Harry Potter picFilm 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.

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!

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.