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19 February


Mike Wertheim Trophy

After the normal business was over and FREE COFFEE consumed there were four presentations made by members.

Finally a surprise item:

We presented the Mike Wertheim Trophy to Mike George.

THE MIKE WERTHEIM TROPHY is awarded very occasionally by the committee as a token of their appreciation to a member whom they consider has contributed outstanding service to and for this club over many years.

Cast and crew of Kabul Sunset

Cast members Jay Khanna (Ahmed) and James Renwick (Soldier Lee) and the crew of the latest club production to go in front of the camera, ‘Kabul Sunset’ recently spent a long weekend in the crypt of a Bristol church where three sets were constructed and dressed to depict the interior of a small house in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Months of planning and rehearsal went into the two day shoot and directors Graham Egarr and Tim Smart worked closely together to achieve a realistic confrontation between a British soldier and a boy as the sun goes down over the city of Kabul. A combination of lighting, specially prepared dust and a smoke machine helped to give an authentic hot and dusty look to the action.

‘Kabul Sunset’ was written by club member David Price and many other newer members acted as crew for the film. Everything ran smoothly and to time thanks to the organised hand of first assistant director Roslyn Shennan.

Four DSLR cameras covered each take and work is about to start on editing and picture grading before various green screen CGI elements of burning land rovers, dusty streets and city rooftops are incorporated into the finished production. Because of all this extensive post production work it will be several months before the finished film hits the screen and is entered in to competition.

Saturday and Sunday March 9/10

19 March

There was a total of 19 entries to all competitions which is probably a record.

The Quickie Competition.

This was won by Diana Taylor with her entry  "The Panther".

The "My Place" Competition was again won by Bob Bennett by a resounding margin with his "Millward Grove".

The Holiday Video Competition

This was won jointly by David Knowles with

"Eurovelo 6 -2012" and Steve Andrews with

"Cu Chi Tunnels".

Both films scored identically and so the first and second prizes were combined and shared between David and Steve with each holding the trophy for 6 months.

Competition Night

24 March


' Making films is not pointing a smart phone at someone and putting the result on 'YouTube'…  Peter Heaven investigates



15 January


Despite the best efforts of a fire alarm to call a halt to proceedings Bob Bennett showed extracts from seventeen club productions dating back to 1935.

We have a library of ninety four film and video productions, all of which have now been digitised. We are very lucky to have such a resource within the club and the screening was designed to give a glimpse of some of the diverse material that now sits on a hard drive, making the past available to the future.

10 January



It is with great regret that we announce the death of one of our oldest members.

Peter was a member for 30 years and is best remembered for his 16mm filmed documentary about the return of the

SS Great Britain to the City Dock in 1970.

He acted in many films - Cabot (1997) Foolproof (1983) Mothers' Day (1974)

He was our programme secretary for some years and was the instigator of our present day Quickie Competition.

The picture is of Peter as part of the crew of The Nautical Novice - a comedy made in 1983

He had been gravely ill for some months and died at the BRI on 3rd January.

The entire memorable evening showcased to the audience in the packed clubroom the very best in ‘amateur’ filmmaking, illustrating again the wealth of experience and capability within the Society, and just how very creative, innovative and dynamic our members are. If this didn’t impress, nothing will!

If you haven’t joined us yet, our annual subscription is just £25. Members range from beginners to film and broadcast professionals, and you don’t need to have any video kit to join. Newcomers will find a warm welcome, with help and advice for their filming and editing problems!

Remember; filming isn’t just about waving a camera and microphone around! We need actors, make up, costumes, directors, producers, locations, and... oh yes... a good script comes in handy..! Anybody got one?

During the time we were filming, Sue Mansi, who had only recently joined us, shot The Making of “Into the Light”, and the four films were followed by this production which included interviews with the various directors, telling us the background of their approach to the script, as well as including conversations with actors and crew. This was an excellent first production from Sue, and was much enjoyed by those involved. It also allowed us to gain an insight into David Price's thoughts on the project as he was unfortunately unable to attend on the

‘Into the Light’ was written by club member David Price, and offered as a simple short text (you can read it here) with minimal instructions on staging and performance; it was up to the individual directors to interpret the words in their own way. The challenge was accepted by Mike George, Tim Smart and Declan Smith, and David Price produced his own version. A local church crypt was hired for three separate days of filming during 2012. Veteran producer Ken Rees oversaw the organisation and logistics for these sessions, and made sure the four directors kept their shooting schedules on track.

The interpretations of the ‘Into the Light’ script differed greatly in scope and treatment, but all four highlighted what can now be achieved with a combination of directorial flare, sophisticated post production and, above all, vivid imaginations.

First shown was David’s own interpretation of his script, with Tim Smart as the character. By David’s own admission, this was the simplest of the four, but introduced us to the script and the challenges it posed. An intriguing musical introduction was followed by a pensive reflection on the past, supported by suitably dramatic pauses. We later heard of several technical difficulties David had experienced with the sound, but these were overcome in fine style and I didn’t even notice them!

