SIT DOWN

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Frank Maxwell
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SIT DOWN

Post by Frank Maxwell » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:20 am

Every year clubs have competion among other clubs and on the national stage. As always there can only be one winner. What I would like to know do clubs ever sit down and analyse were they went wrong if they dont win?.
One cant be successful year after year. With every new club production is it a case of "What you do" and then "How you do it".
When finished those the club in all honesty decide if it is good enough for the competion stage.

ned c
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by ned c » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:14 pm

Interesting thought. From BIAFF we get the judges comments regardless of where we are in the standings and in my experience learn something about our work as seen through other eyes.

We had a similar problem here, each year we run a local script writing contest with a winner ("Stan the Man" BIAFF 5 stars was last year's winner) which is produced. But what about the other entries representing a lot of work and no reward ? We now run a seminar for all the entrants to get together with the judges, moderated by the teacher of screenwriting from the local college, and review the scripts and discuss how they can be improved/changed and why the winner won. This has proven very positive and in one case the suggested changes made the script so attractive we are currently producing it.

Feedback is essential to improving our work.

ned c

Frank Maxwell
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Frank Maxwell » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:23 pm

Ned, very good comments and you hit on a aspect which also plays a important part of finding a good video.SCRIPT.... many clubs produce script but how many members are qualified in this field?.
Even with a good script under ones belt. Everything in the shooting stage can come out wrong and then the modern technology editing software can take over to remedy a video.
I today maintain with all this YouTube internet and the amount of videos streamed it a question of HIT and MISS.
So I guess most clubs will produce group and individual videos and hope one will be good enough to stand up for a competion.

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TimStannard
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by TimStannard » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:16 pm

Frank Maxwell wrote:What I would like to know do clubs ever sit down and analyse were they went wrong if they dont win?.
With all due respect, it's ludicrous to assume that if you don't win, something went wrong!
We've all probably had films that are successful in some competitions, not so in others. No matter how stringent judges are when they try to apply standards the success of a film is subjective. If a film does "OK" but doesn't feature among the winners it is likely that technically it is "OK" but the script didn't work for that particular set of judges - yet it might for another A film with a script that works for a panel will always do better than a script that didn't - irrespective of the technical competence (assuming basic competence is shown). And different panels have different ideas of what is a good script - as BIAFF regularly shows.

What we should take from a competition are the judges comments - but relying on one set of judges comments is madness. Sure, consider each comment - it would be madness not to, but not as gospel. If three independent sets of judges come up with the same comment - then that's probably a more weighty consideration.

But overall, the most important aspect is your target audience. The judges might not be viewing from the point of view of your target audience.

Of course, your target audience might be a set of judges. Surely that way madness lies!
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

ned c
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by ned c » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:36 pm

The problem is finding out the reaction of the "target audience". I know that Michael Slowe previews his films to a test audience which is OK provided the audience can be trusted to be honest and the film maker can take the potential flak and is willing to adjust the film. It is often difficult to get an audience other than film makers and here public showings with a discussion/reaction is helpful. I have never been to BIAFF but at many Festivals there is a Q & A session with the film makers after the showing and this can be very revealing. At DOCUTAH we also hold separate seminar sessions with a small group of film makers and discuss their films with a moderator and audience participation.

Art contests by definition produce winners and losers based on purely subjective criteria but it is helpful to discuss with judges how they arrive at their decisions and it would be interesting to have a very detailed review of the top winners at BIAFF and why they won. This is not intended to be a blood sport with judges as the victims but a learning experience. It's nice to get comments on VImeo not sure about YouTube where the idiot comments are rife.

Feedback, feedback please, OK you think it's crap but why???

ned c

Michael Slowe
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:17 pm

Ned is right, the 'target' is the key. We are fortunate in that we have the luxury of being able to afford to make a film that might have limited appeal, whereas in the commercial world they try to 'cover all the bases', which still means missing some targets.

