BrickFest PDX 2004 Tell-a-Joke Animation Competition

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January 28, 2004 at 12:49 am #31017
Avatar of ToddThuma
ToddThuma

Sad News!

No entries were received for the BrickFest PDX 2004 Tell-a-Joke Animation Competition as of the deadline. As a result, the competition has been canceled.

I am disappointed that no one was able to submit an entry. I would like to take this opportunity to evaluate why none of the animators were interested in creating something for this competition. Please read and respond to the questions below to help discern the main reasons for the failure of this competition.

Were the rules too difficult? Which rule or rules provided the greatest difficulty?

Was the theme, History of Flight, too challenging? Too Limiting? Too Un-inspiring?

Was the competition deadline poorly timed?

Was Septemeber not early enough to announce the competition? Should it have been announced earlier or later?

Are there too many competitions competiting with one another splitiing the time and talents of the animators?

Were you too busy between Sept 2003 and Jan 2004 to put something together?

Is the appeal of having your hard work presented to an audience not enough incentive? Is the promise of an engraved award not enough Award? Is the reward of a LEGO Set not enough award?

Do you hold some animosity or attitude towards the competition organizer that prevented you from participating?

I am sincerely interested in any light you can shed on the issue, no matter what color that light might be.

Sincerely,

Todd :|

January 28, 2004 at 1:00 am #31018
Avatar of Mr. Less
Mr. Less

Umm, because you never answered are questions properly? :roll

January 28, 2004 at 1:17 am #31022
Avatar of hoogiman
hoogiman

Maybe what turned a lot of people down was the “suitable for all ages” thing.

January 28, 2004 at 1:50 am #31032
Avatar of jeffthedrummer
jeffthedrummer

Wow,

that’s really sad.
I’ve been too busy lately to even think about contests… But to hear the NO ONE entered anything is sad.
A brickcon with no animations… that’s like a Chrismas with no Santa.

Sorry Todd.

:cry:

January 28, 2004 at 2:00 am #31033
Avatar of KG
KG

Sorry,Todd,I tottaly forgot about this.If I had remembered,I woulda made a entrie.Sorry. :(

January 28, 2004 at 6:43 am #31048
Avatar of Buxton
Buxton

Todd, I appreciate the effort that you put into these festivals, and I probably should have put some of these thoughts down in writing before. I just kind of assumed that other people would take up the slack if I didn’t enter…

None of your questions really touch on my main reason for not entering, which was that I’ve got the impression from previous Lego fest animation competitions that the audience aren’t really terribly interested in brickfilms. People at BrickFest are there to hear cool stuff about Lego, see other people’s MOCs and generally chat about Lego with other like-minded individuals. Some of the comments I’ve seen in the past indicate that the animation fest is seen as more of a distraction (and occasionally a nuisance). I have to say that, if I’m premiering a new animation that’s taken weeks or even months to put together, I want to do it with an audience that actually wants to watch the thing.

FWIW, I think a better alternative for these fests might just be an animation room (or even an animation corner of the hall) with a tv streaming a couple of hours’ worth of films that have already been released, and let people just drop by as and when they have the time/inclination. I did that at a small fest here in the UK and it worked pretty well.

January 28, 2004 at 9:00 am #31055
Avatar of hali
hali

“Buxton” wrote: Todd, I appreciate the effort that you put into these festivals

Yep, me too.

I have to say that, if I’m premiering a new animation that’s taken weeks or even months to put together, I want to do it with an audience that actually wants to watch the thing.

You hit the nail right on the head there buxton. Over here at brickfilms.com we are an interesting mix of people, which Josh expressed quite well in his muted noise interview.
Some of us LOVE bricks and make films,
Others make films and like the ease of bricks
The rest are somewhere inbetween.

Unfortunately, if your outlook is primarily the films and not the bricks (like me: I love stop mo, bricks make it easy and fun, they give me a childhood flashback, I’m employed and can afford them, but I spend a lot more money elsewhere…) then things become a bit tricky.

That is, if I spend time creating and crafting a film, who is it for? I initially thought that MAYBE I could make these lovers of bricks come to appreciate the films themselves… the craft. But it does seem they love the bricks primarily, and place the filmic construction, theory, visual play, experimentation in second place.

THIS IS OKAY! It is a brick festival. Unfortunately, unless the brickfilm component in these festivals can change this perception then it will stagnate. Maybe it has…

I think the other reason entries were lacking was due to the subject matter and format:

a) There was only recently (and I mean in the last few Todd Thuma comps) a Comedy Comp. I personally know I am not that good at the ‘joke telling’ aspect, I gave it a go last time, I didn’t want to revisit it. It feels like I’ve ‘Had a go’ at comedy. Tell-a-joke just felt like more of the same. NOTE: I do understand that the comedy comp got a good response and this may have been the drive for this theme. If it had stood ALONE it may have been very successful. (See point C)

b) History of flight: While at a glance it seems to have great scope (flight from first aeroplanes to space travel) it is actually restrictive too. In part because the history of flight (even conjecture about the future) is much more limiting than a ‘general’ theme (Also, a historical comp was run at brickfilms 2 years ago… more of the same again?) AND Because representing ‘flight’ actually brings a whole lot more technical issues into creating a film. So as a film maker what do you do if you don’t feel confident or capable of bringing your ideas to the screen? Or more importantly, if you go for a ‘stylistic’ non-fx representation of flight is the situation posed above (an audience not prepared for a filmic/stylistic viewing) going to come back and bite you on the arse?

