What’s that un-PC expression about two birds and one stone?
Well in chairman Barrie Gibbard’s case it certainly proved correct when he competed in the club’s Ray Jennings, the annual cut-to-music competition (February 24 2015).
As Barrie explained after his entry Strings Attached outperformed four other entries to win the judges’ vote in the annual technical challenge: runner-up was Brands Hatch 1969 by Robin Garton, and third Measuring up for Lunch, Paul Desmond.
The results of the members’ vote were: first, Holiday in New Zealand by Peter Noakes; second Strings Attached by Barrie Gibbard; and third Measuring up for Lunch, Paul Desmond.
We interviewed Barrie after the competition to see how he went about meeting the challenge:
Q: What gave you the idea for that particular treatment?
A: It was a simple question of need! I needed to restring my guitar plus I needed to shoot something for the Ray Jennings competition. It was simply a question of combining the two.
Q: How did you go about filming yourself?
A: Quite a lot of preparation was involved. I knew our coffee table made a good surface for the job as I had used it before, covered with a soft 'throw' that just happens to be a nice deep blue, which was a perfect backdrop against the light and dark woods of the guitar. A cushion under the headstock kept it all nicely supported.
I knew this was a one-take video exercise: I wasn't about to restring the guitar three times to get the shots! I set up three cameras on tripods: my Canon AF100 aimed end-on to the guitar body; my Sony NX5 opposite me and as high as I could get it for the GV; and my Sony RX100m3 (which is actually a stills camera that takes fantastic video) set up as close as I could get it on the headstock where I figured most of the interesting action would be.
Because the cameras were to be unmanned, I had to set them up to get a good balance between close-ups; for points of higher interest but also to account for the fact that the guitar had to be lifted and turned over and I couldn't always guarantee to put it back down in exactly the same place.
So I didn't go in too tight on the basis I could always cut into the footage if I had too much but couldn't add anything I didn't have. Also I had to be careful not to include any parts of the other cameras, tripod legs (most difficult) or stands. Not that easy!
The main hall in the Hythe Community Centre was transformed into a television study on February 10 when the club staged a “live” recording of its version of Ask the Experts.
In the chair was Barrie Gibbard (club chairman), who was joined on the panel by John “JJ” Jones and Henryk “Hen the Pen” Jachimczyk, both club members and award winning film makers.
Questions on issues ranging from white balance to “Who do you make your films for – yourself or competition judges?” prompted a lively debate, all of which was captured on camera.
Professional directors-cameramen Robin Garton and his son Dylan set up a video mixer connected to the three cameras in the “studio” while the cameramen were linked via talk-back. The 30-minute programme was screened at a later club meeting.
The exercise proved so worthwhile that it is hoped to repeat it next season.
As part of the club’s regular technical sessions, member John Howden employed a wide selection of his films and script print-outs to illustrate the different ways he goes about achieving a film script. (February 3, 2015)
The key considerations, he advised his audience to consider, were:
allow the pictures to tell your story while letting the script fill in details not shown
write in ordinary, spoken language
research your subject before writing
be prepared to rewrite and restructure as you progress ideas
use an on-screen scripted narrator as well as the anonymous off-screen commentator where appropriate
John explained that there were basically two types of scripted film: 1. the pre-written, researched script with the images shot to order; and 2. the randomly shot video, such as the traditional holiday film, which were later scripted and built into a feature.
He concluded: “The most important thing about film making is to enjoy it and be open to learn from others. Watch TV and go to the cinema as often as you can and then go and do likewise with your camera!”
Latest Films - Short
"Strings Attached" by Barrie Gibbard
"Brands Hatch 1969" by Robin Garton
"Measuring Up for Lunch" by Paul Desmond
"Holiday in New Zealand" by Peter Noakes
"A Flavour of Quebec" by Maurice Newbolt