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.
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Mike Shaw
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:04 pm

You have to remember that the 'first round' judges are not picking winners and losers, are not comparing one film against another.

They are assessing a film purely on its merits, following extremely well laid down guide lines as to which category it should fit into - it's 'star' rating. Then the 5 and sometimes four star movies go before a further panel of three to assess a) whether they're worthy a diamond rating, and b) are they they're worthy of some trophy.

If I'm honest, on the guidelines I'd have rated my Enid a 4 star (I knew where the technical flaws etc. were!). But that is an 'execution' rating: a film's interest level can belie the 'competence' star rating when shown to an audience. Sometimes audiences can be forgiving of technical boobs if they pass virtually unnoticed and don't interfere with the story line.

I think the BIAFF judges do a sterling job. And the crits - when you appreciate they're based on one viewing and three hastily scribbled sets of notes made within a 5 minute or so time scale - are remarkably observant, in my opinion.

I also think the judges' decisions tend to be unbiased, particularly when it comes to personal likes and dislikes: that's why they have three judges at a time, to balance out such foibles. And as I say, the guidelines are well laid down and easy enough to follow.

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by TimStannard » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:13 pm

Mike Shaw wrote:You have to remember that the 'first round' judges are not picking winners and losers, are not comparing one film against another.

They are assessing a film purely on its merits, following extremely well laid down guide lines as to which category it should fit into - it's 'star' rating.
But the merits aren't entirely objective (and nor should they be). I remember reading the guidelines a while back and I'm sure the summaries on the IAC site are fairly representitive.

Four Stars:
It is expected that the story will hang together well as an artistic whole. This standard of film would have something special about it: perhaps something original in the treatment of the subject, or something out of the ordinary about the content, or be technically creative. It may, however, have minor flaws which detrimentally affect the audience appeal.

Clearly each rating will inevitably cover a range of attainment levels, and will be subjective to some degree; film is a work of art not science.

One judge's idea of whether something hangs together as an artistic whole may be the polar opposite of another's. Ditto the other points. I agree that three judges reduces the effect somewhat, but I agree your approach, Mike, of letting the audience be judge is the best approach. The larger the "sample" the more bias is eliminated.

However, I still appreciate and respect the comments from people who do judge and this will always be a reason for me entering BIAFF.

(Given that it's you Oscars night on Tuesday, Mike, I feel I should stress that I had no particularly strong feelings about the subjects of any of the films I helped judge for OVFM and that therefore my comments were bias free :) )
Tim
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fraught
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by fraught » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:26 pm

I think Howard-Smith's assessment of the Judging weekend is spot on. :)

This was my second year at judging, and i thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. I saw a huge number of films that littered the entire spectrum of ratings from 1 to 5.

I agree with what you are saying Tim regarding the point of view of the Judges, there were times in the room where 3 judges were polar opposites on what to award said film! It really is a subjective art we have here... which makes it both frustrating and fun! :)
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by TimStannard » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:22 am

I was quite happy when I read Dave's initial post about it being the time of year when we all get impatient in anticipation of the results. That's no me. I'm not impatient. No problem.

Then I start hearing the results of others as they come through (Congratulations: you know who you are) and now I'm getting decidedly fidgety.

Last night I sat next to Jill Lampert throughout RFVM's Philip Bloom evening (thanks Reading) in the full knowledge that she was one of the judges of my two entries. She didn't give anything away and I managed to remain cool and not ask for even a hint, but inside ...
Tim
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Mike Shaw
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:18 am

People have received their results? Oh dear. I'm still waiting ... I've always assumed that the high scorers hear first ... so maybe I'm down to 1's and 2's this year ...

Ah well. Say la vee. :(

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fraught
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by fraught » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:35 am

I got my results on Monday evening via email... i've tried to restrain myself from telling everyone (out of respect for those that haven't received their results yet), but had to shout about it this morning. My short film 'Selfie' has won a Diamond Award, which i am VERY proud of.
I was quietly confident the film would get a 5 Star, but didn't think it would make Diamond. Horror films have a select fan base, and i find are quite hard to push on to non-horror film fans. So i'm really pleased that it has scared the pants off the judges and they still liked it enough to give it a Diamond.
I doubt it'll win anything more than that (Daily Mail, etc), purely based on the genre remarks above. Not that i'm grumbling mind you!
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Mike Shaw
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:31 pm

Well done Geoff!! I shall watch for that horror - though I may try to find a settee to watch it behind ... :-)

Just had my results in as well - 2, 3 and a 4 - and strangely the one I thought would do best actually did worst. Unfortunately, I can't really disagree with the comments for it, although they're for a film I didn't want to make - and it has won awards elsewhere. Just goes to show.

