YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

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col lamb
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by col lamb »

I have been over to Chesterfield today (Saturday) where I watched 20 of the movies shown at BIAFF.

A complete mix of styles, content, technical competency and more importantly a vast array of enjoyment possibilities

Now for each movie I watched I gave it my own * rating and of the 20 movies I agreed with the judges on only 8 counts.

Of the 12 whose * rating I disagreed with two I rated 2* less and one I rated as 4* less and that makes a zero for it. The remaining movies I scored at 1* less than the judges with one exception

The exception was one movie which got 5* and it had the audience in stiches, it was a simple cut from one static camera shot to another where the two characters spoke their dialogue and acted accordingly, a simple movie but one that was so well thought out and presented that in my view it should have got a diamond. Bob, I think that you were robbed with your brilliant "No Way Back"

So those of you who were unhappy with your results can be thankful that I was not amongst the judges as you probably would have got a lesser score from me.

As the judges and I fairly well agreed on the ratings + or - 1* on 17 out of the 20 movies I watched, they did a pretty good job and so a big thanks and well done to them all is due.

So what distinguishes a 5* from a 4* from a 3*, well based upon what I saw and heard; it can be very little.

One of the 4* movies I saw was one of Tom Hardwick's about a girl and her trampoline experiences and desires. It contained very few different variety of shots, quite a good deal of slo-mo effects, had great clear diction in the girl's narration, each shot was perfectly framed, colour rendered and there were no technical artifacts in the completed movie. A very simple movie yet very effective and a treat to watch.

Another 4* was very good all round except for one series of clips looking out to sea where the mike picked up a lot of wind noise, this alone for me would have resulted in one less star.

One comedy also with 4* had for me very bad acting in the punch line and the timing of the sound effects was off so again 1* less in my view. On the other hand Ken Wilson's "Bookends" got 3* and I saw this when Ken came over to Preston to put on a show for us and this movie was/is far better constructed and more humourous and so was under marked.

A 3* music video of a couple singing was just as well presented as 4 and 5* movies, they just lucked out with the judges on this occasion, it was just as well constructed as Tom's 4*.

Well that is enough of my ramblings with one exception............my own AUDIENCE OF ONE choice of the best movie I saw today
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The Turning of the Screw
by Geoff Addis
Col Lamb
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Dave Watterson
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Dave Watterson »

Daily Mail winner was Present from the Past by Shaun Labreque from Utah
Best British went to No Regrets by Alfie Barker

congratulations to both!
Bob Lorrimer
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Bob Lorrimer »

Thank-you COLIN.....I am delighted that NO WAY BACK was so well received in the BALLROOM.... You will appreciate that the film is more complex than it appears.

***

First up, I must apologise for my remark in which suggested that JOHN ROBERT's film (Thinking Time - a Diamond winner) was 'buried' by being shown at 9.30 am on the SUNDAY show. The Ballroom was almost at capacity...so his film was in fact - well presented.

I would also be most interested, on behalf of my Club, to know the name and the technicalities involving the media storage device which was used to display the films....It is clearly the way forward for CLUB shows.

For my own part I would have preferred very much larger Loudspeakers in the Hall....and I was seated in the front row. I doubt whether the two TEN Inch Loudspeakers on offer had sufficient 'authority' to cary 'acoustic detail' to the rear of a packed auditorium. (This is a common grumble from me.....as narrative work requires more AUDIO PRESENCE than the documentary makers require.)

I will NEVER, EVER complain about Judge's again! This morning my head aches, my neck aches and I feel as if someone has poured hot sand in my eyes overnight and I only watched 4 hours of the stuff!

I find it very reassuring to see that Suicide, Depression, Alzheimers and Woodpeckers remain ever popular amateur themes.

For my Money - I think the Documentary film makers, such as Michael Slowe's study of the AMADEUS QUARTET, have the edge on the wild-life boys for their films are driven by Characters which, I believe, makes them more involving to watch.

The TWO WINNING films (overall) looked great and I thought they both were worthy of that status.

Bob
Ken Wilson
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Ken Wilson »

I am now back home after an exhausting but very enjoyable film weekend. The intensity of it all, cramming in as many films as possible, speaking to as many people as possible in limited time gaps between the shows and getting meals, makes it all sheer madness.
It was made worse for us this year as we were staying at the Ibis hotel a 10 minute walk away, so we were back and forth all the time. Yet the Ibis is a much cleaner and modern hotel than the Chesterfield so it was worth the extra effort.

