BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

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TimStannard
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BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by TimStannard » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:23 am

(New thread started as the last one is getting a bit cumbersome)
Well done Dave for getting so many links to the films up so quickly after the event. Now we can all re-live and argue the toss about the judges' decisions.
I echo Howard-Smith's disappointment about several of the films (or parts of films) being out of sync. I imagine Harrow are as confused about why that should have happened as the rest of us.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday's presentation and thought John Howden did a fantastic job as "link man".
Tim
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Howard-Smith » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:10 am

My message referred to by Tim, on the original BIAFF 2014 thread, is reproduced below.

Well, BIAFF has come and gone for another year... and a thoroughly good time was had by all I think. Certainly the five of us in my party thought it was most enjoyable. As Mike has indicated, the hotel fiasco didn't spoil the weekend much at all. It was great to meet so many fellow enthusiasts as ever, and it was the usual mixture of good, bad and indifferent films. On the technical side, I do have to express my dismay about the presentation of my film FACE/BOOK on Sunday; clearly an ordinary DVD copy was used (ie. the backup disc) instead of the BluRay copy, resulting in inferior picture quality on the big screen; also for some reason the sound was out of sync, yet it's perfectly in sync on all the discs. In view of the fact that the judges had commented that "the sound recording is just brilliant" it was so disappointing for me that many people told me they enjoyed the film except for the lip-sync being out. When my other two films were shown on Saturday morning, clearly the BluRay discs WERE used and there was no sound problem at all. Anyway, well done to everyone who had films shown, and I'm looking forward to BIAFF 2015 already.

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fraught
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by fraught » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:51 am

I had a great time on the Saturday, was good to see some good films and meet up with some really nice people.
Frustratingly, I did have issues with both the presentations of my films on the day. Karen's Room was presented in the Abbey Room, the picture quality was good yet all we could hear in this room was the sound from the Bridge Room! The film does have a quiet moment that requires the attention of its audience, but it was ruined by the overbearing sound from the other theatre. :(
Addict, looked and sounded great in the Woburn Room, but I had 2 issues. Firstly, the windows were left open and being so close to the road, all we could hear was the constant sound of cars and sirens! On top of that, they had a dodgy HDMI connection (caused by two cables attached via an adapter) which broke about 4-5 times during the running causing the picture to disappear!

Unfortunately... the only issues I spotted during the day were on my films only!

Oh well! I still enjoyed myself. I got some really nice comments and feedback afterwards which is always worthwhile. I wish more of the actual film makers attended though. I attended some screenings of films I had seen already only to hopefully have a chance to talk to the makers... but on every occasion, they were not present. Shame.
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Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:41 am

Here we go!

I thought all the Hotels were great! Mine was a tad inconvenient...nevertheless the overall standard felt higher than average across the board.

It is self evident that there will be some films, out of so many, which are good, well paced and entertaining and others that are truly pretentious and dull.

Harrow had evidently made an enormous effort with the projection and I frankly have never seen so much KIT piled on to a table top which was present at the back of the Hall. I have a sense of foreboding when I see so much tech.....so many plugs...numerous devices, monitors, mixers, cables and LO! Wireless connectivity!

Every single film I saw during the Full Sunday program skipped a couple of frames not some of the time but ALL of the time. If the projector was wirelessly linked to the back of the hall that was probably the cause of the problem. Did Harrow test it all....of course they did! The only films which did not appear to show the skipping frames were films which had little cross screen movement.

Different projectors do have different colour temperatures and our films will, more often than not, look more or less saturated and more bright or less bright than we have come to expect.

Aside from the constant drop frame issue......I felt the films were of a higher standard than in previous years and my own film was suitably 'outclassed' by the WALES School film "Conkers"! The Children apparently being all natural thespians. I wondered if their ease in front of the Camera is because young people are now very comfortable when they are in front of media devices - it is after all WHAT THEY DO ALL DAY!

So I would have given my vote (of the films I have seen) to the Conkers, Oui Chef, and Karen's Room.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:52 am

Wow, you lot get online early!!!

