BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

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Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:32 pm

Michael Slowe's films have always been a great inspiration to me. I remember the very first one I saw was called "Leader of the Pack". I was bowled over by it and desperately wanted to make something like that myself. My first effort at a 'Michael Slowe' type film was called "Johnny's Pigs".

Michael and I did actually have quite a detailed email discussion about his film about a pub last year and my film about a youth theatre (which will be shown at BIAFF this year). It was most interesting and instructive. Michael is wrong that I don't need his help any more. I do! And in fact I did make changes to my youth theatre film to improve one the things he complained about - in fact the only thing that he mentioned that could be dealt with 'in post'. If he sees it at BIAFF this year, he may notice! I HUGELY value his advice and his opinions.

I hope Michael, that you will soon find inspiration and make another cracking film like "The Hounds and The Huntsman"!

I agree with Michael that the best way to get help is to ask trusted friends. I've had SO much help from kind friends who are willing to go through my films and pick out the good and suggest ways of dealing with the not so good.

I see that Ken Wilson is coming to Lichfield Movie Makers next week and I hope to be at his session.

Looking at the BIAFF results I'm impressed and rather delighted by the number of foreign films that have done well. I can't wait to see them!

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:59 am

The discussion over Judge's Comments are the equivalent of BREXIT negotiations - They will never end......perhaps all films should be given 5 Stars from the start and we could work backwards!

I do recall a Judge, in a former year, telling me that he had viewed Entries on a Standard Hotel Bedroom TV....which is shocking as those sets are genuinely awful.

Even a good film can look feeble and lack impact if it is displayed on such a dreadful device.

In the same breath however....One must recognise that it is the logistics of the Competition which must make Judging a regular nightmare!

We have much to be thankful for.

************
for those who are unsure:

Statistically a winning Film should be: Short, contain nudity, at least two Cats, an abused person( or politician), a foreign language, bob lorrimer, and a bird of prey or a parrot.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:24 pm

My link to the Diamond Awards page was only to get straight to the start of the listings - not to promote any concerns about the proportion of foreign winners.

The shameful truth is that most of the first-round judging is done on hotel room tv sets.
Five rooms are used ... getting hold of five good projectors and screens or even five decent sized monitors would be a difficult task.
A sixth room is used for the final judges, who do watch a good projected image at large size. That room is also used for the first 90m block of films, so a few films get their first-round assessment under the best conditions.

It is all about making the best use of time and people. Over one long-weekend 250 or so films can be judged at first round level and the best of those also assessed by the final judges.
They are all allowed about 8 minutes between films to make their notes.
After the weekend they are asked to go home and write their share of crits within ten days. That's not easy if you have a full-time job, family and other commitments to honour. The rush is so that the results and crits can be checked and sent out to the film makers in time for them to plan their trips to BIAFF.

While I share the view that IAC should be prepared to spend money on this, it has traditionally - for accounting reasons - been treated as a stand-alone exercise with the entry fees paying for all the costs concerned.

It could all be done differently: for example with a deadline of 1st December and judging in mid January ...

Michael Slowe
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:33 am

and David, the Council should regard this as the IAC's flagship event, spend more money if desired (raise the entry fee?) and give judges more opportunity to do their difficult job under the best circumstances. Would it even be possible to enlist the help in judging of say, university and film school instructors?
They may well be interested to see what amateur (non commercial) film makers are producing. I'm afraid that to enlist film students may well be a disaster as our films for the most part, are still linked to the last century, whereas theirs are mostly incoherent to us!

Jon Pegg
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jon Pegg » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:21 pm

Hello all first time poster here
We have a film in the festival Making Friends as the World Ends. Been Reading the forums with interest and checking out peoples movies been enjoying it.
Not stopping over at Birmingham as that where I'm from but will be popping everyday to say hello and support.

The judges feedback was really good and the festival organisers have been fantastic its given me a real buzz to come along and almost all the actors are attending as well.

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by TimStannard » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:04 pm

Michael Slowe wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 pm
I wish that we didn't have [commemnts], merely get the rating.
Interesting Michael. here you seem to be at odds with the other posters here whose complaints are that they could do with more comments of a more helpful nature. However, I'm sure most would agree with:
Michael Slowe wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 pm
Only a limited number of people are able to write worthwhile comments on films
However
Michael Slowe wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 pm
Only this year I had some irrelevant technical points raised rather than on the substance of the film.
They might be irrelevant technical points to you, Michael, but to another film maker these might be genuinely helpful technical points - the judges aren't to know. Ironic, given that most criticism here has been fo judges failing to be specific enough in their criticism.
Michael Slowe wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 pm
See you all at BIAFF, all being well. We should try and arrange a "Forum Contributors" social meeting. I tried that one year but it proved tricky to organise.
We've managed a couple of meetups at previous BIAFFs, Michael. I wouldn't consider it a failure! I'll be there Sat/Sun and I'll be sure to see as many of you as possible. As a final round judge this year I'll be wearing my flak jacket!

