Spring/Summer 2009
Welcome to the Guild’s Spring/Summer 2009 Online Newsletter. Although the majority of you felt that the layout last time was fine, as this is an Online Newsletter, it’s important that you can read it easily on a computer as well as print it off. So we are trying different and easier ways of getting this to you so you can choose what you like best. Therefore, like the last Newsletter, your feedback is essential please.
This time, the Newsletter is presented so that you can pick and choose what interests as you scroll down the contents. If you want to find out more, then just click on the title. When you’ve finished, just click ‘back’ and you end up on the main page where you left off!
Notes from a Board Member by Rupert Lloyd Parry
I hope that everyone in the Guild is beginning to see improvements happening across all areas of our activities. To date these may have been subtle changes but we are all hoping to build on current momentum and roll out lots of new and exciting ideas. The Board have been concentrating on embracing an increasingly changing work environment.  We need to maintain the ethos and standards of the Guild whilst really promoting our talents and experience .... click to read on
Established in 1921, the British Cinema and Television Veterans is an organisation for all technicians that have worked in the British film and television industries for 30 years and over. It’s worth becoming a member. There are two types of membership: Full and Associate. If you are successful on application, you will have to pay a small entrance fee and a very reasonable annual subscription thereafter.
To find out more, email:
There is a common misconception that as a freelance you cannot claim unemployment type benefits. Yes, the rules are more restrictive but there are ways to do it (and they are legal). The traditional “dole” (now called ‘Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance’) is based on you paying the minimum amount of Class 1 National Insurance in the previous tax year. It is really only open to people who were freelance but on PAYE in the previous year. If you find yourself in this position then claiming is relatively straightforward for the first six months of unemployment. After that, the system joins another one – ‘Means Tested Benefits’ to read on
did you know about ... workline uK
WORKLINE UK. This is an organisation that provides free employment advice for people working in the UK film and television industries. (T) 0870 850 7147 (E) (W)
SHIPSEY’S WORD by Robert Shipsey
Last year, six Guild members; Jamie Harcourt, Robert Carter, Joe Bullen, Bob Binnall, Craig Feather and myself attended a Steadicam Workshop organized by the Guild. It was held at Ealing Institute of Media, virtually opposite Finnegan’s Wake and almost next door to Ealing Studios.
The course was subsidized by Panavision and Optical Support and Course Tutors were Peter Robertson and Barney Davis. Planning and organization was co-coordinated by Dee Edwards at the Guild office who made regular appearances with various forms of sustenance. Also present throughout was Peter’s son, Calum, as stills and video cameraman, security, and subject (target)! ... click to read on
The CTBF is the British trade charity of the film, cinema and commercial television industries including cable and satellite. A quarter of a million people work in these industries and this organisation is our trade charity. I'd heard about the CTBF over the years but never fully appreciated the incredibly important work these people do until recently when they helped someone I knew but had lost touch with many years ago. I am going to make a personal donation because it's an extraordinary organisation, but that's not why I'm telling you about them. I just want to make sure that you all know who they are and what they do, so here goes... click to read on
For those of you who haven’t already acquired or ordered a copy of the newly released ‘The Steadicam Operator’s Handbook’ by Jerry Holway and Laurie Hayball (Focal Press) I strongly recommend you do if you have any interest at all in the weird and wonderful world of Steadicam operating ... click to read on
SHOOTING 3D by paul edwards
I had heard so much in the press about the wave of 3D films heading our way in 2009 that when the e-mail came through from the GBCT regarding the ‘Stereoscopic Production Course’ to be held at Pinewood, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to attend. From a Steadicam Operator’s point of view, if someone wanted to bolt two cameras onto my rig instead of one, I really wanted to know what it was all about!
The course was a pretty intensive and thorough 2-day immersion into the world of 3D, with a range of people attending; from BBC 3D TV engineers to hands on guys like myself. We started the first day talking about human perception and how the eye and the brain work together to construct the real world. This quickly led onto the idea of shooting 3D by approximating the way in which our two eyes capture the world and the practicalities of how we can emulate that capture ... CLICK TO READ ON
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT ... The Regional Screen Agencies Crewing websites?
These are great sources of reference for production teams moving areas to shoot. For example, a team from Manchester moving to Birmingham want to get hold of the best local talent to work with them. Or London to Cardiff via Bristol. Or Southampton to Oxford. Or Liverpool to Surrey. It is happening increasingly. If you have places you can stay, then put your name down on the website as a local.
It is also a good place to put your name down if you want to move up a grade and would like to work with new filmmakers making a short on a micro or low budget or experimental film.
If you need any help or to talk this through, then call the Guild office.
(The European Federation of Cinematographers)
It is almost four years since the Lodz Declaration of Cinematographers passed a resolution calling on Production Companies to cease exploitative practices in the Film and TV Industries. Working Conditions it stated “have deteriorated to such a critical degree that immediate action is imperative. It called upon representative film organizations including unions, societies, guilds and governments to encourage the secession of exploitative practices and restore acceptable working conditions to our industry.
Lazlo and Vilmos were among the signatories ... CLICK TO READ ON
GOOD AND IMPORTANT ADVICE ... from keith blake
Hello Everyone I’d like to pass on some advice to my younger peers. I’ve just had my third bit of skin cancer chopped out and now have the daunting two week wait to see if it’s the read dodgy type! I have no doubt that this has been caused, over the last 40 years, by being macho, and not taking precautions on those lovely sunny locations! I’m as guilty as anyone by thinking, or not thinking, that this couldn’t happen to me. We all have to work in the sun. Please don’t take it for granted that you are immune to what could be a killer.
Cover Up, Best wishes, Keith Blake
Imago Logo
The Image Forum is an association of representatives from a broad range of film industry companies and professions. Its function is to address issues relating to the image quality of both British and international film and television productions. Though several of them compete directly with each other in day-to-day business, the Forum members come together out of a shared belief that the entire industry would benefit from a greater degree of clarity on various technical subjects. Delegates from key organisations such as The European Federation of Cinematographers (Imago), the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC), the Production Guild and the Guild of British Camera Technicians (GBCT) are among those on the membership roster ... CLICK TO READ ON
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT ... the samuelson group reunion
It's taking place at Elstree Studios on SUNDAY 5th JULY, starting at 2.00pm through to 9.00pm. Tickets are only £15 per person. Extraordinarily good value. Your significant others are more than welcome too! Just check out what you get bundled up with the fun you'll have:
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