Film in a Month

Surrey Border Movie Makers July meeting showed three entries for the Film in a Month Competition. This year’s theme set by Committee Members attending the 2017 Albany Film Competition held in Chichester earlier this year was ‘Elephant in the Room’. Film Makers could interpret their own ideas from the title.

The first film entry was called ‘Zippadee Doo Dah’ and was made by Surrey Borders Oddbods film group. The film, a comedy was centred around a White Elephant Stall and featured some fine acting from Ivan Dally, Gillian Gatland, Jo Jones, Fred Hawkins, Dave Skertchly, Rita Wheeler (Club Secretary) and Mike Sanders (Vice Chairman).

The second film ‘Lost in Translation’ was made by the Pioneer film group. Philip Morley took the lead role proving that he is just as skilled in front of the camera as behind it. Geoff Bentley and Peter Ives also had convincing acting roles and Surrey Border’s Chairman John Mills looked ravishing in his blonde wig playing the part of the maid!

The third film was made by Colin Lewis. A Ruby Wedding Celebration which was being filmed turned into a Sound Engineers nightmare when excited children’s loud voices completely drowned the speeches being made. With no chance of a re-take on this once in a lifetime event, this was a real Elephant in the Room situation.

The films were judged on the night by the audience and the Pioneer group were voted the winners with their ‘Lost in Translation’ film.

The evening continued with a selection of nostalgic films which had been entered into previous Surrey Border Movie Makers 2005, 2008 and 2011 BAFTA’s.

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Talented Film Animator Visits Club

Surrey Border Movie Makers welcomed John Anscomb who is a member of Staines Video Makers Club to their April meeting. John is a very talented film animator and surprisingly, he has only been making animations since 2000, he does not use a computer in his film production, all editing is done through his camera and he uses only natural light from a window when filming.

John explained to the audience that he has always had a gift for drawing and storytelling and this led him to film making. He bought with him a selection of his drawings used in the making of the films shown during the evening and they certainly raised a lot of interest. The movement of characters etc. in his films are created by various methods, sometimes necessitating the use of his wife and family when extra pairs of hands are required. John’s Grandson assisted with the voices in several films.

Six of John’s films were shown, one was a comedy called ‘Edgars Egg ‘which took 5 months to make mainly due to the creation, drawing and colouring of the characters. Another film ‘Captain Chuckles Circus’ used approximately 90 watercolour drawings, some of which were only seen for 5 seconds in the film. ‘The Kings Wish’ took 4 months to draw and 1 month to film. We look forward to seeing more of John’s great films in the future.

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March Meeting

The March meeting was the opportunity for members to show some of their films to the club and also for previous years’ Film in an Evening’ footage to be shown again. Steve Michel’s film ‘The Washing Can Wait’ was filmed entirely with a smart phone. Paul Redman’s film ‘Wish You Were Here’ demonstrated the use of the ‘Foley Effect’ for sound enhancement. Martin Boyman’s film ‘Vasa Museum’ held everyone’s interest as he filmed during a visit to the Stockholm Museum and expertly narrated the story of the building, sinking and subsequent raising of the ornate Swedish warship from the seabed after 333 years. Previous years ‘Film in an Evening’ groups films shown were ‘Final Demand’ (2012) ,’Office of Special Interest’, ‘Bird and Peacock’ (2013) and ‘Framed’ (2014).

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Peter Frost wins award for biggest contribution to SBMM in 2016

Surrey Border Movie Makers have had a film ’Take 5 on the Bank’ accepted as an entry into the Dorking Film Festival’s Documentary Short Film category. The 6 min. film was directed and filmed by Peter Frost and depicts an observation of tourism and colourful talented street performers along London’s South Bank.

Peter Frost is a talented film maker and has made several club films including drama’s and documentaries, he directs and edits his own films but also works alongside fellow club members where he assists with cameras, sound, lighting and acting. Peter is also Editor of Surrey Border Movie Makers excellent monthly club magazine’ Border Post’ which is enjoyed by other South East film clubs.

Contribution to Club 2016 P Frost

At the clubs AGM in February Peter was named as the club member who has contributed the most to the club in 2016.

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Dorking Film Festival

Following a very successful debut in 2015 the new Dorking Film Festival is now in its second year. Filmmakers from Surrey, the South East and the rest of the UK are invited to enter their films. The event will be held on Saturday 25th February at the Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1SJ. Tel. 01306 881717 for more details.