There are lots of things to say, impressions, opinions, snatches of conversations and gossip, that perhaps it cannot all be written in one go.
For the most part, it was a good festival. As Colin has said here, I also didn`t agree with many of the star ratings (but who does?..not even the judges themselves it seems. Read on.) Many 4 stars should have been 3 in my view. And in at least 1 case, a 3 star that should have been a 1. Two tin boxes a bunch of keys. Was it a camera test?

Several films were much too long, which becomes more obvious as the hotel chairs grow unbearably uncomfortable, something many people mentioned later on the Sunday. Why can`t we find better venues for our premiere film weekend?

But the teams worked hard and the projectionists did a great job.
On our own film, "Bookends" many people came up to us after the show (which was in a full Chatsworth room) and said how much they had enjoyed it and that it was under-rated at 3 stars. I have come to accept that audiences always enjoy our films much more that the judges seem to, for reasons I can`t explain.

The two top films, "Present from the Past" and "No Regrets" were superb and for us the right choices. The Korean film was mind numbingly long and tedious for me and as always the Sunday show was filled with studies on depression, suicide and various forms of mental illness, just the things for a Sunday film festival.

One of the BIAFF judges also told me he had been on one panel where 2 judges wanted to give a film 5 stars and the other judge wanted to give it 2 stars. And there`s the problem when opinions differ so much. More later...
Ken
Michael Slowe
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Michael Slowe »

Well said Ken, yo give a great impression of what it was all like - you should write a regular column somewhere. It was good to spend some time with you and Carole.

I thought that the presentation of the films was the best for years, well done our 'hosts'! I was very nervous that my film was to be shown (in common with all the Sunday ones) from a file, taken from the submitted BD. Consequently I requested that they run the BD itself which request they courteously granted. Actually I needn't have worried, the files looked every bit as good as the discs, not surprisingly as Tom would say, it's all zeros and ones with digital.

As to the judging, well I saw only a selection but could only find one or two instances where my opinion differed. Once again though I didn't like the main winner result - the rather sugary American Santa story, but there you go, I would have chosen one ofthe depressing old people's story! Tom's trampoline film looked so much better on the big screen than when I first viewed it on line, goes to confirm my firm belief that computers are not for viewing films. That also goes for our fellow poster and his wonderful clock construction, so much more effective properly exhibited.
col lamb
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by col lamb »

Bob

Your question about media storage devices.....whilst I was not involved in the projection at Chesterfiled I do it at Preston.

I have started a new thread in the Tech/Equipment section on media players
Col Lamb
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Bob Lorrimer
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Bob Lorrimer »

Thank-you Colin..I will check that out.

Michael, I did think that your film appeared to have the best resolution of the day, from my point of view which was 'very' close to the screen.

I also felt some of the wild life films looked a little soft by comparison (again from my POV)......but well lit 'Head and Shoulder' Shots will always stand out from the Long shots. Perhaps the authors of the wild life films will comment.

Nevertheless....is something lost along the way in the conversion...or as Terry Wogan might say: "Is it me?"

I concur with Ken....the 'films' are 'loooong'. The conversations we have in between are sound-bites.
Howard-Smith
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

A belated thank-you to Ian Woodward for the comments and words of encouragement on this forum on 28th March.
Another very enjoyable and interesting weekend at BIAFF; it's always a great pleasure to mingle with fellow enthusiasts and to view an incredibly wide variety of work.
A couple of small niggles about the hotel: loud thumping music from some nearby establishment (a night-club?) kept me awake for hours on both nights; and the coffee breaks were frustrating with ridiculously long queues. I gave up on them. At some previous venues the cups of coffee have been prepared on long tables so that people could take them with no delays or queuing.
For what it's worth, my top films were THINKING TIME, LAST OF THE WOLFGANG (Michael Slowe always makes great films), THE JUMBLIES, PURITY (5 stars, shown on Saturday - I've caught it on YouTube after someone told me how good it was) and PRESENT FROM THE PAST. NO REGRETS was a very impressive piece of work but for me the son's voice was wrong - he sounded about 18, whereas his mother must be well into her eighties. Either he should have sounded middle-aged or he should have been a grandson. Oh, and Bob Lorrimer's THE EGG (which I'd already seen a few times on YouTube) was a real gem.
Usually I'm more interested in fiction films than documentaries, but this year I felt that too many of the fiction films were let down by poor acting and/or weak stories and scripts. JUST FRIENDS, for example. The one-minute three-star film PAYMENT I thought was worthless. And what was ZWISCHENSTOPP all about? So generally this year I preferred the documentaries. On Saturday I really enjoyed COMBINE HARVESTER - though it was a pity it appeared to be projected in the wrong format (should have been 4:3).
Anyway, as Ivor Rose said at the end, everyone has his own ideas about what constitutes a good film. It's a lottery with regard to which judges you get.
Already looking forward to BIAFF 2014! :)
Ken Wilson
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Ken Wilson »

BIAFF second instalment.
Yes I agree with Howard, "Payment" was a decent idea but the acting was really poor and let it down. It didn`t deserve 3 stars.
In fiction, story and acting must be paramount.

