Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

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Dave Watterson

Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:18 am

If I have understood correctly a note in Czech, the Senior Forum festival
in Kromeriz last week gave its overall top award to:

"Until You Smile" by Willy Van der Linden.

"Reasons" by Alan Colegrave took third prize.

"I Just Knew" by Phil Martin got a Highly Commended.

I hope that IAC Treasurer, Ron Prosser, managed to attend the festival and
that he will let us know more about it. Among the international jury there
were Wolfgang Freier, the experienced Belgian judge and UNICA Council members;
and Erich Riess, organiser of the Festival of Nations in Austria. The standard
of assessment would, therefore, be good.

Congratulations to the three of you who are regular readers and occasional
contributors to this forum.

Dave

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:04 pm

"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
If I have understood correctly a note in Czech, the Senior Forum festival
in Kromeriz last week gave its overall top award to:

"Until You Smile" by Willy Van der Linden.

"Reasons" by Alan Colegrave took third prize.

"I Just Knew" by Phil Martin got a Highly Commended.

I hope that IAC Treasurer, Ron Prosser, managed to attend the festival and
that he will let us know more about it. Among the international jury there
were Wolfgang Freier, the experienced Belgian judge and UNICA Council members;
and Erich Riess, organiser of the Festival of Nations in Austria. The standard
of assessment would, therefore, be good.

Congratulations to the three of you who are regular readers and occasional
contributors to this forum.
I am proud and I feel embarrassed at the same time. I've never seen "Reasons"
made by Alan, but I have a copy of "I Just Knew" made by Phil. In my opinion
Phil's film is the best one minute movie I've ever seen. To be honest I
think it's difficult to compare a one minute movie with a documentary, to
compare it with an animation film or with a fiction film. I remember that
Dave already suggested to organize British festivals only for travelogues,
only for animation films, only for ... etc... Last week I won gold at a
regional competition in Belgium with my "Masquerade". I was very happy with
it, also because I was not the only one who won the first prize. There were
five overall winners. There was only one gold, one silver and one bronze
winning film in the category animation films. There was one gold, one silver
and one bronze winning film in the category fiction films. "Who's Vincent
?" was first. It won the Guernsey Lily this year. There were also three
other categories : documentaries, one minute movies and travelogues. There
were about 50 films, but 5X3 films were screened in the festivity hall of
the City of Mechelen. Only there the final decision was taken : gold, silver
or bronze for each category. The pre-selections were held the weeks before
more or less behind closed doors. The filmmakers were invited and also their
clubmates and members of family ...

Once again : of course I'm very happy with my Czech first prize. It's Dave
who encouraged us on this forum to take part in that festival. I'm also happy
with the word "middle-aged".

One more thing : at BIAFF there is a seperate competition for one minute
movies. Here on this site you can read somewhere that the winning film at
BIAFF may be the British film for Unica next year . Dear British friends,
... I am a Belgian, however a Belgian with a British soul, and I have a one
minute movie for BIAFF ! Imagine that I win the one minute movie competition
at BIAFF ... ! To be honest ... I would be extremely proud to represent Britain
at Unica !

Sorry, I'm only teasing you ... My entry is just to support BIAFF. Don't
vote for it. Compared with "I Just Knew" ... I only deserve a blue seal award
for it. I mean it. I've already seen much better one minute movies than
this one. I've just made this one to show it at our local film gala and also
to please two clubmates who are the actors. But imagine that a foreigner
wins the British festival. Would you allow him to represent Britain at Unica
? I will not feel offended if you say NO ! Delicate question, isn't it ?


Anyway times are changing. I remember the Matt Busby Babes of Manchester
United in the fifties. The Charltons and the other ones were only British.
Now British teams like Arsenal have Dutch, Belgian and players of other nationalities.
But for film making that would be a bold step I think. I can't imagine that
a French speaking Belgian would represent the Dutch speaking region of Flanders
or ... no, imagine that we have a French speaking filmmaker in our local
club... ?

