DSC02469 CopyJohn Howden interviews Andy Merz


Andy Merz found himself on the other end of the camera lens when he turned up for a Tuesday evening club meeting in October, writes Paul Desmond.

The amateur film maker and photographer hasn’t visited a barber’s since 2006. But under the glare of power lights he had his flowing ponytail and beard shaved by hairdresser Shelly Thompson to raise £175 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

And fellow members were on hand to film the fund raising event, which was also streamed live on the club’s Facebook.

Explained Andy: “My dad Werner was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about five years ago and the support I have received from the society has been priceless.

 I personally want to raise awareness that Alzheimer’s is not just about forgetfulness: it can affect every aspect of a person’s daily life.”

 Andy added that the last time he had his hair trimmed was in 2006 but he has always had long hair since his school days.

 My beard is a more recent addition to my face furniture. I started growing it last year but I had to shave it off this July for a part in Henryk Jachimczyk’s Aircraft Two film,” he said.

DSC02472 CopyBefore the Big Cut

DSC02492 CopyAfter the Big Cut

BG and Dragon Head StudyIt was great to see all those members and their friends who came to Marks Hall this afternoon for our CFMC summer Meet Up. It was going to be a Picnic but because of the uncertainty of the weather many of us took advantage of food in the cafe in the Visitors Centre! After lunch we walked round the grounds and, despite a few drops of rain, it proved to be a great opportunity to catch up with fellow members as well as take in the beautiful Marks Hall Estate.

The first meeting of the new CFMC season will take place at the Hythe Community Centre on Tuesday 11th September from 7.30 for an 8.00 start. We invite you to bring any of your films for which you would like feedback. In addition we will show films from our extensive archive.

If you are a potential new member and are interested in any aspect of film making and would like to become more involved or find out more by working with a group of enthusiastic amateur and semi-professional filmmakers please come along on any Tuesday evening from 7.30 and meet us.

The members of Colchester Film Makers are working together through June and July on the Summer FIlm Project entitled "Digital Christmas". This film is based on an original story by member Ken Rickwood with an adapted screenplay by member John Howden. It is a real team effort with many members actively involved in and contributing to the making of this film directed by member John Groslin, who is also undertaking the first edit of the film. 
As part of the Project we are also producing a "How we did it film" and member Lionel Bloomfield has produced a short sampler using the material he filmed on set during the early days of the shoot. You can view this at https://youtu.be/uksgWBNaWrk
The final version of the "How We Did It Video" will be available after the Premiere of the "Digital Christmas" just before Christmas 2018. We hope you enjoy it!

Just Another Story ShowcaseJust Another Story, a thoroughly researched and beautifully filmed documentary about the life of painter Sir Alfred Munnings has won the CFMC’s Film of the Year competition for film maker John Groslin.

John was presented with the club’s top award, the Film of the Year Boudicca, by Councillor Peter Chillingworth, the Mayor of Colchester, at Firstsite during our End of Season Showcase.

John Howden, who accumulated the most competition points during the 2017-18 season, was presented with the Film Maker of the Year Boudicca

More than 40 members’ films were entered in the six competitions, an increase of 20% on the previous season, underlining the fact that the club has been going from strength to strength. In addition, there were a number of group films made.

John Groslin said: “Having visited the Munnings Art Museum in Dedham on several occasions in the past, I have been impressed by the many treasures it contains. What interested me particularly about Munnings was not so much the paintings of the horses he did for his elite clientele, but the fact that he was such a versatile artist who had experimented with many different styles.

“A great admirer of Constable but also of the French Impressionists, he emulated some of their best work but also found a unique style of his own.

“In 2013, the film Summer in February came out based on Jonathan Smith’s novel. Initially, I was going to mention it in my documentary but, given the lukewarm response it got from the critics, and the fact that it is based on a certain amount of conjecture, I decided to give my own version of the events described in those works.

“The director of the Munnings Art Museum whom I contacted and her staff couldn’t have been more helpful or accommodating. They allowed me full access to all parts of the museum, lent me several books and plied me with information, all of which was invaluable in the making of this film. My research enabled me, I hope, to bring a fresh perspective on this remarkable local artist.”