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Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:04 pm
by Dave Watterson
YES ...
For me this is what festivals are all about
most BIAFF visitors are like that.

The timetable for the Saturday and Sunday shows will be on the BIAFF website in a few minutes, so you can try to plan. You may find some rooms are packed, so having a second choice ready is a good idea. My only regret about BIAFF audiences is that they shy away from films over 12 minutes (the average) ... those whose longer films are shown on Sunday don't have to worry about that (!)

BUT supporting each other, talking about films ... YES YES YES.

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:12 am
by Ken Wilson
Hi Dave and thanks for your confirmation of how the earlier round is judged at BIAFF on TVs. When people were messaging me and telling me this, initially I didn`t believe it. I would have thought that IAC resources could muster up 5 projectors and some kind of amplifier system.

I have been a judge for many competitions such as twice for the Burnley Festival, once at CEMRIAC once for the Guernsey Lily and 5 times for our own competition, plus many times for local clubs and a few times for Scottish clubs. At virtually all of these we projected the films on a large screen with sound through some kind of hi-fi system. You will know this Dave as we asked you and Jan to be our guest judges for one of our own fiction competitions. We saw all the films projected large and in comfort sat on armchairs and sofas. We had time to stop/ review and chat. Of course, as we have said before, it`s the huge number of entries for BIAFF that is an issue.

As I am a long time film-maker, I see the makers`points of view and judge and write critiques accordingly. I try to encourage and be constructive. Every film has taken a long time to produce and has had the makers heart and soul poured into it. For all this effort to be treated so badly as to be viewed on a hotel TV is just really not good enough in my opinion. This year I received comments about the sound being "uneven." How could this be assessed on a small TV speaker? The films sound fine on my surround system at home, but I know from giving club shows that picture and sound can look and sound very different at different venues.

Perhaps the IAC committee could just ask if 5 groups or individuals would bring a projector and amp to judge the annual event in the best possible way to give all film makers the respect they deserve?

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:50 pm
by Willy
I really do not understand why Ken has never been invited to be a judge at BIAFF. We all know that he is very experienced and he has good writing skills. I always look forward to reading his articles in "Film and Video Magazine". English is not my mother-tongue, but I am sure his stories are always written in simple and perfect English. That's my limited linguistic feeling. Tell me if I am wrong. Nobody will deny that we need judges like Ken.

It is not easy to find judges. David Newman must be praised for his work and courage. He is an excellent organiser. And all judges must be praised for their willingness to get exhausted after having watched a series of movies, boring and exciting ones.

Just like Ken I have judged for many competitions. For Guernsey, for Scotland, for the Netherlands (NOVA), the Mersey Ten Competition and many Belgian clubs. Brian Dunckley ever asked me to be a member of the final judging panel at BIAFF, but I recommended one of my clubmates who was with me at Norwich. And last year David Newman asked me to come to Newcastle, but I feared the long trip to the North in winter and Vera, my private nurse, preferred to stay at home.

Not only from Ken, but also from other friends and from my Belgian clubmate in particular I heard that all films are viewed on awful TV-sets.

A real story: I worked on the documentary "Guernsey, I Love You" for months and months together with my Guernsey-friends Mary and Peter. I enjoyed the long trips to their wonderful tropical Island. Together we could make a very good dramatized documentary. A special one. But unfortunately the result at BIAFF was very poor. 3 stars. After BIAFF we heard from a judge that our film had been viewed on a crappy TV and that the colours had not been adjusted. That judge apologized. We appreciated it, but it was too late. There was only one reward: our friendship with Mary and Peter. They visited us in Belgium last year. Next month we will meet again at SERIAC.

Conclusion: BIAFF must keep its good reputation, but all films must be shown on large screens from the first round onwards. Just like next Saturday and Sunday in Birmingham. All filmmakers deserve it. Enjoy BIAFF! I am jealous because I will not be able to come.

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:08 pm
by Dave Watterson
My guess is that Ken has not been asked to judge at BIAFF because there is usually one or more films from him in the competition. We'd rather have him as a film maker.

Most experienced judges can make allowance for the technology showing the film ... but it is not ideal.

