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Tuesday 18 February

Annual General Meeting

Plus pitches for new films, scripts and events e.g An Experiment Day, A Four Films in a Day Shoot etc., plus proposals for visits.

Sunday 1st March

CEMRIAC Seminar at Worcester

Details HERE

Tuesday 3rd March

Sound Post Production

Sound designer Alan Deacon. Including examples of dialogue editing and processing, sound design for film and mixing the final soundtrack

Meetings start at 7.30pm and finish around 10.00pm

Due to professional commitments, visiting speakers may need to change dates. Please check before travelling long distances

Tuesday 7 January, 7.30pm

Bird Watching and the making of Fellas

Bird Watching:

A brief presentation on the possibilities of wildlife filming and a proposal for a BFVS visit to Slimbridge.

The making of Fellas

Following on the filming of birds theme, we will see 'Fellas'  and the director, animator, composer will tell us how he made it. There will also be a live demonstration of computer animation."

Tuesday 21 January

The SOCO Competition

We screen the films from the SOCO competition and have our own vote on who should have won? Discussion about the films. What can we learn from other filmmaker's productions.

Wednesday 29 January  

BFVS Filmmaking in Bristol participation in Bluescreen at the Cube Cinema

It is an 'open mike' event where you just turn up with your film (please check rules) and it is shown on a proper cinema screen.

Tuesday 4 February

Green Screen - Post Production

You have shot some green screen footage, but what do you do next?

Hopefully we can discuss lighting and perspective. PLUS as a special extra  “syncing multiple cameras” in post production.

17th March   Competition Evening

Postponed until 21st April

Wednesday 25th March 7:30 pm Cancelled due to the 2-week closure of the Cube Cinema.

BFVS Filmmaking in Bristol participation in Bluescreen at the Cube Cinema

It is an 'open mike' event where you just turn up with your film (please check rules) and it is shown on a proper cinema screen.

April 7th

DIY Film School

A presentation on the DIY film School, a new organisation in Bristol

Thalia Goblet and certificate for the winner. The winner will receive the Jack Baker Trophy and a certificate. Second placed film recieves the Ivor Wiltshire Memorial Trophy

Details on the Competitions web-page

        (any subject, max 10 minutes)

Download entry form HERE

April 21st - Competition Evening

May 5th
Quiz – Zoom Meeting
A fun quiz on the subject of film.

May 19th
Making Films Under Difficult Circumstances – Zoom Meeting
The making of 'God Send, The Epic Quest' and '2001 Parody'

June 2nd
Previsualisation - Zoom Meeting

The crew gets hungry, the actors get iffy, and the batteries run low: time on a film set is precious. To keep everyone's morale and the artistic vision alive, a well thought pre-production is key. One of the most powerful tools a director got to communicate her/his ideas is to hand out pictures and animatics.

Vincent Leppert, Filmmaker and Architect will talk about different approaches, tricks and experiences in the Previsualisation of films. Starting from easy model mock ups to advanced 3D-Software.

June 16th
Matt Harris-Freeth - Zoom Meeting

We welcome Matt Harris-Freeth.

Matt is a multi-award winning and BAFTA long-listed writer director, working in films, commercials and music videos. From divorce and spaceships to violent relationships and monsters, Matt’s passion is for inventive, smart genre films.  

His early music videos positioned at the top of the MTV2 charts and were included in MTV2's Best Videos of the Year. His shorts have played at prestigious Oscar and BAFTA qualifying festivals worldwide and he won Best Short at the Royal Television Society West Awards in both 2016 and 2017.

His short screenplays have also been selected for international competitions, picking up a number of awards including Best Short Screenplay at Cinequest 2019.

Matt is currently working on his next short film and developing features, BLOOD BIKE and, in collaboration with writer Matt Redd (Ffilm Cymru supported 'The Toll'), CUTTHROAT - a period thriller pitched as 'Reservoir Dogs with Pirates'.

