Congratulations to CFMC’s award winning film maker John Howden FACI, who has been elected Chairman of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC), the national body for amateur film makers.
After studying at architectural school, John began his professional career in repertory theatre as a scenic artist and costume designer where he was to meet Sue, an actress, who became his wife. At the same time, he felt a calling to be ordained and underwent training at Salisbury Theological College.
Following his ordination, he went to serve in Gillingham in Kent where he was invited to present one of the first Thoughts for the Day on Radio Medway. This eventually led to him taking a full-time job as a producer on BBC Radio Humberside and later a trainer of radio staff.
After 13 years with the BBC, he returned to the Church as a parish priest working in Essex. He had owned several 8mm, Super 8 and Hi 8 cameras but had never seriously edited footage into recognisable films.
A parishioner invited him to be a judge at Colchester Film Makers Club and John was hooked! He bought his first serious camera, the Sony TRV950, recording on mini DV, and as he said: a whole new world began to open up.
“I discovered a group of enthusiasts who were prepared to share their knowledge and love of film. They welcomed me with whatever sound recording expertise I might have had and gave me a kick start into this all-consuming world,” he explained.
Through the Colchester club he discovered the existence of the IAC and its North Thames Region. He served as Colchester’s Chair and Competitions Officer and is currently one of a team of projectionists. He went on to join the North Thames Council and became its chair.
“With my background in architecture, theatre, radio and the Church, I am now an enthusiastic film maker first and foremost,” he said.
CFMC was privileged to be asked to film the Colchester Remembrance and Armistice Centenary service on November 11th. A team of six cameramen from the club joined thousands of local residents of all ages who witnessed this emotional and thought provoking service followed by the impressive parade back up the High Street to the Town Hall. In due course we hope our efforts will provide a significant record of this important event for future generations. In the meantime here are stills taken from some of the footage.
Film maker John “JJ” Jones has won the Open competition with his fascinating filmic account of a tour of the Harry Potter museum. John writes:
Laura, my step daughter, bought me the Warner Bros tour as a Christmas present but, as we are both HP nuts, she included herself in the present!
So, one very cold January morning, we both set off to Watford Junction, there to board the special HP bus to take us to the studios – along with what seemed about a million other fans!
The site is massive but, as you would expect, it is brilliantly organised so that you enter the tour at a specific time and then spend as long as you like wandering around.
As we are all fans, the sets, props and displays are all consuming but for non-fans the wealth of detail regarding modern film-making in general is astounding: well worth the visit for that alone.
For me, the large scale model of Hogwarts School is simply breathtaking, and you could spend most of you time just wandering around that. It would seen that another visit would need to be on the cards to take in even more of the detail.
My Open competition film was shot on a little Panasonic hand held camera – capable of 4k but only shot in FHD. However, the low light capability was such that the end result looked pretty amazing.
I used the opportunity of editing the project on the even newer DaVinci Resolve NLE program by Blackmagic Design.
As a free but modern piece of software, it was great fun getting to grips with how to get the best from it, and it didn’t disappoint!
I decided during the edit that to make the film more entertaining, that both Laura and I would speak alternate parts of the narration. This made for interest both for the viewer and the participants – you never know, Laura may well become a future David Yates or Quentin Tarantino.