Movies from other countries

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

Movies from other countries

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Oct 15, 2002 8:40 am

If you go to the front page of the IAC web site you will find many links to
the UNICA web site. (Also available through the links section and the UNICA
section on the website.)

On that site you can download pdf files listing movies in the UNICA library.
It has never been quite clear to me who can borrow those films. Certainly
national federations like IAC can and so can members of the Friends of UNICA
organisation. I have seen no notice saying that individuals or clubs cannot
request them.

The problem is working out what to choose. Amateur movies are seldom reviewed
or even given a synopsis.

More competitions now ask entrants to provide a publishable synopsis and
stills for festival programme brochures. Perhaps these should all be put
onto web sites.

Getting films from other sources is harder, though as we are talking of video
rather than cine, copies can be mailed without too much worry. If one gets
lost in transit it is not a tragedy. The catch is the different video standards
of the world.

Hmmm


Dave McMuddled

Michael Slowe

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Oct 15, 2002 10:16 am

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
If you go to the front page of the IAC web site you will find many links
to
the UNICA web site. (Also available through the links section and the UNICA
section on the website.)

On that site you can download pdf files listing movies in the UNICA library.
It has never been quite clear to me who can borrow those films. Certainly
national federations like IAC can and so can members of the Friends of UNICA
organisation. I have seen no notice saying that individuals or clubs cannot
request them.

The problem is working out what to choose. Amateur movies are seldom reviewed
or even given a synopsis.

More competitions now ask entrants to provide a publishable synopsis and
stills for festival programme brochures. Perhaps these should all be put
onto web sites.

Getting films from other sources is harder, though as we are talking of
video
rather than cine, copies can be mailed without too much worry. If one gets
lost in transit it is not a tragedy. The catch is the different video standards
of the world.

Hmmm


Dave McMuddled
There are not that many problems about world video standards if you ignore
the awkward French with SECAM!
That only leaves PAL & NTSC. Trouble is it is expensive to get NTSC copies
done. More of a problem is the backward people who cannot play the DV formats.
I was amazed to see that one has to submit VHS tapes for the Malta Golden
Knight Festival! When I telephoned to check they didn't seem to understand
what I was on about! No matter how good the projector VHS is in a different
league from any digital format. Anyhow, exchange of tapes worldwide should
not be too much of a problem and is a good idea. Of course entering films
in international competitions does the same job and should be encouraged
by IAC.

AN

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by AN » Tue Oct 15, 2002 2:51 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
That only leaves PAL & NTSC. Trouble is it is expensive to get NTSC copies
done. More of a problem is the backward people who cannot play the DV formats.
I was amazed to see that one has to submit VHS tapes for the Malta Golden
Knight Festival!
Glad to see that others are having a go at more International comps. If I
recall correctly the Golden Knight Film Fest also allows S-VHS too. (The
British Film Council do list that media for GKFF). Yes OK about NTSC costs.
They are terrible! Best get an NTSC camera and shoot the film twice!! :-)
That's the first thing I look at on an entry form. If PAL ain't there
then my doggy will starve. :-)

But many, many festivals only require VHS for initial judges screening...if
you are choosen to be screened to the audience, then betaSP or such is later
requested. Even the huge Professional Cannes Film Fest only asks for VHS
initially!!!

If you entered at Malta, Michael, good luck. What put me off was having to
enter credit card details on a form and send to them...
I was a little apprehensive in doing that so never entered myself. Let us
know how you get on...have just won a bronze at the big Oslo Amatuer Festival,
so I'm quite perky today!. :-)

Albert...there's something abroad!

Ned Cordery

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Ned Cordery » Tue Oct 15, 2002 4:32 pm

I am doing my best to convince the US competitions I contact to accept PAL
as they limit their overseas entries by insisting on NTSC. The problem here
is that the standard domestic VCRs won't play PAL, unlike the European and
S. American equivalent PAL machines that play NTSC. With the ability of most
of the Sony dv/DVCAM range of VCRs to play both standards then there is really
no reason why PAL dv/DVCAM should not be acceptable here. I offered to loan
my DSR11 to our local festival (eclipsefilmfestival.com) but it didn't help
as they didn't accept my entry for showing any way. Perhaps the IAC could
help via UNICA to get a broader acceptance. I would have liked to enter the
Oslo fest but they accept PAL only! Adding the cost of transcoding to the
entry fees makes for an expensive time.

Ned Cordery

Ken Wilson

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Ken Wilson » Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:11 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:


More of a problem is the backward people who cannot play the DV formats.

