The GTC will this year celebrate its 40th anniversary in the same city and the same month as its foundation. In May 1972, the inaugural meeting of what would become the Guild of Television Cameramen was held at the Birmingham studios of Associated Television.
The GTC was formed with the goals of promoting high standards in the craft of camerawork, establishing a network for television cameramen, and providing a communication route to manufacturers of camera equipment. Another specific aim was to remind the industry to include cameramen in programme credits. This problem has returned in recent years with next-programme promotions frequently obscuring or almost replacing credits.
Two of the founder members are still actively involved with the GTC: Dick Hibberd (member number one and first chairman) and John Henshall (first BBC member and first GTC vice chairman). Dick is now president and John is vice president.
Much has changed in the world of television over the past four decades, comments Dick Hibberd. The majority of cameramen now work as freelancers rather than on staff and are increasingly called upon to multiskill. The evolution of internet and digital broadcasting has opened up many new outlets for our work. Production equipment has become more compact, more versatile, more efficient and more reliable. With the technology of television production developing very rapidly, the GTCs role in communication and information exchange is now more important than ever."
The main celebration will take place at the IET Austin Court conference centre in Birmingham on 11 and 12 May. The GTCs 40th annual general meeting will be held in conjunction with GTC Awards 2012. Members and friends will be able to take stock of the guilds first 40 years as well as playing an active part in shaping the day-to-day running of the GTC. The event will include masterclasses with expert tutors and a display of new and historical production equipment.
The Guild of Television Cameramen (GTC) is an independent non-profit-making international organisation that cares about TV camerawork and the people who make it their craft. The GTC has over 1,000 members in countries as far afield as Australia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the USA. The majority work in aspects of television ranging from corporate video production through news and current-affairs, sports and light entertainment, to documentary and drama.
Run by a council of volunteer television professionals, the GTC (www.gtc.org.uk) is financed by subscription from its members as well as sponsorship from equipment manufacturers and suppliers. As a result, the GTC offers a channel for manufacturers to consult with working cameramen when designing new equipment. GTC membership is open to anyone employed as a television camera operator or in any associated occupation.