The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

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TimStannard
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The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:34 pm

I've mentioned it here a couple of times, but it is finally live.

The North Thames Region Council decided, for various reasons, not to hold a festival this year. Alan Colegrave, who has been requesting on-line submission for years, and I have, with the full approval of the Council, set up an on-line only competition.

CLOSING DATE IS 30th NOVEMBER

Whilst this replaces an NTRIAC competition this year, we decided that in order to try to get it off to a good start we would invite entries from film makers in SERIAC and EARIAC regions.

There are no prizes (although certificates will be forthcoming for the best films in each category) and the cost of entry is minimal and it can all be done in three minutes from the comfort of your internet connected device (though we’re not sure about web enabled refrigerators). The small charge is to cover the minor anticipated costs and also to discourage people submitting every minute of footage they've shot (poor judges)

This is very much experimental - we're just dipping our toes in the water - but if you are in any of those regions I ask you all to encourage your fellow film makers to enter.

Please ignore Charlie Caseley's comment in the current FVM "judging will be by viewing on computer" - EXACTLY the sort of misinformed comment that puts off people like Michael Slowe as it gives the impression people will be peering at the films through tiny windows on their PCs. Viewing will be on-line. We don't know what the judges will view on, but we do know they will be taking into consideration that these are designed to be projected onto a big screen and will do their best to accommodate that. (These are, after all, experienced judges who will know how a film scales up and down.)

Visit the website http://www.adhocvideos.co.uk/ntriac to read all about it and submit your films.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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Dave Watterson
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:14 pm

For the sake of the judges it is probably as well that I am not in any of those catchment areas !

People have been asking for online entries of films in British competitions for ages ... and here is a Region making a start. Give it a go.

Michael Slowe
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by Michael Slowe » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:27 pm

Yes, but Dave, there is a silly limit on the file size and therefore length of film. I forget the details but I did mail Alan Colegrave about this when I first read about it in the NTR news sheet months ago but received neither reply or acknowledgment. I can upload file sizes of 3GB and more on to my Vimeo site which, bearing in mind the compression in an H264 file means a film can be over forty minutes in length. I'm not suggesting that films should be this long but I recall that the time specified for this new idea was so short that I can't enter any documentaries. My latest runs for twenty nine minutes, many will say "too long" but it seems to be very popular when shown to non film making audiences.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:54 pm

I think the file size only referred to the limit imposed by the WeTransfer system for free transfer of a film. The official website makes no reference to that ... ans there would appear to be no limit on films that are already on an online service such as Vimeo ... but the scale of fees does suggest that films must be a maximum of 15 minutes long.

Hmmm.

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TimStannard
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:14 am

Indeed I am afraid there is a maximum time of 15 mins. We discussed this at length before settling on this length. One of our goals was to encourage people to take part and recognising that some might be wary of setting up their own Vimeo/YouTube/Whatever accounts (fear of identity theft etc) we have arranged our own Vimeo account onto which such people could upload their films. We didn't want to risk clobbering this account - hence the limit.

This is new territory for us and we are grateful for any feedback.Michael, I don't know what email address you used for Alan, perhaps you'd like to PM me a copy or email me (you may still have my email address) or better still, email me via the email address for the competition ( ntriac@gmx.co.uk ) to which Alan and I both have access.
Tim
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Michael Slowe
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:21 pm

Thanks Tim, I'm sorry , I wasn't sure if I was disqualified due to file limits or run time. I can't see how people would expose themselves to 'identity fraud' by having a Vimeo account! Nearly all film makers, amateur and professional, that I know, put their work on line on one of the two main sites, You Tube of course being the other. Actually, you could very easily get over your problem by asking people for their link, or password, and let them put up films. Then file sizes would be their responsibility.

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TimStannard
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:24 pm

Michael Slowe wrote: I can't see how people would expose themselves to 'identity fraud' by having a Vimeo account!
They wouldn't. Yet many less enlightened people are reluctant because of fear of the unknown.
Michael Slowe wrote: Nearly all film makers, amateur and professional, that I know, put their work on line on one of the two main sites, You Tube of course being the other.
Indeed. But the people who don't are the people we are trying to encourage to so do.
Michael Slowe wrote:
Actually, you could very easily get over your problem by asking people for their link, or password, and let them put up films. Then file sizes would be their responsibility.
Indeed. And that is the sort of feedback we are after. I am grateful.
Tim
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ned c
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by ned c » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:31 pm

With my long time co-worker, Alberto Kniepkamp; we recently enjoyed the privilege of judging the CEMRIAC Autumn Festival. Bear in mind we are about 5,000 miles and several time zones away from Sutton Coldfield. We sent this explanation of what we did.

"You may be interested in how we viewed your films to ensure they were shown at their very best. Simon Sumner sent us the e-mail link to the YouTube entries. This e-mail was forwarded to my wife’s computer as her office is located nearest to our TV. We use Google Chromecast streaming with the delivery program on her computer and the receiver on our 55 inch 4K Samsung TV. Our WiFi network is set to run optimally at 50mbps although this varies with the traffic density.

The films were on YouTube at various resolutions from 480p to 1080p but the quality on the TV was remarkably good across all the resolutions. Although we have a surround sound set up the transmitter sends a two channel sound signal so the TV stereo sound was used. This is of good quality.

We previewed the films individually, in my case on a 27 inch computer monitor and we then met for the final reviews and the decision making using the large screen TV. So, each film was viewed at least twice. We attach this comment to our reviews."

“Film making is a creative art and judging and evaluating art is a subjective process which reflects the opinions of the judges. In practice this means that the decisions by one group of judges may be very different from another group.”