The page of films from BIAFF online is changing frequently. Some films that were there when I began collecting them, are no longer available because privacy settings on YouTube or Vimeo have been changed. Others that I would love to include are on Vimeo with the embed option restricted ... yes, Colchester, I am looking at your collection!

I hope more films will come online soon. The Wales High School team promise to make A Fistful of Conkers available as soon as it has taken part in another competition, which insists that its entries are not available in advance.

I talked to the team behind that film ... "Billy the Kid" is actually a keen animator rather than actor. The guy getting his revenge is a theatre actor at heart, but likes to know how to rein in his performance for film and to be aware of what the camera is seeing of his performance depending on zoom setting. The baddie has two good eyes (!) and is a very nice chap ... not at all the morose meanie of the character he plays. Those in the know tell me there is a DVD copy with lots of outtakes showing the team struggling to keep their faces straight and so on. By the way "Billy the Kid" did get quite good at conkers during the shoot ... but suffered bashed knuckles a lot - which is evident in at least one shot in the finished film.

Please let me know if any of the online films fail to play or if you know of some I have missed.

Watch out for a set of "making of" articles coming online later today.

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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Ken Wilson » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:14 pm

Well here are some of my comments. I agree with Bob about the projection and all the juddering across the frame on the Sunday shows.
My thoughts were that this was a DVD/ Blu-Ray player issue. I did once see it on a cheap early Blu-Ray model as panning shots "stuttered" noticeably, but I have several players now and I even bought a small portable Sony one for about £50 from Argos which plays Blu-Ray films fine.
As Howard Smith mentions, several of the films, including his, were out of sync by around 2 to 3 frames. I said this to him, though realised it was not at all likely to be his actual film.
Usually this is because the processing of picture information takes longer than the sound does, so if you feed it though lots of electronic boxes and vast quantity of cables, quite unnecessarily in my view, it causes sync problems. I had a vision mixer (pre-computer editing) which caused this. TVs have sync correction menus to stop this.
But having a table full of so much stuff to show films introduces problem areas asking for something to go wrong.

Our one day festival which we ran five times was kept very simple and we played mini DV tapes which then were very much more reliable than DVDs. No magic boxes or masses of plugs and wires. Films recorded in the right order, so no mix ups.

Our own film shown on Saturday at BIAFF was bleached out, too bright, lacking contrast and colourless. It should not be like that so the projector clearly was turned up too bright. In this case, it was fortunate that the room was nowhere near full.

Overall the attendance on Saturday seemed well down. The mini cinemas we chose were only partially filled and thus the atmosphere that is usually present was lacking. But the films were generally very good. We saw 24 films on Saturday and 20 on Sunday (having to leave before the end to get home.) Most of these were very entertaining and very few that failed to hold the attention, intrigue or entertain. "13" was an odd one and several people commented on it being gloomy/ dark (projector issues?) depressing and so on. I didn`t see much in it (literally) and don`t know why it got 5 stars, but mostly, otherwise it was a good year for quality films.

We were staying in the Premiere Inn several miles away, which caused some timing issues to travel back and forth. On Saturday after the gala dinner we got a taxi and nearly ended up on the 10 0`clock news as the "couple visiting a Bedford film festival being abducted in a taxi" as we had a non-English speaking driver who insisted on trying to take us somewhere else. When I tried to tell him we were going in completely the wrong way, he became abusive and aggressive and made a very simple journey quite scary. He stopped the car in the middle of the road and ranted away in a foreign language. Not the hotel or IACs fault of course but an unpleasant incident which frightened Carol.

So we did enjoy most of the weekend, though not a great one for us. overall.

It`s been mentioned in other years, but isn`t it time for us to re-think the annual festival and how it`s run? Trained projectionists using tested equipment would be far better than leaving it to local club members, however keen they might be. As the IAC have funds, actually paying for a projection team for the annual festival would seem a better way to go. Then add a raked cinema/ theatre auditorium and hotel accommodation nearby. Yes many now have walking difficulties, so bus those guests around. Much better than uncomfortable seats which can spoil the enjoyment of the shows. A central location in the middle of the UK would give the best chance to all members around the country to get there and even if it was the same fixed location, perhaps it would improve the service from the chosen hotel/ venue. The hotel would understand our needs and surely it would improve each year, hence avoiding the Tea/ Coffee queue fiasco..just a thought to consider.

