HARROGATE CAMCORDER GROUP A SHORT HISTORY
Harrogate Amateur Cine Society was formed on 8th February 1950. During the 1950’s membership was in a state of flux .By 1953/4 the society was struggling .Both membership and income was falling mainly due to ever changing locations.
In 1960 some old storerooms above Hanford and Dawson chemist shop were turned into a cinema and purpose built projection room. The club was the first West Riding to have it’s own up to date cinema,with tip up seats,separate projection room ,with controlled lighting and sound. In those days it was rare for an amateur club to present a continuous film show as Harrogate did using two projectors and projectionists.
In 1962 the word “Amateur ” was dropped and was now known as “Harrogate Cine Society”.
1966 was the year Harrogate introduced inter-club visits and challenge matches.
The 1970’s to the early 80’s were the most prolific period ,due mainly to younger members joining . This led to higher production standards ,due in part to the new high quality sound projectors ,and in the mid late 70,s direct sound cameras arrived on the market. All films were produced on film either standard or super 8 .After exposing the film this was sent away for processing which could take up to two weeks to return. Polaroid came up with an instant film camera but was not a success .
In the late 70’s early 80’s video cameras and recorders came onto the market. These were very large and very heavy ,and needed lots of light to use indoors .Some equipment was demonstrated at the club but it was felt that it would not catch on . How wrong they were .Within a few years with many advance on technology cameras and recorders become smaller ,leading to the first camcorder .Then came the battle of the formats VHS, VHS C , SUPER VHS , SUPER VHS C ,TECHNICOLOR 8mm , 8mm, Hi 8 . These were all analogue formats if you wanted to copy edit the tape then you suffered loss in quality . The club changed it’s name to “Harrogate Movie Makers ” to embraced the new formats. Sales of film stock began to decline to a point that it was very expensive to buy. About this time DV format camcorders began to come onto the market, these tiny tapes could hold one hour of footage and were a fraction of the cost of film. Being digital there was no loss in quality when transferred .This was ideal when editing on a computer you could edit add sound do trick effects, things that would have seemed impossible a few years before .
We now have camcorders with tiny flashcards that store hours of information in high definition and in digital stereo sound. When edited your final result shown on a large screen there is nothing better. Harrogate has seen many changes over the years. Why not join us and be part of our great history.