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Electronic Eye

Sydney Video Makers club newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>,
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LINK to see club calendar.

Meeting: Wednesday 22 March
Doors open: 7pm - don't be late!
Location: Doherty Community Centre, 7 Victor Street, Chatswood, NSW



Like SVM EE March 2017 on Facebook
7pm  start: Doherty Centrre, 7 Victor St., Chatswood

Throught the President's Lens

Rob Nercessian - President

Please note: This month has five Wednesdays. Make sure you attend SVM on the 22nd and NOT the 29th ! This "5 Wednesdays" will occur again in May, August and November.
  1. Club program
  2. Declining membership.

1.What's on this month?

We have prepared Five activities for you.
  1. DaVinci Resolve FREE:

    Guest speaker Dion Wilton will give us a basic overview of this popular editing software which is great for colour control, employing the node system and it's free. (Now available for Windows, Macs and Linux! Ed.)
  2. Latest trends in hi-quality accessories and how to use them:

    Paul Szilard will bring his Atomos Shogun Flame 4k video recorder and Zoom F8 audio recorder, and other bits to show us his operational tips. See details here
  3. March competition screening with John Tsioulos
    (up to 5 minute film). judging and results will takes place in-house, We'd like members to provide encouraging remarks.
    Competition themes have been developed by John Tsioulos in conjunction with the committee. Email him with any issues.
  4. NSW TAFE.
    Last year I contacted NSW TAFE to invite their film Students to join our club. Stephan Keosseian was the only who responded.
    Are we relevant to today's society if only one student out of thousands responds? (Think about that). Stephan will use a couple of short films that he made as part of his course.
  5. Social - Show & Tell
    Arrive early! Members are increasingly arriving at 7 pm to shop-talk and have their hard/software problems resolved by fellow members. If you acquired something interesting bring it along to show and tell (between 7 & 8pm).
Go and see ' Lion' the movie: (IMDB)

My sister and her husband are executive producers for this international film. It is already the 8th highest grossing Aussie film ever. We purchased the film rights from 'Saroo' in Hobart, Nicole Kidman and Patel showed an immediate personal attachment to it and were eager to do it. Once Nicole was on board the others were knocking on our doors (including mine). (Lion) has been a five year project and I was sworn to secrecy. As you see, I can keep my mouth shut. Our family film made it to the Oscars ... but No Dice, it is a powerful film nevertheless. I attended a "Secret" screening some 6 months before it's official release in a Private screening for friends and family at the Orpheum and I emerged out of the film as a better person. will be moved. Film Australia had an after-party in Beverly Hills during the Oscars to which I could have attended, but someone had to mind SVM ☺. Our family's next international film production is the 'Jesica Watson' story. Planning and story rights already accomplished.

What's on in April?

Tsu Shan-Chambers is a busy film maker who has won a few awards including an international film festival. She has tons of energy and will be bringing along her latest film (being edited now) for your pleasure. Don't miss this little dynamo. (Tsu Shan Chambers stared in the Packers controversial movie "Tragic Enough" of 2015. Ed.)

Tsu Shan Chamber (in colour) with Packers crew. Photo: Paul Szilard

What's on in May?

A Demonstration of the latest 4K Video Cameras. Including the latest GH5 and the Lumix HC-VX980M camcorder.

We expect Panasonic Australia to present for our member's convenience. Committee member Douglas has arranged this presentation with his speaker agreed to help us secure our May presentation. I also asked Sony for the same thing but they are yet to respond.

Also in May: The May competition: 'Adaptation'. Re-make an existing seen and see how you would interpret it. Please direct any competition questions to our competition manager John.

What's on in June?

Members 'Travel Videos' 'Non-competitive'. Today most people simply use their smartphones to capture their holidays but serious SVM members like to do it with panache. Stat putting your travel films together. Add voice over, titles to make it entertaining. You can also bring any non-travel film to show us. Please inform the committee ahead of time if you are bringing a film.

What's on in July?

'Mobile Phone' competition.