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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by TimStannard » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:10 pm

Ken Wilson wrote: Trained projectionists using tested equipment would be far better than leaving it to local club members, however keen they might be.
It's certainly worth considering, but the equipment is only part of the story. The only real way to test is to play through the actual media and we've all had experiences of supposedly identically reproduced DVDs and BDs doing odd things whereas another hadn't. This would mean running five days of testing projection (plus, presumably, the AV show as well). I'm not sure how feasible that is.

I have some sympathy for Harrow. At Staines we have a reputation for good presentation (it's even been mentioned on this forum a couple of times). At one inter club competition four years back, when we first had our HD equipment we had a glitch with one particularly hight bit-rate BluRay. Reputation destroyed in one fell swoop. I think we've finally been forgiven by the club involved but not yet by the film maker. (And it turned out the issue was caused by us using too HIGH a quality long HDMI cable - the weight was a fraction too much for the connector at the rear of the projector.)

But a proper theatre with raked seating - that would be nice! I spent the previous Saturday at the SERIAC festival and that is exactly what they had. Also no glitches that I can remember and the sound was superb (I had no problem understanding any of the outstanding monologue that was "Groupie" at SERIAC whereas I had to concentrate a bit at BIAFF) - that's what you get comparing a purpose built auditorium with a hotel function room.

Unfortunately I don't think SERIAC are shipping us from Sittingbourne to Tonbridge next year for the Sunday show!
Tim
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Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:35 pm

This forum asks me to LOG ON every TIME! Even though I click the infernal Auto Log Box!

How desperate for Ken and Carol......to be abducted by an aggressive and non-speaking TAXI driver... Clearly he has not passed the polite English test....or perhaps some one took the test for him!

KEN and CAROL must have thought they were appearing in one of their own FILMS..... I feel a script coming on for 2015!

***

The issue of the Sunday Projection is going to bubble along for sometime....the jitter problem was so self evident...and it was clear that the projection team had meant to impress, but I go with Ken, on this, the more Kit there is on the table at the back of the hall - the more fur will hit the fan!

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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by TimStannard » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:05 pm

Bob Lorrimer wrote:This forum asks me to LOG ON every TIME!
Not getting that here. The forum clearly knows who I am. Then again, I don't spend anything like as much time as you dressed up as other characters!
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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:02 pm

Cookies
Bob - the only thing I can think of is that your computer is set to reject cookies. The forum uses a small cookie to store things like your logon. (It is stored under dialog.theiac.org.uk and consists of the letters "phpbb_ayrqc_u" -the first bit identifies the bulletin board type (phpbb) and the rest will vary according to your own settings.)

A quick look in the help files of your browser - or a google hunt - will reveal how to allow specific cookies like this one.
In general I set my systems to accept cookies from the same domain as the one I am looking at, but not from third-party domains. So if I am looking at Channel 7 Productions and they want to put their own cookie on my system that is fine. But if they wanted to add a cookie from "betting shops and viagra inc" it would be refused.

Sunday show projection
I think we have done the Sunday show projection hiccups well enough, now. What else was specially good or bothersome about BIAFF? Being accosted by a tall hairy Scotsman does not count as bothersome!

Hotels
North Thames Region will be glad to know that the need to use a distant hotel did not cause too many problems and the bus service seemed to suit most folk. I think Ken and Carol might consider contacting Bedford's Tourist department to report their taxi issue. The Tourist people probably cannot do anything about that specific case, but if other complaints arise they may look into it when it comes time to renew taxi licences.

Awards
We have had a few comments on what films people preferred. Usually the top films are so close together in overall standard that any one of them might win. The final jury took into account all the films of 5-stars level when reaching their decisions on diamonds and awards. (A few awards like best club film, best youth film etc are exceptions to this.)
The films were:

13
Addict
Crossover
Dragonfly
Fistful of Conkers, A
Groupie
Jubilee
Man of Many Talents, The
Over the Hill
Paul Oakenfold - Who Do You Love
Shame and Glasses
Shugborough's Kingfishers
SoulMatrix
Stan the Man
Still Falling


Which would have been your top three?

col lamb
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by col lamb » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:19 pm

Interesting that there were projection issues.

