Laughter and Tears at the first Coaching Evening!
Tuesday the 18th October marked the opening salvo in the barrage of six evenings devoted to improving camera and film making skills in all those ready, willing and eager to learn, and what an evening it was!
With Ian as Compere, Master of Ceremony, Big Honcho and to labour my artillery metaphor even more, the man who’s job it is eh…to direct the guns eh…to fire in the right direction. Anyway I think you get the point, Ian is like an important cog or perhaps hub in the coaching evening machine, a well oiled machine that runs like clockwork, a clockwork machine that fires shells of useful information…into the OVFM target area. Phew! For a minute there I was worried I might mix my metaphors, but I think I’ve got away with it!
Colin kicked off the night with his informative exposition of video cameras. How they work, why they work, how you can make them work better, what their buttons do, which ones you should press, what for and why, and how when all else fails it’s sometimes okay to step away from the buttons and let the camera do it’s thing…gulp automatically!
As if this wasn’t enough Colin shared his knowledge about filters, especially close-up filters which are a cheap and highly effective way to get up close and personal with your subject…please no blushing in the ranks.
John supplemented Colin’s talk with information and tips from his own super techy knowledge to enlighten us all to the mystery of colour balance and how to adjust your camera to get the very best colour in your films. To illustrate the point we were treated to several glimpses of Ann on screen as ‘walk on with grey card under different lighting conditions’, a small and largely unappreciated role that I for one think she really took to new heights. Go Ann go! I’m hoping that a sequel might see Ann develop her role, perhaps a talking part?
After teabreak (more about that later) it was Chris’s turn to whisper some gems of knowledge into our collective lug ‘oles on the sticky subject of sound recording. If Chris has told us once he’s told us a dozen times ‘a cheap microphone close-up always trumps an expensive mic far away’. With the assistance of several volunteers Chris was able to prove this claim and bring it to life in before our very own ears.
With Pat and Bob doing sterling service as Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee or should I say Bruce Forsyth and Anthea Turner (am I showing my age?) by delivering scintilating line after scintilating line of witty repartee while Ian worked the boom mic and Roger filmed the whole thing, Chris was able to demonstrate different mics and the ins and outs of sound levels to great effect.
I must say Pat and Bob really brought the words alive, I’ll not forget Bob’s countdown from ten to one in a hurry I can tell you! Give these two their own show!
I wont mention Chris’s explanation of zebra pattern…I don’t think the world’s quiet ready yet! But I will mention the tireless work of Two Camcorder Andy who bravely took up the challenge of filming the evening for posterity. How are you suppose to get well framed and steady shots if people will insist on moving around!
Laughter and tears? Well needless to say all the speakers liberally dusted their fascinating talks with jokes, japes, gags, humorous anecdotes and a bit of slapstick too so there was plenty of laughter. The tears you ask? Well they were mine…ahh. You see the inimitable, incomparable, insouciant, and dare I say? Lovely, Freddy, who was head of catering on this occasion took it upon herself to substitute ginger biscuits for chocolate!!!! I wept, inwardly I grant you, after all I am a man, but I was gutted! But do not fear I forgive you Freddy.
So if you missed out on Coaching Week One but like the sound of it do, do, do get along to the next one. It’s Fun, Educational and only occassionally (I hope) bereft of chocolate biscuits.