I'm also asking you this question because about three or four Belgians entered
the national competition in the Netherlands this year. One of these Belgians
was even the runner-up. In Belgium he was first. So he took part in two national
competitions. Will he represent Holland or will he represent Belgium ? I
don't know yet. In fact he should have taken part in only one festival :
in the Dutch one or in the Belgian one.

Willy, ... sorry, I'm William

Dave Watterson

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:37 pm

I have just heard from Ron Prosser who attended the Senior Forum Festival.
He had a wonderful time.

His entries were selected for screening so he was invited at short notice
to attend. The festival provided accomodation but he had to pay for travel.
His best flight to Brno got in after the event had begun but he was told
he had not missed much. Many entries were, of course, in Czech so Ron and
other foreigners had to work out what was happening from the visuals, music
and effects.

Ron was the only British person there but within minutes of arriving he had
met Otto Schöedl whom he had seen at the Guernsey Festival and they got on
like a house on fire. From the Czech team, Ladislav Frantek and Radek Stipl
- who have good English - made Ron very welcome. Erich Riess and Wolfgang
Freier whom he had met at UNICA were members of the jury and said hello when
they had a chance.

It seems to be a very merry festival with some great touches. At the awards
ceremony Ron heard his name called and like all other first-time entrants
he had to go on stage. A red ribbon was placed round his neck from which
hung a carpet slipper (symbol of old age!) and he was dubbed a lifetime Senior
Forum member by the president sitting on a wheelchair and tapping him on
the shoulder with crutches! He has a certificate to prove it.

I hope Ron will write about it for FVM or the website in due course. Meantime
he recommends it warmly to film makers as an enjoyable and remarkably cheap
event.

Dave

Ian Gardner

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Ian Gardner » Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:39 am

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
I have just heard from Ron Prosser who attended the Senior Forum Festival.
He had a wonderful time.
Free accodation! THAT sounds good to me! Is the IAC listening!? I wonder
how much it cost to enter his film? Was it dearer then the IAC`s. Some are
very expensive.

Ian Gardner

Dave Watterson

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:32 am

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Free accodation! THAT sounds good to me! Is the IAC listening!? I wonder
how much it cost to enter his film? Was it dearer then the IAC`s. Some are
very expensive.
It cost Ron 12 Euros a film to enter which is about £8.11.

The big difference is that labour is very cheap and so hotel costs - indeed
service industries generally - are much cheaper than in Britain. Also many
former Communist countries have a tradition of city and state support for
voluntary Arts groups which we do not enjoy. Often we hear that clubs get
free premises, a town pays the venue cost and gives prizes for a festival
and so on.

I wonder how we could organise an amateur film festival most cheaply ...
any ideas everyone?

Dave

Ian Gardner

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Ian Gardner » Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:58 pm

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Free accodation! THAT sounds good to me! Is the IAC listening!? I wonder
how much it cost to enter his film? Was it dearer then the IAC`s. Some
are
very expensive.

It cost Ron 12 Euros a film to enter which is about £8.11.

The big difference is that labour is very cheap and so hotel costs - indeed
service industries generally - are much cheaper than in Britain. Also many
former Communist countries have a tradition of city and state support for
voluntary Arts groups which we do not enjoy. Often we hear that clubs get
free premises, a town pays the venue cost and gives prizes for a festival
and so on.

I wonder how we could organise an amateur film festival most cheaply ...
any ideas everyone?

Dave
I surpose you have to advertise in the local and countrywide press. Adverts
on all the forums you can find. Get a sponcer like Jessops or dixons. May
be a decent prize for a raffle. Get a main sponcer so advert costs are kept
low. Get a really good deal with a hotel or even local guest houses. Get
a discount for people on the ferries (IOW) and have a good price on the entry
cost per film and entry to watch the films. Over here you can hire halls
really cheaply but i`ve herd that insurance is really dear. I mean, REALLY
dear. Insurance is for just in case some stupid person claims for being clumsy!
You may also need a public entertainment licence and also permission from
the local council to hold the event.
It would be much better to get the local council involved heavily in the
form of a free grant or any idears they may have. It would be better if the
council is for us and not against us.

