Judges exhausted !

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Willy Van der Linden

Judges exhausted !

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:37 am

Many thanks, Competition Manager, for telling us that at BIAFF a combined
judging system session takes place at a single location over a weekend, when
all 18 judges work in teams of three - alternating after each session. I
think it's an excellent system and I've already promoted it in our regional
board of governors several times. I only thought that the British judges
took the films home. However, in Belgium nobody has the courage to change
it. They always say that it's even difficult to find 5 or 6 judges to form
a panel for two weekends of three days, judges who are obliged to watch at
least 120 films one after an other with an interval of two or three minutes
after each film. It gives them the time to write down their marks and to
write something on a sheet of paper. The filmmakers don't know what. There
are Belgian friends who read this forum from time to time. They know that
I'm not exaggerating. In my opinion there should be more respect for every
filmmaker, just like in Britain. It's ridiculous that a filmmaker works
on his 'work of art' for three, four months or even two or three years and
that a verdict is given in one or two minutes. It already happened that a
judge fell asleep. He was exhausted ! Watching films is very tiring for every
judge. It's normal that after 30 films they can't concentrate anymore. I
always enjoy films more as a viewer, as a member of the audience.

In Belgium the order of the films is always decided by drawing of lots. Imagine
that you have a fantastic film and that you are the very first to have your
film screened. In the beginning many judges hesitate. They don't know what
mark they should give. They don't have the courage to give gold already ...


Now I've been told that some leaders of the Belgian IAC, which is called
CvB and which is the national organisation for all photo and film clubs in
Flanders or the Dutch speaking part, have decided to force the organizers
of regional and national competitions to use a different system. More and
more Flemish filmmakers join NOVA, the Dutch IAC, because they hate the Belgian
system. Sorry for telling you all this. Perhaps you are not interested in
the systems that are used on the continent. I just want to emphasize that
I'm sure that all the British Film Festivals are the best in the world.

It's only a pity that the discussion about BIAFF-fees stopped very soon.
Dave wanted to know what we think about it. Only Ian replied and so did a
few other friends. Last week I met a Belgian friend who attended a British
Festival. He said that it was very expensive. 1 euro means 1 pound sterling
in Britain. That's the problem for foreigners. It should be 65 or 70 pence
! In the Middle Ages I organized trips to Kent, Scotland and Ireland. It
was easy to find enough people for one coach with 55 seats. I even had friends
whose names were on a "waiting-list". Now that's not possible anymore. Some
years ago I tried again. Someone had asked me to do so for his club of retired
people. Only 12 paid a deposit. Going to Greece or Turkey for 10 days is
much cheaper than going to the Garden of England for 4 or 5 days. That's
a pity of course. How interesting it would be to arrive at Royal Tunbridge
Wells in a coach with 55 Belgian friends ! I'm sure they would enjoy BIAFF
very much.
But of course the IAC can't change the value of the pound sterling. Our British
friends, however, have less reasons to stay at home. It's a film happening
that is unique !

Ian Gardner

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Ian Gardner » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:07 am

"Willy Van der Linden" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

Cheers Willy for your input. A nice long list of comments that we all should
take note of.
Firstly concerning the prices. As Willy pointed out. I do find the prices
of comps and getting there, and cost of accomodation very high. The price
of hloidays abroad is very cheap compaired to our own. I wouldn`t even afford
a holiday at one of OUR hotels on The Garden Island!
Secondly, as for judges comments. I think this answer is new to you. With
my wife verecovering from a serious op, November is a blank and i`ve been
on auto pilot! We had an editing competition at the club and I came third.
Third you say, it`s normally first! Anyway, when I read the judges comments
I was baffled and dissilusioned! It is an editing comp that everyone is given
the same footage to do as they wish. The only rule is that it`s no longer
then 5 minutes. The footage was of a local St Georges day with a carnaval
from East Cowes, across the floating Bridge then continueing to West Cowes
with a fun and games event it a field. I decided to choose the carnaval side
of it with a strong carnaval song. I left ot footage of the car rally and
country dancing. The judges said that my film wasn`t in keeping with the
St Georges Dat tradition and it was more like a Notting Hill Event!!!!! The
points I made to them were that it didn`t matter what we chose for the film
or subjest. The point of the comp is to judge the editing side of it. I could
have chosen to use just the clouds and do a documentry on different types
of clouds or just have stuck with the classic cars and done a documentry
on the colours of the number plates. I know these exaMPLES ARE BORING BUT
YOU GET MY POINT. I could have done Anything with the footage. That`s the
point! I pointed this out and they have a committee meeting tonight.

