Manifesto for Change

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Michael Slowe
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by Michael Slowe »

In trying to interpret my words on why I make films, Tim has got it right. In fact, my piece on this very subject features in the current issue of the magazine.

Jameela, I do not think that a film should necessarily be putting out a message or indeed be trying to influence a point of view. It can be, much as an artists painting, merely be something that is pleasant, exciting, frightening or merely pretty. No message, no story. Admittedly, this type of film does need something innovative and can sometimes be too much of a good thing, but such films do have a place amongst the film genres.
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TimStannard
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by TimStannard »

Jameela M Boardman wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:15 pm Ah but...

In an abstract sense, yes filmmaking skills are independent of the purpose or the intention of film, but our purpose or intention becomes inherent in our approach to the technical issues...

If one person considers this an engaging spare time hobby, and another person using similar equipment regards it as a vocation, then the appropriate way of communicating with these two people will be different. For those like myself who are emotionally involved with the artistic expression in their work, the message of the film cannot be detached from the skill of its making. So appropriateness is needed.
I disagree.

You spend two years making a film which contains a very important message (particularly to you).
I spend an evening at the local video club filming a rather poor joke then edit it over the weekend.

Both suffer distorted audio.
Your film fails to get the message across because of poor audio. My film fails to raise a laugh as the joke is all but lost due to poor audio.


Alternatively
Both films are exceptionally well filmed, presented, acted etc.

Your film has a very detailed script which is jammed full of facts and sources which all help illustrate or expand upon your point, but there is just so much of it that the punchiness of the message becomes lost in a sea of information.

My film introduces the characters with a backstory (one in Engalnd, one in Scotland and one in Ireland) of each of their upbringings and working life before they all walk into a pub and say something in response to the landlords unlikely question.

In your film, the message loses all its impact because of information overload.
In mine the punchline is lost for exactly the same reason.

In both example, the fact that your film is vocational and mine is a throw-away has no bearing on the validity of the criticisms or the effect the weaknesses have on the purpose of the film. The criticisms are equally appropriate - and equally constructive.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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TimStannard
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by TimStannard »

Nevertheless, Jameela - I think that's just about the only point on which we disagree!

I do agree (as do most people) change is needed. I particularly like the idea of a database for members access and I certainly think it's worth exploring further the idea of only three stars and up being awarded/published at BIAFF with the others being "not selected" - the difference between BIAFF and most other festivals being the entrants will receive a written critique which will go some way to explaining why their films were not selected.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

I have just watched the 'Rocky Balboa' DVD again, for the umpteenth time now.

The Rocky films have a very strong message...

"It's not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and still keep moving forward - that is how winning is done."

I have never been to a boxing match in my life, but these stories are a powerful metaphor for many walks of life.

Yes; "No message, no story".
ned c
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by ned c »

I have been catching up on my reading so I am rather late with these comments on the responses to the Manifesto for Change in the December issue of the magazine, but here goes.

Chris Taylor’s piece is a comedy rant but short on any suggestions or analysis of the Manifesto.

Eric Williamson is most interesting with his comments about the magazine. I like his idea of a double issue where the on-line version has “more newsy” items and would also the advantage of easy access to on-line links. However; this would place a huge load on the editor. Perhaps two editors? I am intrigued by his paragraph which accepts that the resources on the Internet are now replacing the need for clubs which will surely disappear. I challenge his final comments about how many TV programs are made by one person; certainly the case for the YouTube vloggers but many productions require some form of “crew”. However; it does not need a club to arrange a crewed production.

Let me start by acknowledging John Howden’s contribution to the IAC; it is greatly appreciated but I do challenge his interpretation of “amateur” as it applies to film making. Outside the world of amateur film making, the term implies inferior, of poor quality. In the world of “amateur film making” it has always been accompanied by a knowing nod and wink that professionals play a part in many of the films entered in amateur events. In many activities; particularly the world of sport the difference between professional and amateur is clearly defined, if you receive payment; no matter how small you are a professional. Having been paid for training and promotional films Mr. Howden claims he is still an amateur but it doesn’t really matter as we are all film makers who create non-commercial films for which no participant is paid.

ned c
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TimStannard
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by TimStannard »

Indeed, Ned, we are makers of amateur films (even I can't claim to be amateur even though some of my output can be considered amateur in every sense of the word).

Whilst the details will be hidden in the rules, an "Amateur Film Festival" implies no-one gets paid, whereas "Non-Commercial Film Festival" does not.

I'm probably going to have to change my sig. :shock:
Tim
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by Dave Watterson »

The BIAFF Rules were revamped some years ago, partly in response to Ned's argument that what matters is whether or not a film was made with the intention of making money.

The current rule is:
This competition is for films made by individuals or groups for pleasure and not for commercial gain. The following are, however,
permissible:
* Films made by IAC regions and clubs for the benefit of those organisations.
* Public or private exhibition and sale, where the proceeds are solely for the benefit of clubs, regions or bona fide charities.
* Any sponsorship must be used only to cover production costs and the expenses of the production team and actors, and not for paid assistance
from video professionals, either for filming or post-production (apart from the making of copies). Members of the production team, including

Whether the film maker may be regarded as an "amateur" or "professional" does not matter. I have long asserted that an entry by Spielberg should be accepted provided it was made without intention of making money from it.
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John Simpson
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Re: Manifesto for Change

Post by John Simpson »

Jameela M Boardman wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:04 am * This compilation follows from previous discussions in other threads *

2. Purpose and Focus
It is recognised that there are many levels of personal involvement in Amateur Film and Video making, and all are part of this community. However it is anticipated that for new and younger members, the primary purpose and need for this Institute will be from those who see it as their Vocation, rather than their Hobby – a 'Vocation' free of the constraints of the commercial world but aspiring to the same quality. An analogy is open-source software in computing.
...This in no way depreciates the value of hobby films made for the entertainment of family, friends or self, rather it is about the need for an Institute.
Jameela M Boardman
I wonder how many students and tutors have been scanning through the possible film festival to put their student films into and been confused as to whether their films would be eligible for BIAFF and concluded that because they had some professional input BIAFF and the IAC would not be for them. The Student films which do make it through like "Pulse" and "Girl A" are welcomed with open arms - which is great by me.
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