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Victoria Video Club

The Movies and You


Daily Colonist, Friday June 12, 1970


Some people have problems with visitors to their house who turn their backs when the home movie projector is brought out.


The primary aim of the Victoria Amateur Movie Club is to turn this kind of reaction into genuine interest.

"We want people to make a little story with their movie camera using their wife and kids as actors so the film can be used to interest anybody." said Moris Aldersmith of 7 Vickery, View Royal, one of the directors of the club.


"The club is out to get beginners — people not already versed in motion picture work," Aldersmith added.


The purpose of the movie club are:


To promote, develop and encourage interest in the taking of amateur home motion



To mutually assist and aid all members in increasing their proficiency in the art of taking amateur motion pictures.


To provide social meetings for the showing of home movies.


The movie club encompasses the Greater Victoria area and has about 70 members, including many husband and wife teams.


The oldest member is Dorthea Mitchell, 96, of 1140 Pandora. She produced one of Canada's first amateur full length story films in the late 1920s.


Aldersmith described the way most people end up joining a movie club. "The parents figure they would like movies of their kids, so they go out and buy a movie camera," he said.


From there, people find they like taking films, so they branch out into a wider variety, he said. After joining a movie club, the amateur cameraman "learns how to stop the pictures from jumping and people's eyes from bugging out," Aldersmith said.


"We teach them to get continuity in their film."


The Victoria Amateur Movie Club meets at 8 p.m. on the last Monday of each month at the Inn, 1528 Cook. The meetings

are for both business and entertainment and motion pictures are shown by members.


Along with the meetings are two workshop clinics at Aldersmiths house on the first and third Monday of the month. Involved in the first clinic is the actual teaching of motion picture work to members. Lectures are given by professionals and there are training sessions on titling and editing.


In the second workshop clinic, members are taught the skills of creating sound to go with their home movies taking a tape recorder as a medium. More complicated methods of combining sound with film are also used by the club.


The club, which has been going since the early 1930s has put on two-hour public showing's of their movies twice a year for seven years.


"In these shows, we get as many people in the club as possible participating with their projectors and sound tracks." Aldersmith said. Individual shows last from three to 20 minutes.


Most films shown in the public presentation must first receive good marks according to club standards. .

"We put on our best in these shows with nobody barred." Aldersmith said.


The movie club sponsors three competitions a year for its members who compete for awards for moviemaking.


In the first competition, participants send their films straight to a developing company with no opportunity to view and edit their films.


Contestants are allowed to edit their films in the second competition before having them judged.


In February comes the big competition divided into three classes —novice, intermediate, and open — and entries are judged by another movie club. The results of the contest are made public at the annual banquet in late February.


The highest film in all classes wins the Best Film of the Year award and trophy for the Greater Victoria area and goes on to compete for the best club film in Canada. Stan Sharcott of 47 Boyd was the best-film winner this year for the Greater Victoria area.