Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

fallentomato wrote:

I'm just trying to think of other ideas of how you could increase both the quality and quantity of submissions, since you expressed dismay with both.

I'm pretty sure I didn't express dismay with either; I was very happy with the quantity of entries (highest ever for a non-THAC) and the quality was quite satisfactory to me as well, though I agreed that theme interpretation could have been bolder.

I hope people aren't misinterpreting their ratings as a sign that I personally hate them and their films or something.  Some differentiation between entries is necessary, and I was only one of three judges.  A 9.2/10 in presentation is hardly hating on a film.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Sméagol wrote:

A 9.2/10 in presentation is hardly hating on a film.

Yesiree and 4/10 for concept is spreading the love around.
IMHO (which everybody is interested in aren't they?) this contest went pretty much without a hitch.
Judging was a tad wonky and the theme sucked but apart from that nice and smooth.
Nick's zombie film was excellent but I didn't like the interview style. More killing more blood next time.
I was sure this theme would generate a dozen films with no story and just pretty blocks move around.
Guess I was wrong (who would have thought?)

You can’t have manslaughter without the laughter!

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

claskey wrote:

Guess I was wrong (who would have thought?)

mini/lol

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

smeagol wrote:

As long as it's not, you know, misinterpreting something I said and then insulting me for it.

Youch. My comment was very tongue in cheek. I thought you guys would get that especially with the collaborative project Smeagol is working on. As for misinterpreting I don't think I did.

jd16592 wrote:

I think he meant the Pre-Production, that means coming up with a concept and an idea for an entry, which has most likely not taken most of the time. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

Bodville wrote:

1. I spent a few months recording frames and editing test scenes.
2. Or the thousands of frames recorded edited and thrown away while I tested concepts.

Neither of my statements had anything to do with the production of Crime Stories. I had two other AG theme attempts before settling on a musical.

On a side note: We showed Brickfilms during BrickExpo and the PA system left us without sound for most of the day. We had a crowd of people watching Crime Stories where as the other films people wondered off to look at the exhibits. Having a simple story helped but I found it quite ironic that a film I meant to be a musical actually worked as a silent film.

CrimStories

Other:  DOTBW      Take Out      Crime Stories      Cyclic     YouTube

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

I was genuinely surprised, bodville, when you only got four out of ten in concept.  The only sounds I heard other than the music was sirens, everything else, the gunshots, explosions, etc. was done by matching animation to music, sure its not completely original, but definitely AG.  Yours, though not my favorite entry, was the best IMO.

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"Eh" - Bertl

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

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Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Fair enough, Bodville.  I wasn't meaning to suggest that concepts were poor or ill-conceived, 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.  My general impression is that a lot of people took quite a bit of time *trying* to come up with a concept, but the one they settled on was generally thought of fairly quickly.  I know in talking to MindGame that was definitely the case for him, and I've experienced something similar in coming up with my own film ideas in the past.  Not many of my own brickfilms have taken more than a week to really develop the concept for, because they are generally simple, even if I might think about it for a few months before coming up with an idea I like.  That was all I meant, sorry I didn't elaborate.

I just wanted to try to be positive about entries, but (remembering I'm only one of three judges and we didn't totally agree on ratings, so we had to compromise) I can try to explain a bit more why 'Crime Stories' only got a 4/10 for the concept.  We felt that bank robberies are one of the most common story concepts in brickfilms and cinema in general, admittedly less so than they used to be before Star Wars became so popular but the story idea remains one of the more traditional ones in cinema.  The music video element was fun, but again, we've had multiple music video contests in this community, so telling a story only with music didn't feel cutting edge to us even though it was well done.  The camera-work and such was great but it felt like an extension of the kind of technical work we've come to expect from you.  In the end we just didn't know what new ideas it brought to the table.  We wanted to give the film high technical marks but we couldn't really justify being it a favorable presentation score.  It placed in the top fifth of the entries, so to me that's still pretty good.  So that was more or less our reasoning, I'm sure people would be able to debate it all in endless detail but when you're judging art you're never going to get everybody to agree with you.

And like I've said though, this theme is pretty subjective.  We'll probably go for something more literal in the next contest.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Sméagol wrote:

....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.

Noodle wrote:

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.

For example:
-   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?

smeagol wrote:

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.

CrimStories

Other:  DOTBW      Take Out      Crime Stories      Cyclic     YouTube

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

bodville wrote:

The only conclusion I can draw is the story actually had to be AG to be judged well.

