Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

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TimStannard
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Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:14 pm

I feel compelled to respond to Jameela's article about suggestions for reform.

I wholeheartedly agree that in order to survive we must continue to look to change, but I wonder if Jameela belongs to the same IAC that I do.

1. Ground Rules: (No insults). Any organisation that has to have a clear and visible set of rules prohibiting insults has already lost the battle against such.

This should not be a "clear and visible" rule of the organisation, this is just common courtesy. If the first thing I'm told when joining an organisation is I mustn't insult other members, my reaction is either (depending on how I'm told) 1. Wow! This lot must get a bit agressive towards each other, it's not for me, or 2. Wow! This lot strike me as a bit oversensitive, if I can't offer any criticism without fear of reprimand and if others won't be honest with me for fear of reprimand, this is not for me.

I suspect there are rules hidden away which allow the IAC to kick out persistent offenders, as in any organisation, and that is absolutely correct, but I see highlighting it as counterproductive to encouraging membership.

2. Online Duplication of FVM with a private discussion area. Yes, I'm in favour of that, but given the very small amount of traffic this forum generates, I can't see it being very sucessful. Indeed I'd rather see this site promoted and let the public see what we are debating.

3. Training: specifically teaching collaboration Yes, but isn't working as a team what clubs do? Or more recently by "meetups"- groups that get together for a specific project?

4. Toxic words. Why is "hobby" a toxic word? I'm an amateur, a hobbyist and I dedicate a great deal of time and effort making my films. How dare you consider that someone who is making an artistic expression has a greater purpose? I was absolutely incensed when I read it.

5. I really have no idea what this has to do with reforming the IAC.

6. Focus on Art, not Competition. This is something often raised and I have some sympathy for those who would rather not compete. In fact we have three potential categories of festival entrant. Those who are happy to compete, those who want the judges critiques but their ranking not to be published and those who just want their films to be shown. It might be a consideration that festivals allow entrants to "opt out" of critiques of rankings. If they genuinely don't care what judges thought of their films so be it. But, like watching a demonstration of football skills rather than a match, it removes some of the excitement from the audience and entrants alike.

Nevertheless, I disagree with your premise that the IAC focuses more on competition than art. If you look at the facts and figures it is clear Festivals are organised as a celebration of the Art. Look at BIAFF. Four parallel days worth of films on the Saturday followed by the Award Winners show on the Sunday - and a very short awards ceremony. The organisers and projection teams work unbelieveably hard - for free - to ensure as many films entered as possible are screened. 70-80% of the films shown are not award winners. I'd say the emphasis is on the art, not the competition, wouldn't you?

Earlier this year, I attended the SERIAC Festival. Something like 40 films were screened. I wasn't involved at all - I hadn't entered a film, I wasn't part of the organising team, I wasn't a judge. I just went to watch the films and support the film makers. But, get this, I wasn't unusual, a large part of the audience was there for exactly the same reason - focusing on the art, not the competition.

It's the same with judging. Having judged festivals both on my own and as a panellist I can say, with hand on heart, that vast majority of time we spend is not on deciding which film is "better" than the others, but in evaluating the films and writing what we hope will be helpful and constructive comments.

7. Networking. Yes, I agree, the IAC might help foster this in some sort of mechanical sense (eg a skills database or forum where people can post projects they're working on and try to recruit interested parties), but it happens anyway - at least for those who are prepared to put themselves out and netwok by visiting clubs (their own and ohers) and festivals. Show interest in other people's work and a desire to be involved next time, they may just call you.
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:39 pm

Of course, one of the take-away's from the above is that if Jameela thinks we need to do X, Y and Z and we are already doing X, most of Y and some of Z then we do have a very real problem of getting across to people what the IAC does and stands for.
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by John Roberts » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:04 am

I too was slightly perplexed by Jameela's article, and below are my thoughts:

1. I don't recall whether any guidelines regarding member's conduct were issued in my member's welcome pack, but I also don't recall anything similar being issued or told to me when I started any job or joined any other group or club, be it social or professional. As Tim says, it is common courtesy and personal insults should not be tolerated and are not welcome. I have been on the receiving end of some myself and action was taken without any input from me against the people issuing the insults. Likewise, I can confirm that any correspondence received by National Council regarding personal insults or insulting comments against any group of members, clubs, regions or the IAC, were discussed professionally and appropriate action taken. Thankfully, it is a rare occurrence, but when it happens it is dealt with.