I frequently embark on a project knowing that it may not interest every audience, my documentary on an old musician is a case in point, but then I was amazed at the wide interest it created, so we never can tell. It is nice to think however, that one's film will be interesting and entertaining for all audiences, but with some subjects you can be pretty sure that it won't be. This is one reason for my 'previews' that Ned refers to. Sitting alone for weeks (or months) at an edit console is not the best preparation for unbiased judgement. This is why I like one or two others to see a rough cut, mainly to ascertain whether I'm on the right track or utterly failing to convey my message. I don't always heed the advice given, but general comments are valuable. I certainly don't ask for approval, the people I select for viewing are far from being shrinking violets, quite the contrary!

Once a film is finished I find that post mortems are pretty pointless because every project is so different from the previous one that you really can't learn much that would help the next one. Maybe technical errors can be pointed out and borne in mind for the future but that's about all.

Frank Maxwell
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Frank Maxwell » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:14 am

I think every video club or independent person will make what ever video they want. We now have the technology to be seen without video cameras to capture material on phones.
So our way of thinking and learning the craft of good video making will only apply to a few or the present generation who wish to embark Video/Media as a career.
The amateur films made in the 60s was a platform to play around and have fun. With a nice healthy club membership and people seeing films and giving their opinion. But throughout my cine and video time travel I learned one thing...NEVER BORE YOUR AUDIENCE.
I think every person who shows there video should take onboard any helpful ideas and then decide if they which to execute the advice.
So after a few comments about Sitting Down, is it a good idea?.
Yes if you are given good advice
No. If you are slaughtered with comments you did not wish to hear.
Regards the Vimeo and YouTube channels. Vimeo gets some good video material from serious video makers. YouTube is for run of the mill material, a bit like HEINZ VARITIEY, but fun to watch.

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TimStannard
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by TimStannard » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:01 pm

Frank, I agree with most of what you say but:
Frank Maxwell wrote: Regards the Vimeo and YouTube channels. Vimeo gets some good video material from serious video makers. YouTube is for run of the mill material, a bit like HEINZ VARITIEY, but fun to watch.
is not accurate.
It is true that Vimeo has a much, much higher proportion of high quality stuff. But YouTube also has plenty of high quality stuff - it's just overwhelmed by the run of the mill (which, in turn is overwhelmed by the rubbish)

If I only wanted my films seen by other film makers or a select audience I'd post on Vimeo.

However, I often make films for a different audience and YouTube is clearly the way to go for that for a few reasons:

1. It is much more likely to be searched by the general public - especially if it is a niche subject (go into Google now and search for "Tuckpointing")
2. People (non film makers) "know" YouTube, so in conversation "Look up 'Tudor Rap' on YouTube" is more likely to be remembered (as the listener will only need to remember "Tudor Rap") than "Look up 'Tudor Rap' on Vimeo" which will usually provoke the response, "Eh?".
3. Most SmartTVs, tablets and phones come pre-configured with YouTube apps.
4. Maybe you get this in the pay-for versions of Vimeo, but YouTube gives me easy access to analytics so I get an idea of how many hits I'm getting etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti Vimeo - indeed whenever I follow a link to a Vimeo hosted film or channel I have come to expect a certain standard whereas with YouTube it's pot luck, but I make films to be seen so I'll put my films where the audience is (and often on Vimeo as well).
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

ned c
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by ned c » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:05 pm

As far as I know very few people can successfully stream HD video/sound to a large screen TV (40 inch plus/plus). I certainly cannot. So in addition to YouTube and Vimeo we still need to be able to view films on as large a screen as possible, preferably cinema size. I think this is where the IAC Regions/Clubs have a place. I also believe there is more active film making going on than we are aware of and those film makers need an outlet to show their work. We are contemplating having "Open Screen" evenings for any film makers that show up. Obviously there will be rules about time and content, but "work in progress" will be acceptable. Open Q&A available if desired. Start with one offering and see what happens.

ned c

Michael Slowe
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:59 pm

Ned, not for the first time your adopted country is behind the times as far as TV is concerned. All TV's being sold here are 'smart' and can be connected to wi fi. Consequently material on line can be viewed on these large HD screens. That's not to say that I am happy about films being viewed that way, I still offer discs (preferably BD's) to people. However, the file is becoming the accepted way to transmit films over here in Europe and many serious film makers submit their files to Vimeo. By the way, Tim, my Vimeo site records the number of viewers for each film, not many in my case! Many more for my old stuff on You Tube.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:54 pm

I suspect Ned was referring to the problem of having a fast enough download from the web, rather than a lack of sockets and electronics in the tv sets.

