In 1989 a few members of the Isle of Wight Cine Club who were interested in video decided to start another club solely for video camera users. Cine film had become inordinately expensive and some cine club members joined together with a fledgling group of like-minded individuals to form the Isle of Wight Video Camera Club. Their first meetings were held at the Newport Victoria Sports and Social Club, Victoria Recreation Ground, Newport. Membership grew slowly to about 20. Before long this new club had outgrown these premises and on the 9th September 1991 a move was made to the Methodist Church Hall at Wootton.
The club joined the IAC in October 1992. This enabled members to obtain copyright clearance for music used in their productions as well as use of the IAC Film Library and entry to the IAC International Film Competition.
The club flourished and, with Video Clubs springing up all over the country, started exchanging members videos with other clubs.
Local groups and organisations made requests for the club to make videos of their activities and video club members undertook these projects to further their video making experience. One of the groups that approached the club for assistance was the local Cub Scout Pack. They were spending a weekend away on a project to gain their photography activity badge. The theme for the weekend was Corf Film Studios and the cubs had to learn about video production and then make their own film. This was all achieved with the help of six members of the Video Club who spent most of the weekend helping the cubs reach their goal.
By 1995 the club membership had grown to nearly 40 and the officers and committee felt it was time to find larger premises. Various venues were looked at, including Quay Arts Centre and The Apollo Theatre in Newport. These were not suitable for many reasons, but after searching far and wide, the answer was found just round the corner. A new community centre for Wootton had opened in October 1995 with a main hall of 40ft x 50ft and a stage, as well as additional rooms available, it seemed ideal. A contract was signed for one year at £15 a night.
After the move on February 5th 1996 to the Wootton Community Centre it was realized that the 21 inch television set would no longer be suitable for showing videos in the new hall. So it was decided to apply for a Lottery award. One of the members, Renton Hudson, took on the task of sorting out all the paperwork needed. After a lot of form filling, and letters back and forth, the award was finally made in December 1996 for the sum of £7660.
The Video Camera Club had agreed to a contribution of 12% of this sum and by the time of the award the club had carried out considerable research into the types of projectors available. After a visit to an exhibition on large presentation at Wembley, and also visits to three mainland suppliers, it was decided that the Sanyo PLC5500 Video Projector (£4600) best suited the clubs requirements. This projector, and an 8ft by 6ft motorised roll up screen (£528), was purchased in January 1997.
The stage at the Wootton Community Centre did not have any curtains and had an untidy appearance because of items stored on it, so the club decided to provide suitable stage curtains (£417). These greatly improved the presentation of videos and was welcomed by the Community Centre. The club also purchased a suitable amplifier and speakers (£201) to provide a better quality sound in the hall. A video processer was also purchased along with a new high quality S-Video VCR (£699.99) and a radio microphone (£150) for use by visiting lecturers.
One of the conditions of the Lottery grant was that the club would forge links with the local schools and other youth groups. Contact was made with the Island Scouts and during the summer club members made a video of the 60th anniversary activities at the Island Scouts camping site at Corf Camp. This included a visit from the Chief Scout. Six members of the club took over six hours of film and this was edited down to a 45 minute video for presentation and sale at Scout meetings using the new club projector. This is a short extract.
Another condition of the lottery award meant the club was required to plan a series of talks and workshops by video production experts. The first talk on ‘Planning a Documentary’ was given on 15th September 1997 by Mr Chris Coneybeer, an Isle of Wight presenter from BBC South Today. The second talk, ‘How To Edit a Video’, was given on 13th October by Peter Boffin, a video director with several broadcaster companies. The third talk on ‘Writing Scripts for Video’ was given on 9th January 1998 by Ray Allen the BBC scriptwriter for “Some Mothers do ‘ave ‘em”.
As a result of contacts made with Peter Boffin and also actor Michael Sheard (Star Wars and Grange Hill) the club were asked to help Mr Boffin’s production unit ‘Whitgar’ in making a video of part of the play ‘A Sleep of Prisoners’ by Christopher Fry. This play had been performed at several venues on the Island during the summer and the video was made in Niton Church on 29th, 30th and 31st October. Seven club members were involved, ranging from camera-man to scene shifters. A great deal was learned about video making from Mr Boffin and about acting from Mr Sheard.
As the new Millennium approached, Sainsbury’s and the Isle of Wight County Press launched a Village Ventures Competition for voluntarily projects carried out for the good of local communities. The video club reached the short list with their documentary recording elderly Wootton residents’ memories and changes in the village over the years.
Once again the Island Scout Council contacted the club and asked if they could make a souvenir video of the all Island Millennium Camp being held over the Bank Holiday weekend, Friday 26th May to Monday 29th May 2000 at the County Showground, Northwood. Unfortunately the weather was not kind and the camp had to be abandoned over the Saturday night. But Video club members managed to capture the flavor of the camp.
RNLB Queen Victoria is an historic shore-based lifeboat, built in 1887, operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and now preserved at The Shipwreck Centre, Arreton, Isle of Wight. A rowing boat, Queen Victoria operated from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight from 1887 to 1902. It was then purchased by one of its crew, who converted it for use as a houseboat. In 1989 Martin Woodward, then coxswain of the Bembridge lifeboat, purchased Queen Victoria and, after several years of fundraising, the boat was finally restored in 1998, at the Classic Boat Museum, in East Cowes. On May 30th 1999 a re-enactment of the overland launch from Bembridge to Sandown to the rescue of the “John Douse” in 1877 was made. Two members of the club, Renton Hudson and Eddie Trusler filmed this event and 50 copies of the resulting video were purchased by the Classic Boat Museum. The Queen Mother was also sent a copy of the video.
In 1999 Ray Allen was made an Honorary Life Member of the club and supplied many script ideas for members.
“Another Hot Day” was one of many that the club produced.
Over the next few years many events and outings were organised by the club committee. With a lively programme the membership stayed at a constant 35 plus. The following video gives a flavour of some of these activities.
The BBC visited the Island in 2001 and a Club Member was involved as a ‘Runner’
As the new millennium progressed the hire fee for the Community Centre increased. From an initial rent of £15 a night in 1996, by the end of 2002 it had risen to £33 a night. January 2003 saw the Club return to Wootton Bridge Methodist Church Hall and they have stayed there ever since. 2021 will be the 30th anniversary of the Video Club’s association with Wootton. The membership in 2003 stood at 43 with 4 honorary members and the subscription was held at £25 for single membership and £36 for double.
Behind the Scenes at the Club June 4th 2018
“Working It Out” behind the scenes October 8th 2018