2. Like Jameela and Tim, this is something I have been in favour of for some time. I made inroads into the possibility of setting up a members-only area within the forum and this was discussed at Council. Although it was deemed possible, there are constraints against us as a charitable organisation which restrict the amount of information that can be kept away from public access. I am by no means an expert on this (perhaps someone from Council can enlighten us?) but it is something to do with member's benefits. However, that being said there seemed to be no real appetite for it - as Tim rightly points out, traffic on this forum is very light without restricting it further. A recent straw poll regarding offering an electronic version of the magazine also received little positive response. This will change in time, of course.

3. I agree with Tim here, also there are a number of regional workshops that occur on a regular basis (check out CEMRIAC's track record on this). I try and attend when I can (and have been a speaker at some, as Tim and a whole host of other have been) but I would add it's not totally about teamwork. I am a sole-filmmaker. I'm pretty sure Tim is. Bob Lorrimer almost always writes, shoots, edits and stars in his own films. There are a huge number of sole-filmmakers or filmmaking couples who work that way because they prefer it. I do take offence at the line referring to sole-filmmakers: "... the results will always be limited." I make films because I like to do it, the fact that I have won (just at BIAFF) an IAC Diamond, several 5-star and 4-star awards, Best Editing, Best Animation, Best 60-second, Best Music Video, Best Original Music, Best this-that-and-the-other, as well as Best Animation at UNICA, I would even go so far as to say I was a little insulted...

4. I have little problem with how anyone wants to describe our hobby/pastime/non-commercial/amateur filmmaking exploits; the reason we make films is as varied as the films that are produced. I don't recall anyone turning anyone away nor any comments made about anyone who wants to produce a film in a different style or tell a different story from themselves. I like the IAC for the honesty of its members and often find that if a fellow filmmaker doesn't understand the content of a certain film, they will say so. This is not done in a derogatory sense, but with a desire to find out if there's something they missed or wasn't made clear enough in the film.

5. I have to agree that there was a time that FVM in particular was quite reminiscent of old-times, with a number of articles relating to cine projectors or cameras and film. Yes, there is a place for that - in education - but a magazine or organisation full of 'older members' reminiscing about the old times excludes the majority of younger members who embrace new techniques and new equipment. If we're talking about the 'art of film' then that is something else entirely, and could and should be the basis of a workshop.

6. Completely agree with what Tim has written but would like to add the following. A great deal of other 'festivals' not only celebrate the art but also have an element of competition. Do beer festivals not have a 'Best of Festival Beer' or a 'Champion Beer' that local breweries work hard to win the honour of? Do craft food fairs not dish out (pun intended) awards by the bucket-load for a host of categories of locally and independently produced foods? Motor festivals are adorned with 'Car of Show', 'Best Restoration/Original/Custom/Interior' etc etc etc? There are many open art festivals that also offer prizes, not only in the form of 'Best of' but also award artists of many disciplines fellowships and grants. Music festivals operate a little in reverse in that the bands and artists have simply been pre-judged on sales and popularity and this is reflected in their ranking of the line-up. Glastonbury already has a winner - they are the headliners!

7. A networking idea was also something I proposed to Council; a database of experienced or semi-experienced filmmakers willing to devote as much time and experience as they wished to, to help others. All aspects should have been covered: audio, editing, photography, cinematography, script-writing, etc. This would've been a member's only database but there was little appetite for it. At least my name went down on the list. As Tim says, this happens to a great extent anyway within clubs and regions, and anyone - IAC member or not - can post here on the forum to ask for help about anything.


As Jameela said at the end of her article, there is no way to 'add comments' to a paper article! So here we are, yet I am still awaiting comments about my suggestions for promoting the IAC on social media, which was 6 weeks ago.

