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Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:43 am
by Michael Slowe
Come on Col. you're among friends, tell us what this awful 4 star film was and who made it, it will go no further I promise!


Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:17 pm
by col lamb
Sorry Michael you will be offended :lol:

Seriously, it would not be right for me to say who this person is, their movies always seems to do very well they are just not for me, to each their own.


Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:20 pm
by Michael Slowe
Col, I have reason to believe I do know and I assure you I never ever get offended!!


Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:32 am
by fraught
Going back over this thread there is some discussion about using test audiences. I 100% agree on this, and i think we've had this discussion before.
For me... not only did i sit down with my colleagues for a few test runs of my film whilst making notes, etc. I also showed the film to a bonafide Writer/Director of 2 Feature films (and got some invaluable feedback), as well as to an audience of about 200 people before i submitted the version that i did. It's been through more test screenings than anything else i've ever done! LOL...

Since submitting my film, i've made some drastic changes to it, shooting more scenes, cutting some more, and doing a bit of a jig around. Would i be able to resubmit next year?


Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:01 am
by Dave Watterson
That's a decision for the Competition Manager, David Newman, to make. Obviously he is up to his eyes at present getting the results out, planning the BIAFF shows and so on. But in the summer, send him details of the changes and he will let you know.


Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:54 am
by Willy
Everything is so subjective! The number of stars is a form of appreciation, but sometimes your film does not get the appreciation that it deserves. But, be sure, the BIAFF judges' comments are unique! You don't even receive judges' comments at other international festivals.

In Belgium you must be able to take a lot. Pulling out is not a good option. You must have the courage to go on with your hobby. You must be very strong. At BIAFF you are encouraged to go on. The language is polite, constructive... There is some criticism, which is normal, but it is always written in a positive way.

I am happy with the BIAFF-judges's critics that I received yesterday. I don't agree with everything, but I am sure that I don't know it all either.
One report reveals that there was a discussion among judges themselves. I think it is good to know this. It shows the honesty of the judges. I could read things like : "One judge felt..." and "I thought"... The third or first person singular.

Having a 5 star film you get two reports. One said: "In summary we considered this to be a lovely story, well told, which held our attention throughout the extent that it seemed much shorter than it actually is.". In the other report I read : "This was a gentle slow story sensitively told. Although we felt it was too long, it was enjoyable and pleasant to watch."


Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:22 am
by Willy
I forgot to tell you this about the length of my film (see previous message): It seems that there is some contradiction in the things both judging panels say about it, but there is not. The conclusion is: my film is a little bit too long. Both panels have told me this in a different, but in a gentle way.


Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:49 pm
by Bob Lorrimer
I can vividly recall a Judge's comment upon one of my films from a few year's back:

" would be good to see you exercise your talent on something more worthwhile!"

LOL .... well, I AM doing my best!

As a rule, I respect individual Judge's points of view and their remarks which relate to my films. Indeed, with the passage of time - usually about 4 years (!) I come to realise that they were quite correct and that I was wrong.

The true test of an amateur film of any length, is to sit 'in' on a cold audience. It will soon become apparent to the Director if the pace is too slow, as one can sense the audience quite literally 'drift' away. (I should know...I can lose an audience in less than a minute.)

The fledgling Director often perceives a lengthy 'running time' as an indication of his intent to make a serious film.

He is wrong.

The longer the running time the more the amateur film maker exposes the weakness of his own material and ability. The ambitious Amateur Film is more often than not doomed by comparison with its Pro counterpart.

Originality and creativity is the strength of the Amateur film maker - 'pastiche' will almost always fail.

There ARE film makers within the IAC who can 'hold' an audience but these 'auteurs' have an understanding of pace.

I always say that one should endeavour (in a fiction film) to EDIT ahead of the perception of the audience. Only in this way will an audience become 'engaged' with the other words - the viewer becomes immersed IN what is happening on the screen rather than just 'watching' it.



Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:53 pm
by fraught
Just going over the results of BIAFF 2013... i think it would be nice to know who got nominated for each of the Special Awards. I know the lead in my film was nominated for Best Actor (sadly not the winner), but i'd love to know who he was up against.


Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:51 am
by John Roberts
Good evening to everyone on the IAC forums! :)

This is going to be a very hard first post for me! My name is John and I am a member of Sheffield Movie Makers, last year at the South Yorkshire Amateur Film Competition I was encouraged to enter my film into BIAFF by the judge - Jill Lampert. I had a level of expectation, as everyone does, but was completely shocked when I received the results and the judges comments through the post. I'm not really sure what I can say, in truth, without it coming over in cold print completely wrong...

Over the last year or so I have met some wonderful people from different regions, almost without exception they have been very encouraging, helpful, polite and always had a kind word or two for a 'new' face. It is an understatement to say that I feel not a little humbled to be amongst so many movie-makers that are new names to me, yet appear regularly held in high regard, and rightly so! I hope that my past, current and future movie-making efforts might also, in time, encourage others as others have encouraged me.

But for the moment, please don't hate me too much - it wasn't my fault! :D



Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:31 am
by Dave Watterson
John's modesty hides the fact that his film "Thinking Time" won an IAC Diamond Award and the award for Best Editing.

That Jill Lampert can pick 'em !

BTW that may be the shortest posting we will ever see from him.

