YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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TimStannard
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by TimStannard » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:02 pm

Jill Lampert wrote:Ghosh it is easy to say something which isn’t clear!
Tim, I was writing about myself as a film maker.
I know you were and it was clear (and I fully agree with you!). However I was using it as an example of the sort of comment to which a film maker may take offence.
Jill Lampert wrote: I am at a loss to know how I could possibly be interpreted as implying that someone (who, I wonder?) has not given thought to whether to make a film (which film, I wonder?) more interesting to a general audience.
The comment is given and taken as advice. In the context of this particular conversation (you were replying to Peter who was feeling aggrieved about some of the comments he received) it could be taken to be advising Peter that he should give the matter thought. I realise that was not your intention and I doubt Peter really took it that way, but it is a possibility if someone is feeling particularly sensitive.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Willy (with the added disadvantage of not having English as his first language) managed to express my thoughts so much better than I. Not for the first time.
Tim
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Jill Lampert
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Jill Lampert » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:37 pm

Peter, I am very sorry if I didn't make it clear that I wasn't giving you advice. I intended to say that I was agreeing with your comment "I share Willy's anxieties about whether judges will be interested." and continuing the discussion by saying how I deal with this particular problem. I was writing as a film maker not as a judge.

Jill

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TimStannard
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by TimStannard » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:39 pm

Jill, I really wish I'd never said anything and if anyone needs to apologise it should be me for setting the cat amiong the pigeons.
Tim
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Jill Lampert
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Jill Lampert » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:52 pm

Tim, it's fine. I hope we now all know what each other meant.
Let's be friends!

Jill

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TimStannard
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by TimStannard » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:17 pm

I wouldn't wish for anything less :)
Tim
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ned c
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by ned c » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:08 am

It seems to me there are two possible approaches to n-c (amateur) film making. One is to please the judges at juried festivals such as BIAFF where the judges use TV/film art from the 50s, as their reference and a freewheeling approach where the film maker can please him/herself without reference to a hypothetical "audience". The first category is typical of the commercial cinema which must please a paying audience which is not the case in the amateur world so why are n-c films so bogged down as pale imitations of what we see on TV? Because if you step outside the conventions you will be lucky to get 2 stars! Why in 2013 should judges even mention "jump cuts" which are now a standard part of contemporary cinema unless they are mired in a mid 20th Century conception of film conventions?

There is no point in inviting the young to the table if their view of cinema is so far removed from the expectations of ageing judges who seemed to have missed world cinema outside Hollywood.
No matter how hard they try to hide it judges come with their own ideas of what is good and technical quality is only a part of that; content rules! I would be a complete failure as a BIAFF judge as my criterion for a watchable film is my desire to know what happens next and where the journey is taking us; technical quality helps but is not an important measure of success.

ned c

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John Roberts
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by John Roberts » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:18 pm

Thank you Col for your kind words :D

I have been reading this thread with great interest and it appears the opinions of film-makers are almost as diverse as those of judges! I do consider myself to have been very lucky this year, but I don't consider myself an experienced film-maker - however very shortly in to the shooting of 'Thinking Time' I started to realise that "a movie about a guy cutting and shaping bits of wood and fixing them together" might not be all that interesting to anyone (audience/judges) not interested in a guy cutting and shaping bits of wood and fixing them together, and so I came up with the (not unique, I'm sure) idea of not actually telling anyone what I was doing (Dave W please insert well-used Antipodean phrase here!) Thankfully it seemed to work in the context of the film and I tended to find most people who had already seen the film (and therefore knew the punch line) seemed to relish the fact they knew something that new viewers didn't.

As regards the varying standards of judges comments at competitions, I don't really feel experienced enough to comment in such a well-informed thread, but I believe the choice of words a judge uses can be critical and throw-away thoughtless comments can really 'kill' a young film-maker. They certainly did to me 15 years ago, but I'm older and a little wiser to realise that any day ending in a 'Y' might produce a different result! :D

John

Peter Copestake
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Peter Copestake » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:48 pm

I see John Roberts is on line at the same time as I am writing this so I hope it's not my turn to give offence!
I certainly didn't take any from what Jill said - I was pleased that she seemed to understand exactly what I was saying, and, I agree, that Willy has put it just right.

I thought it was interesting to read what Ned wrote -
Why in 2013 should judges even mention "jump cuts" which are now a standard part of contemporary cinema

Are they really? For reasons I have explained before I don't see contemporary cinema so I didn't know this. As JR's film is a succession of jump cuts I suppose that's why it got not only a Diamond but an editing award to boot, not what would have been given by judges mired in the 50's, I would have thought.

Congratulations, John! But that's not to say I liked it. Admired the horology but not the editing which I thought was a lazy way of doing it. It used to be something to avoided by changing camera angles, focal length, etc and nowadays on TV, which I do watch, by speeding up which, being a boring old f... of 80, I prefer.

Actually I do make films to be shown but they are seen by OAPs more often than not (and there are a lot of us about) so I'll give up when they don't ask me back. It may be that being unfashionable they'll stand the test of time.

The important thing is to keep making films.
Peter Copestake

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John Roberts
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by John Roberts » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:24 pm

Absolutely no offence taken, Peter! I always welcome thoughts and views of respected and experienced film-makers, it's the only way one can grow as a fledgling film-maker.