It`s also a problem for those of us on DIGITAL 8. Several
competitions do not have facilities for it so it`s S-VHS
or having to borrow a mini DV deck, as I have just done,
to copy to this format.Too many formats means having copies of our films
on all different tapes; VHS, S-VHS, DIGI 8 and mini DV. Perhaps DVD could
be the answer when we all get recordable ones. Ken

AN

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by AN » Wed Oct 16, 2002 10:38 am

"Ned Cordery" <goslands@infowest.com> wrote:
I am doing my best to convince the US competitions I contact to accept PAL
as they limit their overseas entries by insisting on NTSC.
I've tried doing that too over the past 2 years without any luck.
Typically below Hollywood Short Film Fest boasts that it showcases from around
the world.....

"The Hollywood SHORTS Film Festival™ showcases short films from around the
world........"

Then it goes on to say how they accept PAL and NTSC. Wonderfull!

"....Entries must be submitted on a 1/2" VHS tape. We accept ALL formats
(NTSC, PAL, M-PAL, N-PAL, SECAM, MESECAM)."

Then comes the BIG put down.... Only NTSC if selected. :-(

"Note: If selected, filmmaker agrees to furnish 1 copy of film on either
a 35 mm,16 mm film print, or Beta SP (NTSC format)."

So how can they claim to showcase the world?

Albert.

Michael Slowe

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Oct 17, 2002 9:33 am

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
That only leaves PAL & NTSC. Trouble is it is expensive to get NTSC copies
done. More of a problem is the backward people who cannot play the DV formats.
I was amazed to see that one has to submit VHS tapes for the Malta Golden
Knight Festival!
Albert, I too got Bronze at Oslo, two of them in fact but I don't feel as
perky as you. Look at last year's results, there were 37 Bronze Frames, not
to mention Silver and Gold!!!
Glad to see that others are having a go at more International comps. If
I
recall correctly the Golden Knight Film Fest also allows S-VHS too. (The
British Film Council do list that media for GKFF). Yes OK about NTSC costs.
They are terrible! Best get an NTSC camera and shoot the film twice!! :-)
That's the first thing I look at on an entry form. If PAL ain't there
then my doggy will starve. :-)

But many, many festivals only require VHS for initial judges screening...if
you are choosen to be screened to the audience, then betaSP or such is later
requested. Even the huge Professional Cannes Film Fest only asks for VHS
initially!!!

If you entered at Malta, Michael, good luck. What put me off was having
to
enter credit card details on a form and send to them...
I was a little apprehensive in doing that so never entered myself. Let us
know how you get on...have just won a bronze at the big Oslo Amatuer Festival,
so I'm quite perky today!. :-)

Albert...there's something abroad!

Dave Watterson

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Oct 17, 2002 4:02 pm

This chain has gone in an interesting direction, but I was more concerned
that we should see more work from other countries than that they should see
more of ours ... selfish chap that I am.

BTW: congrats to Albert and Michael on the Oslo results.

Since our VCRs and TVs can usually handle NTSC and PAL we suffer fewer problems
importing movies ... but what to try for?

Dave

AN

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by AN » Thu Oct 17, 2002 5:54 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
Albert, I too got Bronze at Oslo, two of them in fact but I don't feel
as
perky as you. Look at last year's results, there were 37 Bronze Frames,
not
to mention Silver and Gold!!!
Congrats on your two. I have entered in Manchester's Kino fest/BAF/Edinboro/and
about 12 overseas festivals, such as Animamundi( Brazil)/Fest of Nations
(Austria)/Melbourne/Berlin etc. most of these are semi or pro I add, but
haven't got anywhere. One fest had 2700 entries, most have over 1000.
That's what I call fierce creative competition, guaranteed
either to better one's film making output or to entice one to take up stamp
collecting!

Not sure where you cast your wares overseas Michael, but if you enter in
the semi pro festivals you may find that an Oslo amateur bronze does indeed
eventually make you 'perky', like me! :-)

It's the films in these other festivals that we amateurs in this country
are not seeing, hence we are living in a self satisfying, self congratulatory,
creative (or otherwise!) protective cocoon, and that is very bad for the
quality of UK amateur output.

Albert....inputting some gloom.

Michael Slowe

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:51 pm

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
Albert, I too got Bronze at Oslo, two of them in fact but I don't feel
as
perky as you. Look at last year's results, there were 37 Bronze Frames,
not
to mention Silver and Gold!!!

Congrats on your two. I have entered in Manchester's Kino fest/BAF/Edinboro/and
about 12 overseas festivals, such as Animamundi( Brazil)/Fest of Nations
(Austria)/Melbourne/Berlin etc. most of these are semi or pro I add, but
haven't got anywhere. One fest had 2700 entries, most have over 1000.
That's what I call fierce creative competition, guaranteed
either to better one's film making output or to entice one to take up stamp
collecting!

