South Essex Film Makers
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As the 1980’s arrived, the use of video in the home drove members to think about shooting their movies using video cameras.  The earliest cameras were attached by cable to shoulder hung full-size VHS recorders which produced results which left a lot to be desired especially when the tapes were edited, as this process resulted in a generation loss which VHS was not able to sustain.  Editing itself involved copying from one video machine to another and early examples were unable to produce clean or correctly timed cuts.
 
In the 1980’s Westcliff changed its’ name to Westcliff Film & Video Club to reflect the higher profile of video within its activities and the majority of members put a movie together by shooting the raw footage on a camcorder and editing the material using two synchronised VHS video recorders.  Some of the techniques required to build a complex sound track remained tricky, but many award winning videos were produced by Westcliff members including some by family film maker Nigel Woodham who was featured in Jeremy Beadle’s home-movie based TV programmes.
The Video Age
The computer then began to make its presence felt in the world of amateur movies and the earliest systems were used to control the video recorders on which the movie was being edited.  For some years it was not possible to store movie material of sufficient quality on the computer itself.  This programme material had to remain on tape and some members used their computers mainly for titling and similar ancillary tasks. As the computer progressed, it became capable of more and more complex image manipulation and Westcliff members realised the tremendous
From Hardware to Software
opportunities offered by such programmes as Adobe Premiere and the associated hardware from such manufacturers as Canopus and Pinnacle, which enable moving pictures to be captured and stored for editing.  
The Future
As this technology progresses, Westcliff continues to keep abreast of it and this is much evident from the Programme which appears elsewhere in our website. Today South Essex Film Maker's leading members shoot their movies using digital video cameras, edit them on the ‘timeline’ on a computer, and output them to DVD.   But tomorrow?….. who knows.                                           
 
Dave Windle with Jeremy Beadle
Despite all this, the process became increasingly popular as compact cameras with smaller VHS, and the Sony counterpart Video 8,  tapes were introduced. Another of Westcliff’s leading members, the late Peter Davison was a great champion of the use of video, especially after one-piece camcorders appeared on the market.   The introduction of the higher standards of Super VHS and Hi-8 recording finally saw the demise of the use of Super 8 film by members of the Club.
First  Name Change
History - Part 2
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