Respectfully - John

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by ned c » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:42 pm

Discussing the rules of the IAC overlooks two basic questions that must be answered before these details are addressed:

1. What is the role of the IAC in the present day world of film making where the divide between professional and amateur has virtually disappeared and now we are all “film makers”. What is the constituency the IAC aims to serve and how does it relate to it?

2. What are the benefits of membership of the IAC?

The IAC was founded in the days of the “gentleman” film maker when the hobby was expensive and limited in its appeal, an age of clubs and structured living. We now live in the digital age with the democratization of film making and with the Internet a means of distribution to an audience of thousands. At present the IAC has two groups of members; the clubs and individuals where the clubs which constitute the regional structure are generally in decline. I don’t know what the situation is with individual membership.

At present the most important role of the iAC is the organization and management of the BIAFF which it has now taken over from the regions. One can debate the role of festivals but the BIAFF is unique in being open only to amateur (non-commercial) film makers and providing judge’s comments. Like it or not all film festivals are competitive even at the basic level of selection for screening; and most festivals deliver awards. I believe the BIAFF could be greatly strengthened by the inclusion of a student section which has the potential for developing future membership and management. Most voluntary organizations fail when it is no longer possible to recruit management; this is what happened in the USA, Canada and Australia. (Vide the letter re the Jersey club)

So what is the constituency of the IAC? People who make films for fun with no expectation of financial reward; this will include many who also make films for money, film industry professionals, a situation that already exists. How to connect to them? In my opinion the best avenue is via the BIAFF by more widely advertising it in media that reaches the film making community at every level. This reduces the role of the IAC to running the BIAFF which may not be a bad thing. The risk with widening the entry base to the BIAFF is a surge of entries from highly skilled film makers alienating the traditional “amateur” base. The alternative is to limit entries to true amateurs but policing this will be a challenge.

What are the benefits of membership? The magazine; supported by both voluntary editing and contributions, presently looking for an editor. I know from personal experience just how challenging it is to put together regular publications from voluntary support, the result is “page filling”. The music licence; how relevant is this now with widely available royalty free music, music creation software and acceptance of much commercial music on YouTube and Vimeo? In reality membership provides a magazine and slightly reduced entry rates to BIAFF. Where to from here, any suggestions?

ned c

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:38 am

John - I missed your comments on social media and IAC

We have had a Facebook page for several years: "IAC - the film and video institute " and a Twitter feed of the same name. Geoff Harmer started them and I have been occasionally updating both from time to time.

The problem is much the same as with this forum ... not many other people take the trouble to write, or feel self-assured enough to write.

There is also a Facebook page for BIAFF "British International Amateur Film Festival"

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by Jameela M Boardman » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:07 am

The outrageous one responds!

As Tim suggests, do we belong to the same IAC? ...the fact is we do, so it must be our experience of, and perspective that must be different!

Every item in my article was based upon specific examples, though those examples will not be made public as I have no desire to embarrass anyone. If we only talk with those who see the same way, how is it possible to tell the way others people perceive us? Why would they argue and debate... if they are already members they will vote with their feet, if they are potential new members, why would they wish to join that which they find annoying?

I have recently been invited to be the Northern News Co-ordinator for the FVM magazine. The story of this is worth repeating... I had become very disillusioned with the IAC as I see it going nowhere, and the day I made my mind up to definitely leave; wondering whether I should just decline to renew my due subscription or write a proper letter to the office explaining why. Without mentioning this to anyone, that same evening I received the very unexpected email invitation! Because of its synchronicity, I decided it was something I should accept.

So the current article in the September/October issue, started as a re-write of a resignation letter that was never sent! So please consider it in this constructive light of my "outsider" comments, same as with my previous article in the April/June edition with its Venn diagram. ...My views are from my viewpoint, same as you yours, but it is our combined different viewpoints that builds a truer perception of reality.

I believe none-commercial video does need a supportive organisational body for its best future, but the IAC needs to improve.

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm delighted you've responded Jameela, and enterd into the spirit of the discussion.