As Ken suggests one answer might be to have various people or clubs bring in their projection gear, sound gear and screen. Something like that used to be done years ago when the judging was in people's houses not a hotel, but that was before the days of one-lens projectors. (Remember those beasts with three soup-plate sized lenses on the front?) Mostly people brought in large TVs.

Mind you I have seen many a projector in homes and in cine clubs, that is poorly adjusted. Vary few systems are right straight from the box. They are often calibrated for office presentations of spreadsheets in a semi-darkened room. At home we use a test disc to calibrate and adjust for each new projector and even each new lamp.

I believe there may be changes next year, if only because the hotel used for the last few years is changing hands. The critical difference would be for IAC Council to accept the principle that the competition/festival (for they are one really) should be subsidised from IAC's reserves. Jan and I will be at the AGM, maybe all of us should come ...

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:50 am
by Ken Wilson
It`s a nice theory Dave that as a regular film maker this is the reason I have not been asked to judge. However, Howard Smith tells me that he has judged for the past 5 years and Howard seems to enter many films into BIAFF every year. 7 films this year I believe? He is not the only one who enters the competition but also judges. In addition, due to work and life commitments, I made no Phase 4 films in 2011, 2014, 2015 or 2017.

I believe that Brian Dunckley didn`t allow judges to also be entrants when he was competition manager if I am correct? I guess David Newman has little choice when judges are not as plentiful as they once were! No that isn`t the reason. Answers on a postcard...

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:29 am
by Michael Slowe
Ken, probably because you're an awkward so and so! Only joking, I too don't get asked to judge, although, to be fair, I did do one year in Bernard Ashby's
time, that's before you were born.

Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 pm
by Bob Lorrimer

Thank-you for showing the DRILL .... I did indeed make the film on my own and I am astonished that it plays as well today as it did ten years ago!

Since the success of the Drill, I have always tried, in the 'writing' of my mini-epics, to come up with a double ending which defies the expectation of the Audience. I have this year achieved something similar in HIGHLY LIKELY an improbable masterpiece!

I made 'Rock Bottom' also on my own at 'Petit Bot Bay' (Guernsey) beach over two mornings. The first morning I left the airport with my suitcase and directed the Taxi Driver to take me to the beach before I travelled on to the Hotel for the Guernsey Lily Festival. The Taxi Driver was not keen on leaving me alone on the beach, early morning , with just my suitcase......fearing that I might be in a depressed state!

The Canon 7d was a great DSLR Camera but very difficult for a lone filmmaker! It had no reversible screen and was prone to overheating.....I could not see myself at framing was hit and miss which is why the shots are static....the camera might be ten yards away!

I returned to repeat some of the shots the following Day.....and, of course, You and your party arrived in time to see me running back wards and forwards in the distance, on the surf- line like a demented 'Retriever'. 'Rock Bottom' continues to be my most successful film thanks to the Guernsey Festival with approaching 68,000 views......and I am still astounded at it's visual quality which has much to do with the extraordinary geology of the Beach as it does me.

Thank you for your gracious support,


Re: BIAFF 2019 at Birmingham

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:30 pm
by Willy
Last weekend the Flemish Amateur Film Festival (VAC-Film Festival) took place. Flanders is the Dutch speaking part in Belgium. "The Swimming Pool" made by my clubmate Werner Haegeman won the 1st prize. He is the overall winner! As you already know he will receive a diamond at BIAFF. There was a second and third prize, too. But there were also two special awards. The first one for "originality" won by the movie "Have a Look in the Fridge" made by my other clubmate Werner Van den Bulck. He was even a final judge at BIAFF. The second special award for "best camera work" won by "Neil Ross, his Sheep and Dogs", a coverage of a tourist attraction in Scotland. It's my own 3-stars film at BIAFF. 3 out of 5 awards or prizes at the Flemish Amateur Film Festival! A success for my club. Very encouraging. There were 48 entries. Some names of other Belgian filmmakers that had entries: Urbain Appeltans who even received the Daily Mail Trophy at BIAFF and Tony Jacobs who ever won a diamond award (or international medallion) for his movie "Yellow Tulips" and for "Career". Do you remember?