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Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:33 am
by Ken Wilson
There is always a degree of anxiety when you have a film being screened. Will there be a decent audience to watch it? (If it`s a Saturday as there are several choices of programme). Will it be well received? (Especially if it`s a comedy.) Will it be projected properly without any technical hitches? And so on. So on the occasions when we are watching without a film being shown, I actually enjoy it more.

We did really hope to have a film entered this year. I wrote two scripts during the last quarter of 2015, but with the decline in the weather and with numerous problems getting filming dates from the actors it didn`t happen. We actually had a shoot planned for the weekend just gone, but again the actors couldn`t make it for various reasons so it was called off. It`s very frustrating as I have so far not been able to get any further dates proposed by them to re-schedule. So now it`s waiting again. We have one actress who works full time so can only do weekends. Another is available usually during weekdays but acts in various shows and plays and has just been in a pantomime over Christmas and so it goes on...I may need to re-cast but would like to keep the actors I have if possible.
We may get one or both ready for 2017!

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:03 am
by Dave Watterson
Jan and I never have a film in BIAFF ! But we still love to attend.

We enjoy 90% of what we see - which is a good ratio compared with, say, casual TV viewing or what we see at other festivals. We enjoy meeting film makers and friends. We enjoy applauding the people being awarded fellowships and the UNICA Medal.

Yes, the hotels are often down-at-heel - partly that is a matter of keeping costs down and partly that older, "unimproved" hotels often have the high ceilings required for our screens.

It may be time to reconsider finding raked cinemas for the shows with accommodation / meals / socialising elsewhere. The catch is that so many loyal supporter of BIAFF are older and find it difficult to get around rapidly. Having everything in one building is convenient.

I feel for the film makers if anything goes wrong technically - though if it is not their own film, people in the hobby accept that such things happen and do not let it spoil their enjoyment of the movie.

Small audiences need not mean unreceptive ones ... but I tend to agree that we now have too many mini-cinemas on Saturday.

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:57 pm
by Michael Slowe
Yes Dave, many too many 'mini cinemas' at BIAFF. It is impossible to plan a viewing schedule because the films that one wants to see (made by film makers we follow), are always scattered about in programmes. It would be far better to have say, only two screens on the Saturday. Selection for exhibition would then mean something and the standard of films shown would,as a consequence, be higher. I know that some film makers would be disappointed but then that's life. I enter quite a few festivals for 'independent' film makers and only rarely get acceptance for inclusion, that means I'm not good enough. Tough, I have to make better films! Surely film makers would not be deterred from attending BIAFF by this? It's the other films that they should want to see.

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:44 pm
by TimStannard
Anyone reading this judge at Durham this year? What was the quality like? The atmosphere? The gossip?

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:25 pm
by Dave Watterson
I was one of the sixteen first-level judges this year. Our task was to assess each entry and give it a star rating from 1 to 5. (It is possible to award a "Certificate of Entry" to films which are not good enough for 1-star, but I do not think one was even considered this year.)

We worked in teams of three - and the groups of three changed at each tea and meal break. If a group of three agreed that a film was of 5-star quality it went on to the final judges. If one or two of the three gave a film 5-stars and the other/s gave 4-stars the film went on to the final judges, and they could confirm the 5-star rating or refuse it and the film would be awarded 4-stars. So far as I could tell that worked well this year.

First-round judges do not assess films from their own region. Where possible the Competition Officer tries to assign films to a team which will appreciate them. For example one of my sessions included a documentary in German, because I can understand that language reasonably well.

None of us know the full results. We try not to discuss films too much in the breaks because another judge may have made it or know the author. (Yes, people with films in the competition can be judges, but they never judge their own work. It may not be ideal, but people prepared to do the work are few and far between ... and this way IAC can avoid at least some of the taunts that judges are "those who judge but cannot do".)

OK - that is not what Tim is asking, but for new readers I thought it important to explain the process.

My own impression was that the overall standard is rising each year. Yes, there are still many entries with mistakes, some that fail in their aims and a few that are downright poor ... but the overall standard of the ones I saw was enjoyable and often very impressive. Did I see the Daily Mail Trophy winner ... I do not know, but suspect I did not. I am sure I saw films which the final jury will have given Diamond Awards.

What I did pick up from general chat at mealtimes was a concern that sound quality is lagging behind picture quality - both technically and artistically.

There were many fine films from overseas, but again from my limited view, they did not dominate the top rankings as they have done in some years. Of course someone from another country would only send their film if it was outstanding and a winner in their own contests, so we expect them to be of a high standard.

Whatever the results will be when announced late in March, there is plenty of great material for screening at BIAFF.

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:11 pm
by TimStannard
Asked and answered, Dave. Did you judge mine? (Only kidding ;) )

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:14 am
by Howard-Smith
I was there as a first round judge for the second year running. It was a great weekend and altogether I watched 50 films ranging from 1 star to 5 stars, running times from 1 minute to 90 minutes! We're all sworn to secrecy about the results. I submitted 5 films in the end, not 6 as originally intended, and haven't a clue who saw them or how they've fared. So the judges have to wait just as long as everyone else to find out their own results! I can endorse what Dave said, that there'll be plenty of great films shown at BIAFF to make it an unmissable weekend.

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:41 pm
by Bob Lorrimer
I have just completed judging the LEEDS Audio Visual annual Trophy....and without giving anything way at all, as the Award is not yet announced...I believe I can say that the level of sound recording, particularly in narration, was very high indeed.

This is achieved by using small insulated 'sound boxes' in order to isolate the Microphone and the result was a consistently high quality of vocal recording not just over one but almost all of the 20 films on offer.

Given that the Still Images too are inevitably of the highest quality, by their nature, and that the Leeds Presentation Visual and Audio system puts many video film Clubs to shame I was pleasantly surprised!

I am a Movie Man, in principal, but I cannot deny that I am also very interested in the audio photo visual element.

Re: BIAFF 2016 - who's entering?

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:33 am
by TimStannard
When recording a voice-over, as per the the Leeds AV Bob has judged, there should be little excuse for poor quality audio as one has total control of the environment. Film/video though throws up a multitude of audio recording challenges - the most basic being that of getting a microphone close enough to one's subject without it interfering with the shot.

Having said that, we still all too often hear poorly recorded voice overs, so no excuses there.