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.




And so we enter the final stretch of 2019 with our last regular meeting of the year, the final round of our annual club competition films!

Offering club members a chance to test their creativity in three separate categories that pay tribute to past club members, this is one of the more unique and interesting challenges in our programme. As ever, the three prizes up for grabs are:


Kath Jones Cup – A joke film with a punchline no longer than 5 minutes in length.

Mike Turner Plate – A film on any subject or style no longer than 60 seconds in length.

Vic Treen Trophy – A film set to music


The rules for each of these can be found HERE which we ask you to adhere to, otherwise the subject matter of your film is entirely in your hands, and you can enter a film for one, two or all three categories.

Last year 15 entries submitted, just two below 2017’s record breaking total, but as we have seen the remits of three different categories usually ensures a healthy response from the collective creative hive of OVFM members.

Now the bit everyone seems to ignore – if you are bringing a film this week it would be very much appreciated if you could PLEASE REPLY TO THIS POST in the comments/reply section below, letting us know the following information:


Run time

Format (DVD, Blu-ray, USB Stick)

File Format and Resolution (MP4 -1080p etc)

Picture ratio (4:3 or 16:9)

Film Category


This is a great help for us when planning the evening out and helping things run smoothly so affording us this courtesy will help get you into Santa’s good books just in time Christmas.

Also, members are reminded to consider their entries to the Annual Competition. We hope the newly updated entry forms will have been approved by the Committee and ready to be handed out at this meeting, whilst the final date for entries is the first meeting of 2020, which is the Top Ten Final on January 7th.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all who enter a film/films.

Spring Park Evening – November 7th



OVFM members are invited to join Spring Park Film Makers for an evening with one of their prominent filmmakers Peter Macpherson on Thursday November 7th at the Griffiths-Jones Hall, Emmanuel Church, West Wickham, BR4 9JL.

Peter is a prolific filmmaker with a record number of 4 star awards for his films at BIAFF as well as wins in the regional and club competitions. With so much knowledge and experience to draw on, Peter has a busy evening planned featuring filmmaking news, techniques and tutorials interspersed with educational and amusing films which will cover the following topics:


1. The pros and cons of today’s camera technology from mobile phones to camcorders.

2. A bit about gimbal stabilizers

3. Tutorials about filmmaking, including composition and staging.

4. An introduction to the principles of screenwriting.

5. Music in filmmaking.


If anyone is interested in attending this event, please make this known by either replying to this post below or via e-mail to Jane Oliver or in person at the next club meeting on Tuesday November 5th.



It’s a double header evening for the next meeting, as we’ll be dividing the session into two halves.

In the second half we hope to have a Q & A discussion to people a chance to ask that burning question and get a helpful answer from our knowledgeable experts. Before that we have some unfinished business to attend to.

As you recall, this year’s TOP TEN 2019 competition was originally scheduled for two rounds but with only 13 entries and a combination of technical issues, illnesses, new members joining and laziness, the Committee sanctioned this additional “Last Chance” round for people to submit their films.

Names of club members whose entries are outstanding are:


Ron Williams

Andy and Marian Watson

Jim and Fran Morton-Robertson 

Brenda and Roger Wheatley 

Ian Menage

John Alford

Peter Mitchell

Charley Caseley

Sam Brown

Colin Jones

Reg and Annabelle Lancaster


Along with new members David Halliday and Mandy Carr.


As always we ask you to PLEASE reply to this post in the comments below, if you have a film ready. This is vital if we are going to also hold the Q&A session afterwards, so do please respond below by letting us know the following important information :


Run time

Media Format (DVD, Blu-ray, USB stick)

Picture ratio (4:3 or 16:9).


It’s a simple courtesy we are asking of you and it only takes a few seconds to comply.

Just a reminder if you are bringing a file on a USB stick, the club’s Blu-ray player does NOT play .avi files or anything encoded at 4K or above. MP4 (h.264 codec) is the best format to brings your films in.

Thank you for reading and good luck to everyone who enters a film and don’t forget to have those questions ready!





We appreciate the fact that we announced this project just last month (don’t look at me, I don’t make the programme) which hasn’t given you much time for everyone to get your creative juices going or your films made but hopefully some of you have been inspired to put something together for this theme of “Non-Verbal”, or have something lurking in your archives that would fit the bill

In the announcement post, I linked to a silent film I made a few years back. I actually filmed and edited the whole thing inside 6 hours, with half the usual filming problems eradicated as there was no dialogue to record! So if I can do it, you can too.

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!



Hopefully, you will recall John Epton’s video tutorial on this particular subject and my companion piece article explaining the benefits of colour correction and colour grading to our films. Since then I have been delving deeper into the practice of colour correction and learning more grading techniques to give my films a bit of a lift, and now I never leave a single frame untouched.