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Busy 2017 Start for Film Club

The first Surrey Border Movie Makers Club meeting of 2017 got off to a very busy start with four entries in the 30 Second Advert Competition and five entries in the One Minute Epic Competition. The entries for the 30 Second Adverts are always a bit of a challenge, to get your point over with the right amount of interest and intrigue in a short space of time requires good filming and editing skills. Films were entered by Alan Butcher ‘Levitation’, Colin Lewis ‘Divine Happiness’, Vic Stroud ’Marrakesh’ and Philip Morley ‘The Snow Plough’. The winner was Alan Butcher with his comical levitation advert.


The One Minute Epic Competition gives the filmmaker a little longer to produce a film of interest and quality. Whilst long time members enjoy making short films, this is also a good competition for new members to exhibit their skills. Dave Skertchly ‘Hot Wheels’ and ’Until Now’, Vic Stroud ‘Can you Move Yours Like Mine’, Colin Lewis ‘Samuel Cody – Aviator Pioneer’ and Philip Morley ‘No Escape’ were all entered, Colin Lewis’s film about Samuel Cody was voted the winner.

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Second Half of January Meeting

A selection of archived One Minute Epics were shown by Gordon Sutton. This was followed by some new unseen films from club members including ‘Tobago Fauna & Flora’ by Vic Stroud, ’A La Maison’ and ’Techno Man’ by Philp Morley’ and Alan Butchers film ‘Grossglockner Pass’ which was taken on a motorbike trip to the summit of this picturesque Austrian pass.

Grossglockner Pass

John Thompson showed his film ’Before the Water Rises’ made in the 1990’s about the flooding of the Yangtze River to enable the building of the massive new Qutang Dam which was ironically built to prevent the devastating floods which the area constantly endured. Over 1000 towns and villages were submerged with a promise to create new homes and jobs for the 1 million people affected by this dramatic project. John took some superb footage of the area before it was lost under the water forever, John’s wife Julie complimented the film with an excellent narration.

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2016 Club Competition Winners

The 2016 Club Members Competition was held at the Surrey Border Movie Makers December meeting. Eleven films were entered into the competition this year and the judges were Tim Stannard Vice Chairman of Staines Video Makers, his wife Martine and Geoff Rippingale all active film makers. The audience watched the films and listened to the critique before the results were announced which were as follows:

First Time Winners Trophy won by Philip Morley for ‘A Week in Langkawi’. Picturesque Langkawi Malaysia filmed in and around the resort.

David Good Trophy for Best Holiday Film won by Gillian Gatland for ‘Milford Sound New Zealand’. Waterfalls viewed from a boat trip on the Sound.

Penny Johnson Trophy for Best Editing won by Gillian Gatland for ‘Thai Umbrellas’. The making of beautiful Thai paper umbrellas.

Arthur English Trophy for Best Photography won by Peter Ives for ‘Changing of the Guard’. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow

The Morey Award for Best Documentary won by Gillian Gatland for ‘Thai Umbrellas’.

The Ron Clements Award for Creativity was won by Dave Skertchly for ‘Who Do I Think I Am’. A family history going back to the Industrial Revolution

The Pat Doherty Award for the Best use of Sound won by Peter Ives for ‘Coral Tribute’. An underwater film tribute to Japanese composer Isao Tomita

Dick Hibberd Trophy for Best Camerawork won by Philip Morley for ‘A Week in Langkawi’

The Jackson Trophy for Best Overall Film won by Gillian Gatland for ‘Thai Umbrellas’


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Outing to Black Hangar Film Studios

Surrey Border Movie Makers were privileged to be able to visit Black Hangar Film Studios situated on Lasham Airfield. After a very warm welcome and meeting from Black Hangar hosts Jason Ford – Services Manager, Jason Rayment – Post Production Manager and Miles Bennett – Facilities Manager club members and their guests were taken on a tour of the studio starting with the vast hangar which was used for films such as ’Breaking the Bank’, ‘Born to be Blue’ and ’Top Gear’ programmes amongst many others. In the Black Room an informative talk and filming demonstration was given by Jason Rayment on the use of Green Screen and the audience were invited to ask questions. A show reel of the studios work was shown in the Screening Room and Jason Ford explained how film storage technology has now changed dramatically from the heavy reels of celluloid film, an example of which was passed round for the audience to handle to the small memory sticks now used to store full length films. Members were able to view the Editing Suites, Makeup and Dressing Rooms and the Workshops used for Props etc. Just outside the studio is a full size 737 plane which was used for filming ‘Miracle Landing on the Hudson’ a National Geographic film. During the buffet lunch the Black Hangar staff continued to answer many questions about their work at the studio. Everyone enjoyed this very successful and informative day out.