Without wanting to fall into the trap of explaining un-seen issues and problems in order to justify the end result, a lot of the edits and cuts were simply born out of the necessity to avoid exactly the same camera angles in a very confined space. Even with wipes it was difficult to show the passing of time when fabricating a certain item unless I actually shifted the camera position or zoom slightly and edited the clips together. To me it seemed the most natural way to convey the passing of time without the film becoming overly lengthy. I wouldn't say the cuts are strictly 'jump cuts' though - most of the clips in question are edited together using wipes, a somewhat traditional (mired in the '50's?) technique?

I'm not sure what you mean by the editing style you prefer though Peter? If you prefer (being a very young at heart 80) the change of camera angles, focal length and the speeding up of footage, then isn't this more or less what I did? :) In moderation of course - overkill can be just as boring as complete omission! But I also feel the film is equally 'traditional' - no quickly dated special effects, simple titles, piano based music etc. I am interested in the way you would have edited the clips instead - though I'm not for one moment saying I did it in the best or correct way, it's just how I did it. To me the pace is just about right, any slower and it would've dragged, any quicker and the relatively slow pace of the final construction would've seemed like an anti-climax. PM me if you prefer :)

And don't worry - I'll keep making films!

John

PS: I'm usually logged in for long periods of time but probably doing something else in the studio :D

Peter Copestake
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Peter Copestake » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:00 pm

Glad you haven't taken offence, John. I realise I could have been guilty of over stating the use of jump cuts. I was watching on a PC which doesn't always transmit films smoothly.
As to how I would have done it I am reminded of the yokel who tried to explain to an 'off-cummmed 'un' how to get somewhere and in the end gave it up saying "If I were you I wouldn't start from here!"
I have in the attic one of those grandfather clock kits one used to be able to buy, the works all put together, only the case needing assembly When I got it I was working in super 8 film and I used to wonder how to film it.
This is the nearest I have to what you did. If I ever get round to it the camcorder will be static and the footage highly speeded up, I think.
It's more than likely it will still be in bits when they take me out of here!
All the best,
Peter Copestake

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TimStannard
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by TimStannard » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:52 pm

ned c wrote:festivals such as BIAFF where the judges use TV/film art from the 50s, as their reference
Naughty, naughty, but point well made!
ned c wrote: Why in 2013 should judges even mention "jump cuts" which are now a standard part of contemporary cinema unless they are mired in a mid 20th Century conception of film conventions?
Surely, Ned, there's a world of difference between an intentional jump cut - one used as a deliberate device for a specific purpose (which I have used on several occasions) - and one where it grates for example between two shots which are simply too similar - something I have also been correctly pulled up on.
Like most aspects of the edit, it all depends on the context.
Tim
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ned c
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by ned c » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:15 pm

First; regarding John Robert's film; this meets my criterion for wanting to know what happens next. A potentially boring subject made intriguing by the structure; I had to stay and find out just what it is John is making. As someone who is manually challenged (my wife as to change light bulbs) I was impressed by the skill and just where it was going. A journey with a surprise destination; as a straight linear document of how to make a clock it would have put me to sleep. Clever; technically well done and well deserved recognition.

The use of non conventional visual/audio devices seems to baffle judges who in may see them as inexperienced ineptitude rather than considered actions. A jump cut in a well made film must surely be a product of consideration; perhaps the grating effect is what is wanted. However; let me add that anyone willing to be a judge and issue notes has my admiration.

ned c

Jill Lampert
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by Jill Lampert » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:00 am

Ned, I’m amused by your image of BIAFF judges.

Were you thinking of the PHD student when you described BIAFF judges as ‘ageing’? (I should think he is in his mid-twenties. )

Did you have in mind the professor of film studies when you were thinking of BIAFF judges as being ignorant of world cinema?

Perhaps the professional film maker whose documentaries are regularly on prime time British television was your model for BIAFF judges who are out of touch with modern editing techniques?

And was the amateur film enthusiast whose passion is experimental cinema the sort of BIAFF judge who you were imagining would reject a film which steps outside convention?

I can assure you that BIAFF judges are not a homogenous bunch. They often have disagreements about the merits of particular films and how to rate them. Judging films or any other art form is not an exact science.

I believe Jean Luc Godard (who is credited with inventing the jump cut) made his film “Breathless” (À bout de souffle) very long. He needed to shorten it so he just cut out the boring bits. That left him with a whole lot of jump cuts. The film was so stylish and the story so good and that the film survived and became a classic. But at the time people were shocked.

Jill

col lamb
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by col lamb » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:57 am

Time for me to get contentious again.

Judges will always be critized............fact, live with it

Judging criteria will always be subjective............fact

Judges will always get some elements or movies wrong................fact

Judges give up a lot of their own time to help others....................fact

Judges are not necessarily qualified to judge........................suck on that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I have said before and will say it again, judges should only judge IAC competitions if they have demonstrated their own skill at movie making by achieving a minimum of 4* for one of their movies at BIAFF within the last 5 years.
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I know at least one FACI tagged IAC member who has not made a movie in over 20 years, would you want them to judge your movie?

I would be interested to know just what is the track record of those who judged the BIAFF entries this year

p.s. John, your movie has demonstrated that despite your modesty you have the skills and are probably better qualified to judge than a vast majority of those who actually judged BIAFF entries this year
Col Lamb
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John Roberts
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Re: YOUR BIAFF 2013 RESULTS

Post by John Roberts » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:08 pm

col lamb wrote:p.s. John, your movie has demonstrated that despite your modesty you have the skills and are probably better qualified to judge than a vast majority of those who actually judged BIAFF entries this year
...and that thought would terrify me! :lol:

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