OLD CHESTNUT

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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Ken Wilson

OLD CHESTNUT

Post by Ken Wilson » Tue Apr 08, 2003 4:51 am

We have just returned from Movie 2003 at Norwich. A lot to say about it, in
fact a bit too much for this site. I have written a long piece for FVM about
it. However, here are a few basics. A few little niggles about the hotel,
but this is the norm. The films were some of the best we have seen, mostly
excellent. The sunday show, when fatigue is usually setting in, went by in
a flash. It was also the first time we had had a sunday slot for one of our
films. The audience recieved it well. The only complaint of any substance
was that OLD CHESTNUT, judges comments! Some of these have to be read to
be believed... and I still don`t believe it. Taken at face value, I have
got everything wrong at some point. "Professional" film maker, Roger Burgess
should be BANNED FOREVER from judging amateur competitions. His comments
are pompous and insulting. Anyone else received some of his remarks? Nice
to see a British winner at last. Ken.

Michael Slowe

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:46 pm

"Ken Wilson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
We have just returned from Movie 2003 at Norwich. A lot to say about it,
in
fact a bit too much for this site. I have written a long piece for FVM about
it. However, here are a few basics. A few little niggles about the hotel,
but this is the norm. The films were some of the best we have seen, mostly
excellent. The sunday show, when fatigue is usually setting in, went by
in
a flash. It was also the first time we had had a sunday slot for one of
our
films. The audience recieved it well. The only complaint of any substance
was that OLD CHESTNUT, judges comments! Some of these have to be read to
be believed... and I still don`t believe it. Taken at face value, I have
got everything wrong at some point. "Professional" film maker, Roger Burgess
should be BANNED FOREVER from judging amateur competitions. His comments
are pompous and insulting. Anyone else received some of his remarks? Nice
to see a British winner at last. Ken.
Thanks Albert, I will wait to hear from you - I am away for a while but will
respond soon.
Ken, thank goodness for your posting!! I have never, in all my years of featuring
in top movie competitions (with some success), complained about or even
discussed, judges comments.
However I have to on this occasion since you have had the courage to raise
the matter. I could not believe that the final judges this year had viewed
the same film that has been commented on by (so far) three sets of other
judges, quite apart from numerous audiences. Now we don't want undeserved
praise but sensible comments. Not only was Burgess pompous but downright
incorrect in some of his statements! On the grading of entries throughout
I find myself in complete agreement; it is the comments that I take issue
with.
But the important thing is that the final programme contained such gems as
The Wind In Love (my favourite), the ultimate winner Joseph's Faith,and Mitta.
Ken, your Dropping Off was also right up there and may have been unlucky
with the grading, but that might be said of one or two of the other Gold
Seals (not mine).
How the standard has risen! Any of the final programme and most of the Golds
could grace any programme on television. The word "amateur" should be replaced
by "independent" to more accurately indicate the standard of the top films.
I only hope that the prizewinners received more sensible and constructive
comments than Ken & I did!

Ken Wilson

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by Ken Wilson » Thu Apr 10, 2003 3:52 am

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
"Ken Wilson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
in
a flash. It was also the first time we had had a sunday slot for one of
our
The only complaint of any substance
was that OLD CHESTNUT, judges comments! Some of these have to be read to
be believed... and I still don`t believe it. Taken at face value, I have
got everything wrong at some point. "Professional" film maker, Roger Burgess
should be BANNED FOREVER from judging amateur competitions. His comments
are pompous and insulting. Anyone else received some of his remarks
Ken, thank goodness for your posting!! I have never, in all my years of
featuring
in top movie competitions (with some success), complained about or even
discussed, judges comments.
However I have to on this occasion since you have had the courage to raise
the matter. I could not believe that the final judges this year had viewed
the same film that has been commented on by (so far) three sets of other
judges, quite apart from numerous audiences. Now we don't want undeserved
praise but sensible comments. Not only was Burgess pompous but downright
incorrect in some of his statements!
Thanks Michael for the response. Using "Professionals" is, in my view, not
a good idea. The same thing happened in the North vs South competition when
we were all given lists of DOs and DON`Ts by another pompous so and so. Any
one else got comments?
Ken

atta chui

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by atta chui » Thu Apr 10, 2003 9:40 pm

I don't think a pro as a judge is necessarily bad. there are good and bad
judges out there, whether they are pro or not.

the organisers should find out whether a judge is good or not, from previous
experiences, film makers' feedback... the organisers should also lay out
the criteria of films they are looking for, and find the judges who will
judge films based on the set criteria.

if you invite someone as judge and s/he chooses films in his/her own way,
it will be too arbitrary and not fair to the entrance. a good judge understands
that s/he chooses films for a festival and judges should agree beforehand
what the winning criteria are.

luckily i have not met very bad judges...

