Lights, camera, action for beginners

Members of Ribble Valley Movie Makers using green screen technology on a club night.
Members of Ribble Valley Movie Makers using green screen technology on a club night.
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As the dust settles on the glamour and glitz of the latest Oscars ceremony, the more down-to-earth Ribble Valley Movie Makers are developing their own skills and encouraging others to do the same.

You don’t need the skills to make another “American Sniper” or “The Birdman” – just a simple digital movie camera and a willingness to learn.

The Movie Makers, based at Clitheroe, are spreading the word about their hobby by offering to give free film shows to any organisation or group that wants one, and are seeking to recruit new members of all ages but particularly the newly-retired looking for a satisfying pastime.

“We think there are probably a lot of people who don’t really know what we do,” said Brenda McLaughlin, the club’s publicity officer.

“There’s an open invitation for anyone to come to our meetings and see for themselves.”

Club secretary Doug Brownrigg added: “You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds on equipment. Even a mobile phone can be good enough. We start by showing people what their camera can do, and the basics of the editing software, which can be quite cheap and easy to use.

“If anyone has problems with their editing software, we can help them sort it out.”

Holiday video can always benefit from editing. Doug says: “For example, I did an Italian holiday video that had three hours’ of material on it. Nobody would want to watch all that, but when it’s cut down to 20 minutes and music added it’s completely different.”

Brenda added: “We can help people make better wedding videos, too. We can edit them to include slides of old stills and make it a more special memory of the event.”

Movie Makers members go out on location on their own or in small teams. They have made drama and comedy shorts, natural history films, foreign trips and local happenings such as the church spire repair project at St Mary’s, the building of Homebase and the Whalley Hydro electricity project. Some have been featured on the Clitheroe Advertiser’s website.

They have a stock of some 300 films, with running times from just a minute to 20 minutes, from which they can select for a film show.

The club meets at the Pendle Club on Lowergate, Clitheroe, on the first and third Thursday of each month until the current season ends in May, then members continue with their own projects during the summer until the new programme starts in September.

Anyone interested in attending a club night, or wishing to book a free film show, can contact Peter Baines (Chairman) on 01200 422771, Doug Brownrigg (Secretary) 01200 425305, or see


Doug Brownrigg and Brenda McLaughlin filming on location.

Members of Ribble Valley Movie Makers using green screen technology on a club night.

By Eric Beardsworth

Twitter: @clithadvertiser