Candidacy for Minister of Film Ratings

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June 16, 2007 at 9:42 pm #295991
Avatar of RevMen
RevMen

I really disdain the idea of a single overall rating. This isn’t Youtube.

June 17, 2007 at 3:37 am #296092
Avatar of saulgoode
saulgoode

“Cometgreen” wrote: I really don’t understand why we can’t have both. What is wrong with having the technical ratings alongside the more general rating? Have the general rating take preference, that’s fine by me, but there is absolutely, positively, no reason to exclude the technical ratings. It doesn’t hurt anyone. Even hide them and force the viewer to click a link to see these ratings, if you’re that paranoid of them. Have the search function operate by the general rating, and allow an Advanced Search function for those who are interested in viewing films by their technical ratings.

The problem is not that the technical ratings are that harmful, it is the difficulty in making the ratings meaningful enough to be useful and making the rating process painless enough for a rater to wish to participate. Just adding a general rating to the existing system in no way remedies either of those difficulties.

I was taking a survey a few weeks back which consisted of rating different categories from 1 to 10. A few dozen questions into the survey, I started to suspect that my assigning “1″ to be “best” might be wrong. I cancelled the survey, contacted its author, and sure enough his intent was that “10″ should be the “high score”. While the current Directory Ratings system is not so severely flawed as that survey, it does share a similar problem of each rater defining his own criteria which makes the end result an unreliable representation of the film’s value.

The solution to this problem would be to have a Ratings Panel that is of one mind how films should be rated: where to draw the lines between categories, how to take into account originality vs use of “commercial” works, whether headroom should be left for further perfection of the craft, and how to incorporate the pre-screening which took place by the Review Panel. Such a Rating Panel could produce meaningful, objective results; but I should not wish to participate in such an oligarchy of thought and I certainly wouldn’t strive to be the administrator of it. That is not my view of the direction the Directory should be headed and if someone feels it is then by all means he should vote for another candidate in this election.

I appreciate the opposing viewpoint and welcome further discussion from those who hold it. I intend no disrespect to the directors of films who wish to be provided a more technical level of feedback. Nonetheless, it is my opinion that the Ratings System of the Directory is a poor locale for providing such feedback. The Film Directory, and our community, will be better served by a Ratings System that is more inclusive of our membership and more comprehensible to the general public.

“RevMen” wrote: I really disdain the idea of a single overall rating. This isn’t Youtube.

While this comparison to YouTube is an artful argument, I fail to see the significance of the comparison. Yes, I consider YouTube to pretty much be a waste of Internet bandwidth, but not because of any generalized “star rating” system it employs. The Internet Movie DataBase also uses a single rating, as does Archive.org, iTunes, and Google Video. Is there a single website out there providing video content which doesn’t have an overall rating system? Making the association between the Brickfilms Directory and YouTube based on a sharing of a single common trait — one which is shared with every other content provider on the Web — is unnecessarily peremptory and I would ask for some further comment regarding the comparison.

Beyond just “fixing” the Rating System, there is a need to harmonize its goals with those of the Film Directory itself. There is a potential for great benefit to the community if we embrace the idea that the Directory is a showcase for brickfilms and accept the changes necessary to support that concept.

June 17, 2007 at 5:43 am #296114
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

== Just thinking out loud and this thread seemed the most appropriate. ==

The Directory suffers from two large problems: Misdirection and Bagage.

The Misdirection comes about because there are (fundamentaly) two types of people who are watching / rating the films. There are Viewers, who watch brickfilms because they enjoy them and there are Directors, who watch brickfilms for inspiration, to learn new tricks – basically to improve their craft (and enjoy the films).

The Baggage comes from the age of the directory. As it has been around for a while, I would compare it to the evolution of film studios and the history of Hollywood. Whilst stop-motion has been around for a long time, brickfilming (as an independant art form) is relatively new. Would you expect to go to the Oscars and see a film from the 40′s competing alongside this summers big-budget blockbuster? The Directory is like the history of film making compressed to just a few years.