I recently tried to connect to 4OD service and got a curt message that my connection was too slow. Oddly it works fairly well with the BBC iPlayer (!) ... but I am talking about SD quality images not HD ones. When we can all get fibre connections with high-speed download things may be different. At present I am even wary of services such as Netflix in case buffering becomes too annoying.

As Michael says, big screen is still the way for most of us to go when we can. Sitting watching feature length movies on my computer is not my idea of fun.

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TimStannard
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by TimStannard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:39 am

Dave, I don't think you'll find anyone here who would disagree that watching on a large screen with decent projection is preferable (although watching anything longer than about 10 mins at a club can become uncomfortable, given the seating usually available). This may, of course, change with the upcoming generation who have become accostomed to watching movies on iPads, iPods, phones and computer screens, but for now I agree entirely with Ned's comment "we still need to be able to view films on as large a screen as possible, preferably cinema size. I think this is where the IAC Regions/Clubs have a place." Indeed that's what I've been saying ever since the discussion of "How do we get more members" came up.

Having said that, on-line services like Vimeo and YouTube are perfect for reviewing material. As Ned (again) correctly identifies, comments on YouTube are, in the main, meaningless, but comments in forums (such as the fledgling one here) that encourage comment are far more effective. They are also, in some ways, better than clubs or even invited test audiences for obtaining truthful feedback, because of the "distance" between film maker and audience.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:02 am

Tim, when I mentioned 'large screens' I was actually thinking of large electronic screens (plasma, LED or similar), rather than a projected image. Projected images at most venues (good cinemas excepted), are generally inferior to TV type screens. I have seen BD's recently on 50'' plus screens and the image was fantastic, and the BD was my own home burnt one, not an expensively produced commercial one. I recently was invited to show some films at a club (outside London), where the blazing sun was pouring through non curtained windows, behind the screen! No Tim, club screenings are not necessarily the best platform for our films.

ned c
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by ned c » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:57 pm

Dave is right, my problem is the speed of our connection. Unfortunately we live on rock so the cable (now optical fibre) stops on the valley floor where there is soil, we still take our input over the telephone wires. We have satellite TV but they have problems and the local ISP uses line-of sight antenna transmission and we are surrounded by mountains. So, DVDs are an important part of our entertainment just as Apple seems to have decided they have no future! One of my locally made BD was shown in a local cinema on a full size screen and the quality was amazing. All the DOCUTAH entries are taken from DVD/BD and shown on large screens with excellent results. Viewing conditions are obviously important, ideally raked seating, controlled lighting, good sound.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: SIT DOWN

Post by TimStannard » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:05 pm

Michael Slowe wrote: I recently was invited to show some films at a club (outside London), where the blazing sun was pouring through non curtained windows, behind the screen!
However, if I recall, you were more than happy with our presentation at Staines, so it can be done right :)
Michael Slowe wrote: No Tim, club screenings are not necessarily the best platform for our films.
Apart from the fact I don't think I said they were (I simply agreed with Ned's comment that we still need to be able to see them on as large a screen as possible - I wasn't suggesting that was to the exclusion of everything else) it rather depends what you mean by "best platform". I didn't mean one would necessarily see a film at it's best quality (the maker can happily do that at home, after all). I was suggesting, as I have before, that this is the only opportunity most of us get to see our films on a large screen in an environment with a captive audience of many people (well, more than we could fit in our living rooms).

The dynamic is totally different from watching in a living room which is totally different from watching on a computer which is totally different from watching on a tablet. The "loner" can accomplish the last three easily. The first is one of the very few benefits that clubs can offer which are not available elsewhere (outside of festivals, by which time it's too late).
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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