The second film was from Tim as Director, and Dominic Newton in front of the camera. He gave it the title ‘Dissolve’. This made great use of sound effects and distortion, and quite a bit of smoke, resulting in a rather unsettling production featuring a character in what I took to be a security role. We were kept in suspense due to the staging, not knowing which way things would turn out.

Note: This film has just achieved Two Stars in the latest BIAFF competition, (Read Judges comments here) and Best Sound in the Gloucester Interclub competition.

The third offering was from Mike George, with Andy Rusbridge in the role. Mike was fortunate to secure a very talented actor who grabbed our attention from the start and held it for the duration of the whole, one-take, film - a true tour de force. Mike’s simple setting using large candles (yes, there were four!) created a wonderful atmosphere, which his actor used with great effect right until the darker delivery and final reveal. Note: This film has just achieved Four Stars in the latest BIAFF competition, and took Third Place in the Gloucester Interclub competition. (Read Judges comments here)

Now we come to the fourth film, by Declan Smith. Declan produced a film which just blew us away, with special effects, sound and imagery that ran riot and challenge work we’ve seen from major post-production facilities. Stunning and surreal, this was a remarkable achievement by any standards, and used time as a prominent element. Are there any limits to his imagination? This was so much more than a film; it was an experience, which placed great demands on the actor – Tony Billington - and which unsurprisingly drew loud and well-deserved applause from the members. It’s indescribable; you have to see it for yourself! When later asked how he achieved some of the effects, Declan was his usual modest self. Amazing. A truly outstanding production. Immediately following the film, Tony came forward and spoke in glowing terms of Declan as Director, and declared him to be a Genius! Thanks, Tony, I’m sure Declan appreciated the gesture. This film will surely take many prizes when entered in competitions (Declan was working on it until the very last moment!)

evening. As a bonus feature, we were also shown a short compilation of very amusing out-takes!

The following short Q&A session gave everyone a chance to learn from the directors.

After a break for refreshments, it was on to John Howden with his stunning rebuild and 'fly-around' of a Roman Villa, a re-creation of the hypocaust and mosaic in Room 8 for KOBRA (Knowledge of Box Roman Archaeology), part of Box Natural History & Archaeological Society.

This clearly demonstrated how much of the work done by visual effects companies in the professional film world can also be achieved by the amateur working at home, and his digital images were not a million leagues away from the sort of thing you see on the TV history programmes. Originally asked if he could come up with a digital overview, John got a bit carried away and, to the delight

of KOBRA members (including Elizabeth Devon, who was able to join us for the evening), just carried on rebuilding the whole villa complex, floors, walls, roofs and all! He even added complete floor mosaics (digitally recreated from existing images of remaining fragments) and wall decorations! I wonder if he could light a fire for the underfloor heating..? KOBRA are involved with education, and will be using his film to bring the Villa back to life for their students and the whole village to help them to appreciate their local history. John’s amusing comments during and after the showing really captured our imagination. Afterwards, John - and a clearly delighted Elizabeth - answered our questions.

The evening was rounded off with ‘Nightmare’ by writer/director Graham Egarr. This drama with a twist was essentially shot near Bath on one long day in the autumn of last year, and it was great that many of the crew were from our newer members. Filmed at a farm location, it wasn’t just the cameras that were shooting! Rather different from our other productions, it was a chance for our actors to get rough! I’m not going to give the story away, but it’s a great little film, and we’re hoping for good news when entered in the various film competitions.

John Cockwell, one of those newer members, then showed his ‘behind the scenes’ look at its production.

The following Q&A was very lively!

Peter Heaven-Bob Bennett-Sue Mansi

2 April


WHAT A TREAT! An outstanding evening of films when, in the first half of the evening, four directors screened the results of their versions of filming the same script. Then in the second half club member John Howden showed some fascinating footage and explained how he had digitally created a Roman Villa for inclusion in a film illustrating an archaeological site unearthed in Wiltshire, and this was followed by the premiere of director Graham Egarr’s latest club production ‘Nightmare’.

To make the evening even more memorable, we heard the news of multiple wins for two of these films which were entered in the latest BIAFF and Gloucester Interclub competitions!


Malcolm Stephens entered “Strictly Scottish” in the Frome Five Minute Festival and was awarded third place in the open category.

Dissolve came third in the Drama category at the Frome Five Minute Festival. It also won the Vale of Sound Trophy at the Gloucester Interclub Competition and gained 2 stars at BIAFF.



We are saddened by the death of one of our oldest members.

Our thoughts are with Don’s daughter Sheila at this time and we convey our heartfelt sympathies.

Read about Don here as a WORD document or PDF file.

Into the Light came second in the Drama category at the Frome Five Minute Festival.

It was also awarded third prize at the Gloucester Interclub Competition and gained 4 stars at BIAFF.




Here are some pictures of one of this year's Annual Challenge Group's shooting session.

