For this meeting, the format is going to be slightly different, possibly even radical in its thinking but should be treated as the same as any other practical evening. We are looking to do some filming and improve our techniques and understanding of our craft but this time it is up to YOU to manage it yourselves.
What does that mean? Here is our chair Jane Oliver to elucidate:
Our previous two practical sessions dealt with framing, camera angles, capturing moving objects, working out the best type of shot for a given scenario, pans and zooms, cutaways and capturing good sound. We now want to build on this by giving you all the opportunity to practice these skills.
Rather than meeting in the hall on the evening of 28th June for 2 hours, we’ve decided to give members the opportunity to commit 2 hours to practicing these skills or to start or complete their Top Ten entry at a time that suits them between now and 31st July to give everyone ample opportunity to film something in good light and hopefully in good weather. Hopefully some will have completed their Top Ten entry before this, so that it can be shown in the first round on12th July.
Filming can be done individually or in groups arranged by members who wish to get together. You don’t have to use a video camera; a phone or stills camera will do the job (photo montages are acceptable too). You don’t even have to leave home, as there is plenty of material available either indoors or out.
We want EVERYONE to be involved, so please commit to spending at least two hours on this ‘filming’ project. If there’s enough interest, we plan to show footage from this session at the September 6th meeting and feedback will be given to those who wish.
Essentially, you could look at it as a practical club meeting without the actual club meeting part. Instead of driving down to Petts Wood (or suffering on the bus like I do) to film and hone our skills, we can do it from the comfort of our own homes or local surroundings. Self-management is as important in filmmaking as receiving direction and advice from others, and taking what we have learned and applying it to our filming projects is an essential part of our practical and creative growth, hence this session being an opportunity to do just that.
Therefore, we are putting our faith in club members to dedicate the 2 hour window (or longer if required or desired) this coming Tuesday to your next filmmaking endeavours – in other words, treat the time as “OVFM time” and not an excuse to watch the tennis just because you won’t be at the club hall! For instance, if you did some filming during the morning or afternoon on Tuesday, you now have the time you would have spent coming to the meeting to check your footage instead. It is hoped this will give you an extra couple of hours to put towards your film to revise and improve it, or have it completed sooner for the Top Ten.
Sadly, attendance has been down a little lately, and we understand why this is, but it doesn’t mean we want club members who can’t attend in person to feel they are being left out or that their physical absence at meetings means they should stop making films, or continue to learn more techniques or key areas that may require improvement. It is our hobby and interest – surely we should be striving individually and collectively to further our skills, and attain creative fulfilment. We therefore hope that this idea will offer encouragement for them to still feel connected to the club and rekindle their desire to be active filmmakers again.
Jane also has some suggestions for anyone needing inspiration:
For those of you wanting to improve on framing and composition (this applies to stills photography too) can be practiced through using static objects such as:
a house number
an envelope on the door mat
a front door
a flat or house
a person, standing or sitting
2 people, standing or sitting
a group of people, standing or sitting
For objects moving across, toward, or away from the lens, you could consider taking shots of
People walking/running/skateboarding *
You could then examine the footage; and consider:
Should I have taken that shot at a different angle?
Should I have been closer/further away?
What’s in the frame that ought not be or is distracting?
Have I left something out that is essential?
Could I make a story from my footage?
Can I take some cutaways/B-roll to assist?
What additional shots should I film to link up some of these things?
There is no need to do anything complex, unless anyone feels confident enough to want to challenge themselves beyond their current capabilities, especially those who were privileged to be at the last two practical meetings. Some members might like to use some time improving their ‘sound’ skills, lighting set ups, green screen filming, or use this footage to try different editing techniques, such as split screen, modern transitions, and of course, colour correction and grading.
Thank you in advance for stepping up to this challenge in support of your committee who are working hard to keep your interest in your hobby alive.
* For this suggestion, you could place someone centre of the frame and film them walking past different locations, then edit it together to look like one long walk with only the background changing. Just ensure it is someone you know a stalking is an offence!
Keeping a healthy, consistent stream of output is what keeps the club running and our members always learning and improving. Without the films we have nothing – no more film shows, no more competitions, no more club meetings. Currently, it is same few people who are keeping things afloat and one day even they won’t be able to do this anymore, which is why it is crucial that everybody steps up and makes an effort.
As we have demonstrated via Zoom and our Vimeo account, there are still ways to share advice and our work with each other. That is the beauty of modern technology – it affords us so much in the way of practical opportunities we’d be remiss if we didn’t take advantage of them, and we as a film club have no reason not to.
We hope that you all take advantage of this opportunity on Tuesday (weather permitting – or if it is that bad, perfect for a horror film B-roll!) to do something practical with the extra time whether improving a technique or adding to the making your next film.
Thanks for reading and happy filming!