Lockdown Doesn’t Have To Mean Shutdown For OVFM!

Lockdown Doesn’t Have To Mean Shutdown For OVFM!


OVFM, like much of the rest of the world, has been forced into temporary shutdown as the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe. But just because we’ve had to suspend our public and group activities doesn’t mean members as individuals have to stop making films, or filmmaking related projects.

Seeing how the streets and shops are getting emptier as the lockdown takes hold of our communities, this is a subject for a short film, documentary or piece for the 2020 newsreel. Maybe you have personally been affected by the virus and are in isolation, so why not make a video diary of you experiences to share with everyone? We have our Vimeo channel to upload the clips to and a website to share them on.

It may be awhile before we met as a group again, so without deadlines to meet for projects and competition evenings, this gives us all some time to brush up or improve on our filming techniques or maybe even learn some new ones. Some of you may have read my Colour Grading articles, so why not give it a go yourself, and see if you can brighten up your footage using these tips?

There are plenty of new editing techniques being used these days, like speed ramping, split screen, zoom transitions, etc. so this would be a good opportunity for you to take a stroll through YouTube and look for tutorials and learn something new to give your films a fresh feel to them.

Or maybe you might want to try scriptwriting or storyboarding? How about perfecting your lighting or improving your sound recording? What about making your own sound effects or animations instead of relying on your editor’s presets? Or you could try green screen filming or stop motion/table top animation if you’ve never done it before? These are all subjects we’ve covered in previous club meetings so the basics should already be with you.

You think you may know your camera very well but do you? There are always hidden settings and features that are easily missed because you didn’t read the manual (then again who does?) so why not explore every nook and cranny of your camera and its capabilities, making the set up for your next film all the more easier, and that tricky shot you’ve wanted to try possible?

And if you are stuck for inspiration then look no further than the Members Only section and the Annual Competition films available for viewing. Furthermore if you consult the “Links” section to the left of this post, you can find a list of other club sites and amateur organisation like IAC, BIAFF, etc. whose films are also free to view, as are thousands of others on the Internet from filmmakers around the world .

Don’t stop there either – you could also:


o    Pick ten films from the archives that you would like to see

o    Make suggestions about what you would like included in next year’s program or what worked or didn’t work in previous programs

o    Meet up with a few others to do something productive together

o    Try your hand at writing/composing your own song

o    Share clips for others to edit into a little film

o    Watch more films new and old to get an idea of what they are doing and see if you can do it too

o   Write an article for the Viewfinder

o   Take the opportunity to index your footage or backup your films and send them to the archive

o   Write a sentence and challenge a friend in the club to include it in a film

o   If you have other suggestions please share them with everyone


The best thing is that even though we are physically separated, you can still ask other club members for help via e-mail or this website. If there is a specialist subject you wish to discuss or ask questions or advice about then drop me a line at leerelph@hotmail.com and I will start a new post to start the ball rolling for you.

So, in the words of the immortal kids TV show of the 70’s and 80’s Why Don’t You…? “Why don’t you switch off the television set, go outside and do something less boring instead?”

Over to you!

8 Replies to “Lockdown Doesn’t Have To Mean Shutdown For OVFM!”

  1. Thanks Lee, I hope members will be encouraged to take the opportunity to do something in relation to their film making hobby, even if only something small. It will be a distraction from the constant news coverage of coronavirus and give us something positive to smile about. It will also be an opportunity to spend time in other hobbies or maybe doing something completely new that you’ve always wanted to have a go at but never found the time. We may even be treated to a glimpse into each other’s ‘world’ if we post little films of our ‘at home .…. ‘ diaries.

  2. I am finding it difficult to find red button on my camera and seeing the viewfinder when wearing my full hazmat suit!

  3. Good neighbours. I’m fortunate, my neighbours did my shopping at the same time as theirs. Now ordered to ‘stay at home’ I’m glad the sun’s shining. I’ve not done so much washing in one go before and breaking up cardboard boxes in time for the dustman was good therapy and thankfully the dustmen made their round but I’m not sure where the postie’s got to, no letters this week, mind you I’m glad that means no circulars.

    I, like many others, went for a walk on Sunday, alone and kept my distance. First I popped to Lullingstone Golf Course to see joggers, walkers, cyclists, golfers, dog walkers and horse riders all making the best of the outdoors and beautiful weather, despite it being cold. Then off to Andrew’s Wood where you had to wait to get a car parking space. It was packed. Having said this it seemed that people were keeping to pairs and family groups in the main. I gave them all a wide berth!

    Since then, I’ve been catching up with emails and telephone calls. The next challenge; how to relay our church services on Sundays? I know some are already exploring conference calls using Skype, Zoom or other similar platforms, but from what I’ve seen there is time lag on some of these, causing the sound to be well out of sync with the picture. Have any of you tried these platforms and found them to work well?

    Would any of you like to share what you’ve been up?

  4. I seem to be as busy as I usually am, with my film and DVD reviews (although due to the virus they are holding off sending discs out, so even that will peter out soon) and working on a top secret project for this site… 😉

    That and more frequent trips to the increasingly empty shops which is hell for a fussy eater when the only stuff you eat is gone. 🙁

    Yet you notice nobody has touched the easter eggs…. <_<

  5. To change the subject slightly, what is the Ultimate Newsreel ? The link in the comments from Andy doesn’t work. Then I click on the 3 links under posts and it asks me to enter a password, which I enter my standard password and it does nothing? Just curious.

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