To be continued later (I`ve got to go out!)..............
Ian Gardner

Ian Gardner

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Ian Gardner » Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:52 pm

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

Part Two.........
I`m back...........
Due to my disagreements with the my club committee and also the judgeing,
I won`t be entering club comps untill it`s all sorted out. I will proberly
still make films and do bits for people. How can anyone leave a hobby so
good as ours. You can make a political film on anything in a comp (to put
your point across) and people have to watch it at the club. Wonderfull!
When I say i`m not going to do anymore club films, may be a little lie.
I`ve now got to my rebelious stage in life. I`m too nice at the moment ;-))
The next comp at our club is The Music to Video Comp. You know, the usual
drivel of stills or a flowing landscape type of film set to music. Mine is
going to be different. I`m going to have titles at the beginning and at the
end. I`m going to have a nice piece of music and the bit in the middle is
going to be black circle dancing in time to the music on a black background.
Ie, nothing! I will have transitions in time to the music going from black
to black! Isn`t it great.
For the following comp, i`m going to do a documentry (for the documentry
comp) but it may just have me speaking about certain things but i`m going
to edit it as bad as I can make it! I keep winning the editing competition
(BTW). It will be as bad as someone`s worse or first film. I will do everything
that isn`t mean`t to be done. I will become the Isle of Wights Les Dawson
to filmmaking. Another film I may call `2 minutes and 49 seconds`. It will
of course be total black (or white) for.... you`ve guessed it, 2 minutes
and 48 seconds!
When we do comps now at the club, we have to include everything that the
judges score card says. This is so we can get a possible full marks for every
entry on the judges sheet. This I find a bit bad because your film may not
need certain `features` that they want you to have. Someone could do a really
bad naration and get a few marks for it while I may not need naration and
get no marks! He could win and me come second even if he had a worse film!
It`s really made me feel angry at it all. So i`m rebelling! Sorry. I feel
that my place in MY CLUB is to help and encourage people (that`s what I do
in life really). The new members need this. When I was club sec, I used to
do this after every film had been shown. They don`t even say `that`s good`.
So i`m putting my foot down for all the members in the club so everything
is sorted out fair for everyone.

Saying what i`ve said. How do other people feel about what i`m doing. Honest
answers please. I feel that we are all friends on here. Do you think i`m
a loser! or do I have a valid point!

You can all wake up now. Sorry to bore you all. It`s such a powerfull and
fantastic hobby and passtime.

Ian Gardner

Ned C

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Ned C » Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:55 pm

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Hi Ian,
Rebellion is fine but a waste of effort against amateur film judges. Judging
is a thankless task and by its very nature bound to leave more than a few
people dissatisfied. Have you entered films in the various National and International
competitions and festivals? The BIAFF deliver well thought out judges comments
as do the Guernsey Lily. I agree that the cost of entering is a restriction
but you should try and hit two or three major comps each year. Recognise
on the way in that judging is more art than science and hope to get something
useful from the comments. Regarding Willy's comments, at AMPS we spent five
days judging 80 films, we try to leave time between films for discussion.
We judge the films in genre groups as these involve specific awards, we watch
some films twice. These are long days and hard work but very enjoyable.
There is an oportunity for a great movie here "Don't shoot the judges" perhaps?

Ned C

Ian Gardner

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Ian Gardner » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:22 am

"Ned C" <ned@ampvid.com> wrote:
"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Hi Ian,

Rebellion is fine but a waste of effort against amateur film judges. Judging
is a thankless task and by its very nature bound to leave more than a few
people dissatisfied. Have you entered films in the various National and
International
competitions and festivals? The BIAFF deliver well thought out judges comments
as do the Guernsey Lily. I agree that the cost of entering is a restriction
but you should try and hit two or three major comps each year. Recognise
on the way in that judging is more art than science and hope to get something
useful from the comments. Regarding Willy's comments, at AMPS we spent five
days judging 80 films, we try to leave time between films for discussion.
We judge the films in genre groups as these involve specific awards, we
watch
some films twice. These are long days and hard work but very enjoyable.
There is an oportunity for a great movie here "Don't shoot the judges" perhaps?

Ned C
Dear Ned,
Thank you for your comments. I don`t have a `thing` with all judges. Only
the people used at our club. I have entered the IAC`s comp before with two
entries. I was pleased with the results and accept the judges comments. I
don`t the the behind the scenes of the IAC so it doesn`t bother me. On a
local level, at our club, I do! That`s the problem. When you start to know
how sonething works, then you get alittle involved more and you see things
that you dissagree with 100%. You then try to make it better. In life (for
an easy one) you can either go with the flow and not have fun (being just
a number and the easiest thing to do, lazy etc), or you can try and change
things for the better. It`s called `rocking the boat`. If you saw someone
being beat up or hurt, the easiest thing to do would be to `Walk on By`,
the easy thing to do. The good samaritan story from The Bible comes to mind.
If on the other hand you want to help and make things alittle better for
people then you help. The hardest and lonlyest thing to do. I am that second
person.
So I "Don't shoot the judges", only our clubs ones who don`t even understand
the rules of the competition! You would not play Criket with a judge who
diddn`t understand the rules!

Cheers Ned.