Reg Lancaster

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by Reg Lancaster » Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:24 pm

The discussion about the disparaging, and often inappropriate use of the word
"amateur" to describe the kind of films we make can easily be cleared up
by the use of the terminology preferred by UNICA.
There, instead of Union Internationale du Cinema Amateur which is where the
UNICA word comes froom it is generally regferred to these days as UNICA -
Festival mondial des cineastes non-professionels. For a few years now I've
been trying to get it off the ground here, using "I'm a non-professional
film maker" as an introduction, for Michael, don't you think the use of "independent"
carries a lot of overtones of the Hollywood "independent" which signifies
"not big studio, but still loaded with dosh?"

What do you think of the "non-professional" route? It gets away from the
TV's use of "amateur" to cover anything which is shaky and out of focus,
at least.

What d'you all think?

Reg.

P.S. The Competition Manager will be delighted to hear you have all waxed
so lyrical about the judges' commenst and are obviously volunteering to be
judges yourselves. Better a bunch of volunteers than a battalion of conscripts,
eh?

"Ken Wilson" <@filmlabnorth.free-online.co.uk> wrote:
"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:

"Ken Wilson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
in
a flash. It was also the first time we had had a sunday slot for one of
our
The only complaint of any substance
was that OLD CHESTNUT, judges comments! Some of these have to be read
to
be believed... and I still don`t believe it. Taken at face value, I have
got everything wrong at some point. "Professional" film maker, Roger Burgess
should be BANNED FOREVER from judging amateur competitions. His comments
are pompous and insulting. Anyone else received some of his remarks
Ken, thank goodness for your posting!! I have never, in all my years of
featuring
in top movie competitions (with some success), complained about or even
discussed, judges comments.
However I have to on this occasion since you have had the courage to raise
the matter. I could not believe that the final judges this year had viewed
the same film that has been commented on by (so far) three sets of other
judges, quite apart from numerous audiences. Now we don't want undeserved
praise but sensible comments. Not only was Burgess pompous but downright
incorrect in some of his statements!

Thanks Michael for the response. Using "Professionals" is, in my view, not
a good idea. The same thing happened in the North vs South competition when
we were all given lists of DOs and DON`Ts by another pompous so and so.
Any
one else got comments?
Ken

AN

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by AN » Sun Apr 13, 2003 11:12 am

"Reg Lancaster" <amlancaster@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
What do you think of the "non-professional" route? It gets away from the
TV's use of "amateur" to cover anything which is shaky and out of focus,
at least.

What d'you all think?
How about just, "Film maker". When folk ask me what I do between now and
the grave(!), I just say, " I make animated films using objects."
That is generally guaranteed to stop any further discussion about amateur
or professional films, and the conversation then proceeds onto the weather!!
Albert...turning out fine again.

Ned C

Re: OLD CHESTNUT

Post by Ned C » Sun Apr 13, 2003 3:58 pm

"Reg Lancaster" <amlancaster@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
The discussion about the disparaging, and often inappropriate use of the
word
"amateur" to describe the kind of films we make can easily be cleared up
by the use of the terminology preferred by UNICA.
There, instead of Union Internationale du Cinema Amateur which is where
the
UNICA word comes froom it is generally regferred to these days as UNICA
-
Festival mondial des cineastes non-professionels. For a few years now I've
been trying to get it off the ground here, using "I'm a non-professional
film maker" as an introduction, for Michael, don't you think the use of
"independent"
carries a lot of overtones of the Hollywood "independent" which signifies
"not big studio, but still loaded with dosh?"

What do you think of the "non-professional" route? It gets away from the
TV's use of "amateur" to cover anything which is shaky and out of focus,
at least.

What d'you all think?

Reg.
How people who make films for fun rather than reward are described is really
not all that important. I agree that "amateur" comes with a modern interpretation
that implies sloppiness. In my opinion "non-professional" in English has
much the same connotation, is cumbersome and implies an absence of professionalism.
There is no reason to search for these labels and I agree with Albert we
are all film makers. The only time these definitions are important are to
meet the rules for entering a competition or festival. This is where I have
an increasing problem. As a professional film maker who started life as an
amateur and have retained a fondness and respect for the amateur movement
I find that I am often classified as an "open" film maker or excluded from
a festival because I earn my living from film making. If a film is made with
money from the film makers own pocket then it is an "amateur/non-professional"
film if that is the description that suits it best. I suspect that there
are some very grey areas now where people who make wedding and event videos
consider themselves amateurs when entering IAC and similar competitions and
I have seen a number of occasions where clubs have produced films for local
government and charities that should be classified as professional productions.

Ned C

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