UNICA and the age old question

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TimStannard
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UNICA and the age old question

Post by TimStannard » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:00 pm

UNICA President Dave Watterson has raised the old chetnut of what we call ourselves again in his recent UNICA newsletter: "I make a plea for one right now: we cannot call ourselves “amateur” or “non-professional” because both of those adjectives are commonly equated with poor quality. Please let us call ourselves “non-commercial film makers”."

I'd argue we cannot call ourselves "non-commercial" for exactly the same reason!

Not only might some infer from "non-commercial", "not of good enough quality to be sold" but they and others might infer "specialist" (ie of interest only to a niche audience).

I wonder if we need an entirely new term. The software industry has overcome a potentially similar problem with the term "Open Source". There is no implication that open source software is in any way inferior to paid for software although it took a few years to achieve that status. It's not the same as our hobby/passion/pastime in that Open Source sotware may be being developed by a 14 year old in his bedroom or a highly paid professional at Google, but is was not a term which existed prior to people developing world class software and distibuting it for free.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

ned c
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by ned c » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:58 pm

How about "freedom film maker"?

ned c

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Dave Watterson
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:07 pm

Keep ' em comin' !

Howard-Smith
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Howard-Smith » Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:22 am

How about this, folks?

We are AVOCATION FILMMAKERS making AVOCATION FILMS.

Just take a look at this first paragraph on Wikipedia relating to this word 'avocation'.

An avocation is an activity that someone engages in as a hobby outside their main occupation. There are many examples of people whose professions were the ways that they made their livings, but for whom their activities outside their workplaces were their true passions in life. Occasionally, as with Lord Baden-Powell and others, people who pursue an avocation are more remembered by history for their avocation than for their professional career.

The only possible drawback I suppose is that it's a word that many people won't have come across and won't immediately understand.

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TimStannard
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by TimStannard » Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:20 pm

Howard's suggestion has the added benefit that, beginning with the same letter as Amateur, many existing abbreviations could be used.

On the downside, I only see it as a noun rather than an adjective wheich means it can't really be used to describe what we might previously as described as an amateur film (with BIAFF, for example, it is the film's amateur status - ie no professionals having been paid for their involvement - that qualifies it rather than the status of the makers.)

However, as the English language seems to be fairly flexible in terms of verbs becoming used as nouns (eg "invite") and adverbs being used ad pronouns ("it was so fun") why not allow an "avocation film"? (I initially accidentally wrote advocation film, but that's smething entirely different)


EDIT: Hmmm. I've just come across an obsolete definition of avocate as a verb: https://www.yourdictionary.com/avocate

Verb

(third-person singular simple present avocates, present participle avocating, simple past and past participle avocated)

(obsolete) To call off or away; to withdraw; to transfer to another tribunal.


That's not helpful.
Tim
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Dave Watterson
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:32 pm

The Germans often use "leidenschaft" which means "passion" - so passionate or passion-driven film maker ...

Ken Wilson
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Ken Wilson » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:57 pm

Enthusiast would be good. Avocation sounds like film about fruit!

Michael Slowe
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:06 pm

I think that Howard-Smith has really hit on something here. The definition that he quotes is us EXACTLY! As an adjective could not avocationary fit the bill? I got the dreaded red line when typing that so maybe not. IAC would then still be the apt initials.

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TimStannard
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by TimStannard » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:13 pm

Michael Slowe wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:06 pm
I think that Howard-Smith has really hit on something here. The definition that he quotes is us EXACTLY! As an adjective could not avocationary fit the bill? I got the dreaded red line when typing that so maybe not. IAC would then still be the apt initials.
The beauty is it is the same definition as the definition of amateur, but without the bad rep :)
Tim
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Howard-Smith
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Howard-Smith » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:39 am

Thanks Michael! And Tim!
I’ve just discovered that the adjective from avocation is avocational. There an entry for this word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avocational
I defy anyone to better this!

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Dave Watterson
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:52 am

"Avocational" is very good, it fits the meaning and - conveniently - the initials of IAC and UNICA ...

but when people complain that "Cinematography" is an archaic word, which no one uses normally and whose meaning is a bit fuzzy in the common mind, what chance would "avocational" have?

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TimStannard
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by TimStannard » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:13 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:52 am
but when people complain that "Cinematography" is an archaic word, which no one uses normally and whose meaning is a bit fuzzy in the common mind,
Really? I see it (over) used all the time. Most of the time in the context of "make your shots look more cinematic" (the meaning of which is, admitedly, a bit fuzzy, but seems to mean emulating what we might see at the cinema, rather than the crisp, naturalistic images we might get on news/current affairs/sports video).
I also think the average (ie non filmy) person, upon hearing the word for the first ime would associate "cinematography" with "cinema" and make the distinction between that and "home movie" and that seem to fit very well with what the IAC is trying to do (ie promote, encourage and teach better film making)

Irrespective, we can't change the world in one fell swoop, but we might be able to change it one word at a time.

Maybe once "avocational" is established, we can start reclaiming the word amateur. :wink:
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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Willy
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Re: UNICA and the age old question

Post by Willy » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:45 pm

I prefer "film hobbyist" or "filmmaking hobbyist". I don't feel ashamed to be called "a hobbyist".
And what about "filmmaking enthusiast"? However, professionals can also be called "enthusiasts". Maybe it is better to stick to "amateur". I am proud to be called an "amateur", just like Tim and all the other IAC-friends. We already talked about it some years ago I remember.

By the way, in September I started to be a foreign teacher of English again. Also "language teaching" is one of my hobbies. Of course I don't earn any money with it. I am a volunteer "pur sang". The course is called "English conversation". My six students are only middle-aged ladies. One lady comes from Sri Lanka. An other one comes from Russia. We already had interesting chats about life in Sri Lanka and Russia. The other four are Belgian ladies. Some days before Christmas we had an English party with scones and tea. I told them how to make English scones. I also showed them one of my films. The English version of "Together with Yoda". It was made in the Middle Ages. But now I have deviated from the main theme. My apologies.
Willy Van der Linden

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