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Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:34 pm
by ned c
As the hat and shirt advertising thread has wandered off in all sorts of directions (I don't have a problem with this but some people do) here is a thread to, once more, look at a future for the iAC, Read John Roberts last post on the above thread.

There have been requests for suggestions for the direction the iAC should take for the future and there have been lengthy replies here but in turn no feedback; here, in the Magazine, the website or on the members forum (OK theoretically NLE but could be used for messages for members). Have I missed something about the AGM? I remain convinced that the IAC has a high potential as a representative body for the n.c. film maker but it does need to change to meet the needs of the modern film maker (age is unimportant here). There have been a number of suggestions for potential changes; a waste of energy/space?

I will be at BIAFF next year, join me for drinks and a rant.

ned c

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:58 pm
by Frank Maxwell
Slowly we are approaching the end of a other year 2014. To some it will have been good and other members on this forum a lot of frustration. In my opinion this IAC Forum has not a lot to offer regards moving ahead or letting the general public know what they are here for. The older generation have been bought up with the IAC umbrella and we pass this on to upcoming people who are entering this field of hobby video making. Having been involved with younger members who are more interested in doing their own films and using the media computer system to publish their work, are not interested. They are the hobby generation group.

Now we've got the keen media youngsters who go to colleague and learn this craft as future job prospect. But they hit a brick wall. After finishing the exam or degree, finding a job in the media field is very difficult. My year on this forum has been very interested to read more or less the same in a different format. As a forum we don't seem to attract other members to say something and a troubleshooting section would help for PC and Apple and possible some reviews on new editing software when it comes out.

My other concern is the decline in video clubs, which has been debated many times on this forum.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:25 pm
by John Roberts
Some interesting observations already and good, positive ideas as well. Let's keep the suggestions flowing and if we can manage to get some kind of a list together by the end of Saturday night that would be fantastic. I have every hope that all will become clear next week.

Let's keep this thread to positive and constructive suggestions! I thank you :D

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:24 pm
by col lamb
First the mag has to go, it is too much of a drain on our subscriptions.

The mag content needs to go online and be updated regularly in a similar manner to the mag.

Get advertising on the website and links to generate income from the website.

More encouragement for online movie competitions, top three to receive free membership for one year and an offer of mentoring in their local area.

BIAFF remaining and Regional competitions being coordinated and each to have an open category so that any IAC member in any region can enter.

Send advertisements to the Head of Faculty at all Universities offering Media courses

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:10 pm
by Michael Slowe
Not for the first time, I find myself at considerable odds with Col. I regard the magazine as a vital ingredient of an IAC membership. It unites us film makers, frequently contains very interesting views and information (anyone can contribute, as on this forum). On line reading is quite a different experience and, I for one, would never do that, we have to be on computers quite enough already thank you. As to the BIAFF being on line, do you really want your films to be viewed on a computer? Might as well do all the shooting on an iPhone and not worry about the quality at all.

The demise of clubs is quite a different topic, I must confess that I very rarely attend mine other than present an invited evening, there have been many suggestions a to how to rectify the decline and I leave that to those more concerned with this than me. But BIAFF must be a 'live' event surely, and the magazine must remain a printed item - in my humble (old fashioned?) opinion.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:33 pm
by John Roberts
I agree that BIAFF should most definitely remain a 'live' event, as should most competitions wherever possible. Inter-club competitions are generally 'live' even if the 'away' club cannot attend the 'home' presentation due to distance etc, and remits a DVD of their entries instead. However, I do believe that online submissions should be looked at as well as physical ones (especially as I am in the midst of burning no less than 6 discs - one Blu-Ray and two DVDs each for a meagre two entries to BIAFF) and I find myself musing over the amount of time it has taken DVD Architect to simply render the files required from projects that are already completed, to check they all play OK, and to traipse to the post office to send them off. Plus there is the cost of the 'one-off' discs, cases and packaging and registered postage to (almost) guarantee they get there in one piece.

