Xmas Challenge 2023

This challenge was a repeat of last years successful event,
which had been suggested by Surrey Border Movie Makers Competition Officer Tim Stannard.
This year there were six entries.

Members could make a film with a Christmas theme to a maximum length of 3 mins (although several exceeded the limit!)
The idea was aimed at members who had never submitted a film before or those who find competitions daunting.

The ‘Challenge’ was not a Competition but an opportunity to expand filming techniques and view films on the big screen where they could be discussed and suggestions could be raised. Perhaps makers asking for comments and tips – but without the pressure of any competition.

Play Video
'Wisley Glow' by Peter Frost

It’s really just an excuse to give purpose to shooting some footage over the holiday period. After all, how often do we shoot material, only for it to lie dormant on our computers and never see the light of day?

As with last year the theme was deliberately vague – anything with a seasonal link – but this time with the addition of “or something about your area”.

Among films submitted, Peter made an interesting and amusing fly on the wall look at a celebratory Christmas gathering at a local village hall complete with celebrities!

Colin and Peter combined the two theme suggestions with quite different takes on the Kew Gardens and Wisley Christmas Light displays.

Peter Frosts ‘Christmas Lights’ (image above) recorded at Wisley Gardens showing illuminated fountains, plants, trees and crowds.

The beautifully captured colours using latest technology recording equipment is in sharp contrast to the 1960’s films below and shows the massive changes that have occurred in consumer film making over the past 60 years !

Colin Lewis’s similar night time recording made at Kew Gardens (Video on the right)  reflects a magical evening, walking through the light shows at Kew Gardens in December 2022. The water displays are spectacular.

Play Video
'Christmas at Kew Gardens' by Colin Lewis
Play Video
Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Tim Stannard

Tim Stannards film was a second outing for James and Elise singing a popular Christmas ditty without taking it too seriously.

Tim confesses that “Whilst the video is several takes the singing is from a single take so the lips don’t always match perfectly”.

It doesn’t much matter because as he also says “I like to think the sense of fun is infectious!”
It is Tim and we all enjoyed it!

The last two films really are films – non of the high tech digital memory cards – just plain old fashioned celluloid film stock. Many will have memories re-ignited by seeing the turkey carving, the Christmas Day family get together, and fun in the snow.

It was in a time long ago, before Global Warming, before ‘Happy Christmas’ was replaced by ‘Happy Holidays’, and when children were happy to stay in the same room and play tiddly-winks with their parents. Not a smart phone or X-Box in sight…

Sit back and enjoy Dave Skertchly’s films.

“Amateur film makers rarely record world changing events, instead we record our families and our homes.

This film is 58 years old, I was thirteen and now I am seventy. We can see changes in currency, cars and new technology such as tights instead of stockings.

We can remember grandparents and even parents who are long gone. Then there is the forgotten sing-song around the piano and the game of tiddlywinks. How the world has changed in our own homes since it was recorded on an 8mm strip of celluloid a lifetime ago.”

Dave Skertchly

Play Video
Christmas Film by Dave Skertchly
Play Video
Boxing Day Fun by Dave Skertchly

“In 1963 it snowed all night and on Boxing day the world was white. The local kids persuaded the farmer to remove the fence at the bottom of Darland Banks, by pelting him with snowballs.

We all improvised our own winter sports, often by stealing metal trays from the Pub to make improvised toboggans .

The snow did not melt until March, nowadays we would become depressed and point to the impending end of the world and demand the Government to take urgent action, but in 1963 we just had fun.”
Dave Skertchly