As I said in the follow up to my first post, there may be a perception issue here so we can at least agree on that.

Not wishing to put you on the spot (and indeed anyone can join in) let's deal with what I see as fairly black and white: you presumably perceive there is an emphasis on competition. I hope I have demonstrated that, at least in terms of Festivals organised by the IAC and Regions, the facts suggest precisely the opposite (to recap, more time is dedicated to showing films which are not competition winners than the winners themselves and judges spend more time critiquing films than deciding what film wins).

Why is there a perception that it's mainly about competition?
Reports (in newsletters and FVM) about festivals tend to name the winning films.
Discussion, either at meetings and festivals or on-line, tend to revolve around disagreement with the judges decisions and therefore naturally involve discussion about the winning films (even if only to say film x was better than the winner).

FVM only mentions competitions when reporting on Festivals (or an article on judging). Most articles don't. Tom Hardwicks informative equipment reviews are aimed at all of us. Ditto John Owen's book reviews. Ken Wilson's stories about the trials and tribulations of various productions he and his team mightmention competitions from time to time, but only to share his pleasure or disappointment in what he's been awarded - and it is absolutely clear that he makes films for the love of it and a "bad result" is just a bump along the road. They are written to encourage all film makers.

You will be aware of this, of course, but my question is what (more) can the IAC do to change some people's the perception that it's all about competition?
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by Jill Lampert » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:08 pm

Jameela, I read your piece with interest, and I think you raise some important issues.

Workshops – I wish the IAC would put on practical workshops about filmmaking. Workshops where we could get together to learn the art and craft of filmmaking from experienced professionals.

Working together – I suppose that with the general decline in club membership you are probably right that arrangements which help to put filmmakers in touch with each other would be good.

Although there is a decline in club membership generally, there are some clubs which are doing ok. It would be interesting to know whether they have anything in common? And if so, would it be useful to other clubs to know what that is? Perhaps the IAC could help with this?

Like John I like making films as a sole filmmaker. But I also help members at my club to make their films. And it’s fun! I wonder if Jameela could contact clubs directly to ask for help with her films? Occasionally outsiders will ask us for help. For example not so long ago we had a request for someone with a drone to help another IAC member in the region to make his film – and one of our drone pilots was happy to oblige.

Film is an art. And I agree with you, Jameela that judging art is not at all like judging sport. In what sense is the winner of the Booker Prize or the Turner Prize the best book or best art? Only in the minds of the judges – and of course anyone who agrees with them! The decisions are subjective. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely pointless. Having a competition does give an edge to things as Tim says. People like to find out how they’re doing compared to others – even when they know that winning is not quite like being first past the post.

I like BIAFF and I think the IAC does a great job with it. It is quite special as Ned has pointed out. But I agree with Jameela’s sentiments that it would be lovely if there were celebratory festivals which were not about winning. My club (Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers) held a little one we called the Feel Good Festival in 2017. It was a very uplifting thing!

In recent years my club has dropped four of its five competitions and replaced them with ‘Challenges’. These are non-competitive opportunities to show films of different kinds e.g. 1 minute film…music video etc. Last year we invited members of other CEMRIAC clubs to send in films for our One Minute Challenge. They didn’t have to attend. We had six outside entries – including one from a member of another club who came along – as well as 12 or 14 films of our own. We loved having films from non-members. The atmosphere was great. We made verbal comments about the films and I wrote these down and sent them to the makers who weren’t present. I think they were pleased they’d sent their films in. This year we’ve invited members of other clubs in CEMRIAC to take part in all four of our challenges. Let’s see what happens?

I think Jameela’s got a point about what words to use to describe ourselves. When I’m doing publicity stalls for our club, I find myself having to be very careful with words. I tend to say something like that we are a club. Or we make films for fun. I want to get the message across that making films is fun. That some of us are ambitious and make serious documentaries or fiction films and some of us make holiday films and family movies. That there’s room for every kind of filmmaker. Of course I also like them to know that we’re friendly and the meetings are sociable. Our club wants to attract every sort of filmmaker. Some may want to film events with their mobile phones. Others may want to gain experience which will help them on their way to doing professional/commercial work. I never use the word ‘amateur’. Although Tim can explain what a wonderful thing being an amateur is (and I am very happy that I am an amateur, and would absolutely hate the pressure of making films commercially), I worry that without Tim’s presentation, the word is probably rather off-putting to most people and so I feel safer avoiding it.