I am very 'open' about the magazine format. Perhaps it might be possible upon subscription renewal to offer a choice to members if they would like a printed issue by post and/or a PDF copy via internet. There are plenty of (free) PDF 'printers' available, such as Cute PDF Writer, that create a PDF file when the application is selected from the desktop publisher's print options. This PDF file can then be sent via email or the file uploaded to the IAC server and the link to it sent to members who requested the online version (or indeed all members). Most magazine printers will accept a PDF file to produce the hard copies, so it's entirely possible that Garth does (or can) create a PDF file of his finished issue. Everything remains the same, and Garth can continue to produce the magazine in the same way he does now, but if this cuts down on the number of printed hard copies Garth has to lug around and the IAC have to pay for yet everybody still gets what they want, then surely this is a move forward, at least in the interim. Other advantages include an almost zero-cost implementation and the ability to store and access older PDF versions of the magazine online.


Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:14 pm
by TimStannard
(Technical aside to John)
Off Topic

John, whilst this does not diminish your point in any way, I can't help thinking that if you're waiting for DVDA to render, you're doing something wrong. DVDA will only render if you provide files in a format it cannot write out direct or if those provided are too big to fit on the intended media.

I'm assuming that if you are using DVDA you are using Sony Vegas.

Create your files within Vegas.
For DVDs use "Mainconcept MPEG2" and select the DVD Architect Widescreen Video Stream Template (I'm assuming widescreen here)
Do the same for the audio stream -create a Dolby Digital AC-3 Pro, Stereo DVD template (I use a modified version of this where I set the Dialog Normalization to -29dB, otherwise the levels are very low compared to other DVDs (inc commercial ones)
Give both the video and the audio files the same name (eg MyVideo.mpg & MyVideo.ac3) in the same directory (sorry, I mean "folder") then when you import one into DVDA the other is automatically imported.

Prepare and Burn your DVD - this should take seconds to prepare (as you've provided files in a format that do not need re-rendering) and the usual few minutes to burn. For susequent copies, you only need select as teh Burn source "Previously Prepared Folder" and it won't need to prepare again.

For BluRay the principle is the same, except here you can choose between MainConcept AVC or Sony AVC format and (obviously) choose a BluRay Video Stream template. I cannot advise as to which is best as, whilst I've worked with HD source for several years, I've only recently started delivering HD. From what I've read, the Sony AVC codec has teh advantage.

This creates an ISO image which you can then ether burn with DVDA or form any image burning software.

Sorry if I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs (really must look up the derivation of that phrase), but the point is do NOT let DVDA re-render. Create files of the right size and format in Vegas where you have much more control over the settings.

Back on topic. Apologies, folks.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:12 pm
by John Roberts
WARNING: The next section is off-topic! :D

Hi Tim, thanks for the advice. Actually, I was in error by mentioning DVDA when I should in fact have typed MS12, which was busy rendering new BIAFF versions of the films with the required 10 seconds of black and format leader using the Sony AVC template. This took an age for each film. I use DVDA so infrequently I often forget how to set it up - in fact I only ever use it to burn DVDs and BDs to send to IAC competitions!

Back on topic again - any more thoughts and suggestions, anyone, before the end of the evening?

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:55 pm
by col lamb
Where did BIAFF going online come from? Not from me

It is the mag that should go online. Did Garths recent article not indicate that over half our subscription goes in producing and distributing the mag?

Ever heard of iPads and Kindle? I have hundreds of books and mags on my ipad, which also takes good images and video, hey I can even edit the movie on the device.

Distribute the mag electronically and then if anyone wants a paper copy, hey guess what, you can print it out yourself. This works well with other organisations I am with.

It is time to move into the twenty first century, for if you techio dinosaurs do not the IAC will become extinct

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:05 pm
by Dave Watterson
Col, your reference to "encouraging online competitions" got mixed up in people's minds with BIAFF, which you did not want to be an online event.