I like saulgoode’s Idea. It’s a good Idea. I like CometGreen’s Compromise. It’s a good Compromise. But if the two go ahead then they’ll be conflicting with each other. Or harmonizing with each other, depending on how it’s implemented. Adding a new, easy-to-use “emotating” system for anyone to give an emoticon rating to a film they watch would most likely be enthusiastically taken up by “the masses”.

Having the existing six-field rating continue would allow those who are more interested in the technical aspects to continue to appraise films and run searches for the wanted criteria. However, as the emotating system becomes more popular, fewer people would submit the six-field ratings.

What’s the answer? I have no idea.

However, here’s a new suggestion: keep the Directory as it is. However, bring it back (almost) to what it originally was. In the beginning, the Directory was simply a list of all brickfilms available. It has since become a list of the best brickfilms. Or tried to. How much it succeeded depends on whom you talk to.

So I propose that we make a new Directory. But keep the old one.

Allow me to explain: The Old Directory remains, but as a list of the better brickfilms that are submitted. The New Directory has the best brickfilms. How are “the best” brickfilms to be chosen? I say that the system is already in place: The BAMPAS. The New Directory can be a list of all the BAMPA winners, thus giving us a list of “the very best” brickfilms.

Viewers will still be able to enjoy a large selection of brickfilms. Directors will still be able to apply themselves towards making better brickfilms. Review panel members can be more open to which brickfilms are accepted to the Old Directory. Everybody wins.

Obviously all the fine details will need to be worked out, but that’s what I was thinking. Apologies if I seem to have hijacked this thread, but Rev pretty much sunk saulgoode’s entire platform with the “I really disdain the idea of a single overall rating” comment.

June 17, 2007 at 5:48 am #296116
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RevMen

I didn’t sink it. I’m really turned off by a 1-rating system, I’d rather have no rating at all. But by turning over responsibility for those things over to Ministers I’m turning over the decision making for them, too. If Saulgoode is elected and implements his plan (whatever it may be), I’ll be happy that he was willing to put forth the effort and conscious of the fact that he was willing to do something while I was not.

June 17, 2007 at 6:05 am #296118
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

Okay.

Change my comment from “sunk” to “cast a pall of doom and shadows casuing few people to want to vote for it” instead. :D

Sorry, in a wierd mood.

The Six-Field rating system is good for what it is, but seems to give most people the idea that films are to be judged acording to their technical merits more than anything else (which may be the case, I’m not sure).

The 1-Rating system is much simpler, and gives the benefit of letting the viewer say how they felt about the film without articulating why. Personally, I like the Six-Field rating because it allows the Director to see where they can improve.

June 17, 2007 at 7:17 am #296129
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Smeagol

While I really like An Old Ore’s idea of a special section of the directory, I don’t think that BAMPA winners are always the best, or even intended to be the best, films produced in a given year. A BAMPA film with a really good score, for example, may not be in the year’s top 10 or so films. The same applies to other category winners. While there is a tendency for better films to get nominated, I think that there are still films of equal or greater overall quality to winners in categories other than Best Film which may or not even be nominated for anything. (I’m not saying that the BAMPAs haven’t done a good job of selecting their nominees and winners, just that they don’t necessarily reflect all the best films in a given year.) I agree that the best solution would be to have both a complex rating system and a simpler overall rating which would be separate. Perhaps the complex rating could be made less prominent on the film page, since its primary purpose would then be for filmmakers. I think that perhaps saulgoode does not realize how much some directors get out of the current ratings because he has never released a film on this site.

-Smeagol

June 17, 2007 at 8:16 am #296144
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

The problem is that “best” will vary depending on who you talk to.

I suggest that a standard for “best” be determined and that the films that meet said criteria be put on the “best” list. I don’t think that the general public hould have a say on the films themselves – just the meaning of “best”, but that a specific group picks the films from the films already in the Directory.

The BAMPA’s seemed to me to be a good starting point as they’d already been through the films (admitedly only for a given year) and picked “the best” in several categories where “best” was different for each category.

June 17, 2007 at 4:12 pm #296236
Avatar of Dragoon
Dragoon

I don’t oppose a single rating, in fact I think it would be a fine idea. Also, I see the inherent problems with the technical ratings. However, I would disagree that the technical ratings are not useful, since I’ve definitely applied them to lots of situations in the past where they were very useful. I’d rather they stayed.

