OVFM Project – LOCKDOWN SPECIAL – Challenges for May


LOCKDOWN SPECIAL – Challenges for May


Jane Oliver 


My challenge is for OVFM to make a club film ‘together’ during ‘lockdown’

To start things off, I thought we could take the principle of this film on Vimeo and each try to film an element of it a home,  in our own style.  It might just be cutting out a paper person, drawing a face, taking a photo of the dining room table or a TV, copying some clip art of musical notes, making a backdrop (we have some artists among our membership) etc.  If the music is a distraction turn it off, as the ‘editors’ can choose music that will go with the footage they receive.  It doesn’t have to be a film about love, the choice is yours.

It would be good if individuals would commit to one or more of the elements.  It doesn’t matter if many chose the same element.  We will need  members who specialise in animation and others in edit.  With footage shared, this could then be made into a number of films and we could vote on our favourite version  I’m sure there will be some comic ones in amongst them.  Someone might even want to write a script for us to follow.


To start the ball rolling I will commit to trying to make some matchstick men and faces showing different expressions.

Over to you!

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!



Yes, I know we said at the last meeting this would be an evening of films from another club, but the Committee changed their mind and didn’t tell anyone!

They instead felt that since not all of the films entered onto the Annual Competition are shown during the year at club meetings for a variety of reasons, so, as the films are being sent to our independent judges on a Blu-ray compilation disc, we shall be showing the complete list of entries at this meeting so no film is going unseen this year!

And of course, if you enjoy a film after this session and want to see it again, you can check them all out HERE in the Members Section, so be sure you logged in to access the films.

So, we’ll see you on Tuesday for a packed night showcasing the best of the films in 2019 made by OVFM.





It is time to see what you have to share with us regarding our first Film to a Theme project for 2020. I’m sure interest was piqued when we announced this project two months ago, and you have all been busy making something relevant to the theme of Rubbish – maybe you even deliberately made a bad film to suit the rubric (not that anyone in OVFM would make a bad film, of course).

As usual we ask a little cooperation from everyone bringing a film to the meeting to PLEASE REPLY TO THIS POST in the comments/reply section below, letting us know the film’s run time, media format (DVD, Blu-ray, USB/Memory stick), file format if using the latter (MP4 is preferred, 1080p maximum) and picture ratio (4:3 or 16:9). This is a great help for us when planning the evening out and helping things run smoothly so if you could do us this courtesy it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing your films on Tuesday!



As much as we pride ourselves on creating original work here at OVFM, we are not above pinching existing concepts for our own use, as evident by the theme for our next cub evening – Desert Island Films.

But, to avoid litigation by the estate of Roy Plomley, we’ve altered the format a little by having two castaways and they, of course, are choosing films to keep them amused whilst stranded on a remote atoll. Not just any films by the way, these are selected from the extensive OVFM archive, meaning one of YOUR films could be chosen by one of your peers to quell their loneliness and boredom, quite an accolade indeed.

The evening will be split into two parts beginning with Andy Watson, who will include one of his own films but his selection will mostly be from other club members. Andy has chosen the films which have impacted and influenced him the most , and will include one that encouraged him to join OVFM!

Colin Jones will host the second half, with his focus being on short film from members who are no longer with us, as well as few forgotten gems from yesteryear he would like to share with a new audience to appreciate.

We hope this sounds like an enticing evening for you and look forward to seeing a full house this coming Tuesday for Desert Island Films!



No, I can’t believe it is 2020 already but it is and the start of a new year means concluding some unfinished business from 2019, namely the TOP TEN competition!

The three individual qualifying rounds were held over the latter half of the year and from that the ten films with the highest scores from those rounds will be screened again in this final. The complete scores from all three rounds can be found HERE.

The ten – or in this case 11 –  films which will be screened and voted on in this session are as follows:


1. The Making of Ogre Eating by John & Ann Epton

2.  Lanzarote – A Different View by Brian Pfeiffer

3.  Distance by Mandy Carr

4.  Magic Tricks by David Roman-Halliday

5.  Braveheart by Jane Oliver

6.  Best Friends by Barbara Walker

7.  Lost Smile by Lee Relph

8.  World Garden by Barbara Darby

9.   i360 by Trevor Rogers

10. General Election, Orpington by David Laker

= Birks of Aberfeldy by James Morton-Robertson


As always, It is imperative we have a high turnout to make the scoring as fair and representative as possible so each film is given a fair assessment from a high a pool of voters.  The film with the most votes will be crowned the 2019 Top Ten Winner at the OVFM Oscars on March 17th.

We also ask everyone who is bringing as film via USB stick that you properly mark your device with your name and film title, making it easier for the projectionist when screening them rather than having to sift through a pile of flash drives with no clue as to which one belongs to whom.

Also, this meeting is your last chance to enter the Annual Competition. Hopefully you have already submitted your film(s) to Ian Menage for inclusion on the DVD to be compiled for the judges, so please ensure you have your £2 entry fee and ENTRY FORM  (this is in the Members’ Only section so make sure you are logged in to access it) to hand in, whilst anyone who has yet to return their trophies from last year please bring them along too.

To download the Entry Form from the above link, roll your cursor over the top of the window to reveal the menu bar then click the download icon, or you can print the form off directly from the page by clicking the printer icon which is to the right of the download icon.


We hope to see everybody bright and fit for this important evening on Tuesday as we kickstart a new year here at OVFM!





We kick off 2020 with our first Film to a Theme project and one we think you can have some fun with.

Rubbish might conjure up what we throw away on a daily basis that ends up stinking the house out and being a eyesore on the landscape. But this is just one interpretation of this rubric – we could ask what happens to the rubbish after we throw it out. Maybe if you have environmental concerns on the impact of how our waste is handled this is something you could discuss in your film.

Most rubbish these days can to be recycled but who does this job? How about a film saluting the unsung heroes who get up in the wee hours to wake us up when they collect our rubbish very week and their colleagues at the rubbish tips who are prepared to get down and dirty to sort everything out and make sure it goes to the right places. Perhaps you have an insight to the whole recycling process you could document.

Ever been to a scrap yard for sundry metals or cars? Share it with us. Is fly tipping ruining your neighbourhood? Share us your rant or make a comedy out of it.  You know the saying “One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure” (not gender exclusive btw)? There’s an idea for a short film too. People talk a load of rubbish too, how about exposing them for a laugh?

These are just some suggestions but no doubt you can come up with many more of your own and come up with something to share with us on the screening evening set for the club meeting on Tuesday February 18th 2020, giving you plenty of time to work your magic.

Good luck and thanks for reading.