THIS YEAR 2019
Monday 12th August 2019
The Birds and Bees was Richard’s title and there certainly were birds of many varieties but no bees, however there were dragon flies.
Richard showed us 80 excellent slides from his bird watching expeditions and taken with his splendid new camera.
Many of the birds were water fowl and many of those shot on the Somerset Levels.
Find out more at: http://avalonmarshes.org/
(Richard described wildlife photography as a type of hunting, with plenty of excitement and sense of achievement when a bird is ‘shot’ but it lives to fly another day).
We all enjoyed the sheer beauty of these bird photographs; many were of birds caught ‘on the wing’ and had a real feeling of movement.
As always there was plenty of useful technical discussion about single point focussing, continuous shooting and high speed cards to mention just a few.
And just a final word about the special meeting on November 11
SONY Presentation 'Create and Explore – Travel Film' by Jonathan Edwards
Without slighting any previous speakers, Jonathan Edwards is in a different league and this will be a presentation of interest to any photographer or video maker.
We should be very grateful to Dave Parr for arranging the visit.
Please all make a real effort to ensure this event is well attended.
Find out more at: https://www.naivestudio.co.uk/
And so ends my final blog for MidWilts; as they say-if you have been- thanks for reading
Monday 22nd July 2019
An evening of members’ videos started with a trip to the model engineering show, full of interesting exhibits including a seemingly endless Lego device for moving balls among other wonders courtesy of Steve.
John took us back to the drone flight evening and Mike J provided a selection of short but intriguing videos and a risqué cowboy film in which the narrator began to take over.
David transported us from a hot stuffy room to a snowy Mont Blanc complete with some stunning views.
Jon had a further drone flight complete with some drone footage and a hedgehog video
A thoroughly enjoyable evening was rounded off with a classic old team video from John about an unlikely balloon race.
Monday 8th July 2019
David Skull revealed to us on Monday that although he has become an inveterate traveller it was only relatively later in life that he started his extensive foreign travels.
And the first place he visited was Brig in Switzerland and it was there he took us on Monday with a video made on a subsequent visit which also took in picturesque Chur which is said to be the oldest town in Switzerland.
The visit also included a trip to the Matterhorn and a ride on the Glacier Express, which was rather slow for an express but, did have amazing observation coaches from which to view the wonders of the Swiss scenery.
Then we travelled to the other side of the world to Heron Island in Queensland on the Great Barrier Reef. The video included excellent shots of the remarkable wildlife, especially the incredibly clear shots of the sea teaming with diverse sea-life; a great video enjoyed by all
By the way the donkey was a 'no show'.
Monday 24th June 2019
Despite worries about the weather the evening of Monday 24th June was dry and the weather quite pleasant if slightly overcast and there was a beautiful sunset of which we had a good view from our elevated position just outside Westbury and our thanks are due to Leighton Recreation Centre for allowing us to meet on their tennis court.
Even more thanks are due to Tim Martin, railway video maker extraordinaire, for demonstrating drone video shooting to us. The first surprise to most of us was that the drone so small, the previous drone he had shown us was much larger.
Tim explained its operation and allowed all who wanted to fly it. They were patiently instructed and were able to take off, make a long flight and land, an experience thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We then repaired to the Railway Inn and enjoyed a convivial end to a great evening.
Monday 10th June 2019
A good selection of members brought videos of the first part of the meeting.
The meeting was started by John Clare, his video of Steeple Ashton perfectly caught a quiet summer evening in a beautiful setting, the only disturbing feature was that various rather suspicious characters crept into his video from time to time, difficult to know what they were doing, but almost certainly they were up to no good.
Mike J’s video filled us in on the history of Steeple Ashton, very cleverly showing us the development of the church tower and explaining why Steeple Ashton has no steeple. The mystery of the old petrol pumps was also explained, they are really Daleks in disguise waiting to take over Steeple Ashton.
Jon D gave a selection of picture postcards from the village and a video of High School Musical, although it was not possible to spot him.
From David Skull we had a blast from the past, with a classic steam fair video; lots of gleaming, steaming machines and not a few model planes, the end to a thoroughly enjoyable first part.
The second part started with a couple of short videos of early morning Stonehenge from Steve. This was followed by Dave Parr who showed us some exciting new ideas for video cameras from Sony. Especially the internal gimbal which keeps the picture stable and there were some impressive videos to show the system in action.
Monday 13th May 2019
A beautiful and peaceful May evening in a beautiful and peaceful village where the only movement seemed to be members of MidWilts who had descended on the village intent on video making.
The conditions were perfect for photography until the shadows began to lengthen and peace was restored as MidWilts retired to the Longs Arms to discuss Achilles tendons and other matters of medical interest.
