BIAFF 2015 entries

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:21 am

Good to hear you have that magical 5-star Howard!

As you say - judges do chew things over before coming to a conclusion. But that chew over time is pretty short, and sometimes they miss things which the maker intended. On the other hand - if they do miss something, perhaps the maker didn't make it right in the first place!

I read through the crits for my films again this morning - and they're for the most part honest and accurate. However, two of them anyway make comments along the lines 'we'd like to have seen xyz' - when xyz was actually shown! This is the result of the (necessarily) short time span for discussion and watching the film only once. And seeing dozens of films one after the other and then, days later, trying to remember what each was about, let alone the finer points of its construction, from a few scant notes which, at the time they were written seemed to be pretty comprehensive.

And hence the reason for supplying a second disk so the reviewing judge can use it as an reminder when writing the crit ... something I was a strong advocate for ... and shamefully, something I completely forgot to do with my three films this year in the rush to get them posted.... :oops:

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 960
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by TimStannard » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:23 am

Well mine came through this morning. The club comedy ("If Only") received the predicted 3 stars.
My follow-up to last year's "Tudor Rap!", "Tut Tut!" achieved four stars which I was hopeful of but by no means expecting (clearly the judges' didn't object to children!).
The big surprise was a 20 min documentary about refurbishing a local church's bell tower, "A Joy to Ring". Most of this was filmed several years ago and I've been working on it on and off since with a big thrust at the end of last year. Whilst I made every effort to make it interesting to a wider audience and thought it was a good film from a personal perspective, I was never really sure whether it would work outside of the community for which the film was intended, particularly given the length (this version 7 mins shorter than the original where I was obliged to include thanks to every Tom, Dick and Harriet who bought a pot of jam for the project). Having read the comments, I am glad that I put the effort in.

Comments on all three films were spot-on! Reading between the lines there were areas of disagreement in the "Bells" film, but even these I would have predicted. Not only were there justifiable criticisms of what I could have improved upon, but there was positive reinforcement of what I got right.

So, my thanks to the judges this year, in particular Howard-Smith and Jill Lampert who occasionally frequent this forum.

Sadly all three films are being shown on the Saturday which clashes with my daughter appearing in a dance festival so I shall not be able to attend. However I will be there on Sunday and am looking forward to meeting you all again as well as what seems to be shaping up to be a great day of films.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

User avatar
Willy
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Willy » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:09 pm

My dear Forum-friends. I am very disappointed! I have decided not to attend BIAFF! I hate the IAC and all the judges! I am down. I feel very low...
Of course I am joking. I have won the "Daily Mail Trophy" you know. One of my English friends has sent a birthday card to me. On it was a little picture of a trophy. Next to it he had written : "Daily Mail Trophy!"

No, all joking apart I have 4 stars. That's what I expected for my "Master of Time". 4 stars is not bad. 3 stars and 2 stars are not bad either. There are no bad films at BIAFF.

I agree with most things the judges have written. There are some slights blips, they told me. For instance my Dutch actress "glances at the camera as she enters the room". I had the same feeling when doing the camera work, but after 7 takes I felt embarrassed and I hesitated to ask her to do it all over again. A director must be hard, my friends! That's one of the things that I have learned. Do not be shy!

But the judges enjoyed the moment with the cuckoo. I am very happy that it worked. If you would like to see my cuckoo, ... my dramatised documentary "Master of Time" will be shown on Saturday.

BIAFF is still the best festival in the world. The judges' comments are unique. In other international festivals they don't tell you what's wrong, what's not so good or what's excellent. You do not get any judges' comments. Sometimes you don't even get any results. I appreciate all the work that has been done to organize the IAC festival and competition.

Congratulations to all the forum-friends! I look forward to meeting you again.
Willy Van der Linden

Brian Saberton
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Brian Saberton » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:23 pm

i'm glad I didn't predict a star rating for my film, "Glasgow's Golden Games" because I'd have been wrong! 3 stars is a bit disappointing but the judges comments suggest that what I was trying to convey in the film hasn't come across as I had intended so I'll have to study what they say and have another look at it, though after the technical traumas I had at the editing stage I don't think I'll be making any big changes! At least it's being shown on the Saturday so I'll get a chance to gauge the audience reaction.
Brian Saberton

Paddy Duffy
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Paddy Duffy » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:07 pm

My film Moral Panic got my expected 4 stars. Since I only got 3 stars for my film last year, it's progression I guess.
Some good feedback and valid points from the judges.
I wonder what it may have gotten had I had different judges, I seem to keep getting Geoff Harmer - he's harsh :wink: Joking Geoff.

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:30 pm

You will all appreciate that I do not want to comment on individual films and awards until the results are officially published on Monday ...

but I do second Mike Shaw's point that having a second copy of entries which the judges can take home AFTER reaching their award decision, allows them to write better notes. It was a surprise that several did not want to play on any of our computers / set-top players. I suppose people dashed them off swiftly without much checking.