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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by GtBFilms » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:22 pm

I received my results today, a 3 star and a 2 star. Reading the judges comments they are absolutely spot-on, and in the case of the 3-star, will hopefully be something to bear in mind in a follow-up production.

My 2-star one was a film we made in the clubrooms one evening, so while the comments are valid, it was a case of 'doing the best we could under the circumstances' - but judges obviously don't know that and rightly judge the film on it's merits.

Having also recieved a 3-star in previous years, at least I can now say with some authority "Hey, my films aren't getting any WORSE! AND THAT'S OFFICIAL!"

Looking forward to seeing some of the other entries online in due course.

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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by ned c » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:10 pm

A mixed bag!! "Refuge from the Storm" 2 stars; edit in haste repent at leisure!! "Needs Must" 4 stars - by Katie Patterson Hulett, my contributions edit and sound. "A Tale Told Heart" by Dan Fowlks 4 stars; my contribution - a member of his audience. "The Wild Misadventures of Jesse James and Billy the Kid" - Diamond; my contribution; persuade the makers to replace the copyrighted music they used originally with royalty free music!! Congratulations to the Diamond team. Three films to be screened. Thanks to the judges for their hard work.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by TimStannard » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:20 pm

Still trying not to fidget ....

Well done all - especially Geoff and Ned's team.
Tim
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Michael Slowe » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:11 pm

Well, as I said, 'Sods Law', because, for the first time I forecast a grade publicly and was wrong! Got three rather than the forecast four. Never had a three before, in thirty nine years, must be getting old. Are we all seeing each other next month?

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Mike Shaw
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:45 pm

I'm certainly at BIAFF, so whose turn for the whiskey this year Michael???? :roll:

I think you were probably robbed: my two felt like robbery, particularly as it has done reasonably well at various other festivals. They may have been told to 'sharpen up' this year and cut down on the higher award levels - the last year I did BIAFF judging there was a rather large number of 5 star winners. Perhaps we were too generous.

But it worked both 'ends' - I didn't expect my 4 star to get four stars. It's being shown on the Sunday apparently - so you'll have a chance to agree.

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John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by John Roberts » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:56 pm

I will be at BIAFF as well, but probably only travelling down on the Sunday.

My results came through, the 4-star was awarded a 4-star+, but 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. I might post the video in one of the 'critical' threads on here if anyone is interested.

However, the other music video fared better and was awarded 4-stars, with permission being given for a special 'Music Video Award' to be presented for it. This video will be shown as part of the Sunday screenings.

Hopefully the 'Music Video Award' will become a regular feature at BIAFF, and may also go some way to encouraging young filmmakers to get involved.

Congratulations to everyone on their successes so far, and look forward to meeting up on the Sunday! :D

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Mike Shaw
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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Mike Shaw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:19 pm

Interesting! I also had the impression that the judge (who wrote the crit) for my 2 star was looking for a different type of film.

Same judge perhaps.

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Re: BIAFF 2015 entries

Post by Howard-Smith » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:44 am

As a first-round judge I can absolutely confirm that we were not under instruction to limit in any way the higher awards. When considering what star rating to give for each film, we frequently discussed and debated whether we could justify giving a higher rating before delivering the final verdict.
I submitted 2 films and am over the moon that after all these years I've finally broken through to 5 stars with DARK HORSE. On the other hand I know how Michael Slowe (the best documentary film maker in the business) must feel about his 3-star rating because my other film TOO BAD was given 3 stars which is disappointing. I'd have put money on 4 stars, but there you go. As we keep saying, judging can never be an exact science. Many congratulations to the Diamond winners. I was in on the judging for Geoff Harmer's SELFIE and Bob Lorrimer's WRITER'S BLOCK and they are absolute knockouts. Will definitely be at BIAFF as ever, with three friends. See you all there!

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