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NORTH v SOUTH 2004 by Sylvia Bull

I awoke at about 7.30a.m. on Sunday 23rd November to the depressing sound of rain hitting the bedroom window - to be more accurate it was absolutely pouring down. Needless to say I turned over and fell back into the arms of Morpheus for another half hour at least. When I finally got out of bed it was still pouring down and Norman and I had breakfast pondering the busy day ahead - for the 23rd November was the Southern Heat of the North v South Competition, expertly hosted as usual by Orpington Video & Film Makers at their usual venue for this competition - Farnborough Village Hall in Kent, It had been agreed that those of us from Epsom CVS would meet up for lunch at The New Inn, Hayes at 12 noon and thence on to Farnborough. Norman and I collected Bernie Dennison and we set off under dark rain filled cloudy skies. The roads to Hayes were, in parts, flooded but we arrived about a quarter-of-an-hour early at the pub. Already there were Diggy and Eve, Gwynne and Jack and Barbara and John. Indeed, we were all so early the pub hadn't even opened (the staff must have thought we were an escaped party from alcoholics anonymous!) Anyway, we all piled in when the doors were flung open and by the time we had found our table Ken Kendall and John Gannaway had arrived to make up our lunch party. After a very agreeable meal it was back onto the rain-lashed roads on our way to Farnborough. As usual waiting in the doorway with a friendly smile and programmes stood Mike Coad. Once inside the hall our party of ten was joined by Roy Nelson. The hall was very sparsely populated when we arrived and we wondered if the rain might have put some folk off. But by the time things got under way the hall was just about full. A glance at our programme showed that there were 21 entries for this year's competition - the theme in case you have forgotten was "Unexpected Guests". Orpington's Chairman Mike Turner was master of ceremonies and he promised us all that every film entered would be shown. There were some very interesting interpretations of the theme and with, as I said 21 entries, I regret I simply cannot remember every one of them. We entered "'s all over" - filmed and directed by John Gannaway and written by Doreen Almond. The audience laughed in the right places and, we felt, was well received. After we had seen all the films - by now it is 7p.m. (and still raining!) the usual practice is for the audience to choose THEIR five films to see if anyone matches the five chosen by the judges. Voting slips are provided in with the programme and once completed are collected by Mike Coad and along with his wife Jo are counted. When Mike reappeared some 10 minutes later he announced that the audiences choice of five films were "The Last Laugh", "Scoop", "The Invite", "The Palmist's Future" and "Hello Helen". Mike then dropped the proverbial bombshell and told us that in a change to what normally happens there had been no judges - only us the audience.

We were all a little stunned at this and I silently wondered if I would have thought a little longer and harder before making my choice if I had know this. I am happy to report that I did in fact have three of the five chosen films. "The Last Laugh" was a particularly good film, made by Portsmouth Cine and Video Club, it was superbly acted with a strong story line. It told the story of an ageing clown sitting in his dressing room making-up for his last performance before retirement when he is visited by his ex-wife and grown-up daughter he last saw when she was a toddler. He is later visited by the spirit of his father who was killed in the war. "Scoop" was another very well made film and this one had a science-fiction ending. "The Palmist's Future" was based on a true story with the use of Chroma key. "Hello Helen" whilst well acted, for me, was too unbelievable - it focused on an escaped convict in the area and "Helen" who was baby-sitting her niece. It was unbelievable because "Helen" kept leaving the front door open - nobody would do that ordinarily and certainly not when there is a crook on the loose. It was also over long but we must remember this is all amateur stuff and you have to applaud the effort that went into the film. Whilst there were no "judges" there were judges comments by Mike Coad and Reg Lancaster (who by the way made a superb effort of projecting all the films). The comments for "'S All Over" were: Mike Coad: "I thought the opening sequence showing focused titles over an unfocused background was very well done. The settings were authentic and were well lit, some scenes, exceptionally so. I also liked the dialogue especially some of the wife's lines. A great ending too which came with a punch. The final titles were also excellent. It was evident a lot of thought had gone into this film. Let's hope we see more like this from Epsom. Thank you for entering and good luck with this movie in future competitions" Reg Lancaster: "It's good to see a new name! Nice opening titles, and bravo, the film lived up to them, (more than one film we've see recently couldn't hold a candle to the titles, so well done!) I really enjoyed your film, it was well photographed (though there was some difficulty with white balance - when in doubt do the whole of such a project by taking a manual white balance every time) You found some nice angles, and gave your editor a choice of shots to work with. The sound was in keeping and all in all the movie ran along with the technical aspects (white balance apart) not drawing attention to themselves which is often the sign of a confident and competent group at work. Thank you for entering this year's event, and contributing to the continued success of this long established contest between North and South" Not bad Eh??? Our weary little bunch left the hall at about 8 p.m. and we arrived home in time for "Foyle's War" (not to be missed if possible on a dreary Sunday in November).

SECOND TAKE DECEMBER 2003.

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NONSUCH REVIVAL
THE MAKING OF SACRED AND PROFANE
A DAY TRIP TO CHICHESTER
SUCCESS ON A PLATE
BIAFF 2006 - A MEMBER'S VIEW
THE SURREY FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL 2005
THE FUTURE IS RED
COURT SHORTS
TIME OUT
We came, We shot, We chomped
BOB'S BASIC EDITING GUIDE
My Introduction to the Wonder ful World of DV!
Grandeur of the Granada
FILMS ARE LIKE ELEPHANTS
How 305 Sqaudron was made
THE BIG FIVE "O"
MUSIC COPYRIGHT
NORTH V SOUTH 2008
HOT CHESTNUTS
WIDER AND WIDER
FALLEN ANGELS
EARLY CINE RAMBLINGS
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