The members of the Jersey Camcorder Club have recently held their Annual General Meeting, and made some changes to the Club Officers. We now have Alan Michel as a newly appointed Chairman, and he will join Derek De Gruchy, Treasurer, and Annette Lowe, Secretary. The role of President has traditionally been reserved as a position for honouring the services of a long standing member held in high esteem, and this year the meeting was delighted to appoint Charlie Blampied as Honorary President. Charlie has been a member of the Club since it was first formed in 1991, and over the years he has produced 86 films for club projects, as well as attending almost every meeting and social event, plus unfailingly contributing an article to each Newsletter. Although Charlie makes his films without the use of modern computer editing systems, he demonstrates that it is quite possible to make interesting and entertaining films by using imagination and one’s own life experiences.
In January the club held the Annual Competition, and this year the winner of the Tony Brown Trophy was Alan English, with his excellent film about the participation of the members of the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled with their 26 x 1 Marathon. There were 8 films entered to the competition this year, each very different, and the winner was decided by the whole audience who voted for the one which they had found most entertaining. The club has followed this format for many years, as it gives equal opportunity to those members who do not have access to the same technical equipment as others, instead emphasising imagination and storyline.
Following the recent Annual General Meeting, the members were very pleased to offer Honorary Life Memberships to Wally Rowe and Laurie Stewart, who have stepped down from the positions of President and Chairman, which they have held for 6 and 11 years respectively. Each of them has contributed so much time and energy to the club, and given us the benefit of their talents for film making with much constructive advice. Many club members will recount how they still remember words of wisdom from either Wally or Laurie, who have gently pointed out how a film could have been edited differently. They have each been presented with a Certificate recognising their ‘Long Standing Services to the Jersey Camcorder Club’ and it is hoped that we shall see them frequently, together with wives Shirley and Pauline, at future Club meetings and social events.
Last November was the occasion for our 11th Annual Film Show, and this time we were able to present it in the spacious Members’ Room downstairs at the Royal Jersey Showground. Due principally to the hard work of our Assistant Secretary, Carol, who sent out plentiful invitations, there was an excellent turnout for the evening. The audience included Richard Henwood and Lori Ann Foley, organisers of the Wicker Man event, which had been immortalised in the Club film Summer Solstice, and members of the Jersey Archery Society. They were able to see one of the films made about their club by our members, as a club project. Altogether 11 films were shown, each made by a different member and judging by the comments, they were much appreciated by the audience. During the interval Lois and Avril ran a successful raffle which covered the cost of the room and refreshments were served by the other ladies present.
We are very pleased to have had one new member, and one returned member coming along to our meetings. New member Nick Queree has only relatively recently bought a camcorder and will probably be starting his editing with Windows Movie Maker, but he says he gathers knowledge at each meeting he attends. Certainly he learnt about microphone use when he was volunteered to act as a guinea pig trying out all the microphones we could find. We were also delighted that Reg Snepp, who was a member in 2004, has been able to return. At that time he came with his young son Matthew, who is now too busy with homework, but hopefully we shall see some films from the Snepp family in the future.
Our Club film Summer Solstice was entered for both the SERIAC Film Festival and the IAC British Amateur Film Competition and received very encouraging comments from each set of judges, although no trophies. The BIAFF competition now awards stars from 1 to 5, instead of the previous Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates, and we were congratulated for Summer Solstice being awarded 3 stars. This means that it was ‘well made, technically competent, keeps our interest and/or entertains’. And I think that was a very acceptable result for our basically simple little film.