Nice to see and spend some time talking with you Michael. As you were at our table for the gala dinner, we did get the chance for a bit more of our usual banter and Carol enjoyed talking to you and Reg. Great fun and you are as always very good company and ..oh by the way.. a good film maker too! No doubt your film "The Last of the Wolfgang" will find a deserved slot on one of the arts channels on TV. A fine tribute to the quartet.
I liked "David" too in the Sunday show although again perhaps too long, but beautifully shot. We wondered would it`s theme have been as acceptable if it hadn`t been subtitled? An interesting theory.
"Thinking Time" was good and really interesting, but didn`t answer my one question. What is the purpose of a clock that jumps forward 1 hour at a time? Anyone know?

I tried the "Young Faces" show in the Ballroom on Saturday, which pushed up my total of films viewed to 65! Lots of imagination and a lot of future promise in there which is great. Technical skills let a few down, but that is to be expected and will only get better with future films. Particularly noteworthy was "Across the Tracks" which created a lovely romantic mood and was full of great shots.

I also must mention Willy`s film "Mon Petit Bonhomme" which had a good story and the editing kept the film moving along unlike a few self-indulgent movies which could have lost half their running time. But it was well told and a shame you couldn`t be there with us Willy. Get well soon.
Lots more to think about and to take in.

I agree with Michael that some films should get a second screening (which actually two movies did get repeated on Sunday after we saw them on Saturday) but so many get missed when you are in another show. But then fewer film makers would get their films screened and perhaps less would attend the festival (?) The only solution would be a longer festival or perhaps a slot created at the AGM weeeknd with some repeats from BIAFF in place of some trips? Just an idea! I know a few are released on DVD but many are never seen again which is a real shame. Some people asked for our film to be sent on a DVD, so if there are known contact details, that`s always another option.

But all in all, as I said, a really good weekend.
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John Roberts
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by John Roberts »

Having just 'come down' from my first ever BIAFF I would like to take this opportunity to say what a wonderful experience I had over the weekend and to thank many far more capable film-makers than I for taking out some of their valuable time in the coffee breaks to chat with me and make me feel very welcome. My apologies to those of whom I initially didn't have an awful lot of eye contact with - I was too busy reading name badges in order to connect new faces (to me) with venerable names. Next year I might also have to brush up my South Korean! I enjoyed the young filmmakers show on Saturday - so many great ideas and flourishing talents. I particularly enjoyed 'Across the Tracks' which was very well presented and I noticed a lot of people talking about it in the refreshment breaks!

An answer for Ken: Officially - A jump hour watch was the first form of true digital watch (in that one doesn't have to 'interpret' the analogue dial - 9:59 reads exactly 9:59) although ironically we're so used to looking at analogue clock dials that jump hour timepieces actually require more interpreting during the latter half of the hour. Unless you know it's a jump hour timepiece, one will read the time incorrectly! However, my answer would be: Why not? :D

John
tom hardwick
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by tom hardwick »

Well I thought Present from the Past was a really lovely film from first scene to last. A great play on words fitted beautifully with the script and the whole production was one integrated whole, effortlessly and imaginatively taking us through a time travel fantasy.

The opening scenes neatly condense the story, and smooth tracking shots show the care that has been exercised in the filming. The little girl on the phone, the car on the Interstate, the sleepy father, the distraught mother, the grave, the flowers, the ‘dear Santa’ letter – all these images set the scene.

Then there’s the change of place and pace. If you get a chance, watch again the gun comparison scene shot from inside the vehicle. It's one long take of quite superb acting and utterly believable dialogue and this realism is what’s needed to get us over the accidental shooting of Santa and his subsequent (absurd) revival with magic dust. Because the film is so well crafted we can flow with it, and we happily accept Santa’s revival and subsequent delivery of the ‘use only once’ flashing toy.

I enjoyed this film. I thought the music choices, level and placement were spot on, and the editing was slick, tight and well paced. There were out of place jump cuts (yes, we've all talked about this), but overall the film was beautifully photographed.

Santa was very well cast but the actual shooting of him was, for me, the dip in the overall production. It felt rather at odds with the fine production values of the rest of the film. And they are indeed fine; the original story, script and screenplay lift this film above the many.

tom.
Bob Lorrimer
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Bob Lorrimer »

TOM HARDWICK:

Thank you for your well informed and generous critique of my modest film THE EGG. It was a delight to read your observations and remarks upon the craft of film making.
You very clearly recognise and understand the effort that has to go into every shot and clip, of even a short film, in order to bring it to life on the screen.

