Can you quote judge's comments?

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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Atta Chui

Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Atta Chui » Mon May 05, 2003 7:54 pm

Recently Dave pointed out that written comment is a unique feature from UK
competitions. I come across a question on this: can you or should you quote
the judge's comments publicly?

Is the comment a private communication between you and the judge?

In the case of a commercial film, do the production company ask for permissions
before they put "5 Stars" comments: "Empire: Truly original work", etc, onto
the film's poster?

Atta

Dave Watterson

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon May 05, 2003 9:18 pm

Atta asked: Can you or should you quote the judge's comments publicly?

I have certainly seen some comments re-printed in full in club magazines
- as well as the occasional"would you believe they could write something
so daft" extracts now and again in club and regional magazines.

For my part I certainly write my comments for the movie maker personally
but have no objections at all if s/he chose to share them with others. Jan
who also judges now and then feels the same way. I guess it would be good
to ask that any quotes gave a fair impression of the whole comment rather
than just extracting the specially good or specially bad bits.

Which brings me to commercial reviews ... I love it when the movie publicists
grab a quote like "possibly the best ... this year" from a review which went
"possibly the best example of gratuitous rubbish this year".

I believe they do not pay to use such short comments ... but then the newspaper
and magazine critics get special free screenings laid on for them ...

I know a few other regular competition judges read this forum - what do the
rest of you think?

Dave McRumpole

AN

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by AN » Tue May 06, 2003 11:10 am

"Dave Watterson" <big.dave@dave.big> wrote:
I have certainly seen some comments re-printed in full in club magazines
- as well as the occasional"would you believe they could write something
so daft" extracts now and again in club and regional magazines.

For my part I certainly write my comments for the movie maker personally
but have no objections at all if s/he chose to share them with others. Jan
who also judges now and then feels the same way.
I know a few other regular competition judges read this forum - what do
the
rest of you think?
This leads us to copyright in general. Do you think that infringement of
copyright should be banded into degrees of naughtyness?

1..Copying someone's work in order to make money for yourself.
2..Copying to illustrate a talk/book etc where no money is being made by
yourself.
3..Copying as 2 above but this time putting in a deliberate plug for the
owner of the copyright in order to increase the sales of the copyright owners
work.

Obviously the first is a criminal offence, but what of the other two?
Albert....copyrighted.

Atta Chui

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Atta Chui » Tue May 06, 2003 8:24 pm

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
Obviously the first is a criminal offence, but what of the other two?
I do think it is inappropiate in some situations, however it is not a copyright
issue. note that copyright is a civil case and it's a problem only if the
copyright owner proves that your action causes him/her to lose money.

I did not say these to imply nothing is wrong here. Maybe this is a question
on Ethics? In the commercial example maybe the production company is bounded
by some laws on advertising, however i don't think its copyright law.

atta

Michael Gough

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Michael Gough » Wed May 07, 2003 12:45 am

As a judge I am always happy for my comments to be shared. I assume they already
are on an informal basis, between the movie maker and their friends. I always
sign them because I would never wish to write anything that I wasn't prepared
to admit to. However care would need to be taken before total public disclosure.
Dave said it would have to be only if the movie maker agreed. The same would
be true of the judge, although that could be agreed by the Competition rules
before the judge put pen to paper.

There would then have to be some ruling on whether the comments were printed
in full or "edited". I would only be willing for the complete text of my
comments to be made public. I once read a totally inaccurate edit of my comments
published in FVM by an obviously disgruntled entrant. My name wasn't given
but I recognised the distorted picture presented. I wrote a response quoting
complete passages which challenged his selective pickings but in the end
did not publish it because I thought such arguments would only bring the
Competition into dispute.

So there I am, fence sitting as usual, happy to confess to what I write but
a little cautious about how those same words might easily be misconstrued.

Dave Watterson

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed May 07, 2003 12:47 pm

I too have had to bite my tongue (or whatever the equivalent metaphor might
be for not getting the word-processor going) when something has been said
in print which distorts my judging comments ...

The only times I respond are to general issues about judging. That too has
its dangers. I wrote a reply to Lee Prescott's attack on judging in the
IAC SoCo magazine - we got into correspondence, became friends ... and then
he got me judging for the Cotswold Festival which he runs !!!