The magazine is generated as a very high quality pdf file for sending to the printers. That could probably be reduced considerably in size without causing problems for reading on a screen.

But what would / should IAC use the saved money for?

I know it sounds daft, but money alone is not the answer. You also need people to make that money work.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:24 am
by col lamb
Expansion by creating a more dynamic online community.

Create an online movie hosting website like a UK version of Vimeo, where anyone can post a movie up to a size limit and can subscribe for more upload capacity.

Competitions online, categories, themed challenges, scripts, genres, advice, regional get togethers etc

As a side issue, try downloading a Vimeo HD movie and play it in the club via the projection system and the quality will be right up there.

PDFs on an iPad are perfectly readable, OK so you do not have an iPad, why no? As they are the now and future. Sit in your comfortable chair read, browse, communicate and create using some of the great Apps that are available. Sideline over.

The money saved in printing and distribution costs by only having electronic versions of the Mag could be used in buying in marketing expertise, subscribing to an increased internet bandwidth and storage capacity, as well as subscription this could also carry advertising banners etc which would bring in more revenue.

That said if the expertise and available time not available within then buy it in.

We need to get radical.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:00 am
by John Roberts
OK - an update :)

I'm sure many things can be changed from the 'outside' but I wanted an up close and personal 'inside' view, so I tagged along to observe the IAC National Council meeting yesterday. Actually, it's something I've been thinking about doing for a while and when I suggested it to other Council members at the Stratford AGM I was invited with open arms. I'm sure Ivor and fellow Councillors won't mind me airing my personal thoughts on the meeting.

I found it a positive atmosphere, and any differences of opinion were discussed and resolved without prejudice or preference. I would say at least 90% of the meeting would probably be of very little interest to general membership, although some topics were discussed that are 'hot' on this forum. I did take along a list of the suggestions and ideas posted here with a view to bringing them up at the end of the meeting, but a good half of them had already been included on the agenda anyway and I surmised that the forum is 'monitored' to some degree and issues are in fact noted and discussed.

Unfortunately because I was there as an observer, time wasn't allocated for the suggestions I took with me (nobody's fault - the Council simply weren't expecting me to say anything, especially at length, so the meeting closed with no time to spare). However I managed to grab a few minutes after the meeting with Ivor, and Michael and Linda Gough, and briefly outlined some of my own ideas and those of others. The up-shot of this is I have now been co-opted onto the National Council and Ivor has invited me to email the suggestions and ideas to him in order that they can be included on the agenda of the next meeting in about 8 weeks time and discussed in more detail. I remarked that feedback on the items is also required and suggested a formal sub group is created here on the forum in order to provide updates on issues raised.

I believe that the first stage of moving forward is to create an open two-way dialogue between members of the IAC and its Council, without having to wait until the annual AGM to ask a question or receive a response. I have some ideas how this might be achieved, and it will be the first item (of many) on the email I'll be sending to Ivor. All I can suggest to do in the meantime is to keep throwing positive ideas into the pot, mix them up a bit and we'll see what happens in 8 weeks time! :D


Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:55 am
by Dave Watterson
John, you are a star and put the rest of us to shame.

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:35 pm
by John Roberts
Not at all, Dave - but thank you. I'm just trying to do 'something' but there are a good many unsung IAC members that do a heck of a lot more than I do!

Re: Where to from here part 2

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:56 pm
by Michael Gough
Like Dave I am delighted with the appearance of John at the Council. It was a wonderful surprise to suddenly see him across the table from me. He was demonstrating the principle that if you really want to move the IAC forward you must first stick your head above the parapet. I felt he enjoyed the experience (if any three and a half hour committee meeting can be described as “enjoyable”) He gave us all a good hearing and shared a few hints that he had more to offer in the future. All strength to his elbow.
Michael Gough “On this occasion I’m sure my views do reflect those of the IAC Council”