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

Meetings start at 7.30pm and finish around 10.00pm

16 January   MicFest!

All you ever wanted to know about microphones and how to use them.

6 February  Shooting a Period Film + New Project

Period films can be very cinematic and, if linked to a true story, may attract a general audience.

They also don’t date as quickly as contemporary films. However they obviously have considerable complications.

There will be a presentation ‘Sounds Good - the art of recording sound for video: selecting the right microphone, and where to put it!’, a video of the performance of a Rycote Softie in windy conditions, and comparisons of popular mics to give members an idea of what they may need and the sort of budget they should expect. Hopefully there will be star turns by our own sound experts, including setting up Zero dB!

18 January Talk on Bristol Film Archives (Not a BFVS event but of interest to BFVS members)

On 18th January 2018 there is a free talk / film show entitled 'From pageants to powerboat racing: the film collections at Bristol Archives' given by Julian Warren (former City Archivist). Entry to M Shed is from 5.45 and the talk is from 6pm to 7:30pm

2 January  Hands-0n Filmmaking

We will be shooting a two-minute drama written by one of our members.

We will be shooting the whole film in only a couple of hours so we will be working with a big crew. This will need everybody there to participate, so it really will be hands-on filmmaking. It is likely that everybody who comes will have a task. Lots of film crew jobs to be filled, particularly helping with lighting and sound + clapper board, make-up and including assistant director etc.

20 February  Annual General Meeting

AN INTRODUCTION TO STORY TELLING and how it’s been adapted to film making.

A scriptwriter will discuss how to start writing, methods to make your story resonate and a few tricks to help you finish it.

Thalia Goblet and certificate for the winner.

20 March   Competition Night

The evening where the members judge members films.

Details on the Competitions web-page

       (any subject, max 10 minutes)

The winner will receive the Jack Baker Trophy and a certificate.

17 April  Directing Actors

1 May  The Gloucester Inter Club Film Competition

We will be showing all the films from this competition which was cancelled in March this year.

This is an annual film competition between ourselves, Cheltenham Videomakers, Gloucester Film Makers, Stroud and Stonehouse Film Unit, Tewkesbury YMCA Video Camera Club and Worcester Film Makers.

We entered 'Don't Call Me Baby' and 'Bristol Aerospace Heritage'.

Saturday 3 March  The Gloucester Inter-club Film Competition

This event has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

The production issues can apply to drama or reconstruction used for documentaries. This will lead into the launching of a new BFVS project.


Impact 50 Competition - should we enter?




6 March  Premiere of the Latest Club Production

We review all the Mini Epic versions with the help of an expert.

Photographs of the August 15th shoot HERE

Reviewing Mini Epics

Count to Three

Why is America Called America?

Plus a presentation on how it was made.

Photographs taken during the filming HERE

Also the various edited versions of the film (Count to Three) shot in the club room on 15th August will be shown and reviewed.

We will also review the various edits of the Vampire film (shot in the club-room in January)

“Part Two: A Filmmaker from Germany will show us a selection of his short films. The emphasis will be on alternative concepts for delivering a story:

A Music Video, a poem, cardboard-sci-fi-trash and a mockumentory.

Everything is 8 minutes or shorter and was written, shot, edited and screened within 72 hours."

3 April   Telling Stories

15 May  Planning for the Mini Epic  

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 on Tuesday 19th June.

An excellent way to get hands on filmmaking experience

5 June   New Productions

We initiate four mini drama productions and start the planning.

We will also take further other current BFVS productions.

Opportunities for everyone to get involved in the making of these films.

19 June Shooting the Mini Epics

3 July How Good Is My Camera?

17 July 180 Minute Challenge

7 August  Learning from professionals - A two part evening…

In the first part we meet a professional cameraman.

In the second part we review three clips from professional productions, one a documentary the others: Psycho and Reservoir Dogs.

All are analysed to find out why they 'work', with particular reference to the editing.

21 August  Hands on Filmmaking - Shooting a Short Film - from 6.00pm

18 September

16 October   Keith Sheather : Making Documentaries.

6 November  Composing the Image.

How should the shot be framed?

What makes it look right?

2 October

Premiere Evening: We premiere recent BFVS Productions.

Filton Fives

This is our entry in the

IMPACT50 project.

Convent Close

A ghost story about the haunting of a new house.

Two films made for the New Room

PLUS… A re-showing of the Results of the 180 Minute Challenge held  on 17th July

We welcome as our special guest this evening former BBC Film Producer Keith Sheather.