Correct. That is all.

THAC XIV entry here: (Never) Meant To Be

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

The whole point of a film being avant-garde is that it has to be something conceptually new in its entirety; talking about how you used new techniques or how the story was original is missing the point.

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

What Sean and Night Owl have said is true, yeah.  I'll admit that we did give both you and "Odd Jobs" some points in concept for the innovative technical work, however it was felt that the rather mindblowing lightning, long takes, and things like live pyrotechnics in that film were a little more over the top from an innovation standpoint.

I did notice some of the technical specifics you've mentioned, at least with the muzzle flashes and frame rate changes.  In-camera muzzle flashes are frankly not a new innovation. I see what you were going for with the walk cycles now; admittedly it didn't really work for me, though I can see how it sorta resembles a really old silent movie now that you mention it.

I guess we tended to judge the films more in the sense of looking at the whole and whether it really seemed refreshing and new to us.  Innovative technical work was taken into account (in both your presentation and to a lesser extent concept scores) but ultimately an interesting/innovative story concept was more important for what was basically a story concept category.

By largely positive you don't mean equal to the 2nd lowest score for theme?

No, I don't.  Remember the publicly listed results are only the top 22, in the full results your concept score actually falls in the top half.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Night Owl wrote:

All I'll say is: show, don't tell.

Given your own passion for this film gene it's a shame you were unable to contribute more to the discussion or at the end even show us all how it's done.

irbricksceo wrote:

one question, is this originality in script or in techique, or is it either/ or

Sméagol wrote:

Either, or both.  The more adventurous you are in multiple areas, the better, though of course you shouldn't make something that is so "experimental" as to be unwatchable.

All the talk on this forum just muddied the water. I only went off the advice that was presented.

Night Owl wrote:

The whole point of a film being avant-garde is that it has to be something conceptually new in its entirety; talking about how you used new techniques or how the story was original is missing the point.

You are absolutely correct I did totally miss the point. This definition of AG is probably the best one I have read. I should have asked more questions about the expectation.

Sméagol wrote:

The rock opera concept sounds pretty well in line with the contest theme, yeah.

I went to some lengths to describe techniques and processes because Noodle felt my work was not innovative. I wanted people to better understand my point of view. It won't change anything so what is the harm in that? At worst it gives others here some background and understanding. Who knows it may even help them to make better films.

CrimStories

Other:  DOTBW      Take Out      Crime Stories      Cyclic     YouTube

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Heh, admittedly when I wrote that I was expecting that your entry was a rock opera in the literal sense.  I didn't mention that it wasn't a rock opera as a critique later because I did notice afterward that you'd said that you were calling it that "for lack of a better term."  But 'rock opera' suggests that you're telling a story through lyrics, like a musical, and usually over several songs; by contrast, your entry has a single song and no vocals, which puts it in the category of music video as far as I can tell.  And we've had loads and loads of music videos.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Man I would LOVE to do a musical brickfilm one day...

THAC XIV entry here: (Never) Meant To Be

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

I agree Sean.  That could be very entertaining and very original.

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Sméagol wrote:

.... by contrast, your entry has a single song and no vocals.

As I mentioned previously many songs were used from Rob Stanley's album.
"The Doorway in the Darkness".

Have a listen it is great stuff!

CrimStories

Other:  DOTBW      Take Out      Crime Stories      Cyclic     YouTube

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Err, sorry I haven't committed your posts to memory.  But it's three minutes of song material that's been blended into a non-stop score, so it's not as though it gives the appearance of being a series of individual pieces like a rock opera.  A rock opera almost always has lyrics and tells a story over the progression of them, that's all I meant.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

Well done, everyone!

Formerly known as Steve Collins.

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

whats up? I just joined yesterday and i'm still trying to get used to the web site.

Timothy R wrote:

I guess it's cool to know I was one place close to being in the top 10. mini/tongue I'm somewhat satisfied with the winners anyway. Bodville and MindGame didn't place as high as I expected them to be (I was expecting the judging to just give the prizes to the big brickfilmers mini/tongue ), so I'm very happy. Well done to everyone. mini/bigsmile

Re: BiM 2010: Avant-Garde Results!

These are the results to a contest that just passed.  There's another contest called Septemberfest that will be running Sept 1st - Sept 30th.
By the way, welcome to BiM.