Heather Norris Nicholson
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The amateur club scene
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Chapter 2 examines how Britain’s amateur film movement developed a flourishing network of clubs and supportive organisations that promoted, sustained and diversified non-professional activity. The earliest clubs are traceable to the mid 1920s, although numbers expanded rapidly during the 1930s, and mushroomed post-war before witnessing retrenchment and refocus as organised leisure activities and cine technologies gave way to video-recording systems during the 1980s. Issues of club membership and organisation, specialisation, competitive spirit and reputation, along with gender roles, local geography and changing social, cultural and economic circumstances provide a vibrant and at times feisty range of regional club practices that along with the national codes and practices offered by the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC) and other umbrella organisations testify to the dynamic club scene of Britain’s amateur film movement. Oral testimony, club records, correspondence, printed club-related news in the hobby press, and discussion of club productions and individual members’ films underpin this chapter’s historical overview and analysis of trends in club formation, transformation and the complex relationship between amateur and professional filmmaking.

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Amateur film

Meaning and practice, 1927–77


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