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:37 pm

Jill Lampert wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:08 pm
In recent years my club has dropped four of its five competitions and replaced them with ‘Challenges’.
Whilst I can see the appeal of this to some people and I wholeheratedly applaud you for trying this approach, I think we have to be very careful that in encouraging one group of people we do not discourage others.

Some people thrive on competition by removing that element we might actually lose more than we gain.

I've never considered myself competitive and for many years I've not made films specifically for competitions (I'm really not interested in making a film to fit some arbitrary criteria for the sake of it). However if a film I make fits the category of a competition I'll enter it. I'm not so sure I'd bother if it was described as a "challenge" - although I would if I knew it would receive a critique.

And yes, words are important. "Amateur" often does conjure up a negative impression without giving it context, but then so does "we make films for fun". We've yet to find (and perhaps never will) a simple way to describe what we do.
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by ned c » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:21 pm

After my rather generalized response to Jameela's article here are some specific thoughts about each of the points she addresses:

Ground rules; in an age of increasing rudeness a requirement for for mutual respect is not out of place. On one of our local film making Facebook pages the opening statement is "Be kind...."

On line duplication of FVM; my thoughts on this are that a print magazine which costs a third of the organizations income should be replaced by an on- line edition and the funds re-allocated to more productive activities.

Training; many years ago I attended excellent courses at Wansfell College in Essex; they covered camerawork; editing 16 mm film and non-linear editing. I don't know who organized these but they were well supported. Training is a local activity and would depend on a relationship between the IAC and local educational facilities. This would need someone at the Council level to be responsible for education development.

Toxic words; I don't find "hobby" much of a problem other than it is outdated. On the other hand "amateur" when applied to film does come with the condemnation of the film industry and as a result the public. I really don't mind be called an amateur but many young film makers see it as an insult; "amateurish".

To whom it may concern; I assume the point is that living in the past is not productive. I agree and in an organization dominated by older people this is to be avoided.

Focus on art not competition; this has been well covered elsewhere. All Festivals show a wide range of films most of which are not recipients of awards and in many festivals there is a "not in competition" category. Anyone can enter a film with the hope of screening with no expectation of winning something. We make films to be seen by an audience and hopefully get some sort of response.

Wider film making community; other than providing a resource list it is difficult to see how the IAC can be involved in productions. But see a point in my earlier post "What is the constituency of the IAC?"

Finally my thought on why some clubs succeed where others fail. It's all about vigorous; creative leadership. The problem if this is not present in depth with some form of support when the current leader burns out or has to make another commitment it's all over!! This is what happened in the national organizations in the USA; Canada and Australia.

Thanks to Jameela for starting this conversation; will it produce results?

ned c

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by JanW » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:34 pm

Some random thoughts:
1) Re competition or celebration - yes we do see a lot of films at BIAFF on the Saturday, but they are labelled with a star rating which must influence people's attitude towards them
2)The comments in this thread - I hope a Council member or a Forum member can summarise this discussion for the next issue of FVM so that it will be read by many more members. If no-one has time, I'll volunteer.
3) At the UNICA Festivals I usually get a chance to have a quick chat with Marcus Siebler who is the Chairman and President of the BDFA (the Germany equivalent to IAC). He is unusual in that he is young (in his forties I would guess). He is trying hard to make BDFA sustainable by attracting younger members. (One of the innovations he has introduced is a separate Youth Film Festival.) In a very quick chat with him at UNICA 2019 in Zeist he said that trying to turn their organisation around is hard. I asked him specifically about clubs and he did not think they could stop the decline in numbers of traditional clubs and that the future of BDFA probably lies with increasing the individual members. (Having written this, I see it would be good to have a much longer conversation with him to dig down into what they are doing.)

