The core of The Video Players activity is the Production. Everything revolves around it, with club activities organised to get closer to a completed film for display on a screen. What this means in practice is a series of varied club evenings.
Although filming may take place at any time that suits members needs, we formally meet on a Thursday, every two weeks. This allows each of our production units of the moment to see each other in person and update the rest of the club in regards to what is going on in their production. It is also during these evenings that we discuss what is required by members to enable them to start, develop and finally film their productions. We may therefore decide to organise the following type of evenings, as and when required:
A pitching night allows club members to outline a script that they have written, or a script idea that have had, with the intention of attracting constructive criticism. Note that key word - Constructive. Ideas and scripts are very close the hearts of the writer, so tearing it apart just for the sake of it is not allowed.
Don't like the script? Fine - but don't get personal, and also don't expect to get out of the room without giving a good explanation as to why you don't like it.
The whole point of the pitching night is to improve scripts that are in development, and decide on scripts that film makers want to actually make at the club. The holy-grail of a pitching night is to go in with a script to pitch but come out with a member offering to produce it.
An education night is arranged when members of the club feel that in order to progress their films they need additional training in one or more skills. This may be specialist skills which they need but have never encountered before (such as green screen filming), just the basics (such as a beginners course in using the camera), or a refresher (such as practicing certain acting techniques). It all comes down to the needs of the membership, and no particular skill level is assumed.
Education of course, does not stop there. We don't restrict education just to defined nights, even though we may organise them even when they are not explicity requested, just to vary the program. We would also expect however, that new members would pick up skills from existing members in a production unit just by being part of a production.
Screening Night may form part or all of an evening - it is here that we show the productions internally to the club so that, again, they can obtain constructive criticism. What may come out of it is a majority seal of approval, or some notes for further editing.
We may also show films that have been produced by others - either independantly and non-commercially, or as professional productions. In all cases however, we concentrate on the 'shorts'. This is not a film appreciation society as such, and we don't have unlimited time, so everthing that we show needs to have educational value with the aim of improving our own work.
Depending on the activity of the moment, Production Night may form the main or a significant part of the work undertaken by any production unit. It is on these nights that production units get together in person, plan the production, discuss creative decisions and view creative work that has been undertaken to take their production a step forward.
Depending upon the nature of the production, a production night may also include actual filming, or at the very least practice filming. This will be particularly true if the film utilises sets and green screen rather than physical locations.