[edited for typos]
Last edited by TimStannard on Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tim
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ned c
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by ned c » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:54 pm

Consideration should be given to on-line judging now that there is good streaming and with Film Freeway it is possible to both view entries and download them from the site. An example is our local festival DOCUTAH which has fifty screening teams drawn from the local population. We view the entries on our large screen TVs (usually between 55 and 65 inches) with decent sound and then complete a review form which goes to the organizers as a Google form. Everything happens on-line. The teams sign an agreement that they will view the entire film and will not make copies. Each entry is viewed separately by three screening teams, a team has a minimum of four members and a maximum of eight. The reviews are then used to select the the films to be selected by the final judging panel; a group with film making credentials. The usual entry is between 400 and 500 and 60 to 70 are screened depending on length, this is the 10th year.

If the IAC is to survive it has to address two areas; the magazine and BIAFF. You know my views on the magazine; it should go on-line and the money saved applied to BIAFF which is the jewel in the crown of the iAC. I feel it is essential to add a student category to BIAFF as this is where the future lies. Many film/communication graduates will not get jobs in the profession but will retain their love of film making and here is the potential management of the IAC.

Judges notes will always be controversial; one year we distributed the notes from DOCUTAH to the entrants; if you think amateurs push back you should hear the howls of rage from the professionals!!

ned c

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Willy
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Willy » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:44 pm

Hi Bob! Yes, you are right. The discussion over judges' comments are the equivalent of Brexit negotiatons. They will never end. But, on the other hand, thanks to them there is a revival of this forum for a short time. I must admit it I have been asleep for some months, too and now I have woken up. By the way, I am a John Foreigner. Am I allowed to take part in this discussion? I live only 12 miles north of the capital of Europe: Brussels. Nonsense, of course. I am sure you all agree that this forum is not the place to talk about politics and about Brexit in particular.

I love your sense of humor, Bob. Thanks to you I know why my Neil Ross-movie has "only" received 3 stars instead of 4. There are no cats in it. There are 10 border collies in it. They are smart, but the 300 sheep are very stupid. I did not realize that the English prefer cats to dogs. And there is no nudity in my documentary. However, one sheep is shaven by Neil and it runs away in all its nudity. Very sexy. But not sexy enough. There is quite a lot of nudity in "The Swimming Pool" the movie made by my clubmate Werner. The award? A diamond! I am sure you will enjoy it next at the Winners' Show next Sunday. It is sometimes difficult to understand Werner's films because he loves mystery and imagination. I love it, too. Foreign language? I have tried. Neil Ross has a strong Scottish accent. But apparently too strong. I should have tried to subtitle the film.

By the way, last week I presented movies made by my clubmates in an organisation of Three Thinkers or Humanists. I showed very serious documentaries. Among them my film about the European Schools. I made it in the previous century. Also one about monkeys in the streets of Lopburi, a small town in Thailand. But I also showed "The Drill", made by you, Bob. You should have heard the audience, my friend. They were all excited. It's a very short funny movie. You are a fantastic actor and editor and camera man and... I told the audience that you have made that film without any help. Wonderful! It was a very good intermezzo. I am sure you have always deserved your diamonds! Do you remember that I met you on a beach in Guernsey. You were there on your own with your camera. A small person in the far distance. After some time it appeared that it was you.

I would like to say something now about the other friends Ken and Michael. But it is time for dinner. In a next message on this forum. Vera has called me.
Willy Van der Linden

Jill Lampert
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jill Lampert » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:05 pm

Welcome to the IAC Forum, Jon! I can't wait to see your film "Making Friends as the World Ends". I hope we'll meet at BIAFF - I'm from Birmingham too! :D

Jon Pegg
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jon Pegg » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:38 pm

ll be saying hello to everyone i can Jill and watching as many films as poss,I watched over 30 at bham fest im gonna try and beat that.
Im a boxing coach thats makes films for a laugh so if anybody wants to talk boxing im good for that as well lol

Michael Slowe
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:14 pm

Willy, I think that you are wrong, the English prefer dogs to cats. i hope you did not upset Vera by being late for dinner.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:05 am

Jon - you will love the Saturday scrum as people dash between the various mini-cinemas during the tea /coffee breaks. I recommend you and your team spread out so that between you you can see almost everything. Jan and I rarely sit together.
On Sunday we all watch together in the neighbouring cinema.