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:04 pm

ned c wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:21 pm
Ground rules; in an age of increasing rudeness a requirement for for mutual respect is not out of place. On one of our local film making Facebook pages the opening statement is "Be kind...."
I don't object to that, Ned. That's fairly common on most websites/forums etc. I just think putting it upfront in ur membership application/rules might be a bit off-putting!
ned c wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:21 pm
Toxic words; I don't find "hobby" much of a problem other than it is outdated. On the other hand "amateur" when applied to film does come with the condemnation of the film industry and as a result the public. I really don't mind be called an amateur but many young film makers see it as an insult; "amateurish".
One problem is just about any word/phrase we might use to describe what we do is probably going to be considered by someone to be "toxic". As I've said before, one might infer from the phrase "non-commercial" that a film might not be considered good enough to sell - which is no worse than the what some will infer from "amateur". My preferred solution is rather than stop using the words, but to use them frequently in the context in which the intended meaning is perfectly clear. In other words don't skirt around the word "hobby" but use it in a celebratory way emphasising this is done with a passion rather than for financial gain.

Obviously this is not going to work for the word "Amateur" in BIAFF or IAC where we need a catchy title upon which we cannot expand.
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:17 pm

JanW wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:34 pm
2)The comments in this thread - I hope a Council member or a Forum member can summarise this discussion for the next issue of FVM so that it will be read by many more members. If no-one has time, I'll volunteer.
Rather than that - give them just a taster and get them to come here, read all the comments and join in the conversation.
JanW wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:34 pm
(One of the innovations he has introduced is a separate Youth Film Festival.)
We have separate competitions for younger people and the Young Person's event at BIAFF, but, whilst the quality is often suberb, the quanity of both entries and attendees is sorely lacking. One might suggest this suggests a lack of appetite among young film makers for this, but I suspect the only people who hear about it are those who already know someone in the IAC. Perhaps Jan is on to something here, and I know Ned has been beating this drum for several years now.

Publicise the Youth Festival as a separate event.

It could still be run at the BIAFF weekend, and use the same venue, audience and even judges (although we might be able to get some higher profle judges if we keep it separate - Mariella Frostrup might not want to judge 250 films, but she might be up for 30 yoof films!) Given it it's own identity and it might attract more people - which can only be good for the IAC.
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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by Jameela M Boardman » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:20 pm

I do think the word "hobby" is a problem! You need to see it how younger people will see it... Old folks doing their hobby!

It trivialises us, so why would they wish to even consider joining us? They have a life to live in a world that they are inheriting that is not exactly in good condition! So they have serious stuff to say. Often deep truths can be said by the fiction story.

But there is a saying - "Those who shout loudest have least to say"

So it is the quiet ones, the sensitive ones, those who feel deeply enough to make a film. Do they not have a right to expect ground rules with those who would mentor them?

To some of us this a hobby with some banter, but for others it is not.

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Re: Jameela Boardman's Article FVM October 2019

Post by TimStannard » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:32 am

Jameela M Boardman wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:20 pm
I do think the word "hobby" is a problem! You need to see it how younger people will see it... Old folks doing their hobby!
I think the problem with that phrase is "old folks" rather than hobby. They feel, with some justification, that if we "old folks" had been any good at our hobby we'd have made an impact by now.

Youngsters have yet to make an impact with their hobbies (or, more likely, fail to make an impact with them). Hobbies are far from trivial to them.

"What are your hobbies?" is a common and important question at job interviews. I doubt it would be asked if it was considered trivial.
Jameela M Boardman wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:20 pm
To some of us this a hobby with some banter, but for others it is not.
Yes - and in many cases hobby equals passion, yet you see hobby as an insult.

It is a shame to get bogged down with semantics, but, unfortunately, for some purposes, we do need to label what we do. So rather than put up all sorts of barriers to the perfectly good words that already exist to describe what we do, let's look for a better word/phrase. (Clue: this discussion has been going on for at least as long as I've been a member)
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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