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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #16
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Judging is a bear because it's so subjective.

One person may look for the story and if it's not there pick a film that may not be as visually exciting because it has a story.

Someone else may pick a film because it's visually exciting but has no story.

Even with a spreadsheet that says give X number of points for this, this and this, it's still going to come down to what film moves you the most. At least for me it would.

In all the entries I've watched,since UWOL1, my top pics range between visual and story. But all were films that made me go Whoa!

I think there is no perfect system.

What if we just picked the top film and that's it? Everyone that enters and votes gets one point for their own film. You can't vote for your own film.
The top three films are the ones with the most points. No Vote, no entry.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #17
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Jim, I understand very well your point here. I agree that the purpose of the challenge is to have fun, to get out in the nature, and of course as you say to improve our skills as video makers.

Maybe the judging has become a too important part of this challenge? But the judging/having a winner, can (and probably will) also give many of us a little extra encourage to do our very best.
Still, the feedback is most important in my opinion too.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #18
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Like I always have said, judging is subjective. That is why I never get upset if my film doesn't make it in the UWOl Challenge, or doesn't make it in a film festival or whatever.

But, it's always nice to recognized. I like to win, who doesn't? But I don't cry in my cereal if I think my film was better and everyone likes something different.

I can tell you when I'm sitting here editing and I'm not getting what I want or think I can, it's nice to look at my awards and know that someone else appreciated my work.

For me, the feedback on what works and what doesn't is more important to me. Also, seeing through someone else's eyes opens my vision to see things in a new way as well.

That's why I like the common theme so much. I saw so many different ways to tackle a single subject.

And above all that, I made some great friends that I never would have met otherwise.

So, I think the judging is important cause it's always good to get an atta boy ( or girl ) but I think we're all here to become better filmmakers.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #19
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And above all that, I made some great friends that I never would have met otherwise.
VERY true!
I have never met such awesome friendly people on any forums as I have here on dvinfo and the uwol family! It's amazing and remarkably.
I have learned a lot from all of you!
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #20
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Lets do without winners and return to focus on how to become a better film maker. This can be accomplished just by using the feed back threads that are generated.
We already have that possibility in the UWOL forum, where everybody can put up a film for others to view.
I think it's important, that others also have stated, that this is a challenge with a winner at the end. This force us (at least for me) to take out our best for making a real winner entry.
The question will be to make this as fair as possible to all participants if we gonna do the judging ourself.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #21
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Well, it looks like our opinions on the judging are as diverse as the judging itself. If we want to continue judging, I think it would probably be best as a couple have said here to have a rule that requires judging, to keep things fair. That never occurred to me how not judging would influence the outcome. I don't think our group would do this, given the warm and supportive community that has evolved. But planning for the future, if it really takes off into something large, there should be some rules to avoid that.

I would also like if there was some way to have a mandatory feedback for all films. As part of this challenge, I provided feedback on every film, every challenge. It did take some time, but it seems an important part of the process to look at and comment on each film, since the main purpose for me in participating is getting suggestions, good and bad. I learn not only from feedback on my films, but from suggestions about other films- even after I comment, I go back to all the feedback threads to see what advice others have for each film. I learn from not only my own mistakes, but the mistakes and successes of others.

One thing that occurs to me, and I am not really sure if it would be popular, but just a thought since we are throwing out ideas, is to have a slightly greater focus on how to improve. I am as guilty of this as anyone- when I give feedback, I tend to focus only on the positive. But if we had to say, for example, the three things that are best- and worst- about each film, even though some of that might sting, I think that is where we could really improve. That might be too much effort for the individual feedback threads, but at least for the top films we choose to judge, it would be valuable suggestions for the winners.

As far as the debate about judging or not, it doesn't matter much to me. I am here to learn from feedback about the films I make, and the films the other participants produce. I am happy either way, the main thing I appreciate is having a positive and supportive community of like minded wildlife filmmakers.

Meryem, since you already work so hard at this, I would say go with whatever lightens your workload! This has evolved into a great community in such a short time, it really has helped me focus on new techniques and ideas for making videos. I have learned way more than I expected when I first signed up. And kept to the last rule- have fun!