As my eye has gradually become acclimatised to this aesthetic phenomena it is possible to spot when a film has been graded, or had some correction applied to it. During the most recent Top Ten evening, our chair Jane Oliver showed her part black and white, part colour film Braveheart. It was beautifully shot as ever but for me the images didn’t leap out of the screen as they could have.


I asked Jane if she added any correction or grading and she admitted she hadn’t, so with her permission I downloaded an older version of her film from our Vimeo account and set about applying some basic (or primary) correction some of the shots. I can’t say they are perfect or to professional standard but are good enough for an illustration of what can be achieved.


N.B – Because some of the footage was shot in the dark there is some noise present on a few clips. Unfortunately, my editor doesn’t have a noise reduction function to clear this up – Resolve, however, has an excellent one – so you will witness some attempts to disguise this by making some of the clips a bit darker.


The following video features “before” and “after” examples of how even basic colour correction can add so much punch to your images:



Straight away, you can see how much difference it made to the black and white footage, the simple raising of the shadows and darker areas and shifting of the lighter areas to create a sense of depth and definition to the image. There is now balance between the various shades of black and white where before everything was one shade of grey, and individual features stand out more prominently.


Here is an example of the settings I used (my editor is Premiere Pro CC 2018) and the clip it pertains to:




The secret weapon in this case is the curves, which adds the final tweaks to the brightness and contrast of the image with greater precision, yet is the most subtle of all the correction tools:



For the colour clips, it might be that they are too dark for some tastes. Shooting at night or in low light is hard to get right and, as mentioned earlier, invariable incurs noise on your clip unless the camera is set-up properly and the scene is appropriately lit.


This almost required different correction setting, including some finer touches brought out by using the temperature and tint sliders:




In trying to compensate for the noise in some the shots I made the sky and surrounding areas a little darker which enhanced the brightness and colours of the lights, as well as adding depth to the refracted light on the walls and trees, etc. Admittedly I did use some extra tricks here to give the colours a lift but not to the extent of overhauling the entire clip.


For instance, I cut back on some of the blues to allow the other colours to shine as represented by the colour wheel:



Whilst in this clip, you can see the smoke cloud is barely defined and the colour of the lights almost imperceptible, but after correction the vividness of the blue come through very clearly:





It might look intimidating or even voodoo to some of you but it really isn’t. It is time consuming when you first try it but after a while, things fall into place and once the basics have been mastered it is simply a matter or making the other bits work in tandem with them. And remember, everything I did here was quick and basic for the sake of this demonstration – had I attempted a full colour grading, it would be much different!


And the best part of it all is that YOU can do it to. Yes, you. It really is as simple as moving a few sliders about (depending on your editor’s layout) and recognising where best to cut or boost the corresponding part of the image.


Like most things, it takes a while and plenty of trial and error at first, but it will fall into place eventually, and you’ll find colour correction will be as natural to your editing process as adding a transition or title. The key is not to look at it as more work but as making your images that whole lot better.


I hope you found this article useful and the video will encourage you to try basic colour correction for yourself to get the best out of your images. Whatever editor you use, there are bound to be online tutorials to show how it’s done – that is how I learned it – and if I can do it, you can do it too.


Thanks to Jane for the use of her footage and thank you for reading!





Sorry to break the peace and quiet but since our last Film To A Theme Project the committee have decided to throw another one our way. This time the theme is Non Verbal.


In case this sounds like a daunting topic, remember cinema had existed for nearly 30 years before sound was added to moving images – and they do say a picture is worth a thousand words! Creating a narrative without dialogue might sound difficult but with a little bit of imagination it is a lot easier than it might appear, as I found out when I made a silent film with my nephew a few years back.


Yet, it doesn’t have to be a traditional silent film, it can be anything with a strong and recognisable narrative – maybe a montage of connected images, or a mime act, or even a story told through sign language – the only requirement is that there is no dialogue at all.


There is a lot to think about but unfortunately not too much time a the deadline is the screening evening set for Tuesday October 8th giving you just over a month to put something together.


Good luck and we look forward to seeing your entries on October 8th!




A familiar face to OVFM club members old and new, we weclome Tim Jones, son of Colin, back for another stint as Guest Speaker.


Whilst newer club members will know Tim from his previous presentations, for the senior members Tim will be remembered as a fully paid up member of OVFM himself. In fact, Tim was making films before this as an unofficial member before he came of age to be admitted – the age restriction has since been reduced after Tim registered his protest as seen in this photo:

This put him in good stead for his future, making his first IAC international winning entry aged just 20. Since then Tim has become a senior lecturer in film and currently restores old 16mm films.

Tim is renowned for his stop motion animation works but for this session, he will be presenting a film about diabetes – some thing I had a brief scare with a couple of years back – which has been shown to various diabetes organisations and societies so it must be good. Well,  Colin thinks so… 😉

So, that is what we have in store for you this coming Tuesday so be sure you are there to check it out. See you then!