Signs, signs
Everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?


I imagine I am the only one who knows this song, originally by the Five Man Electrical Band from 1971. Anyway, enough of the musical appreciation history lesson, this was the first thing that popped into my head when our chair Jane announced a new Film To A Theme project idea: Signs.

The idea first came to light during a club Zoom meeting in August where Jane showed many of the pictures she took and filmed during Lockdown which was predominantly of signs around town. Somebody commented “Why didn’t I think of that?” which led to Jane suggesting that there was nothing stopping them from doing the same – after all, you can’t pass a shop window these days without some sort of notice asking you to wear a mask, observe social distancing, wash your hands, as well as rainbow pictures for the NHS, and so on.

But this is just one example of what could be captured on film. There are everyday signs not related to COVID which we notice but don’t really pay attention to, or take for granted that might be exclusive to our own neighbourhoods, like a local boot sale poster, a creative “beware of the dog” notice, bespoke street or pub signs, road works, traffic warnings, lost cat posters, they are all valid. Of course this means we’ll get 20 minutes of railway crossing signs from Sam, but each to their own!

As Jane points out the subject is very flexible whether you want to focus on topical Covid related signs in the physical sense of posters and notices as outlined above, or in the figurative or poetic sense, taking “signs” as a representation of something, for example a “sign of the times” which would include footage of social distancing, people using the NHS App, wearing their masks, getting their jabs, closed pubs, churches or empty shops that once thrived, empty streets, people eating alfresco, everything that is the current “normal” for us.

You may even have some archive footage to show us a “sign of the times” that was yesteryear, reflecting on how social attitudes have changed from then to now, or an old home video of Christmas morning with a “sign” that Santa had been. Have you signed a cheque or document recently? Ever throw up the sign of the horns at a rock concert? (just me then). I think you get the point.

To give you a start, here is a list of suggestions to consider if you are short of ideas:


  • signs of rain
  • signs of spring
  • signs of panic buying
  • signs of petrol queues
  • signs of ‘getting back to normal’
  • signs of businesses that have folded
  • signs of new businesses
  • signs of people eating out again
  • signs of lots of traffic
  • signs of no traffic even on the motorways
  • signs of accidents
  • signs of getting older
  • signs of new buildings going up
  • sign language
  • ‘signs’ cheques/documents
  • ‘signs off’
  • graffiti
  • logos


I’m sure you can think of more now we’ve planted the seeds into your heads.

Now the important part – the screening date for your efforts is TUESDAY JANUARY 25th 2022 so you have a bit of time to get your camera out, start filming, then put it altogether into a watchable presentation. Or, if you don’t have your second round TOP TEN entry yet, you could use this idea for a film, though you are limited to just a few weeks to get it made if you do.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing the results in January.