The Future of MoB

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January 13, 2008 at 6:42 am #361101
Avatar of Dave
Dave

“Lord_Of_The_LEGO” wrote: And I will be in a situation very similar to Dave’s in about six months, just replace SCAD with San Jose State University.

Dude! Congrats!!

-Dave

January 13, 2008 at 6:46 am #361103
Avatar of Lord_Of_The_LEGO
Lord_Of_The_LEGO

The process isn’t final, I have to pass one more math class this spring before I’m “officially” accepted. However, this is not the thread to discuss it. A post will be made in due time.

January 13, 2008 at 6:52 am #361105
Avatar of Felix
Felix

Having an annual event like the BAMPAs with actual prizes is one thing I would love to see. Remarkable achievements in Brickfilming should be awarded without the director having to enter a contest. Prizes could spice things up and encourage film-makers to put as much effort into realizing their ideas as they would when entering a contest.

January 13, 2008 at 10:52 am #361150
Avatar of Night Owl
Night Owl

I’d enjoy it if MoB didn’t follow a contest format, but was organized like a film festival, so films released, say, in the 6 months before the deadline (summer 2009 sounds alright) would be competing.

January 13, 2008 at 11:16 am #361155
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

I don’t know…

You need to take a step back and look at the demographic involved. The vast majority of active brickfilmers have their setup ready and use it on occasion. The only way that they have of effectively making better brickfilms is either through experience (more, short films) or by collaboration (those good at recording do the voices, those good at animating do the animation, etc). Actually, the latter is how almost all professional films are made.

In order to acheive something like that, you’d need to fly a bunch of brickfilmers and their gear to a single location, lock them in for five months and see what drops out the other end. It’s a great idea, but even if someone had the hundred thousand dollars needed for that, how many brickfilmers would actually be able to do that?

(That’s a rhetorical question – there are a bunch of people that will happily say “I’d do that” but if it came to the crunch, they wouldn’t abandon their lives for half a year, or at least they shouldn’t if they’re still in school.)

I’d propose the exact opposite – a shorter deadline, but with focus on one aspect. The MoB in its current format asks the participant(s) to be the best across all categories. But lets face it – most people can only be good at two or three parts of the film making process.

So instead of asking people to excel in al aspects, focus on one. Let’s say that the next contest focussed on scriptwriting. The directors would be free to pay less attention to set construction, not spend money setting up an elaborate lighting rig.

Another thing I had been thinking of – rather than offering a single prize (or a standard 1 -2 -3 set) offer a prize pool. For arguments sake, the prize pool could consist of six items of similar worth. The first place can choose three of the prizes, the second place chooses two of the prizes and the third gets the remaining prize.

“Felix” wrote: Having an annual event like the BAMPAs with actual prizes is one thing I would love to see.

I second that.

January 13, 2008 at 11:32 am #361162
Avatar of prof1515
prof1515

“Night Owl” wrote: I’d enjoy it if MoB didn’t follow a contest format, but was organized like a film festival, so films released, say, in the 6 months before the deadline (summer 2009 sounds alright) would be competing.

I had considered something like this originally, being inclusive of the entire year (why ignore the first six months, after all). There was concern expressed that this would simply be “another BAMPAs”. However, I’m not adverse to this possibility.

Were such a change to occur, and this may be worthy of a topic of its own eventually, I might be more inclined to offer actual trophies rather than merely cash prizes (or a combination of both). If this idea were to be implemented, it would also follow that I would have to determine if the 3-judge jury would decide the winners or if greater voting would be preferable. As it stands, I’m inclined toward the former but if the latter were implemented, I’d really like to see this done in conjunction with Brickfilms.com which would offer an air of respectability to such a process.

-J

January 13, 2008 at 12:33 pm #361183
Avatar of prof1515
prof1515

“An Old Ore” wrote: The only way that they have of effectively making better brickfilms is either through experience (more, short films) or by collaboration (those good at recording do the voices, those good at animating do the animation, etc). Actually, the latter is how almost all professional films are made.

At one point I was considering just such an idea for a second Mob, that is to say more of a community project competition emphasizing collaboration of specialized individuals. That’s also why I’ve contemplated the idea of simply backing a project instead of a competition.

In order to acheive something like that, you’d need to fly a bunch of brickfilmers and their gear to a single location, lock them in for five months and see what drops out the other end.

You wouldn’t need to fly them to a single location, you’d simply need to organize the production so that individual tasks are compartmentalized on a schedule. As I mentioned I’ve contemplated simply producing (ie, as a producer) a film so for the last couple of months I’ve put considerable thought into just how such a concept may or may not be feasible.

The (pre/post)production steps would likely have to mirror the type of preproduction that “real” films use. First of all, a script would have to be selected, either from an existing story or developed by someone with proven scriptwriting ability. Next, a director would have to be selected who could bring the story to life. The script would be written and from it the director would compose storyboards to determine the types of shots that will be needed to convey the story effectively. Meanwhile, art direction could be handled by the set designer in accordance with the needs of the script and director.

