Future BIAFFs - what (if anything) needs change?

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Dave Watterson
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Future BIAFFs - what (if anything) needs change?

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed May 02, 2007 10:57 pm

People have been very complimentary about BIAFF 2007 and have rightly noted various things which worked well. Now let us turn our thoughts to the future.

BIAFF 2008 will be in Harrogate

BIAFF 2009 will be in Chesterfield

We have already had the suggestion that the Isle of White would be a possible venue for 2010. Any other ideas?

What positive ideas can we come up with for the future?

To start the ball rolling:

1. Keep the one-minute movie knock-out competition either to start things off on Friday or to kick-start the Awards show.

2. Try to arrange viewing so that no one is more than 20 rows of seats away from the screen. (BIAFF 2007 managed it by having two screens back-to-back and two projectors.)

3. Have live video coverage of introductions and award presentations.

4. More controversially ... have the Gala Show on Saturday so that on Sunday between mini-cinema sessions there is a chance to talk to those award winners who are present.

5. Even more controversially an idea from some of our European friends ... abandon the mini-cinemas and have all screenings together so that everyone can discuss the same movies. Choose which Silver and Silver Plus films to screen on the basis of which film makers will turn up to the festival.

What more ?

Dave

Ken Wilson
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Re: Future BIAFFs - what (if anything) needs change?

Post by Ken Wilson » Wed May 02, 2007 11:59 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:People have been very complimentary about BIAFF 2007 and have rightly noted various things which worked well. Now let us turn our thoughts to the future.

BIAFF 2008 will be in Harrogate

BIAFF 2009 will be in Chesterfield

We have already had the suggestion that the Isle of White would be a possible venue for 2010. Any other ideas?

What positive ideas can we come up with for the future?

To start the ball rolling:

1. Keep the one-minute movie knock-out competition either to start things off on Friday or to kick-start the Awards show.

2. Try to arrange viewing so that no one is more than 20 rows of seats away from the screen. (BIAFF 2007 managed it by having two screens back-to-back and two projectors.)

3. Have live video coverage of introductions and award presentations.

4. More controversially ... have the Gala Show on Saturday so that on Sunday between mini-cinema sessions there is a chance to talk to those award winners who are present.

5. Even more controversially an idea from some of our European friends ... abandon the mini-cinemas and have all screenings together so that everyone can discuss the same movies. Choose which Silver and Silver Plus films to screen on the basis of which film makers will turn up to the festival.

What more ?

Dave

There`s a few things to think about here and a few gasp making noises heard from the crowd.
Seeing the screen in a clear manner and comfortable position is a priority. Seats are usually boney at hotels. Screens are often restricted in how high they can go due to low ceilings, which makes subtitled films in particular, difficult to see and read and we often have a mass of heads bobbing about from left to right. The double screen idea helped quite a bit to relieve this problem and as I have said before, the live links worked a treat and even at the back, we could see what was happening.

Having the gala show on Saturday would, I believe, lose some audience members on the Sunday. Many would save money, cut the weekend short and head off home early Sunday morning or even on Saturday evening. On the subject of the awards show, I would like to add here as an aside that a number of people have, over the years and much to my annoyance, only turned up for their trophy and even arrive for the final part of the awards programme. Such people (often "one-hit-wonders") are not interested in supporting the event and they certainly wouldn`t stay to see "the runners up".

The Saturday mini cinemas are almost always a problem. On the one hand, it gives everyone plenty of films to choose from with 4 or 5 programmes running consecutively, but also this is it`s main difficulty. Often, this is your only chance to see many of the films and you only get to choose one programme.
Offering several shows means that many more films can be shown, but inevitably you also miss something you want to see.
Repeated screenings would mean that either less films can be shown, or the festival would have to be longer. Personally, not being a fan of AV (gasps from the back) I would prefer a mini cinema choice on Friday evening. After all, if the AV show is to be repeated on Saturday, as it was this year, why not give the movie fans the same choice?

There`s a bit more controversy to get your teeth into.

Ken

Paul Chater
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Future BIAFF Changes

Post by Paul Chater » Thu May 03, 2007 10:39 am

Dave,

1. One minute knock out comp’ on Friday night would be a great way to start the festival; this gets my vote.

2. I was apprehensive about the split screen/audience, but it was well organised and worked successfully. What about multi screens with the audience facing the same direction?


3. Again, video coverage was a great success. Please repeat next year.

4. I can understand Ken Wilson’s concerns and comments about a Saturday Gala showing. But I would be very happy to see this change, Chance to talk to winners, offsets the disadvantages. Plus it's something extra to celebrate at the Gala dinner. (By the way, well done to Ken and others on their FACI).

5. Limiting films to show in all mini cinemas: In some ways, I like the idea but there are some great British film makers who don’t attend. This year I enjoyed films by Barry Lockwood, Billy Ellwood, Mark Jackson and Cyril Guthrie.

In addition to your suggestions I would add more controversial suggestions:

6. Show only films of a running time of less than 30 minutes.


7. Loading and running DVDs has become a major headache in the mini cinemas. What about transferring all films to one format for all showings. This would give a smoother and more professional approach. (I believe they do this for the Cotswold film festival).