Not sure where you cast your wares overseas Michael, but if you enter in
the semi pro festivals you may find that an Oslo amateur bronze does indeed
eventually make you 'perky', like me! :-)

It's the films in these other festivals that we amateurs in this country
are not seeing, hence we are living in a self satisfying, self congratulatory,
creative (or otherwise!) protective cocoon, and that is very bad for the
quality of UK amateur output.

Albert....inputting some gloom.
Albert, I certainly share your gloom at the current standard of our UK film
output. I have been going on about it for some time. Apart from a very few
home made films it is the foreign, mostly European, ones that catch the eye
at the IAC International. The standard has hardly changed since I was last
actively involved making films back in the late 70's and early 80's. I then
stopped with the onset of video as the picture quality was so awful and proper
editing impossible. I only re started four years ago and honestly, I see
the same films around the clubs (with a very few honourable exceptions),
that I might never have been away. Creavity is difficult and we are basically
the same people that we have always been so why expect anything different
- but we do and we see it form overseas. Oh dear, we are a couple of moaners,
tell us off someone!

Dave Watterson

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Oct 17, 2002 10:44 pm

OK - you ARE a bunch of moaners !!!

In fact that's true, but the best kind of moaners. Those who care enough
to do something about it. You both make fine films that help combat the
general apathy about standards.

Having said that I believe in supporting anyone who wants to make films better
... as well as those who want to make better films. IAC in particular, but
enthusiasts generally, ought to help people do what THEY want to do with
their cameras. If their ambition is to make better "baby on the lawn" movies
then show them how.

My personal favourite tip to novice camcorder owners is to look for the telling
details rather than the big picture. For example we have just been watching
"Woodstock Diaries" - shows our age a bit - and there are scores of cut-aways
with a heavyweight performer's feet rocking the planks of the stage as he
bops ... a disbelieving hippy stunned by the camp antics of Sha Na Na ...
Joan Baez gently patting her pregancy bump to share the applause ... Jo Cocker's
left hand twitching as he plays air guitar ...

That said, it disappoints me that many people who attend our IAC festival
find the foreign films a drag. Is it just the effort of reading subtitles?
Is it the effort of thinking? Or is it that feeling of "I can never compete
with those ..."?

McDave

Ned Cordery

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Ned Cordery » Fri Oct 18, 2002 12:55 am

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
Albert, I too got Bronze at Oslo, two of them in fact but I don't feel
as perky as you. Look at last year's results, there were 37 Bronze Frames,not
to mention Silver and Gold!!!
Congrats on your two. >>That's what I call fierce creative competition,
guaranteed
either to better one's film making output or to entice one to take up stamp
collecting!

Not sure where you cast your wares overseas Michael, but if you enter in
the semi pro festivals you may find that an Oslo amateur bronze does indeed
eventually make you 'perky', like me! :-)

It's the films in these other festivals that we amateurs in this country
are not seeing, hence we are living in a self satisfying, self congratulatory,
creative (or otherwise!) protective cocoon, and that is very bad for the
quality of UK amateur output.

Albert....inputting some gloom.


Albert, I certainly share your gloom at the current standard of our UK
film
output. I have been going on about it for some time. Apart from a very few
home made films it is the foreign, mostly European, ones that catch the
eye
at the IAC International. The standard has hardly changed since I was last
actively involved making films back in the late 70's and early 80's. I then
stopped with the onset of video as the picture quality was so awful and
proper
editing impossible. I only re started four years ago and honestly, I see
the same films around the clubs (with a very few honourable exceptions),
that I might never have been away. Creavity is difficult and we are basically
the same people that we have always been so why expect anything different
- but we do and we see it form overseas. Oh dear, we are a couple of moaners,
tell us off someone!
A note from moaner Number 3! The problem is that the IAC and the UK amateur
scene are not representative of what is happening in the larger world of
independent film making. In much of the film world the advent of DV and NLE
has eroded the technical barriers between professional and amateur film makers
and this is refelected in the entries into festivals. In the old amateur
days it was a miracle if the sound could be made to stay in sync with the
picture and the splices on the camera original which was all that existed
didn't fall apart, it was a wonder to have actually made a film within the
technical limitations and wealthy amateurs worked in 16 mm much to the chagrin
of those working in 8 mm. This is now history and the amateur often uses
exactly the same gear as the professional so the sense of technical achievement
is no longer of much interest. British amateurs have always had difficulty
dealing with really serious themes that are the bread and butter of Continental
and US independent film making, there is very little PASSION in the Brit
films. Many years ago, late 60s early 70s with my UK co-worker Stuart Rumens
(used to write regularly for Film Making and was a Single8 guru)we made a
series of films under the banner of Anglia Film Repertory. These dealt with
such themes as adultery, rape, the effect of the common market on the UK,
a surrealist look at love and abandonment, a Tudoe priest burnt at the stake
etc and very badly receieved they were by the UK cine club circuit. In fact
the "Innocence of Mrs Crabtree", a combination of adultery and rape, caused
so much trouble at one showing we were almost tarred and feathered. We both
gave up on the amateur scene and went into professional film/video production,
but Stuart has been giving talks recently to his local cine club and I have
decided to have another go on the amateur circuit. But like Michael we are
amazed at how little has changed.