Of course only some of us will have to go on stage to collect their awards!

For anyone who has not yet looked at the awards listed on www.biaff.org.uk Jon's film won a Diamond, Best story and Best acting for the ensemble cast. From memory I think it is the first time the acting prize has gone to an ensemble.

Actually there is a fair amount of time during the breaks to chat to other film makers and film enthusiasts. Don't be shy. Everyone is there to celebrate non-commercial film making and 99% of us love talking to the top film makers in order to worship at their feet, steal ideas and so on ...

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Willy
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Willy » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:35 pm

Upsetting Vera is one of my specialities, Michael. Vera never complains. But if she has a complaint, then it is about me. But we have been married for 51 years and we are still together. She is very courageous.

Yes, I agree with you, Michael. Your time has gone! Only 3 stars for your two documentaries. You should be ashamed! For a man with such a good reputation. I would throw my camera into the River Thames. But enough joking now. You are not honest this time, Michael. You will die with your camera in your hand and try to make award making movies. Just like me. Two years ago I thought of ending my career as an amateur filmmaker in a fantastic way. Therefore I crossed the Channel 7 times! Unfortunately my epic story failed (at BIAFF). I was very depressive, but I stood up again. I crossed the Channel again, but only once. I took my folding chair with me to fight against my backache. 10 minutes of camera work followed by 3 minutes of sitting on my folding chair, followed by 10 minutes of camera work, followed by 3 minutes of sitting on my chair, etc... I felt exhausted, but also happy when I had finished everything. At home I could edit my shortie during winter time. You are older than me, but actually you are younger I think. I admire your energy and I love the style of your movies.

Jill says that your films have always been a great inspiration for her. I have a similar feeling. You are a master in recording chats with ordinary people, people like landords, huntsman, circus artists, owners of alcapas, musicans, etc... You never ask them to learn something by heart. You just have a chats with them. Take the huntsman for instance. He is very enthusiastic. By interviewing him you create the ideal English atmospere. And your photography is superb. Another very atmopsheric movie is "King Willy". I enjoyed it immensily. Thé atmosphere of a pub somewhere in London. Great!

Indeed, Bob makes amusing films, but also you make very entertaining movies. Different ones, but also very interesting ones.

I think that in general BIAFF-judges show enough competence, but in my opinion I wonder if the experienced team leaders should also write the things that their beginning companions have said, things that are not relevant enough. These things may confuse and upset the filmmakers who read the comments. That's my opinion, of course, and you don't have to share this.

Be sure that I will miss BIAFF next Saturday and Sunday. A boxing match, sex in a swimming pool... etc... I would also look forward to seeing Guido Haesen's film, our Luxemburg friend. I am happy that he has won an award making documentary. I hope that I will meet him at Unica.
Willy Van der Linden

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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by TimStannard » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:55 pm

I too hope to meet up with you, Jon and any other of the cast an crew - especially Kia, whom I recognised in the film but couldn't place. This was not surprising when I learned her work is far better known to my 14 year old daughter.
Dave Watterson wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:05 am
For anyone who has not yet looked at the awards listed on www.biaff.org.uk Jon's film won a Diamond, Best story and Best acting for the ensemble cast. From memory I think it is the first time the acting prize has gone to an ensemble.
"Making Friends..." also won "Best Ensemble Cast" in the Birmingham Film Festival. You'll have to trust me when I say the BIAFF judges were totally unaware of any awards this film had won in other festivals when they awarded this. Say what you like about judges, but sometimes different panels agree.
Tim
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Jon Pegg
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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Post by Jon Pegg » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:08 pm

TimStannard wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:55 pm
I too hope to meet up with you, Jon and any other of the cast an crew - especially Kia, whom I recognised in the film but couldn't place. This was not surprising when I learned her work is far better known to my 14 year old daughter.
Dave Watterson wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:05 am
For anyone who has not yet looked at the awards listed on www.biaff.org.uk Jon's film won a Diamond, Best story and Best acting for the ensemble cast. From memory I think it is the first time the acting prize has gone to an ensemble.
"Making Friends..." also won "Best Ensemble Cast" in the Birmingham Film Festival. You'll have to trust me when I say the BIAFF judges were totally unaware of any awards this film had won in other festivals when they awarded this. Say what you like about judges, but sometimes different panels agree.
Hey Tim weel defo have a good chat and Kia will be coming along,We both attended every day of the Bham film fest and literally one day got there early to watch a film made by a lovely canadian couple who we met the night before and I was worried because the morning attendances were a bit low and didnt want someone coming half way round the world and not having someone to talk about there film with.
We became good friends and there film was great which was a bonus and it won best foriegn film,For me this is what festivals are all about

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