Matt has been selected for Creative England's iShort's scheme and South West Talent Lab and is also a 2017 BFI NETWORK Weekender alumni.


October 6th
Vincent Leppert - Zoom Meeting

Filming Miniatures / Models

Big sets can be hard to find with a small budget. Miniature set extensions and matte paintings have always been an important part of Filmmaking.

This club evening will give a rough summary over the history and future of scale sets in cinema. There will be tips and tricks on what to focus on, and what to avoid, when creating and shooting miniatures for your own films.

A full-scale evening for this mini topic of extended fun! Miniatures!


General Discussion

A general discussion on any subjects members are interested in.

July 7th, 7.30pm

Mark Harrison and Mihai Anghel - Zoom Meeting

Time to Move On
The Role of Editing in Telling the Story

At our next virtual meeting on 7th July we will be looking at the perfect cut, figuring out how through clever editing you can tell your story efficiently and effectively and create the emotional cues to make your film special. The evening will be in two parts.

We will start with Mark Harrison tapping into the expertise of a giant in film editing (clearly not himself but Walter Murch famed editor of films like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Part II and Part III) and the second part of the evening will be a practical look by Mihai Anghel at the way a scene can be edited in different ways to tell a story completely differently.

The 10 Rules of Film Editing (and WHY and WHEN you can break them!) with Mark Harrison

A compulsory read in his recent MA in Film Documentary Production at UWE, was In the Blink of the An Eye by Walter Murch. The insights of Murch have influenced film makers all over the World. George Lucas said of his book that it is “a must for anyone who is interested in truly understanding the film making process”.

To save you buying and reading Murch’s book (£9.25 on Amazon by the way!) and other key reads like ‘The Art of the Cut’ by Greg Keast, Mark will be looking at their ideas on why cuts work or fail. Sharing a range of best practice examples from feature films, Mark will explore Murch’s seminal Rule of Six for the perfect cut.

But rules are to be broken and so Mark will also show how film makers have at times deliberately broken those rules to great effect!


Controlling the feel of a scene through editing with Mihai Anghel (recent winner in the BFVS Spring 2020 competition).

Mihai will take a practical look at how different cuts and colours impact the feeling a scene sends to the viewer.

Using mainstream films and a live demonstration, Mihai will show how different edits can create alternative outcomes to a scene and very different feelings for the viewer. The emphasis will be on both the points where cuts are made and the alternate methods of scene manipulation through the use of colour correction and audio.


The Making Of 'Apollo 13 Lockdown'

The making of a great Sci Fi film in lockdown. A huge amount to learn about what you can do with ultra limited resources.

August 4th

Guest Speaker - Pete Mason, animator - Zoom meeting

Pete is a self-taught amateur filmmaker, making films for the last 15 years with a focus on animation. He predominantly does traditional 3D stop motion, and also dabbles with 2D and cutout animation.

He will be talking to us about his personal filmmaking journey from webcam films to getting selections for film festivals, the development of his ideas to films, and the craft side of making animation, equipment, sets, props, characters and developing an aesthetic.

Two examples of his work can be watched here:

  Shed                  Melchior Strasse

Used creatively or as a "get out of jail" card, masking is one of the most versatile functions in the filmmaker's toolbox.  

Whether your greenscreen efforts have been a disappointment.

You need to remove an offending item from your footage.

You wish to use "matte paintings" or photographs to make a grand statement.

You want to give life to a still photograph,

or just create fancy titles.

For those unacquainted with it, understanding one basic principle, is all that separates you from your new "best friend".  

July 21st, 7.30pm

Tim Braithwaite - Zoom Meeting

Using Masks

September 1st

Zoom meeting

A ‘magazine’ evening!

Gordon Young - Observing the Bridge

The making of a documentary, made this month, exploring the association between the Observatory and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Gordon will talk about the research, planning, filming and editing involved.

The result is a thoughtful and informative little film which appeals to a broad audience.