Ian Gardner

Ned C

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Ned C » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:13 pm

Hi Ian,

In my view club members should not "judge" each others work in competitions
as it is just too open to crtiticsm, it also excludes the judges from entering
their own films which limits the entry. Why not invite some local non-members
in to do the judging? The local still camera club, dramatic society, college
art/film department are some possibilities, I am sure you can think of more.
Give them a copy of the rules and pay their bus fare!It is certain that these
judges will have a completely different view than amateur film makers, you
may not find the results to your liking but it keeps the contention outside
the club and after all you don't have to ask them back! So, rock this boat
by requesting that outsiders be invited to judge the next comp, let us know
what happens

Keep on filming,

Ned

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Dear Ned,
Thank you for your comments. I don`t have a `thing` with all judges. Only
the people used at our club. I have entered the IAC`s comp before with two
entries. I was pleased with the results and accept the judges comments.
I
don`t the the behind the scenes of the IAC so it doesn`t bother me. On a
local level, at our club, I do! That`s the problem. When you start to know
how sonething works, then you get alittle involved more and you see things
that you dissagree with 100%. You then try to make it better. In life (for
an easy one) you can either go with the flow and not have fun (being just
a number and the easiest thing to do, lazy etc), or you can try and change
things for the better. It`s called `rocking the boat`. If you saw someone
being beat up or hurt, the easiest thing to do would be to `Walk on By`,
the easy thing to do. The good samaritan story from The Bible comes to mind.
If on the other hand you want to help and make things alittle better for
people then you help. The hardest and lonlyest thing to do. I am that second
person.
So I "Don't shoot the judges", only our clubs ones who don`t even understand
the rules of the competition! You would not play Criket with a judge who
diddn`t understand the rules!

Cheers Ned.

Ian Gardner

Dave Watterson

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:34 pm

"Ned C" <ned@amvid.com> wrote:
In my view club members should not "judge" each others work in competitions
Why not invite some local non-members in to do the judging?
What an interesting notion! I'd add that you could invite helpful technical
comment on movies from club members while leaving the actual judging to the
outsiders. That gets round the question of whether or not outsiders can appreciate
the work which goes into moviemaking.

Come to think of it - that's what I have been in all these years of judging:
an interested outsider.

Dave W

Dave Watterson

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:40 pm

For details of how an IAC International competition is judged see:

http://www.fvi.org.uk/central/biaff_2005_judging.html

And yes, I'd still be interested in hearing more comments on the cost of
attending BIAFF to see the results of the judging in 2007.

I take the point that you can get a decent holiday abroad for the same money,
but holidays in UK are expensive. Jan and I spent last weekend in Cornwall
seeing the wonderful Eden Project. The overall cost of a decent hotel and
entrance fee? About the same as attending BIAFF.

There is also surely a premium to be paid for seeing the best films of the
year ...


Dave

ned c

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by ned c » Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm

Hi Dave,

I feel that films cannot/must not be judged on the amount of work that went
in to them. On this basis every comp would be won by animation films since
they must surely be the most time consuming form of film making.

Ned C


"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
What an interesting notion! I'd add that you could invite helpful technical
comment on movies from club members while leaving the actual judging to
the
outsiders. That gets round the question of whether or not outsiders can
appreciate
the work which goes into moviemaking.

Come to think of it - that's what I have been in all these years of judging:
an interested outsider.

Dave W

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:19 pm

"ned c" <ned@amvid.com> wrote:
Hi Dave,

I feel that films cannot/must not be judged on the amount of work that went
in to them. On this basis every comp would be won by animation films since
they must surely be the most time consuming form of film making.

Ned C

Yes, you're right, Ned. Films must not be judged on the amount of work. But
saying that animation films must surely be the most consuming form of film
making ... ? I know filmmakers who work 2 or 3 years on a travelogue, a
documentary or a fiction film. In my club a young filmmaker made an animation
film in only one week and it was not bad at all. Thanks to our various computer
systems we should be able to make animation films in a very short time. I
admire the filmmakers of the fifties, sixties, seventies ... who made wonderful
animation films with 8mm films. Now it's easier. Of course it all depends
on the story, the complexity of the theme, and many other things. Or am I
wrong ?
Willy

Dave Watterson

Re: Judges exhausted !

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:08 am

"ned c" <ned@amvid.com> wrote:
Hi Dave,

I feel that films cannot/must not be judged on the amount of work that went
in to them. On this basis every comp would be won by animation films since
they must surely be the most time consuming form of film making.

Ned C
Sorry - I did not explain myself properly. I meant that if outsiders judged
a club comp, it would also be helpful to have on hand film makers who did
not take part in the judging but did offer comments on the work in the film
... ideas on technique etc.

My thinking is that at club level competitions are really part of the teaching/learning
process so that although assessing the finished product is important, it
is also important to get comment, feedback - and some verbal stroking - from
colleagues who know what was involved in the making.

I agree that the amount of work which goes into any piece of art is quite
irrelevant to the viewer/listener. All that matters is how that piece of
art affects them. In a few cases an artist may be able to work quickly and
easily. In most cases anything worthwhile takes a lot of time, trouble, patience
and effort.

Dave

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