Vanity does not permit me to 'frame' your erudite page of 'COMMENTS on THE EGG' - but, I did have the Chairman of my Club READ it out aloud to the Membership at large!

WILLY VAN der LINDEN:

Your film MON PETIT BONHOMME was very well received at a packed Sunday Award show in the Ballroom at Chesterfield.

I particularly liked the Bar Scene at the beginning which 'sets up' the plot. It looked superb on the big screen and the intercutting between the two leading Characters with the large close ups of the young Bar Girl and the glasses was both 'involving' and technically masterful.

Comedy is not an easy genre.....Storylines which appear hilarious to us (as authors) on paper can be very difficult to translate into film.

Some of the 'Revenge' scenes did not quite have the comedy 'value' that I suspect was intended.....fortunately the Photography and your Cast were both excellent. Your, well established, authority in Pace and Edit kept the movie bubbling along until it's conclusion.

My Best Wishes to you Willy and Well done to THE ORGANISERS.

BOB
tom hardwick
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by tom hardwick »

Bob, your film 'The Egg' starts so well. Your beautifully controlled photography shows us exactly what you want us to see, and nothing more. On top of this the film has a great script and I especially liked the ‘won’t catch me with my trousers down again’, when it’s linked so neatly to the closing shots.

The acting is excellent, the lead character perfect for the part, the dialogue believable and the pace of the film is defined by the clever editing. I liked the way it neatly moved up a gear as the music was introduced at the start of the dance of the eggs. Just maybe this is over-played acting but it’s forgiven in the overall excellence and the snappy, every-frame-considered ending.

The film is perfectly timed and quite delightful to watch, the powerful close-ups being given punch by using controlled differential focus. The editing is frame accurate and the audio beautifully recorded. Congratulations are indeed in order. This is a terrific movie; a film where directorial control and editing panache shine through to show what can be done if you’re brave enough. It’s a fine piece of film-making, exhibiting structure, shape and timing that hide (as it should) the detailed planning, script writing and many editing hours.

Grab the audience. Let them know from frame one that you’re in command, that you have something to say and that you have an originality that will lift you above the rest. This is one such film, well deserving its 5 Star award.

tom.
Geoff Addis
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Geoff Addis »

Col Lamb - Thanks for your kind comment regarding 'The Turning of the Screw', much appreciated.

Overall, I felt the judging was well executed, but of course there are always some disagreements. 'Ein Augenblick in Mir' (In the Nick of Time) was unfortunate not to get a Diamond Award; I believe that if it had then it would have gone on to win the Daily Mail Trophy. 'No Regrets' was the well deserved winner of the Best British Young Film Maker award, but although Margaret Jackman's convincing performance as an elderly lady suffering from dementia was very moving, I felt that the Best Acting award should have gone to the more demanding performance in 'Ein Augenblick in Mir', but that's just my opinion of course.

Welcome light relief from the darker and deeper films was provided by 'Nicely Handled', 'David' and 'The Egg', thanks guys!

A special vote of thanks to the organisers and all entrants for most enjoyable weekend; now all I need is some inspiration for my next entry ... any ideas?

Geoff
col lamb
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by col lamb »

Its now October and the new Club season is in full swing.

As I wanted to have the club members try something different and rather than just sit and watch one movie after another I suggested that we have a critique evening looking at BIAFF movies, scoring them, analyzing them and considering what we could individually learn from the viewings that we could put to good effect in improving our own movies. So during the summer I downloaded a number of movies that were shown at the BIAFF 2013 event and we have so far made an evening and a half looking through the movies and discussing the merits of them. The movies downloaded were 2, 3, 4 stars and quite a few of the diamonds.

Using Tom Hardwicks very good article in FVM on what makes good movie as a guide, all the members read the article before starting to watch the movies.

After watching each of the movies the club members then gave each movie their own star rating and then the actual BIAFF rating was revealed and discussion continued.

In nearly every case the club members scored the movies lower that the BIAFF award.

Exceptions being, The Egg which club members scored higher and Mindbreak which should have been the best in the show as club members thought that it was far superior to Present From The Past.

One movie did create quite a lot of discussion in that it was acknowledged as taking a lot of work to video and edit but at 5* it was rated two stars higher than deserved, in fact all but two of the audience were asking for it to be terminated early, I'll not state the movie concerned, that is for you folks to look at them and come to your own conclusions.

So overall it is proving to be a very good exercise within the club and one that I am hoping will get our members making better movies and even entering them into BIAFF.
Col Lamb
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