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Peter Copestake
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:23 am
Location: Colne, Lancashire


Post by Peter Copestake » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:07 pm

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply, Dave. I wish this weren't tucked away on the film-comment pages.
You have made your point very well, as I would expect from a seasoned communicator. (Were you in education?) I can see that films made for a very specialised audience would receive lower marks if they didn't interest any of the judges, but there, in a sense, lies the problem. Would you feel able to judge a David Attenborough wildlife film if you had no interest in wildlife? I think you would be able to tell it was well filmed and clearly audible, with appropriate music and apparently relevant sound effects . You would not be able to tell whether David was talking absolute rubbish, but you assume that he isn't because of his reputation. (Judges sometimes go beyond criticism of the film to criticising the people in it and what they stand for.)
In some ways the best judge for a 'festival' entry would be an actual 'general audience', rather than a specialised cinephile, as actually I can see that a festival entry should be interesting to the audience at a festival. Of course many entries cannot be shown and so I suppose as a judge you have to be able to say that you don't think the entry would be interesting to them so that the selection for showing can be made.
I did ask, in a previous post, if I am not 'general'. I admit that I rarely film things that do not interest me except for their value as local archive and those, even more rarely, get shown at festivals. But what I have found is that things which I thought would 'make a good film' from the photographic angle have turned out to be more interesting as I got more deeply into the subject and I've always tried to reflect that in my films.
That said, what I have expected from judges is criticism of the construction, technique, quality etc. and this I usually get. I am just not sure of the relevance of the appeal to the general audience in judging. Of being selected for showing, yes, absolutely, but, as Tim said, there is no way of knowing what audience a film is made for.
I suppose I make films for 'people like me', that is well over 50, (I was 46 before I picked up a cine camera) who prefer a slower pace than the short-attention-span youngsters and want to have learned something they didn't know before about the work of people they will probably never meet.
Thanks again for the clarification,
Peter Copestake

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