I am a fan of using sold state media players, they are the way forward.

There is no need for a plethora of kit, just the media player, an AV amp, projector and speakers.

With a Bluray player as backup, together with all the discs.

If you try to play solid state movies where the sound is split and taken through a standard amp, expect problems.

Discs, themselves are problematic, each disk should be tested in full on the kit being used for the show, imagine the extra workload on the guys doing the projection! If the discs are not tested then you can expect problems, been there had that problem, many times. You have a competition, the discs are brought and some do not play, usually because they are RW.

Forget DV tapes, anyone thinking about using them should go into a dark room, i have had no end of problems playing back tapes recorded on a different device.

Picking up on another issue, there is no excuse for the premiere movie fastival inthe UK for showing DVD's when a Bluray is available. Please do not go on about its the movie that matters, most players today upscale a DVD to HD so it is just plain stupid not to use the Bluray disc when one is available.

Bob, rampant taxi driver........sounds like a script is called for in your imitable style and an entry for next year.
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Howard-Smith » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:42 pm

I was surprised that so many of the five-star films were shown on Saturday and only ONE shown on Sunday. I missed all the Saturday five-star films.

Difficult to choose the best three but for what it's worth I'd pick out:

(1) Shame and Glasses
(2) A Fistful of Conkers
(3) SoulMatrix

In my opinion all three were excellent, impressive and immaculately made.

However, my favourite film from the whole weekend was Michael Slowe's OUI CHEF! which of course was only a four star winner.

My least favourites from the given list were definitely 13 and GROUPIE. They did nothing for me at all other than to make me realise that I wouldn't be suitable as a BIAFF judge. Dare I say that I wouldn't have given either of them more than three stars... and maybe only two? There. I've said it.
Last edited by Howard-Smith on Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by fraught » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:26 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:Cookies
Awards
We have had a few comments on what films people preferred. Usually the top films are so close together in overall standard that any one of them might win. The final jury took into account all the films of 5-stars level when reaching their decisions on diamonds and awards. (A few awards like best club film, best youth film etc are exceptions to this.)
The films were:

13
Addict
Crossover
Dragonfly
Fistful of Conkers, A
Groupie
Jubilee
Man of Many Talents, The
Over the Hill
Paul Oakenfold - Who Do You Love
Shame and Glasses
Shugborough's Kingfishers
SoulMatrix
Stan the Man
Still Falling


Which would have been your top three?
I of course would have chosen Addict, SoulMatrix and Jubilee.... but you know that right?! ;-)
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tom hardwick
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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by tom hardwick » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:20 am

I was wincing along with all of you over the stuttering discs. Pretty sure (as I watched carefully) that there was frame duplication going on - not dropped frames - almost as if the BD player was slowing the video in an effort to keep the sound smooth. Though out of sync -- sigh.

Interesting that you thought that should you have been judging, then Groupie would have been down-graded Howard-Smith. Interesting because I wrote up your Face/Book film as well as Groupie, and admired them both for very different reasons.

tom.

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Re: BIAFF 2014 Post Mortem

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:06 am

I too have to 'log in' but don't have to provide a password as I used to in the past. Dave, what's a 'Cookie' that you write about, nothing to do with what you have been eating to make you even taller this year?

Someone suggested a raked purpose made auditorium, I have been urging for years for consideration being given to using a location like a university campus with cinema or lecture theatre. Could be arranged during non term time and a suitable fee would be welcomed by the university. I've been to professional festivals at such venues. Hotel would have to be reasonably close and food might be a problem but surely possible? The film presentation must be the primary consideration at a film festival.

My three favourites (wasn't there on Saturday so missed some 5 stars):

1. Shame & Glasses
2. Ralle & Bolle
3. Still Falling

Having said that our good friend's Karen's Room is high on my list too. For once I do disagree strongly with some of the judging I'm sorry to say, though not for my own Oui Chef I hasten to add. However, since 14 four star films were shown on the Sunday I would have hoped that mine might have made it, especially bearing in mind the favourable comments that I've received.

Not many takers for my offer of lunch time drinks, might have to review this for next year!

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