Animated lamp logo by Bob Bennett and Declan Smith
Home contact programme productions competitions resources history
Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter

THERE ARE ARTICLES AND TUTORIALS HERE that have been written by members and friends.

They cover all aspects of this amazing hobby of ours.

Creating an Illusion
An account of a post-production technique used in Clarkson to convince an audience that it was all shot on location!

Did we succeed?
CLICK HERE to read Mike George's article

The Making of "Clarkson"

The director, Graham Egarr writes about the planning and subsequent shooting of this mammoth production.

Two years in the making we see many pointers for future productions. Lessons learned and passed on here for all to read.

CLICK HERE to read Graham's article.

The University of Bristol Botanic Garden at Bracken Hill
An historic record

Curator, Nicholas Wray asked us to make a video recording of his guided tour of the garden.

25 visits in 18 months saw the project completed.

CLICK HERE to read about it.

Is Chroma Key Just for the Pro's

Chroma key has been used extensively in many of our recent productions.

Declan Smith investigates this technique and provides some basic steps to get you started. There is also a page or two of 'techies stuff'.

CLICK HERE to read Declan's article.

Go Professional ?

It’s going to be an epic, lots of actors and extras, you’ve written the script (well, you’ve started) and it’s going to make you rich; maybe even enough to pay off your credit card! All your family and friends say it’s a sure-fire winner and you should go for it, even though you’ve never made a film before.

Read Peter Heaven's article first.

Making a 3d Animation Video

With the aid of some FREE software downloaded from the Internet, John Howden made his prize-winning animation, "Blockhead".

John says, 'You need only look at TV to see how the professionals are using 3D animation. It is not only for children’s cartoons but is used for titles, adverts, promos, logos, etc. There is now no reason why we amateurs shouldn’t get in on the action'.

Judge for yourself - CLICK HERE to read John's article.

Remembrance remembered

Anyone who has ever tried to record a small amateur dramatic production in a church hall will know that it is not an easy task. Just imagine then a show three and a half hours long, dozens of standard bearers, actors in dramatic tableaux, a singing group, a religious service and two military bands, all in front of an audience of two thousand people!

How did we tackle it and more to the point, why !

CLICK HERE to read Bob Bennett's article.

Acting for Film

"The first thing any director intending to work with actors on a film needs to understand is that acting for film is the most technically demanding and often least rewarding work an actor will do.." writes Jane Andrews - leading local amateur actor who has featured in many of our films.

CLICK HERE to read Jane's article.

Protocols for Film Directors

Frank Bond has produced a comprehensive study of how the professionals work as a team on any film set. If you have ever wondered who does what, this will explain.

CLICK HERE to read Frank's article.

Encounters with John Wesley
A critical review.


'On the technical side this was the first widescreen high definition production the club has made and it was used to good effect without flashy compositions on the screen', writes Bob Bennett in his critique of our latest production.

CLICK HERE to read Bob's review.

So I said to Friese-Greene…

The technology may have changed but one thing hasn’t. You still need members to drive it.’  writes Bob Bennett.

CLICK HERE to read Bob's article

‘Members today, they don’t know they’re born. Now it’s all CGI, 16:9 High Def with full surround sound and computer editing. In my day you were lucky if Kodak didn’t scratch your silent 8mm film when they processed it!


The Quest for perfection…

CLICK HERE to read it.

‘Making films is not pointing a smart phone at someone and putting the result on 'You Tube'. Making films involves scripts, actors, locations and a lot of hard (but enjoyable) work and possibly to have the finished film win an award in an international competition.'

This statement found in a local movie clubs’ website prompted Peter Heaven to write an article.

Working on the ‘Nightmare’ shoot

'There’s a huge amount of skill, creativity and talent knocking around. And the actors that we manage to get hold of, and who work for nothing, are an absolute knockout.'

‘Everyone in the group is very generous with their time and willing to help people like me who aren’t at all sure what they’re doing yet.' writes Sue Mansi.

CLICK HERE to read Sue’s article.

Four Films in a Day: December the 7th with Bristol Film and Video Society.

‘Given the creative melee that is a film shoot, and the difficulties of keeping to schedule and the necessity for flexibility

CLICK HERE to read Sue’s article

and responsiveness to conditions, my anxiety for a clapperboard proved correct.  Now that I’m editing I can really see what a fundamental tool it is.’ writes Sue Mansi in the second of her My Adventures in Film articles.

Two PowerPoint presentations

Following on from our meeting in June 2015 entitled, Understanding Computers + Using You Tube and Vimeo, here are two PowerPoint presentations.

One is from Dane Rayment who compared Vimeo and YouTube and the other is from Jane Andrews who has summarised the Understanding Computers element of the meeting.

Nick Shipley's profile

from club member Patrick de Landre-Grogan.

Two video tutorials …

Single-camera video production

Following on from his visit to the club in August 2016

Nicholas Shipley has given us two items.

A training manual on shooting press conferences (with limited / no camera crew) and a training video he has made - for professionals.

The training manual entitled, HOW TO VIDEO A PRESS CONFERENCE FOR BROADCAST TV AND WEBCASTING can be downloaded HERE as a pdf file.

The training video can be seen on YouTube as 26 short videos that run consecutively.

The Grammar of Television

Following his visit to the club in November 2016

Paul Smith M.A. has given us a copy of his

Notes on the Grammar of Television.

Thank you Paul.

Read it HERE as a pdf file (10 pages)

Read Paul’s profile HERE



BFVS Sounds Good presentation v33.pps

Peter Heaven writes…

So many productions – professionals included – suffer from sound that is less than ideal. With a huge range to choose from, and so many ways of placing them, microphones can be the nemesis of any budding sound recordist. Here are a few pointers that may help!

Merlin Goldman gave us a brilliant, concise insight into the criteria for writing a good screenplay, summarised in this Powerpoint presentation…

An Introduction to Story Telling

how to tell stories.pptx

Greenscreen Magic with Lucy

Declan Smith’s

article describes how it was used when filming Lucy.

Read it HERE

Peter Heaven writes..

While looking through a Folder on my PC, I noticed a document I wrote about 5 years ago regarding some technical aspects of video. I’ve updated it with a bit more info.

The current market seems to be going away from ‘compact’ cameras and small handheld video cameras in favour of DSLRs, larger camcorders, and just using your mobile. So if you’re considering one of those more expensive video camcorders, you may come up against some technical jargon. The attached might be interesting, and we have several new members that wouldn’t have seen my original offering. I hope you find it useful.

Peter Heaven

May 2019 - updated August 2019’

Read Peter’s article HERE