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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #22
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As a six time contributor, the fact that I have not won creates no issues with me. It actually is an incentive for me to improve my skills. Each of the competitions has taught me a lesson. The competition aspect spurs me to make a film, and the possibility that I might be recognized in a particular competition spurs me on to make the best film I can given the circumstances, the moment and the theme. I also enjoy being able to "commune" with those more accomplished than me, with the hope of learning from them, and getting to their level some day. Please don't go away UWOL and Meryem !!

I am curious, though, if there would be any difference in the voting if each top three voted for was assigned one point, but I would not want create a controversy by learning that. From that standpoint, I just wonder whether in the future if it would be proper to actually publish the ultimate points given. With everyone having knowledge of the actual scoring, it might help us give better input regarding the way scoring should be accomplished.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #23
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Hi everyone:

First, I would like to say that after reading the "cross-cuts" of judging commentaries, I am astounded at the professionalism and integrity of the UWOL community. The critical thinking, the thoughtfulness, the careful explanation of why the choice was made ... it made me realize that this is an exceptional group of people with a shared passion for creative film and all aspects of it: the production, the sharing and the discovering and lifting up of each other's talent and inspiration. The comments justifiably covered in detail all the merits of Markus' and Per's films but also justifiably covered the weaknesses of my film and defended why other strengths could still lift it up and salvage it. I had to laugh in spite of myself at the ... "this film is actually a disappointment, BUT..." This is a testimony to sound critical judging that goes far beyond the sentiment that the person with the best camera, highest technical ability and the greatest reputation will always inevitably win.

That being said, my input on the judging would be this:

Like Olympic ice skating, it is impossible to get around the fact that personal tastes and preferences will always play a major role in the voting process. How could it not? So I think the fairest outcome in judging should be a culmination of both Mat and Brian's suggestions:

1) The UWOL community takes on the responsibility of judging the top 5 (or whatever) films. Since we are participating with the intention of improving our filming skills, should we not also pursue our critical judging skills as well? I think we have shown that we are up to that task. I don't think there is a person in the group that would vote with a strategy that would better their chances at winning.

2) The people that skip out of this responsibility of judging forfeit their films of being judged. Hopefully this will help Meryem's work load a bit and keep the mathematical probability statistics fair. Perhaps special consideration should be given those that end up with an unexpected emergency, such as what happened to Bruce and his family this round.

3) An outside judge picks the top 3 out of the 5 (or whatever) films. This way, this helps even the score where Per was concerned that reputation gets unintentional biases over newcomers.

I think this way, we cover most of the fairness issues in a very subjective process and allows the UWOL community to also have a say in what they feel are winning films.

As a final insight as judges, deep critical analysis of the films as well as first impressions may have equal merit so that if you are pressed for time a certain round, long lengthy analysis may not get you any farther than a simple selection of the top films. A case in point is my experience this round. When it was time to judge the films, I fell ill and was unable to go through in depth each film several times with critical analysis. I emailed Meryem and told her I was taking myself out of the judging because there was no way I could be fair in my choices, having gone through everyone's film only once or so before getting sick. She responded that she was looking for 100% participation and asked me to vote without commentary. I did so off of overall impression and I too picked the ultimate top two finishers chosen by the group. I think when all is said and done, outstanding films tend to rise to the top that most feel good about them claiming that status. That being said, the fact that there is quite a bit of variability in winning film choices shows how close we all are to winning in a particular round. All of our films bring to the table a wealth of talent and inspiration unique to our own filming styles and we are all winners. It's like the slalom ski races... winners are decided by 100ths of a second after a long downhill run! Picking winners is important, but the best part of the forum to me is the comment threads on our films. It would not be worth making these films vying only for a potential a win with no comment forum. It's what makes it so worthwhile... and of course the friends we have all become through it.

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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post

As it stood, in the voting, if I voted for one film as number one, the point values assigned to number two said that I thought it was only 2/3 of the number one film. And my #3 pick was only 1/3 of the number 1 film. This is not what I may have thought, but it is what was reflected in the voting.

