BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

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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Willy
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BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Willy » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:02 am

Today I have received the result for my movie "Neil Ross, his Sheep and Dogs". 3 stars. I agree with the judges. BIAFF is a prestigious Film Festival and such a film does not deserve more than 3 stars. But I am very happy that it will be shown on Saturday. For 95% I agree with the judges'comments. The theme is not spectacular. How many times have you already seen a movie about a shepherd and his border collie(s)? I remember the time of "One Dog and his Sheep" on the BBC. I was fascinated by it. I always enjoyed it. Anyway, I still hope that many people will see my border collies at BIAFF in Birmingham. The length of my movie is only 6 minutes and 30 seconds. I tend to make longer stories.

The Swimming Pool
The day before yesterday my clubmate Werner Haegeman called me. He has won a diamond award for "The Swimming Pool" and 5 stars for "Emergency". I have helped him to subtitle both movies. In particular "The Swimming Pool" is a fantastic film in my opinion. Werner is a first class movie maker. He is very talented. Two years ago he won the Belgian national film festival. The runner up was "a street behind him". This is really a "wow film"!

Sorry, that I won't be able to attend BIAFF at Birmingham. I will be in Tonbridge for SERIAC and in Zeist (The Netherlands) for UNICA. And I will also travel around Scotland in August. My friend Werner Haegeman will be in Birmingham together with his wife he has told me. I wish the organizers of BIAFF all success. I wish them the best of luck. Birmingham will be the place for UNICA I have read somewhere. Hopefully I will be able to attend BIAFF next year to receive the big trophy" and the moneyl! (joking of course)
Willy Van der Linden

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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:16 pm

Well the BIAFF results are being sent out ... imagine the work for Competition Manager, David Newman.

I helped a young Georgian film maker to enter a film called "World-Light" in BIAFF - sending money from there would have been awkward. Jan and I were impressed by the film at last year's Ukrainian festival. The film will be part of the young people's show at BIAFF.

Who else has got their result?

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:13 pm

I have received the adjudication of my short 3 minute satire of the Skripal Affair (Highly Likely):

Roll-Up, Roll-up......

Bob

Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:58 am

Bob, I bet you did at least as well as me and my friend Debbie with our film Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking! We got 2 stars and such a damning judge's comments that I had to laugh :D

Howard-Smith
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Howard-Smith » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:30 am

Oh, Jill. 2 stars?! What can I say? I’m glad you feel able to laugh about it.
I submitted 7 new films. Four of them were given 3 stars and won’t be shown at BIAFF. (I have to say I’d hope for a higher award for three of these.) The other three got 4 stars; while I’m pleased that they will be shown on the Saturday at BIAFF, I’m disappointed that one of them wasn’t the “shoo in for 5 stars” that so many of my friends had predicted. The judges in question didn’t seem to understand this particular film properly. Ah well, as I end up saying every year, “there’s always next year.” Bob Lorrimer, your films are always immaculately made, and your brilliant WRITER’S BLOCK thoroughly deserved the Diamond award 2 or 3 years ago. What award DID you get for HIGHLY LIKELY?

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:04 am

Howard....Your work ethic is astounding and I am truly astonished at your output ! Well done!

I managed one three minute film 'Highly Likely' which I filmed 10 months ago. A satire of the "Skripal" affair, a News Item which kept on 'giving' - if not always in a good way!

It's well made and it's a Diamond.

C U there...
Bob

Howard-Smith
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Howard-Smith » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:38 am

Hearty congratulations Bob. Not many filmmakers achieve two diamonds. Yes, see you in Birmingham. I’m doing the whole weekend package as ever and also the Thursday evening meal & Sutton Coldfield film show.

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:31 am

Sometimes, I feel a sense of unease at the reward and high marks which I have achieved both now, and in the past, with my short-form film making.

“The Drill, Rock Bottom, Writer’s Block, The Egg, The Steps, The Bear and Highly Likely” all have a running time of less than three minutes.

