Earlier in the season, Wally Rowe had entered the Cotswold International Film and Video Festival with his recent animation Cake Escape and was delighted to hear that he had been awarded a Gold Diploma. His results showed that every one of the four judges had awarded him 80 marks out of 100, and there was an added note to say that ‘Your film whilst not winning a major award was placed in the second echelon of entries by the final adjudicators’. So ‘Well Done’ to Wally.
We were also very pleased to hear from the Guernsey Lily Film Festival that our club film Summer Solstice had been awarded a Commended Certificate, and that it will be shown one day during the actual Festival.
Alan Michel our Chairman, and Director of Maugers Garage, has an interesting story to tell of his long standing connection with the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, which has resulted in a fortuitous relationship for the Jersey Camcorder Club. He writes: My involvement with the RJA&HS and its members, probably goes back 40 years, as many farmers were customers of our garage. In 1976, they wanted a film made to send around the world, to attract Delegates to the 1979 World Cattle Conference to be held in Jersey.
The then President, John Rondel, approached me to see if I would be interested in making such a film. Knowing the quality had to be good, I teamed up with Wally Rowe, who had 16mm equipment, and with a list of the items they wanted included in the film we set about, and successfully completed, the task in hand. For many years, the only copy of this film was lost, but it has now been located and transferred to DVD. I therefore took a copy of the film to the RJA&HS for them to view. Subsequently I had a phone call from James Godfray, asking if the Jersey Camcorder Club would be willing to record the forthcoming RJA&HS 175th Anniversary Celebrations as he was amazed that an amateur production could, in his view, be as good as the professional production which they had had made in the spring. The club members have now also had a chance to view the film – called the Jersey at Home and were equally impressed with both the quality of filming and the professionalism of the production. Even nowadays, 30 years later, it would stand up well. The voiceover was particularly impressive, and was apparently done by a local resident of the time who, as well as having an excellent speaking voice, also wrote the narrative—which must have been a great help. Wally and Alan now have the task of editing the material taken by club members at the main 175th Anniversary celebration, and turning it into an equally praiseworthy film.
Truly the saddest moment this year for Jersey Camcorder Club members was the day when we heard the news that our long standing friend and member Lois Hunter had died in hospital. We were all aware that Lois had recently passed her 80th birthday and that she had mobility problems, but when she was admitted to hospital following a fall, it should only have been for a check up and maybe some physiotherapy. However it was decided that she needed an operation, and the subsequent complications resulted in her untimely death. Lois had been a staunch member of the Jersey Camcorder Club since its inaugural meeting in 1991, and had been very supportive of all our efforts during the past 17 years.
In the earlier days particularly she made many interesting films, the most memorable of which was the little gem of Blue Tits. Of latter years she had embraced modern technology, recently upgrading to Premiere Pro, although films by then tended to be more family orientated. But she was always willing to offer an honest appraisal of any member’s new film, and if she said ‘could you just replay that bit, I didn’t get it’, one knew it was time to review the scene before finalising the film. On the social side various anniversaries were celebrated with memorable barbecues at her house. And she was always ready to provide refreshments whenever required, as well as manning the raffle stall at our Public Shows. We would thus like to pass the condolences of the Jersey Camcorder Club to Simon, Hugh and Deborah and their families. We shall all miss a lovely lady.
At the beginning of the summer our President Charlie suggested an idea for a simple little comedy film, appropriate for the club to undertake as a group. We then had a couple of meetings to try and clarify the storyboard – not as simple as we might have hoped, as different members seemed to be developing the theme along different lines. However eventually a cast was decided, with an outline of the roles they should play, and we agreed to start by shooting the crucial outdoor scene, which was scheduled to take
place at St Brelade’s Church. When we all turned up we had our first slight problem, in that a genuine wedding rehearsal was taking place, but we decided to work round them as our filming was generally outside while they were inside. Our second mistake lay in not having appointed a proper director – an absolute essential - as this resulted in a fair degree of confusion as to who was doing what, when. We followed this up with two more filming sessions, slightly more organised, and eventually Annette was able to edit the shots into the final film ‘Susan’s Wedding’. I don’t think anyone would consider this film to be a masterpiece – the lack of a proper script made it difficult for the actors as well as for the editing. And marrying up the different camcorders and sound systems which were being used added to the problems. However, it got us all working together for several weeks, each giving their own views, and at least a film was finally produced.