My excuse for not responding? I was away on holiday until Saturday and am only just catching up with stuff!
John (Roberts) - you won't get the magazine - it's the North Thames Newsletter and it's available on the IAC Website here: http://www.theiac.org.uk/iac/regions/no ... -oct16.pdf
There is some apathy. But this is not new. Every organisation has its apathy and it tends to come in waves. Many views of this topic and only one or two replies is not necessarily a bad thing. Most people don't reply. The fact that people are reading at all should show there is some support for Clubs/IAC/Forum.
Alongside those who are apathetic are also those who do try to move things on. We need to offer these people support and encouragement rather than talk about how difficult it is and how it'll never work. And I'm afraid it is this latter attitude that often (but far from always) prevails among the organisations. In addition to this, it is often a slow and painful process to get anything past the various bodies that oversee our clubs and regions (and, I suspect the IAC).
Example? Three years ago Alan Colegrave came up with three ideas to try to encourage participation by entrants and audience alike in the NTR Festival: an A/V competition/screening, a talk by a guest speaker, on-line entry. Although less vehemently opposed this year, the suggestion of on-line entries was always met with horror from some quarters - even though there was never any suggestion we'd stop taking entries on DVD or BluRay.
Three years later he was finally given the chance to try these ideas - because he was the only person to volunteer to run the festival (so long as he had som assistance - hence my involvement).
Anyway that's all rather moot now as there were difficulties (either real or perceived - eg "no-one will travel in the winter") but it does mean we will finally have a chance to try out an on-line competition. It'll be rushed. It might well be shambolic. But at least we're doing something. And we can all learn from it. As Ned so eloquently put it "Action is potentially dangerous, it can result in failure but better that than a slow slide into oblivion."
Organisations that take three years to try out a suggestion are doomed to fail in this world of immediate returns. I suspect many, if not most, of those who make up our Councils were brought up in a world where everything, whether a service or a product, was planned and thoroughly tested before launch.
Like it or not we now live in a world of massive competition where products are therefore launched on the strength of an idea and the bugs ironed out if the idea takes off, with the customer acting as the tester for the prototype.
Our products (the IAC, Regions and Clubs) are also competing - competing for people's time. We have to appeal and adapt and respond quicky.
I suspect very strongly that young people (and I mean anyone under sixty) who do come along to many clubs do not see a group of people who are all heavily involved in encouraging people to improve their skills and collaborate in film making. They see a selection of people who make sure they break for tea at 9pm sharp so they can discuss how much better films were ten or forty years ago or, more likely, don't discuss anything about films at all.
And they see people running the organisations calling themselves "Councils" and wearing chains of office. I'm sure this was highly appropriate in the 1950s when cine clubs were at their peak of popularity, adding some sort of status to those in charge, but it is almost certainly laughable to most people under sixty years of age.
As mentioned by others, we have loads of people with skills that they are prepared to share, but we need to give them a platform that makes it worth them sharing. I'm sure the likes of Tom Hardwick would much rather be talking to and inspiring a bunch of active film makers than demonstrating some new-fangled device to a bunch of grey hairs who've "heard it all before, but it makes a change from Fred showing his 1997 film of the Blubell Railway again"
But it is far from all bad news and there are plenty of people involved who are rather more dynamic. We need to give these people the opportunity to try out new ideas and approaches. What's to lose if they fail?