A film (fiction or documentary) that is totally filmed with a mobile phone or tablet (such as an iPad) - external mics and lighting, editing on a PC/Mac are allowed. Open topic. Time limit: 6 minutes Also, in July: Your turn to talk: If you have an interesting film-related subject, music for film, or have a gadget to show, or a script you are working on . bring it. Please let the committee know ahead of time to make room for you. Duration can be between 2 to 20 minutes. I want to thank Ami Levartovsky for a wonderful presentation he gave us recently.

What's on in September?

September - "Social Issue" film Competition. A film (fiction or documentary) that tackles a modern social issue. It doesn't have to be a serious drama, it can make people laugh, their minds changed on a topic etc, so long as people are moved by the film and awareness raised for your chosen social issue. Let's become a bit more broadminded and tackle meaningful topics for a change. We are not a nanny-club, are we? (Comments welcomed) Time limit: 7 minutes

Also: SVM AGM You are invited to join the committee at our September AGM, We also need someone to take over from my efforts to actively promote the club, The publicity person need not attend committee meetings.


Membership decline

Many of our original members are willing but unable to contribute to SVM due to health, work commitments or re-location. Last Tuesday the Nuts Team, Chris Saville, Ron cooper and me bid farewell to Phil Brighton, The only active nonagenarian we had.

Phil Brighton (in colour) at the ABC Sydney Studios Photo: Paul Szilard

Famous for his one-liners Phil never stopped making us laugh. I could never get enough of his wit. Phil hadn't attended SVM since October 2016 due to hospitalisation, a wake was held at his home for close friends. His passing follows the passing of Graham Sainty and previous president Andy Doldisen. We also lost a dozen core members in the last 3 years who can no longer get to the club due to the above mentioned reasons

Other Video clubs are disappearing.

Why clubs are failing: The following reasons have impacted on traditional social clubs:
  1. Inevitable change in people's lifestyles (increase in travel, Foxtel, sports, social media & You Tube).
  2. The advent of mobile phone filming.
  3. Lack of dedicated committee members.
  4. Core members getting older/ natural attrition.
  5. Increase in film festivals and small film companies.
  6.  Biological reasons: Negativity in one or more members of 'any' committee due loss of happy chemicals such as Serotonin, Oxytocin, Estrogen or Progesterone. Trust me, I could have been a doctor ☺

Financial SVM member stats: 2016 = 70 members 2017 = 30 Members as of Feb. SVM is a registered club, legally open to the general public and no individual can dictate who can't join, control neither club direction nor the 'tone' of events. People forget that Film Making is an art- form, utilising many disciplines and technologies. It would be wrong to assume that only 'home camcorders', or only 'travel videos ' should be the subject of our attention as that would be boring, thereby limiting membership numbers. I am pleased to see that even our mature-age members have kept up with smartphones and DSLRs. Therefore; you can't modernise your own personal technology and deny it to the club. So if we want the club doors remain open we must embrace the new trends and allow younger members to inject some energy into SVM like I had in the last decade. To dispel any dogmatic opinions I have kept SVM up with new trends by inviting many contemporary artist to our club including a graphic art PHD student who demonstrated what NSW university was teaching her in modern abstract film making. On the other side of the coin I intend to invite a gentleman who will screen a black and white silent film made in the 1930's. It's this kind of broad spectrum that should be running at SVM as no competition alone, presentation alone, or club constitution rules alone can make our club worth a visit.

Lastly, a word to all clubs and voluntary groups: You must have that secret weapon, A SMILE. Don't expect people to pay membership and endure sour faces, or snide remarks unless you do want them to leave.

See you this Wednesday.

Rob Nercessian
Club President

from the Editor

Did “The Revenant” (movie) Make Lights Obsolete?

Quoting from Videomaker magazine:
“The Revenant” has been lauded for its almost exclusive use of natural light. Does a mastery of natural light erase the need to invest in lighting equipment?

