Majorca has proved a fertile source of inspiration for film maker John Jones, enabling him to produce three successful shorts. The latest – “Pine Walks, Piety and Pandora” – came first in the club’s Holiday competition (19 January). John also scooped a first with another of his entertaining Majorcan films a few years ago.
Second in the popular competition was “Cotswold Magic” by John Howden, and third “Molveno” by Bryan Littlewood.
John Jones says: “When I first went to Mallorca four years ago, looking at a map for inspiration as to where to explore, it occurred to me that there were enough different locations to make three interesting films of sensible length.
“Seven to ten minutes duration gives enough time to develop a feel for the place and the people involved but not so long as to put the audience completely to sleep!
“Shot completely with a hand held Kodak HD camera (about the size of a mobile phone), which gave good footage in daylight and passable footage in interior or low light situations.
“The audio recorded remarkably well. There are various software options to smooth out the hand held ‘shakes’ so when edited it didn’t make the viewer feel seasick!
“While only a holiday film(s) - incorporating the main character, my wife, Christine – it allows viewers to feel a part of the experience while allowing me to blend culture - that’s the piety bit - with lazing around - pine walks – and adding some humour into the mix - the Pandora/bar day out.
“So, this is the last of the trilogy - like “Lord of the Rings” but without the Hobbits! - although you never know, there may be yet another visit…… “
Film maker John Howden scored a double first in the documentary competition. (24 November) John gained joint first place with his two entries – “Just Fuchsias” and “Judy’s Tale” - scoring top marks in both the external judges’ and the club members’ voting.
It was a close run event, however, with John Jones snapping at his heels with “The 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch” only one point behind; and in third place Brian Salmons’ “The Legend”, one point behind John Jones.
Commenting on his success, John said: “Bill Wye, the fuchsia hybridiser, is an unassuming grower of plants, a ballroom dancer and an enthusiastic family man. The main stage for his plant work is a small greenhouse in a rather scruffy garden on an estate in the village of Writtle.
“But with the aid of a tripod and camera (Sony HXR-NX3) squeezed into a corner and a radio lapel mic we managed to capture his meticulous culling of the seeds for the start of developing an award winning fuchsia.
“I also used a Panasonic HC-X920 camera hand-held especially in the sequences in the flower shows. Post production in the pruning sequence I used time lapse (applied on the time line) to truncate what was actually 10-15 minutes of filming.
“Judy’s Tale, however, came about by sheer chance. Along with thousands of others, I had gone to the London Olympic Games and taken quite a bit of film. When I got home I wondered what I was going to do with the material.
“There it rested for a couple of years until a lady, called Judy, moved into our village and started to attend our church. I learnt that she had been a Games Maker.
“Bingo! The green light came on and I sensed a possible film. She was willing, with a little persuasion, and we arranged a date to do an interview.
“It turned out that she was at the Volley Ball arena on Horse Guards Parade. My film material was all at the Olympic Park in Stratford. But with some stills and linking commentary the story was told.
“The main camera used was the Panasonic HC-X920, mostly hand-held. I did no colour balance for either film and, as always, the main problem was in sound balance.”
CFMC Patron David Cleveland, founder of the East Anglian Film Archive, has published his latest history of British cinema, in collaboration with Brian Pritchard. Entitled “How films were made and shown”, the book traces the development of motion picture film technology, from a British perspective, from 1895 to 2015.
This season’s Five Minute competition had a dual theme – transport and temptation. Film maker John Howden combined elements of both to produce the winning entry, Tempted.
Runner up was Bernard Polley’s East Anglian Transport Museum, and third was Temple Falls by Brian Salmons. The competition attracted six entries and was judged by members. (20 October)