Candidacy for Minister of Film Ratings

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Profile photo of Smeagol Smeagol 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #294583 Reply
    Profile photo of Trillspots

    I like how concise your position is. I definitely think the race for MoFR will be close.

    You and Ladon both have wonderfully put together ideas.

    You have the advantage of being a new candidate for the position, and simplicity of political platform. People like to see change – and you definitely have a great approach to the idea. I highly appreciate how you’re running on your own merit and capability, rather than trying to discount Ladon’s ideas.

    It’ll be a tough race, because he has seniority and experience on his side.

    Good luck, you have some great ideas and methods! :)


    #295113 Reply
    Profile photo of Cometgreen

    “saulgoode” wrote: If you are worried about potential for abuse — people joining solely to promote “a friend’s” film — I would agree that there is a component of that. Nonetheless, it is my opinion that such shenanigans should be rendered futile once the rating of films becomes so simple that any member who actually watches it will take the time to leave their opinion.

    Personally, I don’t see how you can just write this scenario off, as I do think that a lot of films would suffer some bias through a single person rating it multiple times, but I’m a pessimist.

    However, I don’t understand why you haven’t responded to Watson’s idea, as I agree with him that the current ratings are very helpful for actual members of this site (especially when doing something like the BAMPAs; looking at films ranked by cinematography scores can really help). I think it is downright insulting to just abolish past work and only give the actual brickfilmers of this site-people that do care about the animation quality, or sound, or cinematography, or effects-nothing with which to filter out their searches.

    Which is why implementing this system while keeping the current ratings would be just dandy, imo. I could see the benefits of a youtube/free-for-all rating system, but it makes no sense to remove the more comprehensive, patron-only ratings as well. I agree that (part of) the directory’s purpose is to help people find good brickfilms to watch, but the current system still holds a very valuable purpose for brickfilmers.

    Plus, what about older films? I assume that films of the same rating ( :) for instance) would be organized by date of acceptance, in which case there would be literally hundreds of films with the same score. How exactly would that help newcomers find the best films? The only solution I see are Staff Picks, but then the Staff would probably pick more films to make sure they are seen, more-or-less bringing us back to the same problem.


    #295856 Reply
    Profile photo of saulgoode

    I wish to apologize for the delayed response and also for missing Watson’s post. I knew that I had a hectic schedule this week and the few times that I had available to access Brickfilms, I experienced difficulty. I shall try to address all of the posted concerns and hopefully do a better job of explaining my position than I did initially.

    First, let me address CG’s concern about incorporating existing data into the new system. Though anyone rating a film would be restricted to the four levels of preference I proposed, the actual overall rating would be a decimal number. By the same token, any pre-existing rating would also be such a decimal number so, instead of having several films all start with a :), there would still be a “spread” of films with different ratings (“6.2″, “6.6”, “7.1”, etc). Yes, we would be sacrificing different categories but please allow me to drag out my old soapbox and attempt to explain the reasoning behind my proposal.

    I can certainly sympathize with the dilemma that the incumbent (Ladon) has had to deal with in determining how to improve the Film Rating System. I admire the fact that he has put forth sincere proposals with the intent of producing such improvements. Moreso than any other ministerial position up for election, this one is a contest of ideas; the issue in this election is not whether the candidate is popular or trustworthy. The issue is this: THE CURRENT RATING SYSTEM IS FLAWED. The statistics that it has collected border on meaningless. The people rating films do not share a common basis on how to correlate their own votes to those of everyone else and there are not enough people rating films to overcome the noise floor of this difference.

    The most significant aspect of my proposal is not the cute little emoticon heads assigned to each rating; those are just finger puppets and it would have been better had I left them out as they obscure the real message I intended; i.e., there has to be a direct association between a rater’s opinion and his rating.

    Yes, everyone will have differing opinions on what constitutes a good brickfilm; but if you and I both share the same opinion, there is something wrong with the system if you give it a rating of “4” and I rate it a “7”. That is the situation we have now. What I am proposing is that the description of the rating describe exactly the meaning of the rating, not some arbitrary assignment of a numerical index.

    As far as my proposal oversimplifying the rating system is concerned, let me say this: the Film Directory is no longer an IMDB-type catalog of brickfilming activity. It has progressed beyond that. The Directory is a “showcase” of what our community has to offer. It is a “coveted place of honor” [Nosniborus] and “the idea of the Directory is to have a list of ‘the best’ films (by “best” we mean ‘most enjoyable’ rather than just ‘perfect sound and animation’ etc)” [An Old Ore].

    Now it may sound as though I am being cynical but that is not my intent. If you have been following the various discussions about the criteria for admission of a film into the Directory over the last few years (and the more philosophical threads such as this one), you will see that, indeed, the Directory is intended to become our “trophy case”. I THINK THAT IS GREAT! Let it become so.

    But let’s not bog down our trophy case with a bunch of technical statistics (of marginal utility). As a community, we have the Post & Review Forum for discussion of the various technical aspects of films amongst fellow brickfilmers. We should also look towards elevating the BAMPAs to a higher level to distinguish particular achievements in specific categories.

    But let’s DO simplify the presentation of the Directory to the visitor. Let’s make the Ratings, though simplified, at least represent the genuine feelings of the people who did the rating: “I disliked it”, “I liked it”, “I liked it a lot”, “IT WAS FANTASTIC!” … these are not difficult concepts and, though everyone has differing tastes and differing opinions, there is no confusion such as whether a “5.5” is a good rating or a bad one or whether a well-choreographed flip-roll falls under Cinematography, Animation, or Effects.

    “World Domination” has been a long-running gag here at Brickfilms but if there is any amount of truth to gaining popular recognition for the artistic talents exhibited by its members, the Film Directory is the place to showcase it. The first step towards reaching out to this world-wide audience is to provide a simple rating system which won’t require they be an animator in order to understand.

    #295859 Reply
    Profile photo of Tim

    “RevMen” wrote: The intial point of creating the 15 fps patronage at $3 per year is not so much to make money for the site as much as it is to ensure that people who rate films are serious about doing it. It’s very little money, but someone has to go through the process of paying it… something not likely to be done by someone who wants to mess around with film ratings. The site certainly could withstand losing revenue from 15 fps patrons if it meant a better rating system.

    One of my original ideas for creating the Minister of Film Ratings was to have someone who bestowed the right to rate films on people he thought were responsible and involved in the community.

    Rev mate, the problem is that many of our patrons- who pay money for therating service- already misuse their ability (which is why so many good films have disproportional ratings). It would make no difference if nonpatrons were given the same opportunity.

    I fully support Saul Goode and all of his positions.

    #295980 Reply
    Profile photo of Cometgreen

    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.

    Honestly, if you went with this compromise, you would most likely have my vote. I do agree that a general rating would be beneficial, especially for non-brickfilmers, but I see no reason to abolish the technical ratings that patrons can submit. I think it’s the best of both worlds.


    #295991 Reply
    Profile photo of RevMen

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

    #296092 Reply
    Profile photo of 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, 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.

    #296114 Reply
    Profile photo 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.

    #296116 Reply
    Profile photo of 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.

    #296118 Reply
    Profile photo of An Old Ore
    An Old Ore


    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.

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