We are a social film club in Farnham, Surrey. We capture video using camcorders, pocket ‘still’ cameras and even phones to make our films. Many members are switching to full high definition recording now small pocket cameras capture this so well.
Visitors are always welcome and the first visit is free. Come on the first Friday of each month at 7:45pm to The St Joan’s Centre. No equipment or experience necessary!
The History of Surrey Border Movie Makers
Surrey Border Movie Makers was formed in 1984 by a small group of enthusiasts with film and still cameras (It was too early for any form of digital camera). Their aim was to make movies and tape/slide productions for their mutual enjoyment and to enter them for competitions in the amateur film movement. The founder and first chairman, Sir Paul Holden, is still a very active member of Surrey Border. Film cameras have disappeared and many, but not all, club members now own a digital camera and/or a digital camcorder and concentrate on video. Many have phones with significant video capture facilities and very small pocket sized still cameras are now able to capture full high definition video and store it on memory cards.
Surrey Border has a very active history of movie and video production. It has made a number of promotional videos for charities and similar outside organisations and has made numerous others in the past to support the local community.
The current membership is over 60 with a good mix of male and female from school age upwards drawn from an area roughly bounded by Basingstoke, Camberley, Guildford and Petersfield. See the picture at the top of this page for a snapshot of some of the membership.
Not all members are involved in editing video but those who do so rely entirely on computers with an equal split between those with Mac computers and those with PCs. We have experience of a wide range of video editing software (Adobe Premiere, i-movie etc.). Most members have some way of capturing video with phones, still cameras through to high definition camcorders. However, whatever the technology, successful productions are governed more by creativity than by the equipment. Surrey Border members have a proud history of successful entry to competitions at national and local level.
Meetings give a chance to meet and discuss all aspects of movie making as well as to enjoy the more formal programme of activities, lectures, workshops, film shows and competitions which stimulate and encourage members to more successful movie making topics have run from writing of film scripts to film production on DVDs.
Members come together each month for a programme of talks, videos, demonstrations etc, arranged by a committee. There is also a monthly newsletter called Border Post, and press releases. Various work shops and training sessions are arranged as requested. Recent training sessions have included interview techniques, both linear and non linear editing, Premiere and Photoshop. Individual project groups meet according to their own timetables.
Much club activity happens outside formal meetings and covers all aspects from tuition to group film productions as well as social events, often with a film-making flavour. Participation in these outside activities is entirely optional, but members with time available find the additional collaboration (and socialising) to be most rewarding.
The club meets on the first Friday of every month (unless there is a clash with a public holiday). The club venue is The St Joan Centre, a few hundred yards South of Farnham station, starting at 7:45pm on the first Friday of the month. Doors open by 7:15pm, there are refreshments at around 9:00pm, and meetings finish by about 10:15pm. Visitors and potential members are very welcome to turn up at the-door but if you are coming for a particular event it would be wise to check that the programme has not changed. Email the webmaster at the address at the bottom of the page.
There is definitely no need to own any digital camera or camcorder or any other equipment. Surrey Border caters for the whole range of skill levels and backgrounds.
Training and advice
Those who are keen to buy movie-making equipment will find a ready source of advice and experience to guide their purchases.
Those with equipment have an opportunity to discuss the best ways of using it and to compare notes with other owners. When buying software it is advisable to stick to what others in the club have as there is then a ready pool of expertise to help with the inevitable problems which we all have from time to time!
Those seeking to add to their expertise are able to join projects, attend courses and training sessions, and enjoy club-night lectures and film shows, which all help to broaden their appreciation of all aspects of film production.
Experienced film makers among the membership enjoy the chance to pass on their skills either informally or in training sessions.
There is a great deal of longstanding expertise within the club which is willingly made available to members. For example a previous club chairman, David Jackson, was awarded an IAC Fellowship for introducing Non Linear Editing (NLE) to the IAC membership through the setting up of a user group and for tutoring training courses in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere.
Anyone wanting to find out more is very welcome to attend a club night (no charge for the first visit!) and see for themselves. A warm welcome is always assured, but an email in advance to the Secretary will confirm details of the next meeting and ensure that someone is waiting to welcome you. Family members are also warmly welcomed as witnessed by the high proportion of couples and a few of school age with a parent at every club activity. Membership fees are modest.
Those who wish to become involved with movie making without necessarily wanting to operate (or even own) a camera will find plenty to enjoy, perhaps as writers, actors or members of a production team.