Ian Gardner

Dave Watterson

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:01 am

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote about how we could organise
an amateur film festival most cheaply ...
Thanks, Ian, for a bunch of good ideas.

As you will guess many of them have been tried, but let me look at the:
advertise in the local and countrywide press.
That's way too expensive. e.g. a single full-page ad in 'The Mail on Sunday''s
"You" section costs about £24,000 - and you can reckon on a quarter page
being more than £6,000. For 'Digital Camera' magazine a page costs about
£1,760, more for "Amateur Photographer" - and so on. Plus you need to run
an advert several times to catch all the possible target readers.
Adverts on all the forums you can find.
This is a very good idea. I'll have a go now though it is a bit late for
BIAFF 2007 and will recommend the idea to the competition team for the next
time.
Get a sponsor like Jessops or Dixons.
We have tried and we do enjoy a few hundred pounds worth of sponsorship from
Jessops and others. We also have some prizes in the form of royalty-free
CDs for prizes. But no one is willing to provide big money for what they
see as a small event. BIAFF attracts 200-300 people and has an affect on
maybe twice that many. To companies who think of their target customer group
in millions this is small beer. We have to face the fact that our members
are not a prime target for those companies ... our people already have camcorders
and kit. They may update now and then but that only happens every few years.
What those companies want to do is reach people who have never bought video
kit and persuade them to buy.

Almost the only way to get big money in sponsorship is to have some kind
of television tie-in.
Maybe a decent prize for a raffle (perhaps from a sponsor).
This is worth a look. We have run raffles for ages - Gladys Dene who is close
to 100 years old ran it until very recently. The last couple of times it
was run as a Tombolo to speed up the prize giving. It helps but only to the
tune of a couple of hundred pounds ... after all the people who buy tickets
are those who are already attending BIAFF.
Get a really good deal with a hotel or even local guest houses.
We do try hard on this one. We make it clear we are booking for a group not
a business conference. Hotels that are big enough to host the event just
charge a lot. For example, where I live in Bath, modest b&b's charge around
£45 for a double-room per night.
a discount for people on the ferries (IOW)
That's special pleading!!! Nice try though.
Have a good price on the entry cost per film and entry to watch the films.
We don't do too badly on that. Entry fee for the first film is £14 if less
than 30 minutes. It costs £12 to see the Sunday gala show of top films and
£10 to have a choice of mini-cinemas on Saturday showing some winners and
top movies. A few festivals in Europe manage free entry for films. (For comparison
watching 108 minutes of "Happy Feet" in the Empire, Leicester Square, will
cost you £12.50.)
Over here you can hire halls really cheaply but i`ve herd that insurance
is really dear.
We have insurance deals on Public Liability that make that not too much of
a problem. We prefer to use a hall in the hotel where most people stay ...
that makes it easy to have short meal / coffee breaks and for people to chat
in the bar afterwards. Hall hire varies a lot but suitable ones tend to be
expensive on the mainland. Maybe other people can give us some typical hire
fees for a weekend.
Get the local council on our side.
Good idea but (a) they are short of cash and (b) we move BIAFF to a different
place each year. That is so that the huge amount of work involved falls on
different people each year.

I don't mean this to sound negative, Ian, because you have thought about
and written down in a quick posting here ideas which we took ages to come
up with over the years. It just isn't easy without a rich fairy-godmother!

Any more ideas? We need to find a cheaper way ...


Dave

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:40 am

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote about how we could organise
an amateur film festival most cheaply ...
Thanks, Ian, for a bunch of good ideas.


Yes, Dave, I think we must appreciate what Ian has done. He's given us some
ideas to find a cheaper way. Your reply, however, also gives us the feeling
that organizing events like BIAFF is not easy.

