowe
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Re: The Magazine

Post by Michael Slowe »

Well Ken, we do have "Big Dave," and he's pretty near to being Martian!
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Dave Watterson
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Re: The Magazine

Post by Dave Watterson »

Gee, thanks!
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