Q1. SoCo impact
To start you may like to introduce yourself to members of the group and then please comment on what SoCo currently adds to your club or your film making activities. This will provide us with a starting point.
Q1. Introductions and Comments on the SoCo Impact
(Responses are in alphabetical order)
Brian: My name is Brian Hibbitt and I have been an active videographer and a member of the Reading Film and
Video Makers for the last 30 years. During that time I have participated in helping the club by creating its first
web site, and being programme secretary, vice chairman and chairman but feel it now time to rest on my laurels!
While I was participating I became friendly with another member, Laurie Joyce and when we both retired from
our proper day jobs we went into partnership and formed a small video production company focusing on videos
for the corporate market. We did this successfully for 20 years until sadly Laurie passed away last year.
Any involvement with Soco has in honesty been pretty limited. The club and members have entered
competitions from time to time and one year we hosted a major competition for you . However Reading is very
much on the fringes of the Soco catchment area which is probably why direct and regular involvement has been
limited. The web has however made communication easier and your much improved Newsletter is circulated to
all our members and the fact that it contains live links to other peoples work does let everyone see what others
Ivan: My name is Ivan Andrews and I am currently chair of Teign Film Maker’s Club (TFMC) – a role I have
held for about 6 years now. I joined TFMC round about 2002/2003 and joined the club committee about a year
or two afterwards – memory is not quite clear on these dates I have to say. I was given my first film projector
when 8 years old. It was a hand cranked Norris that played Mickey Mouse on 9.5mm and since then have been
hooked on films and film making. I was given my first film camera (Super 8) for my 21st birthday and bought
my first camcorder (a Sony Handycam standard 8) in 1993. Before joining TFMC I attended a film club that
met in the R D and E Hospital in Exeter (sadly no longer operating) for about three years and it was this group
that introduced me to “non-linear” editing. My first editor was an Avio single purpose computer made by
Cassablanca which was easy to use and introduced me to all the concepts of modern editing. I am now using
both and Apple Mac with Final Cut Express 4 and a recently purchased PC with Premiere Elements 18 installed.
For me, and I think for many of our club members, SoCo has been a window into the world of Amateur Film
Making Clubs that has been very useful. Its good to know you are not alone and it has resulted in us exchanging
films with other clubs, entering regional competitions, and most recently building a good relationship with our
nearest club in Tiverton (we go to some of their events and they come to some of ours). The exchange of films
on DVD and BluRay has been particularly good as it gives us a chance to openly discuss other amateur film
maker’s films without fear of upsetting the film maker and in so doing learn more about what makes a good
film. Members are often fearful of discussing each others films within the club as they do not want to upset
their friends, despite the reassurances from the film makers themselves that they wouldn’t be upset. The SoCo
News edited by Pip Critten is also valued by our club as it gives us insight into what other clubs are
doing. Some ideas we might like to try ourselves. Pip has become a good friend of the club and has judged
competitions for us in the past.
Lee: I first joined the IAC in its 28th. year, 1960 then left! (At that time I was working with The Rank Organisation).
I rejoined in 1985 and again left! I rejoined again in 1995 (to enable my wife and myself to go to Malta with the
group)! Then, as many faults had gone / changed for the better, more or less, so I have remained!
I have been a member of (past) three clubs and now “our” own Stonehouse and Stroud Video Unit and we now have
55 films on both YouTube and Vimeo. Our area here in The Cotswolds is “home” to a number of well known film
I was personally responsible for organising and running the late lamented Cotswold International Film and Video
Festival. We were forced to close down due to the lack of funding as a result of the Financial Crisis.
I write regularly for our international “on line” SOCO NEWS and occasionally for Film and Video Maker.
There are many super people in this Region and for that and many reasons SOCO – MUST PREVAIL. That and
club-wise, the SOCO Region provides many friendly contacts for opinions and advice. Also the several annual
competitions, all of which would benefit from the better enforcement of production classification rules!
Pip Critten’s excellent Editorship of the SOCO NEWS “on line” has opened the Region up to international contacts
and video/film making friends. = My colleague Mike Szewczuk and I have again been invited to Judge for the
several SVM Australia competitions. Of course we have accepted. This comes about due to SOCO NEWS “on
line”. Need I say more?
Michael: We are the Wight Film & Video Club based in the Isle of Wight. We hold meetings once every other
week on a Monday evening in a Methodist hall in Wootton Bridge Methodist Church Hall, generally about 22
times a year with a break in the Summer and Christmas.
Apart from showing videos made by individual members on various interests we also hold a number of
competitions throughout the year and from time to time produce some short group videos where everyone is
encouraged to participate and get involved in different ways in the production.
We run our own website, https://wightvideo.net/ giving details of forthcoming events and competitions as well
as highlighting various videos made by the group and individual members.
What SoCo does do very well, is to share other groups activities which in turn inspires ideas and inspiration.
The digital newsletter is always of interest, with many interesting articles and insights into other groups
Mike: I’m Mike Szewczuk and I’m in The Stonehouse and Stroud Video Unit. My forte is story / script writing
and Directing with an occasional “Hitchcock type flash”! (Appearances that is – not what you might have at first
The SOCO REGION with its SOCO NEWS gives people a chance to air their views and tell others of what
progress (if any) in their latest productions they have made during the year. It also enables one to see other people’s
progress in video making. It provides a “Stage” too via the Competitions to have ones productions seen by “live”
Tony: With my wife Eileen, I have been producing video documentaries for the past 9 years and our aim is to
make one each year to enter into video competition circuit. We also produce video tutorials based upon techniques
that we develop as we make our documentaries. My involvement with the SoCo Committee goes back 4 years
and I am currently Vice Chairman.
The committee recognise that the impact of SoCo is limited, hence this initiative. I look forward to working with
this group of enthusiasts in order to explore how SoCo might add value to clubs and individual IAC members
going forward. SoCo has a membership 29 clubs and 186 IAC individual members so there is a great base of talent
which SoCo should be serving.
BFVS: Hi SoCo, we are BFVS Filmmaking in Bristol and we enjoy competing in SoCo competitions especially with feedback which gives advice on improvement.
The SoCo newsletter provides information and interesting articles.
One idea was a group email which could be used for invitations to meetings with high profile speakers etc.
What do the other clubs feel about SoCo impact?