POT HUNTER

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
Dave Watterson

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Sep 19, 2002 9:34 pm

Of course Michael is right ... if you are confident of your ability then you
have to take anything judges say with a pinch or two of salt and certainly
not let it worry you. But what about the newcomer, or first-time entrant?

The whole question of pre-selection worries me. I completely understand
why it is necessary. It is not practical for a single panel to assess over
100 films in a day, or even over a weekend. The idea of a team to cut out
the obviously poorer material and yet still write comments on them is a good
one. The catch is that the people you can coerce into doing that job may
not be the ones best qualified for it.

The IAC comp uses teams of judges at each stage ... but you can judge first
stage (all comers) one year, second stage another year and final stage (medals
and prizes) the next - and back again. In other words they use people you
could trust to do the top level, even when sorting out the bottom level.

AN

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by AN » Fri Sep 20, 2002 7:29 am

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
It was just that the late dear Tony Rose liked my films and wanted them
in
his quite commercial shows!
But Tony Rose had 3 or 4 other non magazine judges. Are you saying that he
influenced these judges, by suggesting to them whichfilms he wished them
to choose for the final 10 best?

I recall, when I received one of my Ten Best, one of the judges was Lillian
Gish. I really cannot believe that such a person would allow herself to be
'bent' by TR.

Albert....bending the rules ?

Michael Slowe

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Sep 20, 2002 10:16 am

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
Of course Michael is right ... if you are confident of your ability then
you
have to take anything judges say with a pinch or two of salt and certainly
not let it worry you. But what about the newcomer, or first-time entrant?

The whole question of pre-selection worries me. I
completely understand

I was mentioning Tony Rose's taste in films rather tongue in cheek. My point
is that judging films (plays, art, music) is a very subjective and emotive
issue. All judges can reasonably be expected to do is to decide which are
really good and which are really bad. All the ones in the middle jostle for
places in show programmes, some making it in this festival, others in that.
You can't have definitive answers, look at the Oscars situation; do we agree
on their choices ? Not often.
why it is necessary. It is not practical for a single panel to assess over
100 films in a day, or even over a weekend. The idea of a team to cut out
the obviously poorer material and yet still write comments on them is a
good
one. The catch is that the people you can coerce into doing that job may
not be the ones best qualified for it.

The IAC comp uses teams of judges at each stage ... but you can judge first
stage (all comers) one year, second stage another year and final stage (medals
and prizes) the next - and back again. In other words they use people you
could trust to do the top level, even when sorting out the bottom level.

AN

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by AN » Fri Sep 20, 2002 1:15 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
My point is that judging films (plays, art, music) is a very >subjective
and emotive
issue. All judges can reasonably be expected to do is to decide >which are
really good and which are really bad.
If one makes documentaries, then enter in comps for doc. films where like
will be compared with like. Drama compared with drama, comedy with comedy
etc.
In this way one at least avoids the near impossiblity of deciding
whether a good documentary is better than a good comedy, or better in turn
than a good animated film. Also the judges in these specialised competions
are invariably drawn from the fields they are judging, and know (or should
know!) what they are
talking about. You will at least find out how good your own work is compared
with work of the same genre.

Albert.

Dave Watterson

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Sep 20, 2002 1:38 pm

Albert - "like with like" strikes a jagged nerve.

I have judged general comps where movies were grouped that way. After a bunch
of one-minute comedies came a bunch of 20 minute travelogues ... can you
imagine the groans? Viewing a mixed collections helps me come fresh to each
movie.

With a specialised comp such as documentaries, do you subdivide:
railway
vintage railway
UK
elsewhere
steam (non vintage) railway
UK
elsewhere
diesel
electric
hybrid
canal
...
It is always chalk and cheese - even two movies on identical subjects can
be very different.

(Third try at completing and sending this message - must be my age!)

Brian Hazelden

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by Brian Hazelden » Fri Sep 20, 2002 4:49 pm

Michael said - "In winning 6 Ten Bests (National Film Theatre
and all that) I only won 1 IAC International with the same films!"

Heady stuff, indeed, but I think you're missing the point. There are very
few IAC International awards, and the difference between winning and not
is, as you suggest, subjective.

First round judging should really be about weeding out the rubbish, in the
nicest possible way. To exclude a film at this stage that has won awards
at higher level competitions suggests incompetence, or worse, on the part
of the judges.

I should point out that I was also a first round judge for this year's Kent
Film Festival. We were split into two groups of three so that we did not
judge our own films, or those of close collaborators, or whatever. At the
very least it indicates a very different level of judging from one group.

I was very proud to be awarded an IAC Gold a few years ago. It was the first
in Kent for a few years. Imagine my surprise when all the award winners were
listed in our regional magazine, all that is except me!

Brian Hazelden
Not letting facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory ;-)

AN

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by AN » Fri Sep 20, 2002 5:35 pm

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
Albert - "like with like" strikes a jagged nerve.

I have judged general comps where movies were grouped that way. After a
bunch
of one-minute comedies came a bunch of 20 minute travelogues ... can you
imagine the groans?
Dave, maybe I didn't explain. Some overseas comps are exclusive to one genre.
ONLY documentary, comedy or only animation etc etc.
Audiences to these comps come along knowing that they are going to see the
very best on offer in those particular areas.
Just strawberries rather than mixed trifles!

Albert...licking the cream.

Ned Cordery

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by Ned Cordery » Fri Sep 20, 2002 11:02 pm

This is an interesting thread and the important thing is to get an audience
for our films and if possible some feed back. I suppose we should all take
heart from the fact that many "classic" films bombed at the box office the
first time out (2001, Fantasia, Citizen Kane, Ryan's Daughter etc)and received
mixed reviews, 2001 was written off by the critics! But, critics/judges do
have a responsibility to the film maker as well as the audience. When the
NY Critics circle tore in to Ryan's Daughter with DL present they did a lot
of damage to him and it was about 14 years to his next film. As I said in
earlier posting that if film aspires to be an art then its makers had better
be prepared for some controversey.

I am opposed to judging that gives points for editing, cinematography, sound
etc as if there are defined absolutes for these production crafts - there
are not! My favorite example of a film that would fail every amateur judges
criteria is Breaking the Waves but after watching it you will have been through
an emotional wringer - in fact you may not make it to the end, love it or
loathe it it will have played some tunes on your emotions. It will resonate
for ages.

The solution is to enter as many films as possible for as many comps as possible
- I have decided that it is time to make more films for fun so am going to
havea go, see you at the public hanging of the judges!

Ned Cordery

AN

Re: POT HUNTER - the plot thickens

Post by AN » Sat Sep 21, 2002 7:32 am

"Ned Cordery" <goslands@infowest.com> wrote:
I am opposed to judging that gives points for editing, >cinematography,
sound etc as if there are defined absolutes
for these production crafts
They never give points for 'creativity' or 'originality'.
Attributes which helps give a film that 'sit up and take notice'
The solution is to enter as many films as possible for as many >comps as
possible
It does get somewhat expensive...miniDVtape is 5 quid. Entry fees
about 10 quid. Postage overseas about 5. So we are looking at
20 quid per entry. The young up and coming film maker cannot afford to do
this. Ten entries and we are knocking 200.
Bear in mind too that many overseas require betaSP for final screening if
you make it so far. This costs about 15 to transfer.
I have decided that it is time to make more films for fun
so am going to have a go,
As Wilfred Pickles used to say, "Have a go Joe, come and have a go."
see you at the public hanging of the judges!
You bring the rope, Ned, I'll bring the scaffold!

Albert....hanging his head in shame.

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