As for why two comps, it certainly DOES split the creative energies of entrants. There is no way I'd consider entering both... it takes a long time to make an animation...
I understand the desire to show everyone what you have done, but you must resist the temptation. No entry to either contest can be made public prior to the public showing of the video at the conference. In fact there will be a date, announced soon, when entries to either competition may be made available for public viewing online. Also any previously viewable entry will not be considered and will be disqualified from competition. Sorry, but there is no serious animation festival on the planet that allows entries to be public prior to their festival.
I completely understand this. No problem. The only issue is that based on diescriptions posted from the last comp, the films are not drawing people (audience) in.
For whatever reason, be it subject matter for entries, the way things have been run in the past (technical difficulties), not as many people are staying to watch as in the past.
There has been great discussion here at brickfilms (and interestingly 'opposing' discussion at lugnet) about the nature of the films themselves. The comps just do not appeal to AFOLS. Simple as that. When they (and I am invoking seriously unfair stereotype here, to make my point) watch they look at models, and 'in jokes' about lego etc. This is not a bad thing in itself, in fact it is good to view things from different perspectives.
But it does seem to shut down any film that is different, for whatever reason.
I want to make this as nearly professional as we can to make this a serious activity/event. This is the only way we will be able to paint ourself as serious to sponsors.
Ok then there are a number of things that need to be considered:
-Have only one category that the audience votes in. If it is to be serious then the audience most certainly should have an audience choice, but their opinions and points of view and what they bring personally to the screening should not influence the whole comp.
-Appoint judges and make it very clear to the judges what they are judging, and how. Put this in the rules. If necessary state how results will be tallied. Include it in the rules, then RELEASE the numerical results afterwards. It will give film-makers faith in the process.
-Do not have categories that will affect fair judging. eg, It makes no logical sense to have a 'Best in Show', that then excludes that film from winning audience choice, or best animation. Not to say that it will happen, (as the best film certainly does not have to have best animation or effects or whatever). But only being able to win in one category WILL effect how judges judge.
-You need to promote originality and innovation. If you are serious about what the sponsors think, then you need to have serious checks and balances in the way it is judged. Prior to your most recent comp I had discussions with MANY people who thought they were going to enter (and in the end didn't for whatever reason), the one thing that came up in all of the discussions was whether or not to make a film to 'appeal' to the audience.
I am not saying this is invalid, because the act of film-making is in part to please an audience, but it can also be to make an audience reconsider what it thinks, feels or understands. There are issues with the AFOL audience having certain tastes (I personally will never be able to make films to this taste, in part becasue I enjoy making films that go against what people 'enjoy' or 'want to consume').
Back to the point. A comp is not serious when no matter what the topic is, entrants consider choosing an angle to please an audience that think they can please based upon prior comps. Thus the direction that the film takes is partly decided by the audience, not the film-maker, before the comp.
-Todd, spend more time with us here. Sometimes it feels like your finger is not on the pulse (of course I have no idea how often you stop in or view films). You help to promote our hobby, in fact it seems you love it, and it makes sense that we have a more informal, community dialogue. I'd think it would help you to get more entries... I am serious, stop in, discuss some films in the forums, show us some of yours (you've said you have made some).
Invest in your comp, and its seriousness, by investing in the community that provides you with most entries. (And yes, I know they do not all come from here... but I'd also like to make links with the people who make films that do not come from 'here'... do they think we're not as serious as them?)
I can see this all leading to a, "If you have all these concerns, why do you enter, Hali?"
The answer is simple yet multifaceted:
1. Comps give me incentive to make films and have them shown in front of an audience, no matter what the audience. (As it turns out the music vid comp gave me much more incentive than ever to 'polish' a film, the result was that thousands of online cure fans downloaded and enjoyed it.)
2. Continuing from that point, making films out of bricks PROMOTES BRICKFILMING. I like it when non-brickfilmers see brickfilms. I want to help promote my hobby. Simple.
3. The comps todd runs have the promise of being BIG, and I want to help to get them there.