To my surprise a couple of judges refused spare copies.

Jan and I look forward to seeing everyone at Sittingbourne. Will there be time to eat Sunday lunch with so many forum friends only able to attend that one day?

Pqtrick
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:14 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Pqtrick » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:34 pm

Disillusioned after the receipt of my *** (Three Star) adjudication of my 1960’s drama film entered into this years BIAFF. For me, it was a long hard toil, hit several give-up stages and detrimental to my health over last year.

I slogged on until just before Christmas, having edited the scenes as I went along. I said it would probably be my last film, so not being able to break above successive three star rating, I have concluded that I have now reached my pinnacle.

A hampered start, reshooting an early scene, creating a retro room setting and a group of fifteen talented actors who were a joy to work with, was the important reward. Yet it has failed to impress the judges, enough to push it up over hill to a satisfying four **** stars.

Their comments were generally upbeat, had I read these before the seeing the rating, I would have thought I had made it. There are the usual niggles, some I can accept, others ambiguous. One in particular which sort of beggars belief: ‘Miss X would not have done….’at the onset of the film.(?) Why do chickens cross the road? Why do people do impulsive things? We live in a real world. They could have just let they whole experience wash over them and given me a four.

If there is a bonus, I am informed it will be screened - usually in a half lit room at the end of a corridor with perhaps ten in the audience.

So alas, I have to settle for the three star, middle of the road or that ‘pedestrian’ level for my final year. Where’s the nearest tidy winks club?
Pqtrick

ned c
Posts: 763
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by ned c » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:00 pm

We arrive on the 16th, driving directly from Gatwick after the overnight flight from Las Vegas and leave on Monday 19th for E Anglia. Very much looking forward to meeting the "names" we haven't met but have enjoyed the comments here. Lunch/dinner/drinks whatever.

ned c

Michael Slowe
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:21 pm

Ned, I hope to see you when I drive down on the Saturday. I'm only returning from Morocco late Friday night, (been 'on the road' with Bing and Bob), that's only going to be understood by oldie film fans. Drink for those that know!

Howard-Smith
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Howard-Smith » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:54 pm

John Roberts wrote:

I can't help feeling a little irked at being awarded a 2-star rating for the other music video. Reading the critique I get the distinct impression it was judged against a 'drama' criteria and the main elements that make up a typical music video (pace, editing, entertainment and flow) were deemed secondary to the sub-plot, whereas the sub-plot is in fact secondary to the music.

That's a thought-provoking statement and raises an important issue which perhaps should be considered and discussed prior to next year's judging.

User avatar
Michael Gough
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:14 pm
Location: Sunderland

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Michael Gough » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:45 am

There is no scientifically accurate way to compare videos. Judgements of art are subjective and I support the valuable and difficult contribution of competition judges. However it doesn't prevent the maker from feeling disappointed if a result is less than anticipated.

Disappointment is personal and relative. I have been happy with three stars in the past but was very disappointed to get that grade for this year's video "The Empty Experience". Perhaps I was too close to the subject. It is about the economic collapse of the vital Gambian tourist industry during their high holiday season. This was caused by the killer disease Ebola in a country many miles away. I was distressed by the plight of the locals who didn’t know how they would cope if their main income for the year was lost. It is a very serious documentary subject and I hoped it would be judged as such. However the positive aspects of the country which I included to encourage travellers were viewed as making it "a good holiday film".

The comments were 100% positive, which strangely I am also disappointed with. If it failed to be seen as offering the required elements of a 4 star grade such as “something original in the treatment of the subject, or something out of the ordinary about the content” then I would have liked to have been told. Like Willy I welcome being told “what's wrong, what's not so good”.

In an attempt to support the desperate situation in the Gambia I edited my video as quickly as possible and got it on the internet in two weeks where it was rapidly shared and seen by ten times my usual audience. It was judged by that audience as making a valuable point. I was swamped with messages of thanks from Gambians, but more significantly three British families reversed their planned cancellation and another booked a holiday they had not intended (Only a small dent in the economic problem but hopefully a few Gambians had a little financial relief.)

So in a very real sense my satisfaction is derived from more important considerations than competition success. But I still feel disappointed that for some unexplained reason a group of my peers misinterpreted "The Empty Experience" as mainly "a holiday film", which I feel is ultimately my fault.

User avatar
Willy
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Willy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:20 am

Patrick is disillusioned. Brian is diasappointed. And so are some other friends. I do understand.
Some years ago I was surprised when I saw that "Guernsey, I Love You" got only three stars, because in my opinion it deserved three Daily Mail Trophies. I made that film together with Peter Rouillard and also Mary helped us quite a lot. But now I will never forget the fantastic time we had together in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I love Guernsey, Herm and Sark and I have found new friends for life. That's a big bonus.

