Bristol Film and Video Society

Bristol Film and Video Society


The meeting was held on Tuesday 14th February 2014 starting at 7:30 PM at The Pavilion, Elm Park, Filton, Bristol

  1. Welcome: The Chairman welcomed 25 people to the meeting
  2. Apologies for Absence were received from: Frank Bond, Roslyn Shennan, Ken Rees, John Bell, Tony Orr, Helen Sharpe
  3. Approval of Minutes: The minutes of last years AGM were approved with one small amendment to a spelling error. The minutes of the Special General Meeting in May were approved without amendment.
4. The Chairman’s report: The Chairman presented her report:

In the year in which the club celebrated its 80th year we held two big events the Premiere Evening in April and our 80th Birthday Celebration at The Cube in December. The Premiere evening celebrated what we had done during the past year and was attended by over 90 people. We showed 7 films - Ed and Sue Go On a Date, House Clearance, Kabul Sunset, Lost and Found, Lucy, Mr Wellby's Cross and Surprise Appointment. This was a tremendous achievement in one year. At the Cube we showed a full programme and it was great to see some of the older films on a big screen with cinema sound quality and get to see some old friends and former members as well as our members and guests. Watching films from the 1930s really brought home to me the age and quality of the club and we will continue to look for special venues for those meetings.

In our 50th Annual Trophy Competition the runner up was Gordon Young for The Avon Gorge for which Tim Smart was awarded the Don Smith Trophy for Best Narration and/or Spoken Word and Santoshmohan Veeranki won two prizes - The Annual Trophy for Coeur de Pierre and The Ray Buckland Trophy for Best Composition with, Lamb Me. On our March competition night the Quickie Competition was won by Malcolm Stephens with his entry, Vanishing Act and the runner-up was one of our newer members, Chris Challen, with Holiday Time Again. The My Place Competition was won by Diana Taylor with her entry entitled, 1962: Northern England and the Holiday Video Competition was won by Diana Taylor with, Sun, Sex and Socialism.

We were also successful in external competitions. In the 2014 BIAFF competition Martin Drake received 3 stars for Lost and Found. Gordon Young received 4 stars and the music prize for Avon Gorge and Declan Smith was awarded 4 stars for his version of Into the Light. Declan also won the Penny Cup competition with Into the Light. At that competition the award for the best film by a non-member of the IAC went to Diana Taylor for her film Clifton to Easton, Kabul Sunset was awarded the cup for Best use of Sound and Mr Welby's Cross was Highly Commended. Terry Sheppard won First Prize in the Documentary class and Overall Second in the 2014 Frome Five Minute Festival with his film, The Last Flight of P3038.

This recognition is great news for the club and something that everyone who was involved in club films should feel very proud of. It's also great to see our individual members doing so well in competitions.

Mike continues to do a fantastic job with the website, which I'm sure continues to attract potential new members. We never just stand still with it but try to add features and information which members will find valuable and our fully digitised archive of past and current film and video productions, held and managed by Bob, is available to be searched and viewed by anyone in the Bristol Record Office search room. Many of our films are available to watch on the website and Dane this year set up our Vimeo site. In the past year Bob and Mike have added another 55 past and more recent productions to our Vimeo pages, bringing the total currently available to view to 67.

During the year we have been shooting Thicker then Water, Requiem for Caffeine and Western Gateway (new version) and these are now in post production and we eagerly await the finished films.

Our practical evenings continue to be well supported with the Annual Challenge, 120 minute challenge and city docks films leading to more short films and it's been nice with the Docks films to get your teeth into documentaries, which some of us have little experience of.

Fight night and getting high don't sound like activities that upstanding filmmakers should be getting involved in, but both evenings were great fun and we were all fascinated watching John Cockwell's drone. I know some of the footage will be seen later in the year.

We again welcomed judges and speakers from outside the club including our old friends Don Fairservice and Dave and Jan Watterson and we also welcomed from Films at 59 - Sharon Stiles, Andy Devine and Brian Moseley, who covered colour correction and sound in such an informative and entertaining way. A number of our members also presented a variety of topics and those people who haven't done it probably don't realise the amount of preparation that goes into an hour's presentation, so we really thank them for their contribution.

During the year we sadly lost one of our longstanding members - Ken Webber had been an active member for over 40 years and he had contributed over that time as both a 'crew' volunteer, committee member and very regular attender of club meetings.

We continue to receive potential scripts from both members and outside parties and have a number of interesting propositions for club productions however we would still welcome any scripts or ideas for future productions.

During the year when talking to members of other clubs I have been reminded of the difficulties clubs face now that anyone can make a film and get recognition for it on the internet. In the main, clubs such as ours struggle to attract younger members and in some cases therefore don't survive. We continue to be a successful club with a real mix of long standing and newer members, but it is important that we continue to find ways of attracting new members and don't rest on our laurels. For this reason we made some changes at the special meeting we held last year and we would still welcome more input from our members as to how we are doing and what they want from the club. This can be by joining the committee or by supporting us by taking on roles throughout the year or just by making your views known. The committee cannot and should not work alone.

Having celebrated our 80th year we now look forward to our 90th - well let's just go for our 81st shall we and we really welcome your views in our post meeting discussion.

  1. Finance: The Treasurer presented his report

I'll start with my usual opener that 'You've all had a chance to look over the Statement of Accounts.' The format is the same as usual, so I hope you have had no problems in finding your way around it.