It is important for UK clubs to see LOTS of the serious films made by amateurs
in other countries, this may serve to attract younger film makers although
I still believe that no late teen to early 20s film maker would want to be
seen dead at a local video/cine club.

Just my two penn'orth (or perhaps two cents worth)

ps our first amateur effort here made it as on of the "Ten Bset of the West"
obviously some high quality judges out here!
>

AN

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by AN » Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:35 am

"Ned Cordery" <goslands@infowest.com> wrote:
A note from moaner Number 3! The problem is that the IAC and the UK amateur
scene are not representative of what is happening in the larger world of
independent film making.
This present thread is one of the best we have had. Dave, there is obsolutely
nothing wrong with an amateur only wishing to make 'baby on the lawn' films
and the IAC etc helping to improve
his efforts. ALL countries have these. But we are really discussing the
top serious/creative UK amateur film makers and comparing them (us?), with
their counterparts overseas.

Maybe the reason that we do not compare very favourably is that
here, in dear ol UK bless it's cotton socks, we are fortunate in not ever
having to have suffered as other European countries etc have done since 1900.
For if one suffers, then one has something to say of life, and painting/writing/films
are the tools used.

From the amateur painting/photographic exhibitions I have seen in UK the
same critisisms can equally apply to those mediums of
self expression as to ours. Maybe, "You've never had it so good," is now
a two edged sword?
ps our first amateur effort here made it as on of the "Ten Bset of the West"
obviously some high quality judges out here!
Therefore, must be a high quality film maker there too somewhere, Ned!

Albert.....way out east.

Dave Watterson

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Oct 20, 2002 9:34 pm

First some news from another festival ... Scot, Pat Menmuir, won the Grand
Prix in the Arts section of the International ARSFilm Festival in Czechia
lastweek. (Yes, you can read about her film on the website.) Uncle Albert
was in the animation section but did not clip a prize this time.

Second: Why do psychics have to ask you for your name? (Yep,a different
set of joked on the website front page -just keep clicking F5 to see them.

Third:

Ned wrote: The problem is that the IAC and the UK amateur scene are not representative
of what is happening in the larger world of independent film making.

He would know better than I. Certainly the point that we Brits seem embarrassed
about making films with passion rings true.


Albert's idea that: Maybe, "You've never had it so good," is nowa two edged
sword? is intriguing.

The suffering artist is a cliche, but cliches get that way because they have
some truth in them.

Sometimes a movie can simply sweep you up with the sheer joie-de-vivre of
its director. For me 'Amelie' works that way, as does 'The Stunt Man' in
the commercial cinema ... they both have faults but I'll let those directors
pick me up and carry me away for a couple of hours. I trust their confidence,
their sureness of touch.

It does happen now and then in the amateur world. 'Steins Abschied' by Otto
Horn which recently won the Cotswold Festivalis one. 'Schaefchen Zahlen'
which won at IAC a couple of years ago is another. Designer Babies by Iain
Gaffney is up there. (These are just a random few which spring to mind.)

Anyone else found such delights?

Ned Cordery

Re: Movies from other countries

Post by Ned Cordery » Mon Oct 21, 2002 3:45 pm

"Dave Watterson" <webmaster@theiac.org.uk> wrote:


Ned wrote: The problem is that the IAC and the UK amateur scene are not
representative
of what is happening in the larger world of independent film making.
I believe there are two worlds of "amateur" film makers and the two only
meet occasonally. There is the IAC world with the cine/video clubs that are
its constituency and the Independent film makers who don't see themselves
as amateurs although they may mortgage their house to make films for the
sheer passion of doing so. The IAC world is dominated by middle aged people
and is as much about technology as it is about creativity - this is the only
IAC location where discussion of this sort takes place and there is a strong
whiff of the outcasts about us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this
except that the IAC and clubs don't see themselves that way and so all the
effort put in to attracting young members who are not going to want to spend
much time with people of their parents generation. (or in AN's case and mine,
their grandparents generation). The IAC/clubs should concentrate on attracting
middle aged people, there is no shortage of them out there and many have
the time and money to spend on an interesting hobby.

The Independent film makers are only interested in making films, they usually
rent or borrow the equipment they need and want to talk film not technology.

Must end there as I am about to receive a client

Ned Cordery

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