Paul Chater

Michael Slowe
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Future BIAFF's

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu May 03, 2007 2:59 pm

I agree with so much that has been said, albeit by different people. My wish list:

No AV Show (unless it fills a Friday gap)
Swop Major Award Show to Saturday (surely people won't then depart?)
Have only ONE CINEMA. Ken makes a telling point. We all want to see the best films and we miss many in the current muddled format. I know it would mean less get shown but if thay are good enough (probably Silver Plus upwards) it would keep the standard up.
Show only up to 30 minutes running time.
Keep the 'dual screen' system if necessary for practical reasons.
Keep the TV link (it was brilliant)

I feel that from a film makers viewpoint (and we are what it is all about surely) the above suggestions are valid.

Brian Saberton
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Future BIAFF's

Post by Brian Saberton » Thu May 03, 2007 3:42 pm

This is a topic bound to generate some warm if not heated debate! Regarding the Gala screening I think this should be the culmination of the whole weekend leading up to the "reveal" of the Daily Mail winner and should therefore remain on the Sunday. I feel that if this were to move to the Saturday then Sunday would be a bit on an anti-climax.

I favour the mini cinema arrangement as this gives the Festival Officer the opportunity to screen far more films than would be possible in a single auditorium. I know that if I enter a film, it's a great thrill to have it screened and gives me an opportunity to gauge the audiences reaction, good or bad. It may also be an incentive to attend for a lot of people if they know that their film will be shown. I know that the environment of the mini-cinemas can be a bit of a problem at some venues but with costs being the way they are I doubt that much can be done about it. My erstwhile working life took me to a lot of conferences in a multitude of different hotels and other specialist venues and I've experienced exactly the same problems in nearly all of them. One large and prestigious venue in Scotland had low ceilings and long rooms so that it was only possible to see the screen from the first couple of rows and this was fairly typical.

As a fan of AV and maker of sequences (sorry folks but there it is, it had to be said) I like the show on the Friday night. However, in view of the fact that the main purpose of the event is the film festival it probably wouldn't worry me too much if the one minute show were to be transferred to the Friday.

I thought the split screen idea at High Rocks was a master stroke but it might not suit every venue. However I think that all future festivals should take on the idea of the video camera putting the presentations on the big screen. It's quite common now in the commercial sector and adds a nice touch of professionalism.
Brian Saberton

Michael Slowe
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Future BIAFF's

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu May 03, 2007 7:23 pm

That's my point Brian. An incentive to make better films (say Silver & above) would be provided by the one screen. We really only want to see the better ones and that would enable that to happen. People would surely go even if their films were not necessarily shown, they show them to other audiences throughout the year anyway.

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Willy
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Re: Future BIAFFs - what (if anything) needs change?

Post by Willy » Thu May 03, 2007 10:13 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:People have been very complimentary about BIAFF 2007 and have rightly noted various things which worked well. Now let us turn our thoughts to the future.
Dave
Firework Display !
I think that the Gala Show must be on Sunday. A grand finale with a magnificent firework display at the end of the festival !

I know that in Guernsey it is different. Apparently Dave is inspired by the Guernsey Lily and I understand. It's one of the most friendly festivals that we know, but it has its own character, also because it's on a lovely island with a holiday atmosphere. Maybe Ken is right. On the mainland you may be more inclined to leave earlier if the Winners' show is on Saturday.

Sleepless night for finalists
I'm just thinking very hard...
One minute movie competition on Friday evening.
Mini-shows on Saturday, two in the morning (9.30-11.00) (11.30-13.00) and one in the afternoon (14.30-16.00). And then the first part of the final : the numbers 6, 5, and 4 ... in one room. Suspense assured !

No Gala Dinner, just dinner ... It gives more time to have a chat at the bar... No special attractions ... One disadvantage : the three remaining finalists are having a sleepless night, but we don't mind.

On Sunday morning the ceremonial part (speeches, presentations, etc...) and then the numbers 3, 2 and 1 of the festival... !!! Real bronze, real silver and real gold or the Daily Mail Trophy ! ... Just like in the Olympics ! And then time to talk and talk ...
Willy Van der Linden

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Willy
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Re: Future BIAFFs - what (if anything) needs change?

Post by Willy » Thu May 03, 2007 10:26 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:
What more ?

Dave
I've forgotten to tell you this : three Saturday cinemas instead of four. It also means less films, but now there were still some filmmakers with two films being screened and many filmmakers were absent. They were not there to receive their bronze, silver or even gold ! That's a pity ! The absent party is always to blame.
Willy Van der Linden

ITDUFFER
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A/V at BIAFF

Post by ITDUFFER » Fri May 11, 2007 12:52 pm

Come on A/V people speak up. you/we are a part of the IAC. Do you think we should be part of the BIAFF weekend or not?

Tunbridge was great and set a big challenge for the following Festivals. Anyone who has tried to find an hotel with a high ceiling will know it is not always easy. SERIAC are lucky in having VERY able people who managed the double screen wonderfully. What about Regions which have a very limited number of helpers who may not be able to cope with all of that technolagy.

I would not like to give up the mini cinemas as sometimes I like to see the Bronze plus and silver selections.

I do think the live projection was something that future Festivals must try to copy.

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