Cometgreen’s proposal sounds the best to me, and I agree that if you adopted it you would be a much better candidate than Ladon. Voting in this race is going to be a problem for me because neither campaign seems to have allowed much feedback. If Watson’s campaign wasn’t a joke, I’d almost be seriously inclined to vote for him.

Incidentally, AOO’s proposal is the wackiest of all.

June 17, 2007 at 4:46 pm #296253
Avatar of RevMen
RevMen

The existing directory already contains a smaller “best of” directory through the staff favorites feature. Perhaps we could include an “award winner” feature, too.

June 17, 2007 at 5:04 pm #296257
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Nick Durron

I think the Brickfilms directory needs to have an overall rating similar to the Internet Movie Database, but I am completely opposed to doing away with the technical ratings. Yes, they are very inconsistent, and right now don’t mean much, but this is why we have Ladon. :)

June 17, 2007 at 6:57 pm #296306
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Watson

“RevMen” wrote: Perhaps we could include an “award winner” feature, too.

We were hoping that BAMPAs might at some point become successful enough to warrant such a feature, but we didn’t want to try to impose it. If a candidate would see fit to adding such a thing, we’d certainly support that.

June 18, 2007 at 12:03 am #296381
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

I like the idea of a simple “BAMPA winners” list alongside the Staff Favourites. It’d lend more prestiege to them, especially since they (effectively) operate outside of the brickfilms “chain of command” so to speak.

I’d like to hear saulgoode address the following points, which I consider very important for anyone wanting to be MoFR:

  • How will you be addressing the disparity in ratings between older films and newer films?[/*]
  • How will you handle the volume of films that are already in the Directory and will need to be brought into line with the new system?[/*]
  • How will you encourage more ratings? (The more people who rate a given film, the more acurate the rating will be)[/*]

Incidentally, I believe this is the first time I’ve been called “wacky”. :D

June 18, 2007 at 5:11 am #296438
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Cometgreen

Though I like Staff Favorites being a small and selective group, I could see the benefit on widening it up and making it more like AOO’s “Old Directory” idea. For those that like his idea, most (all?) brickfilms would be allowed into the directory, but the Staff Favorites would have high standards and would be a place for people to look to see all the really good brickfilms.

But I don’t really like that idea anyway, as I prefer the current directory system.

Cometgreen

June 19, 2007 at 6:02 am #296753
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saulgoode

It is impossible to design anything without knowing what is its purpose. The feedback in this thread provides a strong indication that my characterization of the purpose of the Directory as being a showcase of the best films our community has to offer has not been entirely accurate. It would seem that providing feedback to a film’s director is also extremely important; as well as the Directory serving as research/instructional/archival tool for our community.

With this newfound understanding, I debated whether to withdraw from the race or to alter my platform to reflect the change. I have chosen to withdraw as I consider the platform of the incumbent candidate to be quite similar to any I would come up with to address the issues presented in this thread. While I hold some difference of opinion from Ladon, they are not so extreme as to justify a separate campaign.

I thank everyone for their input in this thread, and offer my apologies to Dewfilms for not living up to her show of support.

P.S. I don’t think Leo’s idea is wacky at all.

June 19, 2007 at 6:10 am #296754
Avatar of Dragoon
Dragoon

P.S. I don’t think Leo’s idea is wacky at all.

I think it was WACKED OUT, mang. :o

Anyway, although I’m slightly disappointed not to have you on the ballot, you came to a rather respectable conclusion. I think you had, for what it was worth, a good campaign the promoted nice discussion. Thanks saulie.

P.S. Sorry if anyone thought I was being contemptuous toward AOO’s proposal, but the BAMPAs don’t necessarily represent the best films (perhaps one could say the best film nominations are a strict representation of this, but otherwise it is directed toward specific technical merits). So AOO’s idea is definitely salvageable, but I would hate to see great overall films like Found get snubbed just because they didn’t quite make the BAMPAs.

Also, two directories is a lot of directories.

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