Merlin Goldman - The making of ‘Edmonds’

Edmonds is the second film by DIY Films, a collective of filmmakers including Merlin Goldman, Caroline Heatlie and Mark Harrison. The first two were involved in the production, taking on the roles of producer/writer/assistant director and sound operator, respectively. Merlin (and Caroline, if available) will briefly talk about filming it along with a screening of the recently completed film.

Mark Harrison - Interactive film-based story telling

Mark will be looking at the role of interactivity in future film-based story telling. He has over 30 years of experience in creating interactive media and so he will be showing (and explaining) examples of immersive interactive films such as Bandersnatch (a Black Mirror interactive fantasy thriller for Netflix) and other projects he has come across over the years (including his own interactive video projects).

The concept of interactive films has been around for a while but it was hard to deliver via traditional broadcasting approaches. But now it is a much more attractive option for film makers with the increasing dominance of online platforms like Netflix. New interactive programmes are now in planning and production so it is worth getting to know more about this storytelling medium as it is something we can do ourselves!

The idea of using interactivity is to bring viewers even more closely into your stories and it’s actually quite straightforward for amateur film makers to create an interactive film. To explore this, he will be showing a storyboarded interactive demo of a typical 'haunted house' movie scene using simple software tool called Klynt. The direction of the story will change depending on the decisions that our meeting attendees will make on behalf of the protagonists so you can see for yourselves how (with a little extra filming than normal) you too could make your own Bandersnatch!       

August 18th

Declan Smith - Zoom meeting

Resolve - The art of DaVinci

Many people find that post production can be like black magic, but with BlackMagic, you’ll like post production!

Introducing, DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic design.

Did you know that Davinci Resolve is free?  You get a 4K (UHD) editing system with media management, colour grading, sound editing and visual effects compositing all for price of FREE !!! There’s also a paid version, for higher resolutions and extra bonus features, but the entry point is Free.

In this beginners introduction to Davinci Resolve we shall enter the magic circle and unlock the magic of this incredible suite of tools, covering the following:

•   Introduction to Davinci Resolve

•   What are the requirements for Mac / PC

•   How does it differ from other NLE packages, the basics

•   Practical walk-through - editing together a simple project

•   Compound & Multi-camera clips

•   Syncing separately recorded sound

•   Making it look nice with colour grading

•   Making it sound good with Fairlight

•   A little bit of visual effects

•   Delivering the final project

Did I mention that it’s free? What, no subscription model? What do you mean it works on Mac, Windows and Linux? Can’t be that good, can it?  Well it’s good enough for some films you may have seen doing the local circuit like Star Wars, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, to name but a few and also regional TV series like The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones, but it’s biggest accolade must be the award winning Bristol made film, MERCS (now on Amazon Prime).

September 15th  

Zoom meeting

Winner of Winners

October 20th

Zoom Meeting

Visiting guest speaker - Sarah Matthews

Sarah is a multi-award winning, self-shooting director, producer and editor with experience of filming in 20+ countries across six continents. An exceptionally adaptable filmmaker, accomplished in a wide range of genres including current affairs, covert investigations, documentaries, wildlife, talent-led programs, music videos, corporate and live events.

November 17th

Zoom Meeting

Scripting and plotting - Merlin Goldman and Mark Harrison

Merlin Goldman will give a presentation on the Hero’s Journey. This is the theory that a single story is the basis of all mythological stories. It was most famously used by George Lucas when he wrote Star Wars and has become the dominant structure for Hollywood movies. In his talk, Merlin will discuss the Hero’s Journey evolution, its main stages with examples from movies and we’ll use it ourselves to make a new story.

November 3rd

Zoom Meeting

Guest Speaker - Thomas Shawcroft

Thomas Shawcroft is a successful local Director of Photography.

He is an experienced camera operator and DOP having worked on features, documentaries and commercials.

Working his way up as a camera trainee then loader for 6 years, He also ventured into focus pulling, until given the chance to work as a 2nd Unit DOP on The Dark Mile.