Steeple Ashton is a very strange village spread along a wide road with some very old, large and imposing houses together with an impressive church set in a lovely church yard. Despite this it perhaps it lacks any picturesque views and was very lacking in any movement apart from a herd of cows and a few birds.
It will be interesting to see what members make of it in their videos.
Monday 29th April 2019
An evening without a projector and screen; we started around a table discussing future meetings and it was decided to combine the club competition and micromovie festival at the end of the year.
After that we saw some editing of Steve being a pair of twins from the green screen evening; the finished result will be seen at a future meeting.
The editing was done on BlackMagicDesign’s DaVinciResolve 15.
This caused much interest and the realization that although it is an amazing studio standard program, the ‘front end’ is one of the simplest of layer based editors. Not to mention the fact that it is free!
More information can be found at:
And the program can be downloaded at:
Here you can download Resolve 15 for PC or Mac, also available is the beta version of Resolve 16 (beta means it is still being trialled and is best avoided at the moment, although it has some very exciting new features)
Some useful additional information may be found at:
It would be excellent if members did adopt it as an editor as it would then become possible to give each other real support and, as was shown, despite its great range of features and sophistication the basic editor is very simple to use.
After that Dave Parr gave us some interesting inside information on camera developments, particularly on the use of gimbals on video cameras.
He will continue his talk and on the 10th June. The interesting and knowledgeable first part of his talk has whetted our appetite for the next part in which he will show some examples of the output of various cameras.
The next meeting will be a location shoot at Steeple Ashton.
The meeting after that will be a Members’ Present plus Part Two of Dave Parr on Cameras.
John Clare has already produced a contribution and it will provide an opportunity to show some of the video shot at Steeple Ashton.
Beryl brought to our attention an event of interest at the Frome Festival:
During the Frome Festival in July, the Merlin Theatre is hosting an evening presentation of archived old film of Somerset & Wiltshire by David Parker, who worked for many years in film production.
Date: 12th July at 7:30pm Cost: £12.50
It was great to see Paul visiting us; recently work commitments have made joining us on a Monday evening impossible, we hope to see him again soon..
Monday 15th April 2019
Two well-lit green screens and some enthusiastic video-makers not mention some over enthusiastic complainers and the shooting of ‘Outrage’ took place.
The videos will be collected, collated, processed and distributed at the next meeting as part of the editing clinic.
We also had Steve playing a pair of twins and Mike J giving a demonstration of invisible batting. Many thanks to Mike J for his screen and lighting.
In addition one member of MidWilts became a great-grandparent what part the excitement of the evening played is unclear.
Monday 25th March 2019
Monday’s meeting was vintage MidWilts with members presenting a whole range of their own videos. We certainly had videos both old and new and despite the embargo there was arguably something rather blue, but more of that later.
Beryl got us of to an excellent start with her video of the murmuration of starlings on the Somerset Levels. This was followed by her video of the Bradford on Avon Civil War re-enactment the original footage dated from 2016 but this was our first opportunity to view it, there was very good footage from the Town Bridge Skirmish and unique footage of the battle at the recreation field shot from the exclusive vantage point of Beryl’s bedroom window.
Jon had some video of a fascinating performance of WW1 play in which one of the characters was his grandfather, in a hundred years’ time there will be play in which Jon is one of the characters; possible it might be about his videoing of the opening of the Rudge Information Point or RIP as it is known.
David Skull took us on a beautifully videoed tour of the RHS Gardens at Wisley on a lovely summer’s day and by contrast to elegant Vienna for an atmospheric Neujahrsabend and Neujahrstag.
John Clare treated us to another look at ‘The Trouble With Water’ still funny after several re-showings, especially the high points of the ‘underwater scene’ and the lightning struck umbrella – how many umbrellas were harmed in the making of the video?
Mike Johnson provided us with a potpourri of short videos featuring: The Avebury Mystery Part 2, some Daffodils, and a strange music video featuring our current Prime Minister (there were those that suggested that this might possibly be considered a ‘blue video’
More of a shaggy dog story of a video was provided by Richard, with his production for MidWilts, filmed at Hilperton and featuring some old faces.
A visit to an alternative Stourhead and a sunny Lake Garda rounded of the evening…
….there were still un-shown videos left ready for the next Members’ Present, which could be even better.
Monday 11th March 2019
It is always an enjoyable event when the chairman shows and talks about some of his recent video making.
Jon did not disappoint in his review of his recent work as a freelance video maker; focusing on his approaches to shooting and editing.
Starting with a seven very unlikely dwarves and progressing to some very engaging lambs; beautifully shot with excellent ambient sound (the lambs that is, the dwarves were well shot but not necessarily engaging).
Jon records really good sound which he rightly says often complements the video better than an unnecessary music track.
He gave an interesting explanation of his techniques and also the problems involved in recording life performance and showed an interesting variety of recent projects.
And we finally got to see the rally cars, it was worth the wait!