Dave McBigMouth

Ken and Jean McRonald

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Ken and Jean McRonald » Wed May 07, 2003 3:53 pm

In some competitions such as we have in Scotland, organised by The Scottish
Association of Moviemakers, the judge reads out his crits. to those attending
the competition as well as giving the same as a written judgement. In that
case the judgemnent is, to some extent, being given publicly.
I would have no objection to my comments being made public provided the moviemaker
agreed, although, like Michael, I would not wish them to be an edited version.
As a competitor, I too would be happy to have crits of my movies published
with my agreement.
My other half, Jean takes a different point of view. She feels that if it
becomes the norm to publish crits when the moviemaker has given permission
this could mean that where a moviemaker refuses permission, the assumption
could be that he got a bad crit and does not want others to know!
Having had experience in the amateur drama scene she tells me that two adjudications
are given. A private one with the performers which can be detailed and quite
hard but the version given to the public is less detailed.

"Michael Gough" <Michael-IAC@gough-sunderland.demon.co.uk> wrote:
As a judge I am always happy for my comments to be shared. I assume they
already
are on an informal basis, between the movie maker and their friends. I always
sign them because I would never wish to write anything that I wasn't prepared
to admit to. However care would need to be taken before total public disclosure.
Dave said it would have to be only if the movie maker agreed. The same would
be true of the judge, although that could be agreed by the Competition rules
before the judge put pen to paper.

There would then have to be some ruling on whether the comments were printed
in full or "edited". I would only be willing for the complete text of my
comments to be made public. I once read a totally inaccurate edit of my
comments
published in FVM by an obviously disgruntled entrant. My name wasn't given
but I recognised the distorted picture presented. I wrote a response quoting
complete passages which challenged his selective pickings but in the end
did not publish it because I thought such arguments would only bring the
Competition into dispute.

So there I am, fence sitting as usual, happy to confess to what I write
but
a little cautious about how those same words might easily be misconstrued.

Ned C

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Ned C » Thu May 08, 2003 7:11 pm

"Dave Watterson" <big.dave@silly.net> wrote:
I too have had to bite my tongue (or whatever the equivalent metaphor might
be for not getting the word-processor going) when something has been said
in print which distorts my judging comments ...

The only times I respond are to general issues about judging.
There is an interesting issue underlying this discussion. Judging is a form
of criticism with awards at stake, however we all need to hear crits of our
films and where can we get these? We are not reviewed by the newspapers or
magazines, in this issue of the IAC journal the winners are listed, but how
about some critical reviews? If films are art, and I belive they are (still
photographs are NOT and never can be) then criticism is an essential part
of the development of the medium and those who use it,

Ned C

Atta Chui

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Atta Chui » Thu May 08, 2003 9:13 pm

"Ned C" <glass@boots.net> wrote:
in this issue of the IAC journal the winners are listed, but how about
some critical reviews?
I have been sitting in Dave's seat as the webmaster for a while. One thing
I notice is that the information we pass on (in FVM, and on this Website)
are mostly about events that happen in the past and future, but we don't
talk about the films themselves much. (we talked about the judges).

Would it be nice if we have a Gallery section on the IAC website where we
showcase films that IAC members make. Filmmakers can introduce their films
in their own words. Audience who have seen the films can contribute reviews
here.

(I don't think technology has reached the point where we can stream video
effortlessly in good quality. So your films still need to reach your audience
by some other means)

Your support is important if this idea is ever going to work...

Atta

AN

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by AN » Sat May 10, 2003 7:58 am

"Ned C" <glass@boots.net> wrote:
If films are art, and I belive they are (still
photographs are NOT and never can be)
Wow Ned, that's some statement you have made there. Better not tell our
Gerald Mee that as he's an ARPS. (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society).
Isn't art an expression of feeling and emotion by an artist who then attempts
to put this over to this audience, in some medium? Whether it be sculpture/film/painting/music
and yes, even still photography. I reckon yer being a little harsh on our
our Leica/Contax/Hassleblad brigade of the past 80 years or so.
Albert....was a cub, never a box brownie!

Ned C

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Ned C » Sat May 10, 2003 10:46 am

"AN" <Animation@btopenworld.com> wrote:
"Ned C" <glass@boots.net> wrote:
If films are art, and I belive they are (still
photographs are NOT and never can be)

Wow Ned, that's some statement you have made there. Better not tell our
Gerald Mee that as he's an ARPS. (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society).
Isn't art an expression of feeling and emotion by an artist who then attempts
to put this over to this audience, in some medium? Whether it be sculpture/film/painting/music
and yes, even still photography. I reckon yer being a little harsh on our
our Leica/Contax/Hassleblad brigade of the past 80 years or so.
Albert....was a cub, never a box brownie!
I was being provocative but my argument is based on the fact that photography
is the only "art" where it is possible to create art by accident. The old
box brownie in Auntie Lil's hands occasionally produced some astonishing
results amongst the missing heads and sloping horizons. Still photography
is a recording medium and I would agree that it can be art but only after
the attentions of Photoshop or other heavy duty processing attention so I
give ground here. Film involves so many creative processes that it can be
art, not always but sometimes. For many years I belonged to the RPS Film
& Video Group which slowly declined in membership. I suggested some agreement/merger
with the IAC but this was never followed up mainly I suppose because so many
members of the Group are professionals. I left the RPS because it became
very difficult to justify the high fees.