Using portable lighting and DSLR cameras they started filming at 4.30pm and finished around 11.30pm!

Martin Drake directed Laureen Levy's script interpretation of this year's theme, "Lost and Found"

18 June


Each member of the group will have the opportunity to edit the material. Their edits will be given to BAFTA Award winning editor Don Fairservice who will comment on each edit when all are shown for the first time on November 5th

Cast: Azitah Ward, Brittany Schultz, Tony Hibbert, James Renwick, Ross Curzon-Butler, Dane Rayment

Crew: Director - Martin Drake, Script - Laureen Levy, Casting and Location Manager - Helen Sharpe, Cameras - Roslyn Shennan and Steve Andrews, Sound - John Cockwell, Clapper Board - Mervyn Dawkins, Production Assistant - Graham Egarr


24 June

Declan Smith writes,

As you may or may not know, my treatment of 'Into the Light' was shown at the Cube cinema in Bristol by BlueScreen in early May.

Of all the films they have screened over the past year, which includes films by professionals as well as amateurs and independent filmmakers, 'Into the Light' has been selected as one of 18 films to be included on their 2013 compilation DVD. This means that it will entered on our behalf into the Supernormal Festival in August and possibly the Nozstock film festival in July.

This is great news for the club and something that everyone who was involved in the film should be very proud of, so a huge huge thankyou to all of you.

1 August



We are saddened to hear that John Stevens has died.

Read some of the tributes here as a Word document or a PDF file.

WATCH an affectionate 9 minute compilation of video clips entitled, John Stevens: A tribute.

15 August


Earlier this year we were saddened by the loss of Don Smith, who had been a member for very many years and who had at one time been Chairman of the Society. Don Smith's daughter and son-in-law (Sheila and John McKenna) thought it would be refreshing to have something different than the traditional cup to remember him by, and have donated a trophy in keeping with Don's interests. Sheila writes, 'We purchased this particular "Clapper Board" at Universal Studios in LA a good number of years ago to give to my Dad as a momento, it is a full size board and looks very good'.

We have decided to award it for "Narration and/or the Spoken Word" as part of our Annual Trophy Competition, to remind us of the vital part that Don played in the Society.

20 August


A 'bit of an experiment' turned out to be a resounding success! Members were joined by some of our acting friends to form many small groups to film, edit and show a very short film, each with a different subject. Starting at around 6:30pm, by 9:30 we had four films to project, but due to technical issues others could not be completed in time.

At our next meeting we will address the issues, look for 'lessons learned', and hopefully see all the films completed.

We would like to thank all our acting friends for their help, and hope to see them again! And if they're reading this, please feel free to come along to future meetings.


So, further congratulations are due to Mike and Declan and all who worked on these films.

3 October


SoCo (Southern Counties Region IAC) CLICK HERE to see all the results of the SOCO Film and Video Awards 2013

Mike George's version of Into the Light was awarded 'Overall Winner' and 'Best Club Entry' and 'Best Drama'.

Read Judge’s comments.

Declan Smith's version of Into the Light received the awards for 'Best Editing' and 'Best use of Sound'.

Read Judge’s comments

15 October

49th Annual Trophy Competition

Diana Taylor wins with 'Strange Storms and Symphonies, The Life of George LLoyd Cornish Composer 1913-1998'

Runner Up was Santo Veeranki for 'Dog End'

Santo also won the Ray Buckland Trophy for Best Pictorial Composition with his film,

‘The End’

Special guest Sheila McKenna presented the Don Smith Trophy for Best Narration and Spoken Word to Terence Sheppard for 'Scouting'

The evening concluded with a presentation of our own - two bottles of wine together with our sincere thanks to judges, Jan and Dave Watterson

Sue Mansi has written a review of the film.

Read it HERE

7 December


It all kicked off at 7.30am when 30 members and 12 of our acting friends from local drama clubs gathered together into four groups to shoot FOUR short films. All this happened in and around St Paul's Church, Southville, Bristol. We were given complete access to all parts of the church - even the crypt!

Lucy Mr Wellby's cross

CLICK HERE to see a selection of photographs taken on the day together with more details of each production
CLICK HERE to read Sue Mansi’s article about the event.

The last group finished around 8.00pm,

tired and exhausted but totally exhilarated

by being involved in what we love best -  making films together!

House Clearance Ed and Sue go on a date

28 October


In the Teign Film Makers Club’s 38th Teign Cup Competition Declan Smith was awarded Second Prize with his version of Into the Light and Santo Veeranki ’s The End was placed third.

Judges remarks:

‘Into the light by Declan Smith – One of a number of high quality productions by different film makers on the same theme it was felt that this was the best ‘interpretation’.

‘The End – by Santo Veeranci – An atmospheric story about personal relationships and consequences of our actions.’

Into the Light are Sue Mansi who produced, ‘The Making of Into the Light’ and directors Tim Smart,  Declan Smith and (seated) Mike George.