Not knowing what the theme was I probably wouldn't have picked any of the entires as Avant-Garde. Perhaps there should have been a lot more experimentation. I tried out quite a few ideas before settling on a musical/rock opera. I spent a few months recording frames and editing test scenes.
None really jumped out as being that interestering enough to spend hundreds of hours and basing a film on. It might have ended up as 3 minutes but there was months of work involved. The street that flys by was not that difficult to film but it still took a long time to record 1 frame at a time. It's a big commitment for me to make a film. I'm still egotisical enough to want people to enjoy it.
Of course I used up so many ideas last year with Cyclic. Non-Fig characters, variable frame rates, time line that went forward/backwards, more than just a 2 character buddy film, bizzare deaths of the lead characters by a spider and an apple shot from multiple characters perspective, etc.
Crime Stories probably only fits the more literal translation of new. There have been quite a few music clip brickfilms. 0ldScratch made some excellent ones. Sure it is a simple story but I can't think of any other brickfilm that tells a story with just music and no dialogue. The soundtrack is also available to purchase (another brickfilm 1st?) from iTunes. CS uses a number of songs from Rob Stanley's - The Doorway in the Darkness.
I'm not trying to justify or validate my entry. I'm just expressing my thought process behind CS. I'm happy with how it worked out. It's the only film I have made where I wouldn't change a thing.
Smeagol is a difficult person to please. He was also sour about the Star entries last year taking the theme to literally. 34 entires and some very good films, well done people, very well done. I think the judges have a hard job ahead of them.