Picnic - 1969

Reviewed by Malcolm Stephens - July 2006

A peaceful family outing in the country is brought to an end when the youngest daughter goes missing.

Standard 8mm. Directed by Paul Camp. Story by Jack Aston. 10 minutes.

Picnic (1969) Musical Problems

Reviewed by WBJ Higgins - 1976

Jack Aston had wanted to contrast the life-styles of countryfolk and townies on film from the time he joined the club; and an original draft script in 1963 was criticised by Philip Grosset on the Script Committee for not having a clear story line. But early in 1969 he was given the go-ahead to use club funds in an official society production on the basis of a new treatment. The film was eventually premiered on 2nd December 1969.

The unit was criticised for wasting film on screen tests; but Jack Aston remained unconvinced by these arguments.

"I felt that the music had to be original", said Jack. "Originally it was thought possible that the students of Redland College Music Department might produce a handful of tunes. I had hoped that these themes could then be recorded and manipulated into the film. Owing to other college commitments and the long recess this was not possible. I remember sitting at the piano - Jack is by the way, an accomplished musician - with the visual images of this film flitting across my mind's eye, I had already played a rather poignant succession of notes on clarinet for one sequence: now I wanted a rather puckish, jolly theme. These notes, changed in rhythm and given a jazz waltz backing, suddenly presented themselves as being what I wanted. The film needed a main theme. I do not know where the idea came from - it grew out of a lot of strumming away. All I had to do was to commit the ideas to paper and get hold of a guitarist, bassist and drummer who were willing to oblige. For the record these were Roy Sainsbury, guitar; Derek Lovell, bass; Bob Parslow, drums."

Picnic (1971) 10 minutes

Directed by Jack Aston. 8 mm