Indeed, Jessops is one of the sponsors. I know that Urbain Appeltans, the
winner of the Daily Mail Trophy, won 5 vouchers with a value of £50 each.
He asked me to help him because I go to England very often. I've given him
a brochure and an order form that I found some weeks ago in Canterbury and
it seems to me that Valrie Ellis is helping him now. But of course that is
something different. Also on the continent it is difficult to find sponsors.
We have one big advantage and I think that Dave has already told you this
: on the continent the local, regional and national authorities like the
Ministry of Culture for instance may subsidize important events. It's also
a matter of having good friends in politics. I worked for some ministers
for 6 years. The present Minister of Education, Frank Vandenbroucke, was
my boss at that time. I know political life very well. Some filmmakers even
manage to have their films sponsored. I am not going to mention some names
- that's too delicate - but I know some filmmakers who even received 25,000
euros for their film. They take part in all kinds of festivals for amateurs
with their sponsored films. But of course that's a different discussion and
I have the feeling that "I'm tilting at windmills" when saying or writing
this. Now I've already tried to do the same but only to get back the money
that I spent on my film. Without any success. I'm not a member of the right
political party at the moment. After all I feel happier now.

Last year Unica took place in Blankenberghe. About 125,000 euros or even
more were given to the organizers by the Flemish government. At least that's
what I've been told by one of the organizers himself. I was not surprised
by that. The Ministry always asks you to make a dossier. In it you must give
all estimated expenses. Then a decision is taken after some time. As I told
you it is sometimes interesting to have a good friend who can use his influence
... But, of course, that's Belgium. The other side of the coin is that taxes
in Belgium are extremely high. Perhaps we earn as much as the British but
every month we have less in our pocket. Part of our salaries is given to
the sick fund, to the local, regional and national authorities. They have
more money and they can do more for the citizens. Our National Health Service
is one of the best in the world, but also our Cultural Service and other
things are. In my previous town I could hire the Festivity Hall for only
50 euros. There is a bar in the hall. The proceeds were for my club. We only
had to find friends who were willing to serve drinks. We also have our own
clubhouse which belongs to the Local Authorities. We don't have to pay central
heating. Everything is free. We only have to make a film every 5 years about
our Community this as a service in return.

I'm going to stop writing now. That's one of my disadvantages. Once I'm sitting
in front of my computer I can't stop writing and I still have to do other
things like editing films. I should also ride on my hometrainer from time
to time or have a walk. I would like to say more about Ian's suggestions
but then my letter will be even longer and then it looks a bit ridiculous.

Ned C

Re: Prizes for the middle-aged movie makers !

Post by Ned C » Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:44 am

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote about how we could organise
an amateur film festival most cheaply ...
Thanks, Ian, for a bunch of good ideas.

Here in the USA we have the added problem of the distances involved and the
related travel costs so we have to make the attendance at the Festival as
attractive as possible. This year we were in Las Vegas which may or may not
be to your taste but it is a vacation city, the year before on a cruise with
a very attractive pricing. We also provide "door prizes", we secure enough
prizes for everyone attending and each morning a number of names and prizes
are drawn and matched. The prizes this year ranged from free magazine subscriptions
to a radio microphone outfit all donated by various suppliers, I got a magazine
subscription. This means that attendance could win you a valuable piece of
equipment. We are also looking at the possibility of mini one day festivals
held in different cities and trying to attract a broader audience. This will
be done (we hope) by reporting on forums, community notice boards, school,
college notice boards, store notice boards,related organisations such as
theatre groups, camera clubs, local newspaper event columns and also trying
for mention in TV and radio community reports. TV and radio are much more
local here than in Europe. However, all this needs someone to co-ordinate
the effort and keep knocking on doors. The venue would be a hotel as we need
a meeting room with projection potential and somewhere for lunch. This would
have to be paid for mainly by registration fees but by reducing travel and
overnight expenses the costs should be reasoable enough for most people.
We have had good support in the past from the US Casablanca distributor who
have provided a speaker and software as door prizes and Equipmen Emporium
in LA who provided the radio microphone outfit and several professional headphones
plus a speaker. The key to making this work is a dedicated person/committee
(preferably person) who will drive the process.

Ned C

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