So, What’s going on?

My Films are well made and competent but so are many of the BIAFF entries which have been submitted in recent years to the Competition. I am well aware that longer films require not only considerable resources (and resourcefulness) but far more effort than my own one sequence, limited location style.

Currently running on TV is an advertisement for SpecSavers which is contained to within a Minute: A VET mistakes his Assistant’s fur hat for a dead cat……were such a film short film, as an amateur entry, entered into the BIAFF Competition it too would almost certainly gather the highest acclaim….but why?

The answer is relatively straightforward: A film of any length will always be judged favourably if it Resonates with the Viewer.

If the Audience laugh, cry, feel empathy or fear for the Characters which are onscreen they will feel a basic human connection with the film content.

I think, that it is that emotion alone which has fortunately pushed some of my films through the 4 Star glass ceiling into the DIAMOND night sky.

Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:56 pm

Well done Bob! Most impressive! And yes! I'm sure you're right that what's needed is to grab the emotions.

Howard, don't be downhearted - I'm sure another panel or the same panel on a different day would have judged your films differently. Anyway, we all know that you make consistently good films. There won't be many filmmakers with THREE films showing at BIAFF.

I'm so glad you're coming to the Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers show on the Thursday - we're working hard to make it an entertaining occasion!

I am chuffed because I got 4 stars for each of my two documentaries and three stars for a one minute film. Both the docs will be shown on the Saturday.

Overall my club did really well: 5 films were awarded 4 STARS and 7 films got 3 STARS and 3 got 2 STARS. EIGHT of our 15 entries will be shown, including one on the Sunday.

15 entries is a record for us, but I fear it is unlikely to be repeated. I won't go into it now, but I am concerned about the poor quality of some of the judges' comments. I fear that some were SO discouraging that they may put people off entering BIAFF...or worse still, put them off making films.

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by TimStannard » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:26 pm

Bob Lorrimer wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:31 am
The answer is relatively straightforward: A film of any length will always be judged favourably if it Resonates with the Viewer.

If the Audience laugh, cry, feel empathy or fear for the Characters which are onscreen they will feel a basic human connection with the film content.
I do believe you're right, Bob. My two five stars would never have gained those on technical/artistic merit alone. However, let's not assume that films that do not resonate with the viewer will be at a disadvantage. Last year's "Pulse" for example, I thought was a fantastic piece of work, yet I felt so far removed from the characters it didn't resonate with me at all.
Bob Lorrimer wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:31 am
I think, that it is that emotion alone which has fortunately pushed some of my films through the 4 Star glass ceiling into the DIAMOND night sky.
Absolutely NOT that alone, Bob. You don't need me to tell you that it takes the same skills and craftsmanship to produce a 3 minute film as a feature length one - and you demonstrate those skills in spades. One big difference is that it is usually easier to make a 3 minute film - especially one with only one or two characters. A film such as the drill made made to a poor "club" standard ten years ago would not do nearly as well as your mini masterpiece.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by TimStannard » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:29 pm

Jill Lampert wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:56 pm
I won't go into it now, but I am concerned about the poor quality of some of the judges' comments. I fear that some were SO discouraging that they may put people off entering BIAFF...or worse still, put them off making films.
That's simply not good enough, given what the IAC stands for.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:48 pm

Yes Jill, we have two of our Club Members who will not enter films into BIAFF because of the Judge's Comments which were perceived to cause them offence! I have often suggested to the Club Members, that they should not take to heart the Judge's Comments but rather try to 'learn from them' and eventually they will produce a winning film.

The problem they have is that their films are WINNING films within our own smaller milieu!

EG: I have once again WON the Fiction Film Trophy at our Club this year with: 'Highly Likely' ... indeed the trophy is running out of silver to engrave my name - so I have suggested that the engraver just use "Dittos".

I win every year! Because I am the only fiction film maker left in the Club! (Frankly, it is a rather hollow Victory!)