With set and prop design complete, “second unit” animation (ie, not animation central to the dialogue such as establishing shots which wouldn’t utilize the same sets) could begin once the sets were shipped to the animator (or animator if more than one). If the director were not animating personally then the storyboards and voicework would also need to be mailed to the animator. Communication would be essential to the process and fortunately given modern technology such issues aren’t nearly as complicated as they seem though that’s where planning and scheduling really come into play. Assuming the animator were not the director, there has to be regular communication to ensure that the animation fulfills the vision of the director lest the completed work fail to capture the intended action. For the animator, they would need to make completed scenes available for the director to . In this regard, there needs to be a good rapport between the director and the cinematographer/animator. Capturing the vision of the director is essential to maintaining the flow of the story as the director intends. Having worked with graphic artists in the past in such a manner, I know it’s entirely possible given telecommunications today (we did the entire thing over AIM).

Post-production would follow a similar format and its here that editing becomes essential to the flow of the film, especially if a second animator was used to do secondary scenes and shots. The director should probably edit themselves to save a lot of hassle but if they didn’t, communication is once again essential.

I’d propose the exact opposite – a shorter deadline, but with focus on one aspect. The MoB in its current format asks the participant(s) to be the best across all categories. But lets face it – most people can only be good at two or three parts of the film making process.

Actually it doesn’t. I never intended MoB to be thought of as a jack-of-all-trades affair. The main emphasis was on story development but at the same time I did want to encourage specialization. That was why I broke down the awards into several categories since I wanted to leave the option open that a one-person-takes-all would not be the only option (regardless of the eventual results). Someone asked many, many (many) months ago if a community project MoB entry was acceptable and I said yes.

So instead of asking people to excel in al aspects, focus on one. Let’s say that the next contest focussed on scriptwriting. The directors would be free to pay less attention to set construction, not spend money setting up an elaborate lighting rig.

As a director these things will always matter. Scriptwriting is an art unto itself and MoB never implied that the same person had to do both. The emphasis was on a fully-realized film, bringing out the talents of those who took on the challenge be it in full or in part. Those who opted to make a film alone would have to master more elements than those who worked in collaboration. Honestly, I was surprised that there weren’t (m)any who considered working together to produce a film. Quite a few months into the competition it struck me as I looked back over the forum thread that everyone seemed to strike the “go it alone” route. It was then that I first started thinking about how to make MoB more apt to collaborative efforts.

Another thing I had been thinking of – rather than offering a single prize (or a standard 1 -2 -3 set) offer a prize pool. For arguments sake, the prize pool could consist of six items of similar worth. The first place can choose three of the prizes, the second place chooses two of the prizes and the third gets the remaining prize.

I opted for cash instead of an actual award, primarily because I wasn’t sure how to handle the category of Best Film. For one-(wo)man efforts it would be easy enough but if collaborations took place who would qualify for the actual trophy?

“Felix” wrote: Having an annual event like the BAMPAs with actual prizes is one thing I would love to see.

I actually started pricing the cost of such an event and the relevant awards that should be handed out. Depending on the number of categories awarded, I could do it for $300-$500 though I might desire a little assistance in the organization of it all (ie assessing the totality of films and filmmakers eligible for the awards and to vote upon them). Again though I’d like to stress that such an award would carry more distinction if bestowed by the community rather than an individual’s organized event. If the relevant newly-elected Minister would care to contact me about this, I’d be happy to work with them to make such an event possible.

-J

January 13, 2008 at 5:18 pm #361288
Avatar of Lord_Of_The_LEGO
Lord_Of_The_LEGO

“prof1515″ wrote: You wouldn’t need to fly them to a single location, you’d simply need to organize the production so that individual tasks are compartmentalized on a schedule. As I mentioned I’ve contemplated simply producing (ie, as a producer) a film so for the last couple of months I’ve put considerable thought into just how such a concept may or may not be feasible.

The (pre/post)production steps would likely have to mirror the type of preproduction that “real” films use. First of all, a script would have to be selected, either from an existing story or developed by someone with proven scriptwriting ability. Next, a director would have to be selected who could bring the story to life. The script would be written and from it the director would compose storyboards to determine the types of shots that will be needed to convey the story effectively. Meanwhile, art direction could be handled by the set designer in accordance with the needs of the script and director.

With set and prop design complete, “second unit” animation (ie, not animation central to the dialogue such as establishing shots which wouldn’t utilize the same sets) could begin once the sets were shipped to the animator (or animator if more than one). If the director were not animating personally then the storyboards and voicework would also need to be mailed to the animator. Communication would be essential to the process and fortunately given modern technology such issues aren’t nearly as complicated as they seem though that’s where planning and scheduling really come into play. Assuming the animator were not the director, there has to be regular communication to ensure that the animation fulfills the vision of the director lest the completed work fail to capture the intended action. For the animator, they would need to make completed scenes available for the director to . In this regard, there needs to be a good rapport between the director and the cinematographer/animator. Capturing the vision of the director is essential to maintaining the flow of the story as the director intends. Having worked with graphic artists in the past in such a manner, I know it’s entirely possible given telecommunications today (we did the entire thing over AIM).

