Quo Vadis?

(Where Goest Thou)

This Latin question was the title of an Italian film of the 1920’s and the Hollywood blockbuster of the 1950’s that saved Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from bankruptcy. It is also a very relevant enquiry for Lowestoft Movie Makers in 2018. Where are we going?

           Our clubhouse is a well-equipped mini-cinema with seating for 44 people.  It is situated in a fine public park overlooking the sea. Free parking, a very good cafe and an Italian restaurant are all close-bye.  

Founded 60 years ago, the club’s membership climbed to a peak of over 70 by the 1980’s. There was even a waiting list to join. They were young enthusiasts, struggling with the costs and complexities of  8 mm film formats, cut and stick editing and primitive sound recording. With the electronic revolution came  videotape and digital recording and editing. But although the camera-recorders gave instant and easier access to captured images, this did not attract much new blood into club membership. There has, instead, been a steady decline and now we number less than two dozen in all, only half of whom are “active” film makers.

The age profile of our current members is alarming - all are retired, most are in their 70’s and 80’s. The Grim Reaper has harvested much of our best talent in recent years and their places remain empty. The club needs rejuvenation.

The demise of ERIAC, few years ago, severed a direct link of the club with IAC. We haven’t submitted club or individual films to national competitions for years, and we struggle to find entries for minor competitions. Our internal club programme of competitions is close to collapse.

It appears to be a simple question of “Change or Die”. We need to do something other than fiddle while our Rome burns. Or are we content to simply sigh, fold our arms, close our eyes and fondly remember the “good old days”?

Alan Ruff (LMM member since 2004)