Cat no. 3470

Its Aim - To Help

Running time30:02 Colour Sound 1982

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The first fifty years of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers and the services it provides.



The film begins by highlighting Hollywood films of 1932 (Bing Crosby in `The Big Broadcast', Mae West in `Night After Night', Laurel and Hardy in `The Music Box') and states that in the same year the IAC was founded and so began a new era for amateur film-making.

IAC President, Leslie Froude, stands outside a street sign for Palmer Street, London SWI where the Dickens cafe stood. The cafe was where the founders met. Stanley Bowler, a founder member, talks about the pioneering work of other founders William Chadwick, George Sewell and Percy W. Harris. An extract from Sewell's film `Extinction' is shown. Leslie Froude speaks about the IAC photographic dealers whose shops give advice advice. He is supportive of the documentaries made overseas and there are brief extracts from Japanese filmed documentaries. He speaks of the `Blue Book' which states that the IAC made films for private use and film-makers have no commercial interest.

The IAC's journal `Amateur Film Maker' is introduced, edited by Peter Donlan. Gerald Mee (in voice-over) talks about the music advisory service. Ralph Bayne (in voiceover) speaks about the copyright in music; the taped lectures are publicised and there are scenes from a cine weekend at Grantley Hall, Yorkshire organised by the IAC. The course includes the use of video and the commentary states that questions as to whether video will take over from film are being hotly debated. There are film-making competitions and Jack Jennings reviews the range of movie-making equipment available including the super8 camera; two film-makers are interviewed about their use of widescreen.

The AGM at Eastbourne. The IAC adminstrative office at Ashtead, Surrey. Interior shots of the office and its workers. The film library is housed here. Film-maker Sidney Manasseh manages the library and introduces the film `Marionettes'; a long extract is shown. John Daborn from the Grasshopper Group is seen and an extract from his animated work `Battle of Wangapore' is shown. Tony Rose is introduced and a long extract from `Paper Boat' follows. Rose comments in detail on what became of the actors and actress and on the making of the film. There is a still of the cameraman, Robert Mead.

Bernard Ashby, Film Officer at the IAC Library. A montage of clips from films which the Library holds. The London Amateur Film Festival at St Ermin's Hotel, London where IAC members compete for the Daily Mail Trophy, the highest achievement in amateur film-making. Shots of the delegates dancing.

Featured People:

Leslie Froude, IAC President; George H. Sewell, film-maker and IAC founder member; Gerald Mee, music advisory service; Stanley Bowler, photographic assistant; Ralph Bayne, copyright music; Peter Donlan, editor `Amateur Film Maker'; Jack Jennings, IAC Council Chairman; Sidney Manasseh, film-maker; John Daborn, film-maker and animator; Tony Rose, film-maker and cine-journalist; Bernard Ashby, Film & Video Officer

Featured Organisations:

Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC)

Featured Events:

London Amateur Film Festival

Featured Buildings:

IAC offices, Ashtead; St Ermin's Hotel, London

Institute of Amateur Cinematographers

Institute of Amateur Cinematographers

Doug Collender

Gordon Briggs

Peter Donlan (graphics); Brian Dunckly (research)

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