....just that they were simple enough not to require months to come up with. If you had a few abandoned concepts first that doesn't mean, as far as I understand,
that the one you settled on took months to develop; it's a very simple idea and most of the concepts were pretty simple.
It's true that the final idea was simply, but it's execution was far from it. Ignoring the failed concepts I also spent a long time developing the visuals for CS. The walk/run cycles took a fair bit of experimenting. Week after week was spent on the street chase. The street action ended up being quite easy in the final execution. However it took lots of attempts and different methods to get the stage working. I was going for a classic Warner Bros cartoon chase.
I started using a green screen because I could then use digital motion blur on the background. The background looked fantastic a big improvement. The foreground was much worse with the vehicles looking too disconnected (like they floated). I tried lots of different methods, moving the camera and the vehicle, moving the set. Then even after I was committed to the concept and had the method ironed out some scenes I recorded 2 or 3 times till I got it just the way I wanted. As brickfilmers yourself I honestly thought you guys would appreciate that, that you would see it not as a 3 minute film but 4500 frames.
Remember, half a film's score was based on whether or not there was anything avant-garde about it. I honestly thought that Crime Stories was the most entertaining film in the contest, but I didn't see anything about it that hadn't been done before in other brickfilms. Hence the lower placement.
For the purpose of determining rankings and winners, the panel will judge films on the basis of storytelling, presentation, and innovative interpretation of the contest theme. The scoring method of 50% for theme wasn’t mentioned until after the results came out.
Given my naive understanding of AG I worked on trying new things with the animation and visuals not so much the story. It was picked up by several people that the camera dolly went through the bank wall. That’s really no big deal there are a lot more innovative things in this film.
- Almost everyone does the same stud to stud pigeon walk cycle (except me). The walk and run cycles in CS are very unique. I was trying to make it look like those crazy chases in the b&w silent movies.
- The mussel flashing on the machine guns required me to shoot every frame twice (flash light on & off) and alternate them during editing.
This wasn't a post production effect like the flashing and chaser police lights.
- The Slow-Motion action sequences. I tried this during the skateboard crash in Cyclic and couldn't get it to work right. I had a lot more time with this competition so I had a few more attempts in CS and it came out much better. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the street moving past during the car crash. Everything slows down then speeds up again. It meant the crash was able to have a lot more frames and when the car slides out of scene it does so at a frantic pace, further heightening the sudden halt and demise of the vehicle. The frame rate varies all over the place in this film, did anybody notice that?
Ho hum, seen it all before, are you sure about that?
We knew you would take offense to a largely positive, but mixed opinion of your film
By largely positive you don't mean equal to the 2nd lowest score for theme? I never expected to win but I was disappointed as it meant the effort I put forward was mostly overlooked. The large point spread between 1st and 7th appears to be in the application of the theme. The only conclusion I can draw is the story actually had to be AG to be judged well.
In the final wash up some excellent films were made and the competition was very well organised. Despite what you seem to think I don't harbour any ill feelings about any of this. I had a lot of fun and made another film. One which I really like. Competitions give me a focus. There is no doubt in my mind that without BIM I would not have made Crime Stories. Congratulations to everyone that submitted an entry I enjoyed them all.
The points I really want to make are:
- The extra time for the competition gave me a lot more opportunity to try so many things (mostly fails)
STAR was a very rushed process for me from start to finish. I hope we again have lots of notice.
- Production values should have a much higher weighting than meeting a poorly defined theme (in my opinion).
It further amplified the subjective nature of the judging process.