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DJI Osmo Camera

Surrey Borders member Philip Morley gave a demonstration of his new 4K DJI Osmo camera which can be operated via a mobile phone. Its inbuilt stabilization system, versatility, picture quality and size make it a very desirable camera and attracted a lot of interest from the audience.


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Camcorder for £35

Our Chairman John Mills has recently purchased a tiny 4K camcorder from the internet for under £35 and took the opportunity of bringing it along to the meeting together with some impressive sample footage including underwater filming which he had taken. The camera came with an array of extras included in the price. Movie making can now be achieved on a very low budget.

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Paul Vernon is a keen photographer who has over recent years progressed to film making where his camera skills are very evident. He is a member of Southampton Video and Camera Club and was invited back to Surrey Border Movie Makers meeting in November to show his Scottish Western which he made for fun. Filmed on location between Aberdeen and Inverness ‘Trail to Tranquillity’ lets the audience imagine they are in Wild West America. Using talented local actors, the film was mainly shot in a mock up western town and a picturesque woodland where some very authentic fight scenes took place in a nearby river. The film was made over a weekend and the result was very professional and raised a lot of questions about its making from the audience. Paul is currently putting the final touches to ‘Vengeance is the Lord’s’ the follow up to his award winning film ‘Strong Arm of the Law’ and also ‘Vermijo’ a serious western with a great cast of young actors. Surrey Border members were privileged to see the trailers for these two exciting films which should be ready for release by the end of 2016. Paul is an excellent speaker and has been invited to return to Surrey Borders in 2017 to show and discuss the making of his new films.


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Who Do You Think You Are – Results

At the recent club meeting of Surrey Border Movie Makers entries for a new club competition called ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ were judged. The film had to be no more than 8 mins long and four superb entries were received. The first film was by Philip Morley and told the story of Ben Portsmouth an avid Elvis Presley fan whose amazing voice has made him a very successful Elvis Impersonator. We saw Ben performing on stage and also being interviewed about his successful career and rise to fame. The second entry was from Dave Skertchly. Dave’s family have a strong history of engineering going way back to the days of the long ships, the audience were taken through his Family Tree via some interesting and informative footage. Martin Boyman a new member to Surrey Border Movie Makers produced an excellent film, he is an enthusiastic holiday filmmaker and started his footage with a superb introduction in which he explained why he enjoys his hobby. We saw many of the holiday destinations Martin has filmed which he incorporated with a ‘Can you guess where it is?’ theme. During the coffee break the audience votes were counted, the results were very close, but the winner was a film by Colin Lewis about the feline family history of his cat call Puddi. Colin incorporated some skilful animation in his film which also showed historical footage of Puddi’s relative ‘Arthur’ the television cat.

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Recent Filming Locations

Seale and Sands Royal British Legion and 101 Collectors Record shop in Farnham were both used as locations last month to make a film by Surrey Border Movie Makers group the Klondike’s. The film with the theme of Drama Queen and the title of ’ Winner and Losers’ was one of three group entries into the clubs annual competition Movie in a Month.

RBL Seale & Sands

Musician Nigel Coombs took the lead role in the film appearing with band members Alan Apps, Susie T and Peter Neary-Chaplin who is a talented writer and member of Haslemere Thespians.

101 Record Collectors

The two other competition entries were’ It Will Be Alright on the Night’ by the Oddbod’s group, a comedy with an hilarious final scene and the winning film ‘Royal Flush’ made by the Weyfarer’s club group , again a comedy with the ‘Queen’ en- route to a street party complete with a loaned Corgi.

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Winning Western Film

Surrey Border Movie Makers were delighted to have Southampton Video Club member Paul Vernon as a special guest speaker at their recent club meeting. Paul made his very first film at the tender age of 16. He started his filming hobby as an amateur photographer and decided like many, that he wanted to progress further into film making. His western themed film’ Strong Arm of The Law ‘won the Interclub Competition last year and he was invited by Surrey Border Movie Makers to discuss the making of it. Reaching the age of 60 last year Paul decided to make a film that he could download to YouTube as a special milestone.


The film was shot on a ranch in Arizona over several weeks with just a few selected amateur actors wearing authentic costumes and four production crew. Paul’s photographic skills were very evident throughout the film. The story Strong Arm of the Law is based on a song by Aaron Watson which, with special permission was used as background music throughout the film. Paul is now working on a sequel film, which we look forward to seeing in the near future.

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