When Emmanuel Lubezki won the Oscar for best cinematography for “The Revenant” at the start of 2016 he became the first cinematographer to have won the award three years in a row. However the biggest stir was created by the announcement that the visually stunning epic western was shot almost entirely using only natural light. Does the success of “The Revenant” mean filmmakers can throw away their lights?

“The Revenant” was filmed in remote locations with vast overcast skies as diffusion and snow-covered terrain as a reflector. During the day, sufficient light was never an issue. Indeed there was often too much light, requiring use of negative fill to add contrast. For night scenes, the period of the story meant that campfires or flaming torches could be utilized to add light — and drama — without seeming out of place.
Read the rest of the article...

Good article, definitely worth a read!


I hate Sponge Cases

To me, Pelican brand made the de Facto water tight equipment cases. And boy, do they make a TON of varieties, or WHAT?

Pelican Case

I am most familiar with the type that is filled with pre-cut sponge, and then I just pluck out the hales to fit the gear in. There are now heaps of competing brands out there, two things always irked me:
  1. They were quite expensive
  2. When I changed gear or configuration, I was stuck with the holes
Well, I managed to overcome #1 - the price, by buying inexpensive versions from Bunnings! My favourite is the Craftright 515 43.5 x 22.5 cms and costing just $72. Now this is the right price range, not the $400+ that others are charging!

$72 case from Bunnings (filled with pluck foam)

But the real Eureka moment came when I discovered the Velcro inside dividers. This Vanguard soft case divider is a PERFECT fit and costs $95. Now I am really happy!

Vanguard Divider Bag #46 for $95 (LINK)

So now I can have 95+72=$167 the equivalent of a case costing almost $500 and is easy to reconfigure whenever I want it!

4 Sale or Wanted

If you have an item to sell, or want to place "Wanted" advert, then contact email the Editor.
Buy and Sell Protocol
Financial members may use this section of the EE to detail information about second hand photographic/video equipment which they wish to dispose of.
This allows other Members to be advised of the opportunity.
The Club is not involved in or have any responsibility for any such sales.
Commercial representation
Direct or indirect commercial representation of new products by members is not permitted in this EE or during Club Activities.
Articles of relevant general interest about new products are allowed in EE.

Place Your Ad?

If you are a (financial) Club Member, then send the following information to the Editor.
  • 4Sale or Wanted (which?)
  • Contact: Your name
  • Item: Summary
  • Price: Asking price
  • Options: If any
  • Description: Any details, with photos and links


Club assets that are available for loan to financial members

Big THANKS to Kent Fry for

We have a change of the Asset Manager. This role is passed from Paul Szilard to Rob Nercessian.

Loan Procedures

  • Club assets can be borrowed by club members that are financial, for club related shooting only.
  • To check availability please take a look at the Assets Calendar before applying for a loan
  • To book any items, please contact the Asset Manager and check availability. Note, until you receive confirmation, you should not assume that the equipment will be available for your dates, so to avoid disappointment, do not schedule your event.
  • The borrowing member is responsible for returning the items in the same condition they were in when borrowed. Damage or loss are the responsibility of the borrower.

Audio Kit 1

  1. RODE NTG2 shotgun mic, with RODE Boom Pole and noise breaking "Blimp"
  2. RODE FilmMaker radio mic (Lavalier)
  3. Audio Pre-Amp
  4. Carry Bag

Audio Kit 2

  1. RODE NTG2 shotgun mic, with RODE Boom Pole and noise breaking "Blimp"
  2. RODE FilmMaker radio mic (Lavalier)
  3. Audio Pre-Amp
  4. Carry Bag

Lighting Equipment

Items available separately
  1. LED light panel with mains PSU and stand
  2. LED light panel with mains PSU and stand (2nd unit)
  3. Dedo Halogen 150W focusable spot light, mains powered

Miscellaneous Items

  1. Camera Crane (aka JIB) with stand
  2. 7" LCD LED Field Monitor (HDMI)


See you at the meeting - and email me your thoughts!

Paul Szilard
SVMC Vice President
Comp & Asset Manager | EE Editor | Dog's Body

Click to email Paul now
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