The quality of the entries was first class and we faced challenging decisions selecting the winners.

Without a doubt this is the future and we are grateful to CEMRIAC to have been a part of this adventure.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:00 am

Thanks Ned. With your permission I shall feed this back to the "less convinced" people at NTRIAC.

On a related note, here's another option for those considering alternatives to DVDs etc. a couple of fellow members of Staines Video Makers and I are judging another club's annual competition. Yesterday I received the 11 entries via WeTransfer, downloaded them to a portable hard disk and we will be viewing them tonight on a 65" TV for judging. I can then write up our notes at leisure whilst viewing on my PC.

I've used the same method to transfer my entry to BIAFF.

I appreciate this facility is not available for those without a reliable internet connectionbut it is more suitable for slow connections than streaming direct from YouTube etc. as up/downloads can take place overnight/in the background.
Tim
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Michael Slowe
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:35 pm

OK Tim, I have been a Luddite but am starting to see the errors of my ways!

I'm replacing one of our TV's at home with a 'smart' TV which will enable me to receive streamed media through a laptop. I hasten to add that this has been precipitated by 'her indoors' wanting to take out a Netflix subscription, having been seduced by all the talk from friends and family who seem to watch little else. I will continue making discs as a convenient way of circulating my films but do appreciate that the march of progress cannot be halted, if indeed these developments could be thought of in such terms.

ned c
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by ned c » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:55 pm

Tim (and anyone); please feel free to use our comments on remote judging. We had no problems with the CEMRIAC entries and most impressive was the picture quality including those uploaded at 480p the lowest resolution used by the entrants. Some thoughts on remote judging. The two of us viewed all the entries individually and then met for the final decisions so there was a lot of discussion based on our preview reactions, a greatly enjoyable process with a glass of wine and selection of cheeses! This year DOCUTAH; for which we are screeners used a combination of streamed previewing and DVDs but next year plans that all previews will be streamed from Film Freeway where the entries are registered. DOCUTAH uses a system where each screener group is a minimum of four and a maximum of eight members who fill in a form of comments on line which is automatically submitted to the final judging team. Each entry is viewed by 3 different screening groups so with about 500 entries there is a lot of material generated. Currently there are 50 screening groups. This has really involved the community and at the Festival most screenings are sold out in contrast to some Festivals we have been to where there are a handful of viewers.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:20 pm

Thanks for that Ned. I shall pass the comments on to Alan who is primarily responsible for the judging. Our experience won't be anywhere near as taxing as your, having far fewer entries (it is the first time we've tried this). One major difference is that the judges will be in different parts of the globe and meeting up to discuss is (sadly, in my view) not an option. On the other hand Alan has devised a "system" with flexibility in mind meaning that judges can judge as many or as few films as they like (i.e. no-one has to commit to watch say 20 films or three hours of films) the idea being we can cast the net wider and be less demanding of judges. However every film will be judged and commented upon by three judges and Alan hopes to be assigning appropriate judges where possible (so dramas, for example, are judged by people with a particular knowledge of drama).
At least, that's what he tells me!
Tim
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tom hardwick
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by tom hardwick » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:14 am

I enjoyed being one of the judges but as of now (10 Jan 2017) I've not heard a word from the organisers. I've had no communication to say my individual film critiques have even been received, let alone deemed to be acceptable, so I'm at a loss to know if the competition has been a success or even if a winner has been found.
Tom.

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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:20 pm

Ahhh Tom! What can I say? Other than to offer grovelling apologies and blame it all on someone else!

I'll email you.

But for a more general audience:

I have not written anything about it here as I know Alan is planning a complete write-up for the NTRIAC newsletter and I don't want to steal his thunder. However, as the question has been asked:

We ended up with 32 entries, distributed among 10 or so judges.
We employed a scoring system devised by Alan, not dissimilar to the sort of system used in music exams, to try to (a) make it easier for teh judges and (b) to try to achieve some sort of consistency.
The top 15 films were within 10 marks (out of 100, with the top score being 84)

Online entry seemed to work fairly well. I didn't hear of anyone who experienced any difficulty. There was a problem with a couple of entries where the entrant did not complete the PayPal side of things successfully. This happens after the entry details are sent so we had two entrants from which we had to collevt the fee later. This was not a problem with only a few entries as it was easy enough to marry up the fees and entrants. However this could be a problem if we were receiveing a large number of entries over a short period of time. I always anticipated that if we were to expand this we would need a "proper" website and designer rather than something I knock up during my lunch break!

From my point of view (I basically received all the entries, collated them and passed them on to Alan) it was very straightforward.

We have had little in the way of feedback from any of the entrants, but I wouldn't necessarily expect any. We do plan to send out a questionnaire to get a better understanding of how the entrants fared. Tom's email has prompted me to think we should do the same to the judges.

I do not know if Alan managed to contact all the entrants with their results before flying off to Barbados (not on the proceeds of the competition!). The final scores only came in a day or so before he went and I know he was desperately trying to get the results out. For this reason I have not put any information up on the website as yet.

Alan is due back on 23rd so all will be revealed after that.
Tim
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Re: The NTRIAC Online Film Competition Experiment

Post by TimStannard » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:52 pm

For anyone interested, most of the films submitted are available via links from the results page here http://www.adhocvideos.co.uk/ntriac/results.html. Some of these will have been submitted to BIAFF so IAC judges may like to avoid watching, reading comments until later this month

Feedback about the competition has in the main been positive with one or two question marks over one or two of the comments - but aren't there always?
Tim
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