Ned C

AN

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by AN » Sat May 10, 2003 2:33 pm

"Ned C" <fredd@goboy.com> wrote:
I was being provocative but my argument is based on the fact that photography
is the only "art" where it is possible to create art by accident.
Chuck a bucket of paint over a sheet of canvas on the floor.
Send it to the New Tate gallery as, "Floored by gravity."
Albert...gravitas.

The old
box brownie in Auntie Lil's hands occasionally produced some astonishing
results amongst the missing heads and sloping horizons. Still photography
is a recording medium and I would agree that it can be art but only after
the attentions of Photoshop or other heavy duty processing attention so
I
give ground here. Film involves so many creative processes that it can be
art, not always but sometimes. For many years I belonged to the RPS Film
& Video Group which slowly declined in membership. I suggested some agreement/merger
with the IAC but this was never followed up mainly I suppose because so
many
members of the Group are professionals. I left the RPS because it became
very difficult to justify the high fees.

Ned C

Lancaster

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Lancaster » Wed May 14, 2003 5:27 pm

Ned has opened a can of worms, methinks.

How does Ned equate the fact that Fox Talbot predated the Freres Lumieres
by 58 years, and even then, the best the French duo could come up with was
a whole new "art" form which was nothing but a whole lot of still pictures
strung together in a line. Even when they are whipped by your eyes and your
brain is fooled into thinking movement was involved, it wasn't! Even a hundred
more years later, would you believe, we still use 24 or 25 wee stills for
every second of this "art."

If the films that have won the Turner are anything to go by, the connection
with the "A" word is very tenuous indeed. Yet, by using what photographers
call the decisive moment, I could name twenty still pictures that you will
carry around in your head every single day of your life. They may not be
art, they don't pretend to be, but they would qualify for the cliche
"One picture is worth a thousand words" and there aren't an awful lot of
"art" films that come into that category.
I would contend that what we see at the cinema is essentially an industrial
product, by the way, though some of the goods come pretty close. For my money,
both film and photogrphy are crafts.

As I am thinking laterally today, what about the other take on the original
subject. "Can you quote judge's comments?"
I bet everyone on this and any other film forums could not quote more than
a word or two of a complimentary judge's comments sheet. But I guarantee
that most of us can give chapter and verse of what some Zoggian judge said
about a film of ours from anything up to 30 years ago! I certainly can!

Reg Lancaster, Photog. (rtd)
8607

Ned Cordery

Re: Can you quote judge's comments?

Post by Ned Cordery » Wed May 14, 2003 9:38 pm

"Lancaster" <amlancaster@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
Ned has opened a can of worms, methinks.
Nothing nicer than a well opened can of worms!
How does Ned equate the fact that Fox Talbot predated the Freres Lumieres
by 58 years, and even then, the best the French duo could come up with
was
a whole new "art" form which was nothing but a whole lot of still pictures
strung together in a line. Even when they are whipped by your eyes and your
brain is fooled into thinking movement was involved, it wasn't! Even a hundred
more years later, would you believe, we still use 24 or 25 wee stills for
every second of this "art."
This is technology, rather like discussing the relative merits of bristle
brushes v spatula for painters. It's not what you use it's what you do with
it that matters. Early films were not seen as art but as entertainment for
the masses so stood in the same relationship as music hall and vaudeville.

If the films that have won the Turner are anything to go by, the connection
with the "A" word is very tenuous indeed. Yet, by using what photographers
call the decisive moment, I could name twenty still pictures that you will
carry around in your head every single day of your life. They may not be
art, they don't pretend to be, but they would qualify for the cliche
"One picture is worth a thousand words" and there aren't an awful lot of
"art" films that come into that category.
Thank you and I agree that photographers can produce striking images. I have
some pinned up on my studio wall.
I would contend that what we see at the cinema is essentially an industrial
product, by the way, though some of the goods come pretty close.
I agtree that probably 95% of what is produced is an industrial product,
particularly from Hollywood.
For my money,
both film and photogrphy are crafts.
I agree that film and photography are the products of craft and it behoves
the practioner to understand the craft. However, film may be transmuted into
art by the efforts of the crafts people guided by the vision of an artist.


BUT I can think of many films that inarguably fall into the magical category
of art. Here are one or two:

Sally Potter's "Tango Lessons"

Fellini's "Amarcord"

Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia"

GPO "The Night Mail"
Ned Cordery

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