He has recently worked as DOP on a short film starring Patricia Hodge called Rose Pandemic which will be one of the many topics he will be analysing and talking about at the meeting on the November 3rd.

As usual in the break you will have a chance to see some of his work which we will then talk about in the second half.

Topics covered will be:

Although Thomas obviously works at a professional level, he is keen to relate what he has learnt to the world of amateur film making. So, his tips won’t rely on you laying hands on the kind of kit he does in his day job!

December 1st  

Zoom Meeting

Multimedia Extravaganza Evening

Sound effects (or Foley) are an essential part of professional film making but there's lots of scope to use them in amateur films and your musical score options are endless from using library music to getting music composed to even using artificial intelligence to compose your soundtrack.

This session led by John Cockwell, Neal Tucker and Mark Harrison looks at how you can add sound effects and music to your films through two recent projects where they worked together to create sound effects, new dialogue and specially composed music for two old BFVS films one of which was silent and the other missing any kind of soundtrack.

December 15th

Zoom Meeting

Christmas Quiz on film related themes

Please join us for this seasonal fun event. 

January 5th

Zoom Meeting

Premiere Evening

On this evening we will be viewing and reviewing the 'Mini Epics' shot during the year. Mini Epics are a long-established tradition where we divide into groups or work as individuals to make a short film on a set subject. This year it is "FOOD".

There is still time to create your own 'Mini Epic'. If you are a visitor to our Zoom meetings please join in and submit a film. It is not a competition, just a fun evening. Plenty of time to shoot and edit over Christmas. Need a script? We have a ready-made one specifically written so it can be filmed by a filmmaker on their own. If you would like a copy of it please e-mail


January 19th

Zoom Meeting

Tim Smart :

Acting for the Camera and Directing Actors

All filmmakers should know how to direct actors in their dramas, as well as presenters in their documentaries.

What actually is acting? What makes a good film actor? What is the difference between a stage performance and one for the camera?

Which is easier? Which do actors prefer? What do actors need from the director and crew – and other actors? Whose character is it anyway - the director’s or the actor’s - or the editor’s?

February 2nd

Zoom Meeting

Filming a Costume Film on a microscopic budget

The advantages and complications. Locations, props, horses, sets and special effects.

February 16th  

Zoom Meeting

Annual General Meeting

March 16th

Zoom Meeting

Competition Evening

Thalia Goblet and certificate for the winner.The winner will receive the Jack Baker Trophy and a certificate.Second placed film recieves the Ivor Wiltshire Memorial Trophy

Details on the Competitions web-page

 The Ten Minute Trophy  

        (any subject, max 10 minutes)

 The Quickie Film Competition (any subject, max 5 minutes).

Download entry form HERE

April 20th

Zoom Meeting

Pulling Focus

Pulling focus, what is it? When is it necessary? How to use it artistically. How to do it.

May 4th

Preparing for the Mini Epics

Tonight we will plan how we will shoot our versions of the Mini Epic.

The challenge is to split into groups and plan short films (up to five minutes) for filming in June. We will be given a subject / theme to build our ideas around.

An excellent way to get hands on filmmaking experience.


May 11th

Zoom Meeting

Everything Animation

An animation evening including the amazing pioneering animation and CGI work of the late Doctor John Howden.

In 2005 John wrote an article explaining his first steps in computer animation using Blender software.

Read his article HERE.

Watch his first animated film called Blockheads HERE.

March 2nd

Zoom Meeting

Da Vinci Resolve  -  Part 2

Declan Smith will continue with his introduction to DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design.

Declan presented his first part last 18th August. If you missed it, you can watch a recording of it on our Presentations page

This time Declan will cover colour grading and visual effects as well as more on the Fairlight sound page.

April 6th

Zoom Meeting

Merlin Goldman :

Character Archetypes in a Story

Pulling focus, what is it? When is it necessary? How to use it artistically. How to do it.