I therefore enter the BIAFF Annual Competition which gives me a far greater sense of achievement and reward if my film does well.

However, I do agree with Jill, We are all sensitive to criticism (except Theresa May) ... a little well meaning encouragement would help control the blood pressure and encourage the loser to try again!

Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:45 pm

How sad that BIAFF has lost entries from those members of Bob's club. I hope they haven't lost the confidence to make films?

I completely understand why BIAFF means something to you, Bob. Actually I don't think any of us would bother to enter if it didn't mean something to us!

And I also chime in with what Bob says about how his club members should try to learn from the judges' comments and maybe they'd win in the future. In the past I've certainly thought that sort of thing even if I haven't quite said it. And for myself, I have HUGELY valued comments from judges in all competitions over the years - reading/hearing them has been the main way I've learnt to take teeny steps towards getting a bit better at making films.

BUT - and you can see it's a big 'but'...there are times when this is difficult: Either there are things which are said which make it really hard to listen to the judges because we feel so put down e.g.

"The edit was a bit self indulgent"

or too general

"and needs tightening."

If anyone reading this forum received this comment, how would you improve your next film?

You've done the best you can. You can't see where it should be tighter or why any particular clip should be shown more briefly. You've been given no clues.

That you are regarded as having been 'self indulgent' will mean it's awfully hard to even listen. You are being personally criticised. It's moved into the realm of your moral qualities and away from your editing skill, and that might be so hurtful that your emotional response is blinding, and makes it difficult to home in on the possibility of redeeming yourself by cutting a few frames here or there.

NB I should say that in the case of this particular comment, the judge did go on to indicate a sequence that he felt needed cutting. So that was good. But I fear that by setting the scene with this very general and very damning comment he'd probably lost the attention of the filmmaker, who had almost certainly experienced some level of loss of confidence in his abilities/moral rectitude generally.

In all this, I would like to say that there were some judges' comments on Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers' films which were really good. Right on target. Nothing offensive. Really useful pointers to do better next time.

In my mind I'm wondering...what could the IAC do to make sure that judges make constructive comments which acknowledge the achievements of entrants...boost filmmakers so that they want to go on making films, and at the same time indicate why they haven't got a higher star rating and give them (appropriate) tips about how to make a better film next time?

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:46 am

Jill, I feel your pain! Perhaps we should have Judges to Judge the Judge's Comments....or, dare I say it: "Indicative Comments"!

Jill, You have always graciously accepted Criticism in your quest for self improvement which has resulted in a succession of top rated films....so it is doubly galling if you have had a set-back - you are not alone!

The Club Members who felt (some years ago) harshly treated by the BIAFF Judges are the best film makers in our Club, and they still are .... but I suspect that they did not enjoy the reality of 'Open Competition' which can be a leveller.

My own Masterpiece "12 String" which I filmed in 1972 was not only described as: "Self indulgent" but also as "Clever-clever!" and "Large closeups do not make up for lack of storyline" and "This film maker should concentrate on something more worthwhile!"

I was seriously wounded......my offence lasted 20 years! Eventually, I came to realise that the comments were correct.

At the time I had a 16mm Camera and I was totally awestruck with the resulting Imagery particularly Macro work and long lingering telephoto shots....learning to cut those shots short is what separates the Professional world from the Amateur Creative.

A stunning shot, however beautiful, however striking, is worth no more time onscreen than it takes to advance the storyline. (Exceptions being: Planet Earth!).

I , only recently, re - edited the film and halved it's running time and it went on to win a Newcastle Competition judged by University Professors.

It is still self indulgent and clever clever and has a weak storyline - but it looks great!

So Jill.....I still look forward to viewing your film...you don't make poor films....and your next Film will knock the Judge's socks off!

TWELVE STRING

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hzZCsHdK60

Bob

Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:24 am

Bob...those comments weren't about one of my films! They were about a film made by someone at my club who had never made fiction film before.

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