c) Two very different themes, one felt like a repeat, the other possible technically challenging and/or audience alienating. So rather than two strong ideas we have two very different comps. I didn’t speak to one person who considered entering both. THAT IN ITSELF is an issue. It split the possible number of entries in half. Take into account what I have said about the categories themselves and this poses quite a problem.

To answer some questions now:

Was the theme, History of Flight, too challenging? Too Limiting? Too Un-inspiring?

Some of this was covered above. Personally, on top of the challenge and limits it WAS uninspiring to me.

Are there too many competitions competiting [sic] with one another splitiing [sic] the time and talents of the animators?

Yes. When the APE comp was announced (after Brickfest PDX), the rules set clearly, the judging details listed, the prizes discussed, and I reflected upon the previous brickfilms.com contest (number of entries, enthusiasm, innovation and general ‘buzz’) I knew that if I was going to enter any comp it would be APE and not PDX.

Is the appeal of having your hard work presented to an audience not enough incentive? Is the promise of an engraved award not enough Award? Is the reward of a LEGO Set not enough award?

**Audience (+ bigscreen) = BIGGEST incentive. This alone was sooooo exciting for me in the previous few comps. You can’t beat it.

BUT. The actual audience can be an issue. Imagine… say… (I am going for extremes for example here) Mariah Carey playing as the support act to Sepultura. Does Mariah incorporate guitar riffs and deep metal singing to ‘play to the fans’? Or does she do her stuff, try to hit those high notes and big variety of octaves (which I DON’T appreciate but some people do) and get hit by bottles of beer?

**The engraved award I’ve got from a past comp is pretty damn cool. The stopmotionpro and minifig pack is better…. :)

**Lego set awards are cool. I’d just like to know what set… I’ve won the werewolf attack set 3 times now… :lol: (and no, I’m not giving any away, they’ve got some cool bits)

Cheers,

Hali

January 28, 2004 at 12:00 pm #31069
Avatar of Stefan
Stefan

Were the rules too difficult? Which rule or rules provided the greatest difficulty?

Not really. But some kind of summary into a few (5 or so) main points would have helped.

Was the theme, History of Flight, too challenging? Too Limiting? Too Un-inspiring?

As for me, it was too challenging. At least, my approach to it was. I am going to finish the film I started, but the expanse of open air and sea that I need for it made me slow down and contemplate before I got started.

Was the competition deadline poorly timed?

Not really. There were christmas holidays in between and all.

Was Septemeber not early enough to announce the competition? Should it have been announced earlier or later?

Again, no problem. The APE contest has a comparable timespan and appears to be doing quite well.

Are there too many competitions competiting with one another splitiing the time and talents of the animators?

Yes.

Personally I don’t want to hop from contest to contest, with next to no time to realise my own ideas (unless one happens to fit in with the theme). There’s only so much animation you can create in a year, and you have to give priorities to what you film. For me, the last months have been more busy than usual, and this situation seems to continue for about 6 more weeks, at the very least. After that I might find some time to really work on my film.

Were you too busy between Sept 2003 and Jan 2004 to put something together?

See above.

Is the appeal of having your hard work presented to an audience not enough incentive? Is the promise of an engraved award not enough Award? Is the reward of a LEGO Set not enough award?

I think the involvement is not really there. So the films will be shown before a live audience, but we’re not there, we don’t get the details on the voting. In short, there’s no feedback and that sort of equals “no incentive”. Sure, we get a list of the winners a few days later, and they get an award, but there isn’t the involvement that a Brickfilms.com competition brings with it.

Do you hold some animosity or attitude towards the competition organizer that prevented you from participating?

Not at all!

Stefan.

January 28, 2004 at 12:54 pm #31075
Avatar of richardfrost
richardfrost

“Buxton” wrote: I have to say that, if I’m premiering a new animation that’s taken weeks or even months to put together, I want to do it with an audience that actually wants to watch the thing.

That would be me then.. :wink

January 28, 2004 at 1:19 pm #31077
Avatar of Kristian
Kristian

The reason for my part is that I had entered both the last contest you had, but also the WoW contest, and needed a break. After all it’s quite a job to make a film. Another reason was that I didn’t get any good ideas from the themes. It was in a way un-inspiring. I had thought about making the music video for your last contest, so the contest kind of got me to make it.

The tell-a-joke thing was also very similar to the WoW contest we had. So another type of contest than we’ve
had recently is something to consider…

“Todd Thuma” wrote: Is the reward of a LEGO Set not enough award?

The award I got for winning ‘best animation’ in the last contest was really great! So it’s not the prices that’s the fault.

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