So my thought is we should be doing just what is done in the DV Challenge, ie., everyone pick three top films, each getting one point for a vote, and the one with the most votes wins. This seems to be a fairer reflection of the consensus of the voting participants, because in my mind, any of six films was good enough to warrant consideration.
we can that in future self-judging rounds...i'm not that picky about how points are assigned--actually, having voted in several of these DVC rounds, i didn't even realize that's how it's done...i submitted my picks in a 1,2,3 hierarchy and assumed that mattered. i don't see why it would have to, though.

like i said, i'm trying to plug holes in my blind spots.

this is and always will be a contest, though, that won't change. to me, the most important part of it is the feedback threads--to tell you the truth, i had to learn how important judging is to *you*, the players, because i never signed up, personally, for a DV Challenge, with an eye to win it...i always signed up with the idea that i was going to incorporate one new thing in every video, try something i had never tried before. in my dog video, it was making a ghost image, in my zombie film, it was working with an actual cast instead of being a lone wolf shooter, in my burning memories video, i experimented with a cineframe feature that i had never tried before...that sort of thing. winning has never been a motive, camera and editing experiments are, so i had to actually wrap my brain around this concept. it changed my perspective a lot.

that's probably more about my process than anyone needs to know, really, but it's why i initiate these discussions, to get in your heads better....
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #25
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Hi everyone:

A case in point is my experience this round. When it was time to judge the films, I fell ill and was unable to go through in depth each film several times with critical analysis.

Cat
I was in a similar situation, going through surgery on Wednesday, but by Saturday or Sunday, though in a Vicodyn induced haze, I did manage to send my vote. I was the one who included Meryem's film in my voting, and I was contacted by Meryem, and properly chastized, and I added another film to my vote....

So this raises an issue-- why can't Meryem's films be included in the judging ? Just because she has the administrative responsibilities in this challenges, why can't she also participate in the competition, if she desires to do so ?

As far as my illness, and dealing with judging, in my case, I reviewed all films, pulled the eight or so that made the biggest impression to a separate folder, and rewatched each, more than once, finally arriving at an order, using both productions values and story as my primary guide.

In the end, I tend to look at the films and ask myself which production is closer to what would be acceptable as airable for TV or film production, while staying on theme.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #26
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The reason why Meryem can't enter and Mat and I can is that Meryem is the one that picks the themes.
Mat and I find out the same time everyone else does. Believe me, she takes a huge amount of enjoyment in torturing Mat and I behind the scenes.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #27
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Hi all:

Chris, at first I agreed with your sentiment that a third place finish with 1 point implies that it is 1/3 as good as the first place finish, which may not be your intention. But I think you have to have different points representing each place or you could come out with bad results. For instance, what if someone got 10 votes for 3rd place and another 8 votes for first place. If each place had equal points associated with it, the 3rd place votes of 10 would win over the 8 votes for 1st place... instead of the correct outcome of a really strong 1st place winner and a really strong 3rd place winner.

Also, I don't think it adds to anyone's knowledge or benefit to know how many points people earned in a particular round. I think a first, second or third finish is information enough.

And by the way Chris... I'm so thankful that you are not bothered by not winning yet, because I love some of your techniques (I find them very powerful) and I have started to use them! I am learning from you!

Ruth: I too look for comment from everyone in the thread and am a little stung when someone's input doesn't show up. I can't help but think... was it that bad to not even get any input? However, I think it's up to the inspiration of the person to choose to write or not write in a thread. I too make certain I comment on everyone's films. But I think it would be sort of legalistic to require people to comment if they don't feel like it, do you think?

Cat
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #28
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Cat: Thank you for the nice compliment about learning from something I did..

As far as commenting on each entry, I try to make comment on each film too, but I failed this time, due to my health situation..... In other Challenges, I am sure I have dropped the ball, too. And when I see a lot of comments similar to what I might say, I tend not to want to pile on, so may elect to say nothing.

I have thought about just starting a thread like "Chris Barcellos Comments on UWOL6 films", to make it easier on me, and maybe make it easier for those not interested in my comments to ignore them...
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #29
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why can't Meryem's films be included in the judging...
because she knows the themes before anyone else, that's why, and doesn't want to be accused of any more improprities than she already has been!....also, you weren't the only one i had to properly chastise, chris, you were only the one i derived the most pleasure from properly chastising...heh.

i don't think making a requirement to comment is necessarily a good thing...it's something we should do from good will and the desire to learn. i mean, that's the spirit we most want to keep alive...
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #30
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good will and the desire to learn. i mean, that's the spirit we most want to keep alive...
The most important thing about uwol!!!
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