Welcome, John.
[youtube] ... QgSR7D9vS8[/youtube]


Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:13 am
by Michael Slowe
John, oh yes it was your fault! It's a lovely film, tells a great story with laudable economy, would that I was able to be so concise. Your subject was quite amazing, he is good on camera and absolutely stunning at what he's doing. Your film will go down a storm at BIAFF, they might well yawn at mine if it comes after yours! Can we know more about the chap? Is he a professional designer, engineer or teacher?

Well done John, looking forward to seeing more of your work, I'm imagining that you are quite young, tell us southerners more please.


Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:50 pm
by John Roberts
Thank you for the kind comments about my film! As a fellow Southerner (ex-Eastbourne) I can tell you that the chap in the film is actually me! So, thank you again Michael for your kind comments, although that has probably shattered your illusions of the film-maker being quite young! :lol:

I hadn't made a (proper) film for some 15 years - I concentrated on music instead - and drifted back into movie-making almost by accident. A friend mentioned Arg*s had a camcorder sale so I bought a budget Panasonic HD camcorder, with the intention of making some music videos to accompany my songs. At the time I was building the 'certain something' that appears in my film and I thought "Oooh, I can film this too!" and the result is what you see. I rejoined Sheffield Movie Makers, eventually found out about competitions and festivals beyond club level and decided 'what the heck, I might as well!'

In fact, I vividly recall part of my conversation with Jill Lampert, which always makes me smile... Jill: "Have you thought about entering BIAFF?" Me: "What's that?" :wink:

Thank you again for all the kind comments (constructive criticism is always welcome too) and I'm looking forward to seeing many films over the BIAFF weekend from movie makers far more illustrious than me, and meeting some of you for the first time. I'll be the nervous looking 'young' chap with the pony tail, hiding in a corner somewhere! :D


Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:14 pm
by Ian Woodward
“I've received the letter today with my results. Both my films have been given 3 stars, the same as my first BIAFF entry in 2007, and I can't conceal my disappointment... I'm thinking now that I never will achieve the heights of the 5-star and Diamond awards.” (Howard-Smith, Mon 18 March, 2:09 pm)

“I've always wanted to have a film shown on Sunday at BIAFF so that everyone watches it, not just around 25% as on Saturday. I've never yet achieved this and hoped it would happen this year.” (Howard-Smith, Tue 19 March, 10:16 pm)

Howard-Smith, try not to be down-hearted about the 3-star awards – I know that’s easier said than done - and just think how thrilled those receiving a 1-star and a 2-star awards at this year’s BIAFF would be if they’d got a 3-star award. These things seem to go in waves. A filmmaker can be riding high on the crest of an awards wave during a particular period, and then the next time the awards for his/her film seem particularly low.

If you’ve been getting BIAFF 4-stars for several years now, which you say you have, but this year it’s been two 3-starrers, I’m totally convinced that the time will come when you will get a 5-star or even a Diamond award. I’ve been in your position at BIAFF, so I can totally empathise with you. A couple of years ago the BIAFF judges gave a 2-star marking to my film Too Many Ghosts.

Happily, Too Many Ghosts somehow went on to win a UNICA Gold Medal at the Moravian SeniorForum Film Festival in the Czech Republic (my second UNICA Gold Medal that year in the space of two months!), was nominated for the Best Imaginative Response to the Subject of War award at the Imperial War Museum Film Festival in London (where it was screened 13 times at the museum’s cinema and came 3rd in the festival), won the Best Direction award at Bulgaria’s International Historical Film Festival, gained a Special Prize at Estonia’s Tallinn International Festival of Film Makers, and was given a cinema screening at Australia’s long-established Melbourne International Movie Festival.

Since then it’s been screened variously at Poland’s International Film Festival “Love a Man” at Oswiecim (formerly Auschwitz), South Korea’s Seoul International Film Festival, Ukraine’s International Film Festival “Steps” and been selected for screening in May at Armenia’s NOFI International Festival of Non-commercial Films.

So if a BIAFF 2-star film can manage this, Howard-Smith, just imagine what a fantastic 3-star film can do!

But take note - to return to your original thoughts about seeing your films at BIAFF’s Sunday screenings - a 5-star film does not gain automatic entry into the Award Winners’ Shows on the Sunday. So keep the camcorder purring and let’s see what 2014 holds. I look forward to seeing your 5-star films sometime soon.

Ian Woodward


Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:29 pm
by Peter Copestake
I, too, was initially disappointed with 3 stars when I had previously done better until I looked at what the stars implied and thought about what the judges said. (Basically that there was nothing wrong, and this is the first time ever I have been told that!)
But 4 stars would have meant the film had something extra - 'sparkle'.
Then I realised that even MS might have had difficulty introducing 'sparkle'; it would have needed pro lighting, I think.
Now if the judges had said I should have used better lighting to get that 'sparkle' I'd have been cross as to introduce powerful lighting into a cotton mill would have introduced a fire risk.
So, without knowing whether this could apply to others, I would like to say 'thank you' to the judges who said what they thought about the film but didn't make comments without knowledge of the circumstances.
If any of this rings a bell with anyone it's perhaps because I have vociferously campaigned about this in my region, and I really hope that the improvement continues.
And I agree with Dave W. that we do need grading, however imperfect we may think it is, because we, or at least I, enter BIAFF for the opinions, not so that a few dozen more people see my films.