I only wonder if the BIAFF-judges can see the movies on wide brilliant flat screens instead of old TV-sets made in the sixties. I think it was like that some years ago. One of my friends who was a BIAFF-judge at that time was not happy. He complained.

Patrick says: "There is the usual niggle, some I can accept, others ambiguous." To be honest I also had that feeling when reading my judges' comments and those of my friend René who got three stars. I thought that my actress was brilliant, but apparently she was not. She was cheerful when I was filming her. That is also her real character. I could not ask her to be serious because there was no reason to be serious. Her smile was also good for the atmosphere in my film. Of course that's what I think. If the judges do not agree with me then I must accept it.

Patrick also says: "If there is a bonus, I am informed it will be screened usually in a half lit room at the end of a corridor with perhaps ten in the audience." Yes, that's an awful feeling. It reminds me of my "Road to Passchendale". There were exactly twelve in the audience. I remember Brian was one of them. I hope I can see your film at Sittingbourne, Patrick. Hopefully our movies will not be shown at the same time in a different room.

A real story: Some weeks ago our club competition took place. After each film the judges wrote down their marks on a sheet of paper and gave it to our secretary. I had the best results. One judge had given my film 80%. Just after the competition the judges had a discussion in a different room behind closed doors. That (generous?) judge was forced to change my 80 into 77. The reason: I had already won too many club competitions. It was time for a change. In panel of three there is always one who is more dominant than the other two. That's a phenomenon we must accept.

Anyway I still think BIAFF is the best international film festival in the world. I have already told you why. I hope I will meet you and have a drink together.
Willy Van der Linden

User avatar
John Roberts
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:42 am
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by John Roberts » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:26 am

Howard-Smith wrote:John Roberts wrote:

I can't help feeling a little irked at being awarded a 2-star rating for the other music video. Reading the critique I get the distinct impression it was judged against a 'drama' criteria and the main elements that make up a typical music video (pace, editing, entertainment and flow) were deemed secondary to the sub-plot, whereas the sub-plot is in fact secondary to the music.

That's a thought-provoking statement and raises an important issue which perhaps should be considered and discussed prior to next year's judging.
Quite possibly! Especially if the 'Best Music Video Award' is to become an annual award, as I think it ought to be, to encourage younger entrants. Music videos often (though not always) follow different criteria for entertainment, the general premise is to promote the band/musician/singer/song with far more weight than a drama or documentary might promote a particular actor or commentator, for example, so the 'usual rules' often don't apply.

I'm not sure exactly how the judging panels are selected - I know films are not judged by a panel of members from within the same region or area as the film entries, but what about balance? If a panel consists of three judges from, say, a drama background or three judges who only make documentaries, then naturally they may critique films based on their own experience or expertise. Maybe some kind of 'check list' where judges indicate the number of films produced in various genres in the last 5 years might be useful? That might go some way to ensure any one judging panel doesn't end up with three judges whose combined output only covers one genre. Just a thought - it might happen already!

However, there's plenty of time to mull this one over for the next BIAFF, I for one am looking forward to catching up with my friends on the Sunday!

Howard-Smith
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Howard-Smith » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:36 am

With regard to the issue about some discs not playing during the judging sessions...
I've been made aware that the BluRay discs of my two entries wouldn't on the equipment being used, and that the DVD spare copies were used for judging.
I checked the BluRay discs on both of my BluRay players at home prior to submitting them and they played fine.
I run them off using a Pioneer BDXL unit, which produces a BluRay DATA disc. My local camcorder club played such discs at my recent 'film premiere' without any trouble, but I know that when I've sent copies out to friends, some people can play them and some can't.
This technical problem almost certainly explains why at last year's BIAFF my 4-star film FACE/BOOK was disappointingly projected from the DVD on the Sunday, with obvious loss of quality; yet my other two four-star films were definitely projected from the BluRay discs on the Saturday.
This is a tricky compatibility issue and not down to the discs not being checked before submission. For next month's BIAFF I'll be sending the projectionist my two films on a Seagate external drive.

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 960
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by TimStannard » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:11 am

Howard-Smith wrote: I run them off using a Pioneer BDXL unit, which produces a BluRay DATA disc.
Howard, do I take it from this you have simply copied your files onto BluRay disc rather than used authoring software designed to create a BluRay AV disc with the proper structure. All BD players are designed to play BluRay video with the defined structure. Some (many) also have the capability of reading other file structures and playing various file formats. This may explain why you can play the BDs at home at at your club, but the BIAFF team had a problem.

And are you sure the projection equipment for BIAFF will be able to handle whatever you send on HD (our club's BD Recorder accepts USB devices, that's why we bought it. Except it doesn't, apart from a very limited selection of formats)

The answer isn't to make sure the projection equipment can playback everything that can be thrown at it, but to lay down very specific guidelines as to what formats are acceptable and ensure the equipment can handle all of those.


PS I'm now feeling somewhat guilty that I'm happy with my BIAFF results :(
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Post Reply