Post-production would follow a similar format and its here that editing becomes essential to the flow of the film, especially if a second animator was used to do secondary scenes and shots. The director should probably edit themselves to save a lot of hassle but if they didn’t, communication is once again essential.

That sound extraordinarily like the production of Super. Proof both that it can, in fact, be done, and also proof it takes a very, very long time.

January 13, 2008 at 5:37 pm #361302
Avatar of ahnt
ahnt

Hm last night I thought about the following:

THAC is an incredible success, which tells me that people want thing done fast and see results soon. So what about making small steps at a time and make a contest like this: 6 Month, final movie not longer than 5min not shorter than 3. It must have a stuctured script with beginning mainpart and conclusion, the character must face a problem a crisis a dilemma and a solution…
In my opinion these are the essential things of a good story. I know there are more and the rule of the thirds is becomming old but still most films lag these things.

I guess in the end we would see more films finished. And as a next step, we could extend the time the length and add things to be in the story…

How about that?

Cheers Arend

January 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm #361341
Avatar of infurno
infurno

I’m in for a second MoB. I inteded to join MoB, but I focused to hard on the script on that got me eventually away from brickfilming. Some sort of writer’s block. It took me some time to get enthousiastic again for filming. However a second MoB would defenitly interest me.

January 13, 2008 at 7:57 pm #361373
Avatar of TwickABros
TwickABros

I hope they all at least found the experience beneficial.

I did. It helped us to get the film completely animated by the deadline, which probably would have taken us much longer if it was not for a contest. We didn’t feel it would really be an MoB though, if we had rushed the editing. So thank you, Prof1515, for making the contest. Oh and, if you have another one, don’t have the deadline any longer, people don’t deserve it. Night Owl, Ahnt, and Deadeye made a film in that time, other people should be able to too. Including us. :) Well, we only knew about it for about 6 months.
As for that big project, that would be awesome. I would love to help with something like that.

January 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm #361421
Avatar of An Old Ore
An Old Ore

“prof1515″ wrote: …[almost] everyone seemed to [choose] the “go it alone” route…

That’s one of the key hindrances to making really good “big-scale” brickfilms. The effort of making a collaboration usually has less reward for the individual because they think “I helped make that” rather than “I made that”. On a ‘real’ film there is the financial benefit to working on a film. But with a brickfilm, you don’t get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of having done it.

I commend you on your efforts at trying to bring up the standards of brickfilming.

January 14, 2008 at 1:22 am #361473
Avatar of William Chamberlin
William Chamberlin

I was already working on my film project when I first entered the MoB contest; I thought, “Hey, I’m making this film, why not enter it into a good contest?” However, even though MoB was not what first inspired me to start work on my pet film project, I think it was a help to me – it encouraged me to strive for excellence. Even after I knew I would not make the deadline, the idea of a second contest of this sort made me strive for even more excellence. Now, I don’t care what kind of contest I enter, if any; I’m going to give my film the time and care it needs!

My main personal interest in a second MoB would be to give my film a chance to be put to the test, as it were. So any input I give will be somewhat centered around my own agenda. . . however, I would encourage the idea of a second MoB, with the provision that entrees could be submitted before any deadline.

Here’s what I see as the ideal form of a second MoB: the focus could remain on story writing/planning and execution, while also awarding all-around excellence. For example, there could be a Best Film Award, for the one (or two, or three) films that excel in all aspects of brickfilming (after all, a true brickfilm “masterpiece” would excel in all aspects of filmaking). The film(s) that qualify for this award would not be elligible for any other awards (barring Best Acting.) The remaining films would be eligible for Best Screenplay, Best Directing, even Best Plot, etc. awards. In this way, only the films that contain well-developed stories will be awarded; yet the film(s) that do so while maintaining the best technical approach will receive the highest awards.

That’s kind of how I would envision another MoB.

January 14, 2008 at 1:27 am #361475
Avatar of Nick Durron
Nick Durron

I’d be very interested in entering a second MoB, since I didn’t make it into the first, really because I was distracted by a number of other contest. I’m just now starting to film the project I wanted to into into the first MoB.

“Night Owl” wrote: I’d enjoy it if MoB didn’t follow a contest format, but was organized like a film festival, so films released, say, in the 6 months before the deadline (summer 2009 sounds alright) would be competing.

I really like this idea, as opposed to a standard contest format. With a deadline almost two years away, some entrants are bound to finish their films well in advance, and if I were in such a position I wouldn’t want to delay release just because of the contest deadline.

January 14, 2008 at 1:28 am #361476
Avatar of Lechnology
Lechnology

Ooh, question: If the focus is on story, then the medium doesn’t matter, right? Stop-motion, CGI, clay, etc. as long as it’s animation?

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