Monday 25th February 2019
A relaxing evening for MidWilts, as members sat round and chatted over a cup of tea or some even drank coffee.
Most of the conversation revolved around videoing and also some reminiscing about the history of MidWilts.
Some help on technical matters was also given to members which is something that we hope will be the focus of our first Video Clinic on the 29th April.
One of the topics discussed was the decline of video making; an old chestnut in video club circles. The suggestion is that young people are not interested in video making and that has led to the decline in membership of video clubs. Well it simply is not true young people have grown up with video making and most leave school knowing more about shooting, editing and sound than the average video club member. To get some idea of the local young talent, visit:
Besides video clubs rarely recruited young members, the sad truth about the decline of video clubs is that too many members have lost interest in video making.
In a more positive vein we had some information from Dave Parr about the exciting Sony Presentation we are eagerly anticipating on the 11th November. It will be by Jonathan Edwards and will be entitled Create and Explore – Travel Film. See his work on his website:
Should be a great evening.
Monday 11th February 2019
Mike Johnson presented My Life in Video on Monday it turns out to have been a relatively short but eventful life and made us all Paws for Thought (Mike imaginatively used some cat footage every time he wanted to pause the video)
Mike started video making when he received a video camera as a present on the occasion of his wedding and has been developing his skills ever since.
As always he had some remarkable tricks to show us, especially his re-workings of some adverts, as well as some charming local history and travel videos.
Mike also introduced a new editing suite, which works on Windows and Apple, called DaVinci Resolve.
It is amazing and even more amazingly it is free. Find out more:
Although it has enormous potential, especially as a node based editor it is surprisingly simple as a basic layer based editor:
It was good to meet up with Eddie Kalinski an old member of MWVS; we hope to see more of him.
I recently received this email which may interest some members and long standing video makers:
EARLY 1970s CINE / HOME MOVIE FOOTAGE WANTED
Did you take a cine camera with you to see your favourite band in concert? Did you film everyday life in your neighbourhood and home, special occasions, holidays or just hanging about with your friends or going to the shops?
On The Corner (makers of the documentaries 'Amy' and 'Senna') are asking home movie buffs for any footage you may have from early 1970s for a brand new series of documentaries that will paint a picture of the world and its music at the dawn of the new decade.
We want to show what the everyday looked like so, even if it's just footage of you cycling up your street on the Raleigh Chopper you got on your 10th birthday, please get in touch.
We cannot guarantee that your materials will be used in the film but any footage we do use will be subject to a licensing agreement and usage fee.
If you think you can help please contact our team at
Monday 28th January 2019
Last Monday we started the year with what has become an annual event viewing prize winning videos.
This year we viewed prize winners from BIAFF:
the BRITISH INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR FILM FESTIVAL.
Watch them again plus others:
They were a really interesting and inspiring collection of videos
which everyone enjoyed, discussed and perhaps learnt a little more about making great videos.
Incidentally the much enjoyed Miracle on the Mantelpiece won at last year’s Frome Five Minute Festival- well spotted Frome!
Monday 14th January 2019
'HAPPY NEW YEAR'
Mid-Wilts members greeted each other as another Mid-Wilts year started by looking back at the previous year with Philip Fowler's famed Review of the Year.
It was interesting to realize just how diverse our activities had been and how much we had enjoyed our green screen evening, our shoot at Dundas Warf and the Micromovie Festival.
Philip also provided us with All Change his Scottish trip video as he remembered a trip to Scotland with his parents more than half a Century ago and some of his earliest attempts at photography, which looked surprisingly good even blown up on the large screen. Starting the New Year in Scotland seems somewhat traditional!
LAST YEAR 2018
Sunday the 14th October
Last Monday’s meeting was awful, Jon tells me that my emails are too enthusiastic and make the meetings sound amazing so here is the truth for once.
Now for the awful meeting, after a brief curtain raiser showing how BB C editors might make a micromovie, Philip kicked off with a teaser about his adventures in the Clyde, however we are still waiting to see the full video.
John Clare showed us his excellent video about Imber; an excellently shot and structured production; starting with some old photos and slowly building up to one of the Imber open days.
We then watched part of the documentary Abducted:
Full of excellent and innovative ideas and its self really well structured and balanced around a complementary middle section.
Jon provided some fascinating pixelated footage of a rally car as well as some outstanding footage of lambs frisking with very impressive ambient sound, who needs music?
We thought that we were then going to see the second part of Philip’s video but instead were shown the tale of the best ever lemon and meringue pie.
David Apps showed us some fireworks footage which could not fail to impress and explained some of the technical difficult with the three camera shoot. This was followed by one of his condensed wedding videos which again brought us back to editing at which David is very accomplished. A few weeks ago he showed a great example:
Finally back to Philip and a round-up of some of the techniques he has been using recently in his video making; including kaleidoscope and most of all vista scope which was a fascinating approach to animation. He was kind enough to bring along two laptops so that we could see the creation process in action.
