At the time when Lois Hunter made the kind offer of holding a barbecue in her lovely garden for our August social event, it had not crossed any of our minds that we would in fact be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the formation of the Jersey Camcorder Club. But once we did realise all stops were pulled out to make it an event worthy of the celebration. Lois had, together with her late husband Mike, in fact hosted a similar event in 1992 to celebrate our first birthday and, as then, the weather was kind to us so that we were able to enjoy most of the event in the garden. Lois, of course, worked very hard at making the arrangements and preparing some beautiful salads for us, but she was ably assisted by Avril with more platters, and Pauline who produced a delicious birthday cake, as well as others who helped set out and clear away the furniture. And it was pleasing to note that of the members around in 1992, as well as Lois we still have Annette Lowe, Wally Rowe, Derek de Gruchy, Charlie Blampied and Roy Le Plongeon. And isn’t it just amazing to think of the changes that have taken place in our hobby in those 15 years!
We were delighted with the Open Afternoon, held in May at the RJA&HS Hall in Trinity, which was arranged to offer an opportunity for people interested in using a camcorder to come along and see what the club has to offer. Although the numbers attending were not large, the dozen or so of our members on hand were all extremely busy throughout, giving help ranging from connecting someone’s camcorder to the television to demonstrating editing using either a PC or a laptop. Several visitors had older camcorder models and were considering
upgrading, while others were surprised to realise how they could improve their films with some relatively basic editing - although the questions then shifted to the state of their computer equipment and knowledge. Unfortunately with technology moving along so rapidly, some older computers will not have sufficient resources to cope with video work, so decisions have to be made, and all advice is usually welcome. As well offering assistance with filming questions, members made sure that visitors were well sustained with refreshments, and we were particularly grateful to Joyce Michel, Pauline Stewart and Maureen English for their help in this respect. We would of course also like to thank Alan Michel of Mauger’s Garage who generously sponsored the event and arranged the publicity. Following the afternoon we have seen 4 of the visitors occasionally at club meetings, and been very pleased that at least one – Kath Ahier – has joined us.
Last July, we once again set ourselves the task of dividing into groups to devise and film a short video during the evening of the following meeting. And once again we decided on a ladies’ group and a men’s group – and the ladies managed to complete their film, while the men found more pressing business to attend to. On this occasion the girls chose to utilise our regular meeting room as a venue for a makeshift exercise class – which naturally goes wrong, and finally suffers a surprise interruption. It had been planned that the intruder would be a passing football player on the way back from practice, but we didn’t have the
courage to highjack one, and fortunately our stalwart Charlie had turned up due to the postponement of the men's film, so he proved to be an excellent stand in. For the actual filming we suffered somewhat from the size of the room, which didn’t allow enough space for manoeuvre or much opportunity for different angles. We also didn’t have very clear direction, as everyone was required for acting, but nonetheless it was all great fun and much was learnt from the experience. Our ‘cast’ were Kath Ahier as teacher, Annette Lowe, Lois Hunter, Pauline Stewart and Joyce Michel as the ‘class’, with Carol Thebault doing the filming.
Our Chairman Laurie Stewart has recently applied for membership to the Association of Professional Videographers, submitting one of his wedding films for appraisal. He was delighted that, at his first attempt, he was granted their highest level of membership with an Award of Excellence. Well Done indeed! Laurie has also just started doing Same Day Edits for his weddings. That means creating a short film of the events of the day to be shown in the evening. He says it took 2 hours to cut a film to 4 minutes of music, using 135 clips, but the applause at the end was deafening, and it was very well worth doing.
Meetings that we have held recently have included an excellent presentation by Sue Daly, showing clips from many of her recent nature films – both underwater and land based. Sue kindly made sure that the emphasis of her talk was on the practicalities of filming in these locations, and she brought along her equipment for members to see. Her recent DVD - The Wild North - which was commissioned by the National Trust for their Jersey Coastline Campaign, is well worth purchasing both as an example of the filming of wildlife which can be achieved here – with some time and patience, and to support the Campaign.