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ABOUT US

 

Viewfinders Club Officers for 2016

Viewfinders Digital Video Club

In the mid 1990s Shelby Reyes and Bill Mannion, both members of "The "Better Part" organization that produces programs for Cupertino's community TV channel, were tasked with raising funds for operational expenses. They hit upon conducting a series of classes at the Cupertino Senior Center titled "The ABCs of Camcorders” which brought in $1800. On completion, the graduates asked "Where do we go from here?" Dianne Snow, then head of the Cupertino Senior Center, suggested they start a camcorder club at the center. From this, the Viewfinders Camcorder Club came in to being in early 1997.

 

This loosely organized group, headed by Ray Strong, soon grew to 30 members. Early meetings featured the viewing of members' videos in a small room on a 21-inch monitor using an old VHS tape player.

 

Later, the Club moved to a larger facility at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino, our current meeting site. Fred Pfost, our current Club Secretary, joined the Club at the urging of fellow Ampex Corporation employee Roald Didriksen. Fred sought and found a large Sony projector on E-bay which made it possible to fill the large 12' x 15' screen at the new location. In 2010 the Center installed a permanent high-definition rear-projection system and upgraded the sound system for an even better viewing experience. In October 2007 the Club changed its name to the Viewfinders Digital Video Club in order to tell prospective members that we have gone "digital" with the rest of the world in the making of our movies. In January 2016 the Club changed the location for its meetings to the Historic Santa Clara Depot which provided a much more flexible venue at no cost. But the train noise was too much to handle, and so we moved back to Quinlan, now using the Conference Room just off the foyer to the right.

 

Each month except December, the Club meets to view members' videos, conduct workshops, listen to guest speakers and compete in Club video contests. In October the Club holds the Annual Club Member Video Contest and the Golden DVD Awards are presented in November (see photos at right). The Club's Video Production Group was started in 2006 with the aim of producing a collaborative video designed to help members with hands-on training in all aspects of movie making. The movies made by this group are also entered in regional, national and international movie festivals to compete with other amateur movie/video clubs and individuals.

 

Every year or so the Club arranges for its members a field trip that is revelant to videography. The most recent event was to the Industrial Light & Magic studios at the Presidio in San Francisco on March 20, 2017 (see photo of group on right). Other trips have included the San Jose's Tech Museum in early 2012 to watch the taping of NBC's TechNow show hosted by Scott Budman (see photo on right), an evening at Pixar for the pre-release screening of Monsters, Inc. in Emeryville, CA, the Dolby Sound Studios in San Francisco for the screening of their new 3-D technology, and Lucas Films for a tour of their vast facility at the Presidio in San Francisco.

 

Although our monthly multi-page color newsletter is currenltly not being published (for lack of a volunteer Editor), it's purpose was to keep members informed about upcoming programs and events. It was also sent to other amateur videographers and clubs throughout the world as a way of sharing with them what is being done for all amateur videographers here in Cupertino and surrounding communities of the Bay Area. For inquiries about the Viewfinders Club, please send your question or comments to . For comments and suggesstions for the Club Webmaster, send them to the .

 

Watch a half-hour interview of past president Bob Meacham hosted by Viewfinders Club member Phil Lenihan on YouTube.