Prompted by David’s video he also mentioned the problem of filming rockets; here’s how NASA does it:
Philip talks more about these matters and many others in an excellent blog he produces for Video Trowbridge:
Incidentally the word awful, according to the Oxford English Dictionary means: worthy of or commanding profound respect or reverential fear or wonder, as well as solemnly impressive and sublimely majestic.
The next meeting is the AGM is on October 22th; and we need to discuss the shape of next year’s programme perhaps we need a few more summer meetings. Do think about the type of meetings that you want, do think about your potential contribution. We must continue to evolve and improve our programme and be honest about what worked and what did not work. Also we need to come up with new and inventive ideas to enhance the programme and help members enjoy and improve their video making.
The other word Jon accuses me of using is amazing I have only used twice in the last ten emails; when talking about the amazing entries we should see in this year’s competition judging by some of the work we have already seen. A couple of entries are already in.
Members may enter any video that has not previously entered for a formal club competition; challenges such as Bradford etc. may be entered, as may old material if it has been recently reworked. Videos may contain a limited amount of archive or stock footage if it is germane and does not infringe copyright.
So bring them to the next meeting in any format or send me a link.
Monday 22nd October is the Dead Line for Competition Entries
See you then with your entries and ideas.
MidWilts Video Society Blog Friday 29th September
Monday evening was our Festival of Micromovies, with 28 very varied, intriguing, inventive and enjoyable micromovies. Mostly from MidWilts but we were grateful to receive excellent contributions from; Len Vine, Oliver Seaman, Susie Walker and Huey Walker, these really added to the variety.
There was general agreement was that the 100 second micromovie produced a different video to the classic 60 second video and the majority of the video made use of the extra time.
The winners were selected by a vote of all the viewers and, before giving those results, it is important to say that the voting was very close and very spread across the entries, with in most cases only a single vote separating winners from other videos.
The overall winner was: The Seed by John Clare
The runner up: Around the World in 80 Seconds by David Skull
The two funniest were: The Seed by John Clare and If Only by Susie Walker
The most intriguing: Longleat Fantasy by Mike Snelling and
The Avebury Mystery by Mike Johnson
The best photography Battle of Bradford on Avon by Jon Durrant
The most inventive: If Only by Susie Walker and Longleat Fantasy by Mike Snelling
The Festival Micromovies can be found at:
Part 1 https://youtu.be/L2sOe0J-M2A
Part 2 https://youtu.be/jsQl9Jd_Llw
Part 3 https://youtu.be/QzSzAcNLuu8
Part 4 https://youtu.be/-jbC-Gv-eKQ
All 28 Videos are well worth seeing again (and again)
Hope you all enjoying them again (and again)
Our next meeting, 8th October, is a members’ presentation, Philip has an interesting item which will give the evening a foundation, and other contributions are welcome. If you bring a memory/usb stick Philip will create a world for you and allow you to take it away.
MidWilts Video Society Blog Sunday 8 August
Just to make it clear; there is another week to wait before we meet again. I think I might have caused some confusion. It was all the fault of July which was thoughtlessness enough to have five Mondays; so there is only one meeting August as the fourth Monday is a Bank Holiday, which gives us all more time to enjoy this very special August weather.
Congratulations to Mike J on getting a piece into the Wiltshire Times about Video Trowbridge; see attachment WT VT. Unfortunately the editorial team at the Wiltshire Times do not seem to have grasped the basics of columniation, but is great little piece and if you have not visited www.VideoTrowbridge.org
for a while you should as there is some great new stuff.
As if to make up for the lack of MWVS meetings Frome invited us to their meeting on Thursday and what a great evening it was; David Moss on computer animation, David works professional in many aspects of computer animation including advertising and video games. The evening started with a surprise even before he started speaking; he was now working in the free video editor HitFilm 4 Express having given up Adobe Premier Pro.
It was a fascinating to see him using the program which functions both as an editor and compositor and it sent me back to look at the program which I do use as a compositor but tend not to use as an editor. We were introduced to this product by Paul, and Mike J supplied more details and several of us make at least some use of it. Have a look at it: https://hitfilm.com/express there are also plenty of introductory YouTube videos. We can discuss it at our next meeting which, after Harold’s presentation, will focus on editors and using them creatively.
The second part of David’s presentation was about his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/toypolloi again very prescient as we shall also be looking at using YouTube at our next meeting.
After the meeting I had a very interesting conversation with Phil Marshman firstly about Frome Five Minute Festival, see attached Frome 5min. This led on to thinking about the possibility of ‘meshing’ our respective programmes so that our major events were spaced through the year; certainly something to think about in planning our next programme.
Enough for now, see you all on Monday 14th August.