The good news is that this year we have finished with an excess of income over expenditure of almost £380, which, of course, makes a Treasurer very happy! This has mainly come about through subscription income being up, because we increased the subs last year as you will no doubt remember. Membership numbers are in fact a little down on last year's but the rate has more than compensated for that. You will see that there is a small amount shown under income from refreshments. The original agreement at last year's AGM was that voluntary contributions could be made for teas and coffee, but that fairly quickly got forgotten! There is a substantial sum shown under Productions income, which comes, surprisingly, from the U.S. Sales of the John Wesley dvds. I am amazed that this is still selling so well after all these years, but there are a lot of Methodists in America. Someone the other day suggested that we should consider making a Mormon film!!

Other factors in the mix are that most of our expenditure items this year have been lower than last year, so all in all it has been a very satisfactory period.

I think that about covers it. As always, if there are any queries about items on the Statement I will do my best to answer them. Thank you for your attention, and, of course, may I remind you all that the new membership year starts as of tonight, so I will be more than happy to start collecting your subscriptions during the coffee break.

The report was approved without amendment though it was pointed out that several of the clubs assets appear to be worth very little (e.g. blank dvds) and probably aren’t worth keeping on the list.

  1. Election of the Committee Members: The following were nominated for the Committee

/ Nominator /

Seconded by

Jane Andrews

/ Pete Heaven /

Ray Hendy

Dane Rayment / /
Dave Mitchell
/ Graham Egarr
Tim Smart
John Cockwell
Roslyn Shennan / /

There being no other nominations they were declared elected

  1. Close: There being no more formal business the Chairman closed the meeting at 19:50pm

Non formal business

  1. Future events and activities of the Club:

Julian suggested we should show more films from other clubs – particularly award winners e.g. BIAFF winners. Not just club members though – we can show winners of e.g. international film competitions.

Bob suggested we should spend more time discussing the films that we have made – the premiere films were shown once and then forgotten to some extent. We would like to discuss the process of making them, providing feedback to the filmmakers. Julian seconded this.

Diane would like more practical evenings about cameras and sound – using Dave James’ camera evening and Julian’s sound evening.

Gordon wanted an informal evening where people bring their kit – we aren’t aware of who has equipment in the club, and we could use it as a way to stimulate discussion about how we are making our films. Gordon also suggested when we do technical evenings we should demonstrate it in action e.g. colour correct footage we film that evening.

Gareth mentioned that sound recording and sound editing were covered in the same evening recently and warranted evenings in their own right.

Julian felt some of the professionals talk too much in technical language which is beyond the understanding of most club members. We should try to utilise skilled amateurs rather tahn professional if possible. Jane replied that we do ask them to keep it as easy to understand as possible and try and get club members to say what they are interested in so we can ask the speakers to cover those topics.

Gareth would like an evening on scriptwriting.

  1. Club Productions

Several scripts have been submitted, developed to differing extents. We have generally been making shorter films – Graham asked whether people would be interested in making longer films. Dane reminded people that at a recent meeting there was a feeling that people were keen to make more ambitious films – perhaps filmed over more than one weekend – but not one that would take months or years and require every weekend to be committed. Sue pointed out that if a script was developed that everyone was interested in it might be more appealing to invest that amount of time.

Graham suggested we should have more readthroughs, probably away from the club evenings as this brings the script to life.

Julian suggested we need to decide what we are making a film for if we want to take on a massive project. You can learn just as much if not more making a number of shorter films, especially if there is a long delay between the shoot and the finished product.

Julian pointed out that the payoff of making a large film isn’t always worth the investment of time, as it may be shown, competed and then not seen very much more. Gordon wanted people to think about whether the film is likely to be seen more than once, and is happy to provide feedback to anyone making a documentary.

  1. Location of the next Premiere Evening

Used two locations this year – church over the road and the Cube. Positive and negative feeback about both. Julian suggested the Orpheus Cinema in Henleaze. Cost varies depending on the time it was shown. Could be as little as £100 plus £1 per person. Gordon mentioned that the Zoo has an excellent one. Gordon didn’t feel we should use the cube again – but Diane shows films there regularly and they have a positive attitude towards independent film makers. Two of the big complaints about the Cube were accessibility (both parking and for people who have difficulty with stairs) and the lack of a social space to have nibbles and conversation in the interval. The Orpheus wouldn’t necessarily solve those problems as it is a normal cinema and is upstairs. There was a consensus that it is worth having special event evenings where we can invite more people than can fit in the Pavillion (around 65 max).

  1. Competitions

Based on feedback from the meeting last year, the Annual Competition has stayed pretty much the same. For the mid year competition we have decided to have a short drama and a short documentary category, with a limit of 10 minutes, and kept the quickie competition (under 5 minutes). We’ve also introduced an award at the Annual Competition of best newcomer (somebody has not won a competition before). We are changing the form to simplify the types of media that it will be entered on, with a number of other small changes. We’ll take off the bit about equipment as we can just ask the filmmaker. Jane will send the new form to Mike as a pdf.We will always try and find a way of showing films at their full length if possible but might show cut down versions on the competition evenings. Gareth pointed out that without specific briefs, the annual competition and the May competition might not be distinct enough.

  1. Knowledgeable members contributing to club evenings

Green screen evening – need people who know how to shoot and edit green screen to lead groups in a practical evening.

Computer evening – Haven’t yet found a single person who can cover all the bases but perhaps people could contribute to parts of it e.g. rendering, software, file types, uploading.

Moving the camera – need people with cranes, tracking, steady cam etc to show us how to add movement

Action shooting – people who have shot in difficult or dangeorous conditions.

  1. Hosting a CEMRIAC event

Central and East Midlands region of the IAC – next region of the IAC northwards. IT’s essentially an all day club meeting with coffee x 2 and lunch. We could do it on behalf of SOCO or just for ourselves to bring in club members from other areas. Nobody came forward to take on the organisation of this at this point, would probably require two people with some organisational skill.