Keith will show us how to make documentaries with particular reference to dramatised / reconstructions etc.

Members with fond memories of the BBC series, “The Victorian Kitchen Garden” will realise we are in good hands tonight.

Read Keith’s CV HERE

more information more information

JUDGED IN ADVANCE by a professional filmmaker this competition is the BIG one.

Eagerly fought for every year since 1965.

Rules and Entry Form HERE

The RAY BUCKLAND CUP for Best Composition and The DON SMITH TROPHY for Best Narration and/or Spoken Word can also be awarded.

The Don Smith Trophy The Ray Buckland Cup The Annual Trophy

53rd Annual Trophy Competition

Any subject

No limit in duration

This can be a group or individual effort

ANNUAL TROPHY and certificate for the winner

THE BURRIS CUP for the entry placed second.

Download printed programme

CLICK to download printed programme

The Burris cup

Since the 1970's Nicholas has worked for the BBC, ITV Network, Trans World International, NBC and National Geographic to name but a few.  He has given talks to the club in the past.

We welcome as our special guest this evening Cameraman and Director of Photography, Nicholas Shipley.

We will invite him to comment on each of the films and award the trophy to the winner.

Read Nicholas Shipley’s public profile HERE

4 September  Cutting Down Films:  A hands-on editing evening.

We will cut down longer films to a maximum of 90 seconds.

Sound-O-Matic XL - A Kennel invention.

From cheap phone to professional camera we put them to the test.

Which is really best?

RED cam

We will again work together to shoot a short film in the club room.

An opportunity for everybody who attends to get involved.

Tonight is the closing date for entries in the forthcoming Annual Trophy Competition (September 18th) : Download entry form HERE

Tonight we will shoot our versions of the Mini Epics planned on 15 May.

Hands-on Film Makung

20 November

4 December – Christmas Special REAL FILM

18 December Experiment Evening  

We try out some wacky filming experiments and eat more mince pies.


1st January – No meeting - Happy New Year.

15 January Review Evening

Review of Mini Epics and short films shot at club meetings during the past year.

Plus planning new films. 15 Minute Teach In.

5 February Documentary filmmaker Frank Bond will show his film, “Strong to Save”.

19 February Annual General Meeting

5 March Guest Speaker – details to be announced.

Thalia Goblet and certificate for the winner.

19 March   Competition Evening

The evening where the members judge members films.

Details on the Competitions web-page

       (any subject, max 10 minutes)

The winner will receive the Jack Baker Trophy and a certificate.

2 April John Howden – The Quiet Boffin  

(computer animation and CGI)

We review the amazing animation and CGI work of the late Doctor John Howden.

16 April  Planning the Mini Epic.

7 May  A Film from Stills + Simple Animation

Making a film from stills. The Ken Burns effect. or even simple animation – the old Captain Pugwash method of animation. Plus the chance to try some animation.

21 May  Practical Skills

A hands on evening.  We practice filming and sound recording with help from experts.  

Outside if weather permits to take advantage of the light evenings.

4 June  The Very Short Documentary

In the age of You Tube writing the very short documentary.

Look at the viewing numbers on You Tube and see that if you want an audience for your films then a short production on You Tube may be worth considering.

It is hoped that this evening might lead to some new films being made by individual members and groups of member.

18 June  Filming the Mini Epic.

2 July  How Are Professional Documentaries Made?

A real film projector in the club room for the first time for very many years.

Each gauge demonstrated? 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, 35mm?

Plus mince pies.


Following it’s premiere in September 2011

Bob Bennett wrote a review of the film.

Read it HERE.

The post production of "Count to Three"

Results of the 4 September Cutting Down Films: A hands-on editing evening. When longer films were cut down to a maximum of 90 seconds.





more information programme #meeting

How a professional documentary is put together. Orientated to the organising and scripting side rather than the filming and technical side.

Members will recall that Frank was awarded a special Best Local Documentary for his film, Strong to Save in our recent ANNUAL TROPHY COMPETITION.

Frank writes..

“This is the story of the greatest of lifeboat in the history of the RNLI.

Henry Blogg served as coxswain at the Cromer station for over 40 years, through two world wars. He is credited with saving nearly 900 lives.

As a young man the crew rowed out into the treacherous North Sea in an open boat. They could be out in all seasons for two days. He finally retired aged over 70, some years after the second word war ended. He was awarded the George Cross, three RNLI gold medals (the lifeboat VC) and throughout remained a reserved humble unknown hero. “

Frank will talk us through the production process: