BIAFF 2018

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by John Roberts » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:33 pm

Just thought I'd pop up and say that I'm not adverse to pumping money into BIAFF from the IAC coffers, but any injected funds need to be targetted effectively and the eventual returns need to justify the expense, even if that is not directly seen by attendees or casual observers (as might not be the case if the judging system was funded through equipment or expenses).

It's good that we're having a discussion about this and there are some great ideas being bandied about; exactly what we need!

Great to 'see' you too, Jan :D

ned c
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by ned c » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:33 pm

In my opinion the importance of BIAFF to the IAC is central to its survival and must not be underestimated. The dedicated website and using Filmfreeway are both excellent ways of extending its reach. I am still convinced that a student section would provide an important addition and a potential source of members and ultimately of management. As for selection for screening then preference should be given to IAC members; OK that may block some potential winners but there must be some advantage of membership other than a small discount on entry fees.

Has registration for 2018 started yet somewhere I have missed?

ned c

John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by John Roberts » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:45 pm


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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:02 pm

Ned - just a note that IAC has to operate under the rules for a charity - and means very little in the way of direct benefits can go to members. IAC is supposed to work for the public education and good.

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by TimStannard » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:48 am

Dave Watterson wrote:Ned - just a note that IAC has to operate under the rules for a charity - and means very little in the way of direct benefits can go to members. IAC is supposed to work for the public education and good.
But BIAFF is open to the public - both entrants and audience and is (assuming watching others' films and receiving knowledgeable critiques is educational) for the benefit of all.

In fact, given Dave's statement of fact above, it is very difficult indeed to see how to sell the benefits of being a member at all, if membership includes little in the way of direct benefits.
Tim
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ned c
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by ned c » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:50 pm

A quick reading of the charity guidelines explains that "benefit" applies to trustees. So what is the position of those of us who subscribe to the IAC; I assume we are just "donors" and can claim the donation as a tax benefit (not for me here in the USA). So; are we outside the rules for trustees or as Tim asks "what are the benefits of membership? Is the members discount on entry into BIAFF within the requirements? A strange question but can a charity even have a "membership" with benefits such as the magazine?

Thanks for your answer John but I a was looking to register for the hotel/festival; obviously not up yet.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by TimStannard » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:35 am

ned c wrote: Thanks for your answer John but I a was looking to register for the hotel/festival; obviously not up yet.
Ned, I received my booking form with FVM last week, so yours should be arriving soon. If you're in a rush I could scan it in an email it to you (PM me your email address)
Tim
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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:12 pm

Charity stuff:

When I was IAC Treasurer many years ago, the rules permitted a magazine on the basis that the charity must have a means of communicating with its members, especially about arrangements for the Annual General Meeting.

The rules about what donors could get were very restrictive ... generally the most you could give then was a paper flag and a pin to fit that flag to lapels. That rule has relaxed since then, but the underlying notion is still that people give money to the charity because they believe in the good works it does, not because they expect to receive direct benefit from it. The rules in Britain get confused because the major schools were recognised as charities ...

My concern is not just for competitors but for audiences. Jan and I have just sent off our BIAFF booking for the standard 2-night package plus Sunday night b&b because it is a long trip from Harrogate to home. Cost: £549 plus travel. It cost us less to go to for a similar length of festival in Berlin including travel. It was about the same as a similar weekend festival in Bulgaria - again including travel.

Jan got the BIAFF attendance forms yesterday and will put them online as soon as she can.

ned c
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by ned c » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:14 pm

Have just sent off my registration and yes; that GBP 549 is a shock to the checkbook. Probably prohibitive to a younger couple with growing family and mortgage. We have just enjoyed our local Halloween Guerilla Festival here; 19 films entered, max run time 5 minutes; additional non-competition films also shown; admission $9, directors of entries free; packed house. Perhaps one day local showings of selections would be an answer to broadening the attendance; certainly the Sutton Coldfield film makers one day event looked very successful. See you at Harrogate!

ned c

tom hardwick
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by tom hardwick » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:57 pm

A really interesting thread we have here and a lot of good points aired.
I too am suitably flabbergasted but the amount of work that goes into making BIAFF the show that it is, and more than flabbergasted at the blood, sweat, tears and hours that David Newman puts into it.

Money. I really feel its time that the IAC faces the fact that it could go to its grave leaving money in the bank, and I'm all for the countless silent hardworking volunteers to be paid their expenses. The IAC's accountant should realise that this is a simple way for us all to show our appreciation.

They'd still be volunteering their time and expertise, their most precious commodities. Yet at the moment they're actually paying for the privilege of paying their own expenses, a situation that almost defies logic.

I know nothing about the IAC's finances, but it appears that Garth Hope is the only person who's paid real money. And he deserves it, but then so do very many others who work tirelessly throughout the year to make the IAC relevant and continuous.

Now, regarding BIAFF judging. I equate the experience of viewing competitor's films on iffy bedroom TVs to choosing the best photographs in a photo competition by viewing the Windows thumbnails. That's where the (outdated, environmentally unfriendly) judge's take-home copy DVD or BD comes into its own. Competitors deserve their work to be seen and heard on high quality equipment, and the disc (in my view) is unmatched in the versatility stakes (which is why it's called a DVD).

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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:01 pm

From what I hear on the grapevine the problem with paying expenses is not unwillingness by the Treasurer ... but a reluctance by some of the committee to accept them.

I am in awe of how much some of the committee give in time, effort and outlay. We should, at least, cover their out-of-pocket costs.

(This is also a problem with UNICA, where there is a system of token expenses: 100 Euros when you turn up for a committee meeting. But these usually take place in central Europe so travel can cost twice that and then you have the cost of a hotel. It really does mean people have to think twice before standing for the committee.)

John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by John Roberts » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:52 pm

The problem with any grapevine Dave is that it often ends up being 'Chinese Whispers.' In the few years I have been on Council I can only recall the matter being brought up once, and IIRC that was from someone outside of the committee. I can say though that the issue of expenses was rejected by the vast majority of the committee who would benefit from it, not just by some, with the remaining small number being neutral on the matter. Issues such as this that require a vote always have the result of the vote adhered to but there's no reason why the issue cannot be brought up again, either at the AGM or as a proposal to Council, should somebody wish it. Or maybe simply if we had a handful of extra volunteers that might ease the workload on the existing volunteers - anyone is welcome and the regions and Council are constantly asking for it, even if it's just taking on one simple task.

As regards the judging weekend, BIAFF is pretty unique and the weekend has developed to give the maximum number of films an equal platform on which to be viewed. The fact that the platform is not up to standard is the issue. I am still being asked to supply DVD copies of my films for some regional competitions, which I now refuse to do as some of my fellow filmmakers from other clubs also refuse to do. I agree that high quality equipment should be used to view any competition entries, but my worries about farming out to individual judges at home is reflected in the fact that not all judges even possess a Blu-Ray player or any kind of decent audio setup. At least at the BIAFF weekend it is a 'level playing field' for all films, even though the playing field might not be Wembley Stadium but a muddy Sunday league pitch.

Regardless of the medium used to submit film entries, I wonder whether the suggestion of using some cash from the IAC coffers to buy a set of identical TVs of decent make, a soundbar for each and a Blu-Ray player is the way to go. The judging weekend format would remain the same but the viewing equipment would be far superior and identical for each set of judges. We shall have to wait until the dust settles but I suspect a fair proportion of BIAFF entries are now received only online, so some means of viewing these submissions will also have to be considered, and possibly adjusted over the next few years to reflect changes in the medium used.

tom hardwick
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:53 pm

John, you raise good points about BIAFF judges all working on the same playing field, and that this playing field could be improved by the acquisition of a set of decent sized TVs complete with sound bars. All the TVs will accept usb sticks so that films submitted online would have to be downloaded to usb stick before the judging begins, as judging can't rely on WiFi.

But it's more work for the volunteers, moving the existing TVs and delivering then heaving the IAC TVs into position, then testing, checking, and packing them all up again (complete with their remotes). Then there's PAT testing, storage and insurance. And even 55'' TVs only have 4 foot wide pictures, not particularly big.

You didn't explain why you and fellow filmmakers refuse to supply your films on DVD (and presumably BD). Upscaled DVDs can look very good indeed and it should be remembered that YouTube was disabled on vast numbers of smart TVs last year, so supplying links means your films might only get as far as a tablet or laptop. DVDs might be old hat, but their ubiquity lends them slimline strength.

Michael Slowe
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:12 pm

I'm with Tom on the subject of discs (BD & DVD). They are still the most convenient and safest method of presenting films for viewing. I know that files are the future and, indeed, I archive everything as a file, but for showing films discs are so easy and, if properly made, pretty much idiot proof.

I am horrified by the description of BIAFF judging sessions! In a hotel bedroom with films on a scruffy TV? Presumably the equipment is vetted beforehand and passed as satisfactory. Mind you, we don't know how other festivals present their entries to judges. I think that they are provided with the link to either Filmfreeway or Withoutabox, but they are then relying on wi fi which can be unreliable. This aspect is important because as we go to a great deal of trouble to try and provide the best possible pictures and audio that modern equipment makes possible, we do hope that they can be viewed to the best advantage. It is true that all entries get the same treatment but this an important matter.

Also, for goodness sake at least reimburse judges expenses, not doing so is quite unbelievable.

John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2018

Post by John Roberts » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:28 pm

tom hardwick wrote:John, you raise good points about BIAFF judges all working on the same playing field, and that this playing field could be improved by the acquisition of a set of decent sized TVs complete with sound bars. All the TVs will accept usb sticks so that films submitted online would have to be downloaded to usb stick before the judging begins, as judging can't rely on WiFi.

But it's more work for the volunteers, moving the existing TVs and delivering then heaving the IAC TVs into position, then testing, checking, and packing them all up again (complete with their remotes). Then there's PAT testing, storage and insurance. And even 55'' TVs only have 4 foot wide pictures, not particularly big.

You didn't explain why you and fellow filmmakers refuse to supply your films on DVD (and presumably BD). Upscaled DVDs can look very good indeed and it should be remembered that YouTube was disabled on vast numbers of smart TVs last year, so supplying links means your films might only get as far as a tablet or laptop. DVDs might be old hat, but their ubiquity lends them slimline strength.
Tom, I didn't mention anything about BD, only DVDs, which I assumed wouldn't need any further explanation than I previously wrote. I have no issue with BD. As Michael points out:
Michael Slowe wrote:...because as we go to a great deal of trouble to try and provide the best possible pictures and audio that modern equipment makes possible, we do hope that they can be viewed to the best advantage.
I don't have pro or semi-pro gear, but I have spent a lot of money on cameras and lenses (sic) to be able to have a decent Full HD chain from production to final render, therefore I don't see the point of downgrading the resolution to 576 x 720 only for it, at best, to be upscaled back to 1920 x 1080. It's 2018, not 1918. Some of my fellow filmmakers capture in 4K, some even edit in 4K, and I produce my CGI work in 4K. BD is not the issue, downgrading to DVD is. On a 55" TV with a 'not particularly big' 4 foot wide picture, 576 x 720 looks truly shocking...

As regards BIAFF judging, which was what we were talking about, there is no WiFi or YouTube issue. Films submitted via the internet are already transferred to a hard drive at their full resolution and replayed at the judging weekend. Any links supplied to YouTube or Vimeo copies of the films are to assist the judges in writing up their appraisals, as we know, it has nothing to do with the viewing by the judges and cannot influence the award given.

As far as I am aware, the IAC pays for the BIAFF judging weekend in respect of meals and accommodation etc, just not travel expenses, which could vary from a few pounds to a few hundred for each judge. Also, as far as I can recall, I have never heard of a single judge or prospective judge requesting travel expenses, certainly nothing that has come through Council, which is where it would be considered. The door is always open and I can only reiterate that if anyone is unhappy or requires clarification on the matter then it needs to go through the proper channels.

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