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Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 12:54 AM
Just running a poll out of curiosity.
There seems to be alot of concern that 5 minutes isn't long enough for these Fests.
On the other hand, there seems to be alot of concern that going longer will make the Fests too hard to manage.

So - give it some thought and vote for your ideal running time limit for the next fest.

**NOTE**
This is being done to satisfy my own curiosity.
This is not any sort of official Fest poll, and the outcome probably won't have any affect on anything.
:)

Now aren't you motivated to vote!?

Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 01:01 AM
Just occurred to me that 5 to 10 minutes is a pretty big leap (I mean, it is doubling the time)

So, if anyone feels the limit should be somwhere between those two, then just vote for 10minutes and then post in this thread as to what you think the limit should be.

Thanks.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 01:06 AM
Man I would love 10 minutes. I think most of the films I have seen could have used more time. I guess server space starts getting into it once we get past 10 or so.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 01:11 AM
I liked 6 minutes like it has been for 4 out of the last 6 competitions. Not counting adfest with its 30 second cuttoff.

It's not just server space, it's viewing time. 10 minutes is just way too long for server and viewing time.

30 films X 5 minutes = 2 hours 30 minutes viewing time
30 films X 6 minutes = 3 hours viewing time
30 films X 10 minutes = 5 hours viewing time !

and there are usually more than 30 films

bosindy
11-04-2007, 01:21 AM
Yeah but 5 hours over a weeks time isn't that bad, how about since we lost a minute with the last one the next one is 7? BTW you are not allowed to enter.:smile:

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 01:21 AM
10 minutes would be a lot better than 5. You can have a maximum file size so the longer films would need to just use a smaller frame size. That would keep the server space lower.

10 minutes is quite a bit longer than 5, but maybe not everyone will make a 10 minute film. 10 minutes will take at least twice as long to make and maybe not everyone actually has the time to make a 10 minute film.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 01:26 AM
Yeah but 5 hours over a weeks time isn't that bad, how about since we lost a minute with the last one the next one is 7? BTW you are not allowed to enter.:smile:

often there are much closer to 60 films, and then you are looking at 10 hours viewing time

it's usually a struggle for me to get to all the 6 minute films just due to time

Karl151k
11-04-2007, 01:26 AM
I prefer the challenge of making a shorter short film, rather than a longer one. The "bite-size" 5 minute movies are ideal for internet viewing.

Kholi
11-04-2007, 01:27 AM
5 or 6. Six at max.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 01:35 AM
it's usually a struggle for me to get to all the 6 minute films just due to time

see thats your problem, you should start making the crap I put out there.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 01:50 AM
How about letting the people that want to make a 10 minute film go ahead and make them and have them be eligible in the fest. Those that want the "challenge" of making a shorter film can go ahead and make a 5 minute short and it will still be eligible. If my 10-minute film sucks you don't have to watch the whole thing... just move on to the next film. That way you can get thru all the films and get your vote in. The films always stay up long after the fest is over so you can go back and watch the rest of the ones you didn't like later if you want. Everyone's happy.

traviscool
11-04-2007, 01:56 AM
5 is best maybe 6, it's just optimum, a contest like this; lots of the films have small/no budgets, and it minimizes bandwidth and space issues. I also like the five minuets because it forces writers and editors to be very creative and selective you really have to come up with some pretty good stuff and pick only the cream of the crop of what you shoot.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 01:56 AM
How about letting the people that want to make a 10 minute film go ahead and make them and have them be eligible in the fest. Those that want the "challenge" of making a shorter film can go ahead and make a 5 minute short and it will still be eligible. If my 10-minute film sucks you don't have to watch the whole thing... just move on to the next film. That way you can get thru all the films and get your vote in. The films always stay up long after the fest is over so you can go back and watch the rest of the ones you didn't like later if you want. Everyone's happy.
Except the people who don't have time to watch all the films.
All the people whose films didn't get watched or voted on.
And the people who run the contest who have to screen all the official entries in one weekend before going live with the contest.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 01:14 AM
Except the people who don't have time to watch all the films.
All the people whose films didn't get watched or voted on.
And the people who run the contest who have to screen all the official entries in one weekend before going live with the contest.

I could understand that. To me, that seems to be the biggest obstacle.

How about a little more time to screen the entries and then a little more time to allow for viewing/voting? What is it now a week and a half? Why not 2 weeks or 2.5 weeks? If there were 60 films at 10 minutes each and everyone spent only 30 minutes of their day watching the films they could all be watched in 3 weeks (20 days to be specifc), and that's assuming all the films were 10 minutes long. Assuming nearly half the films would be in the 5 minutes range (about 50% prefer that length) then a person could watch all the films in only 15 days. So 2.5 weeks may work.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 01:17 AM
Yeah that's more plausible sounding.
But I doubt they will be expanding anytime soon since they just shrank from 6 to 5.
Maybe we will get six back if a magic butterfly lands on Barry_S's nose and sings him a lullaby, but not likely, and even less likely beyond that.

Cool Lights
11-04-2007, 02:07 AM
Why not make them 5m and if someone has more material they can make a 10m directors cut that others can watch later if they're interested. That's a more challenging exercise in editing anyway and challenge is good.

Simon Höfer
11-04-2007, 03:07 AM
You can have a maximum file size so the longer films would need to just use a smaller frame size. That would keep the server space lower.


Don't make it worse. I was already distracted by a lot of entrys at this fest because of their small resolution and bad quality. Whatching it on a video projector was sometimes a real nightmare. People should take more care about video compression.

I vote for 5 minutes. Maximum 6. It was really nice to watch them all at one night and have a great film fest showing at home with a few friends.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
11-04-2007, 05:14 AM
I voted 5 minutes.

Allow 5 minutes for the actual movie, and up to a minute for opening Titles and closing credits combined. :)
So... 6 minutes in total.

Michael_Petro
11-04-2007, 06:43 AM
5 to six is perfect for this type of fest .. i like watching all the films and if one hapens to be boring or whatever then i know its only 5 min of my life :)

Mark Harris
11-04-2007, 08:24 AM
I think 7 minutes is a good length. I have yet to see an example of 5 min making someone more creative in one of these fests. Even Jack's new film is ex only because it is over the limit.

Likewise, I have yet to see the glass of wine, the names, etc do anything for these films but add unnecessary exposition...

Besides, it's easy to tell within the first minute if someone will not be able to fill up the 5, so just stop watching.

An exhibition category was a GREAT idea. Wherever did you guys come up with such an idea? I mean, it's so forward thinking, so ahead of its time. Really, really brilliant.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 08:46 AM
I like the idea of 10 minutes for a good story. On the otherhand I've seen good stories done here (albeit very few) in 5-6 minutes. The major drawback with longer films is server space and viewing time. Oh, and 10 minutes doesn't guarantee a better story, then you'd have to sit through 10 minutes of bad filmmaking instead of 5. So I think 5 minutes, allowing spill over to 6 minutes, is better all around. Of course, that pretty much means every movie is 6 minutes with people complaining that 6 minutes is not enough.

It's not particularly easy to write a good five minute movie, but if more time were take with the script, I think we'd see more good movies. It's just too easy to say that it's hard to make a good movie with 'x' running time. A bad 90 minute movie is still a bad movie...

Mark Harris
11-04-2007, 09:01 AM
yeah, but as I said, I don't even bother to sit through a bad film. Plus, I think history has proven that the 5 min limit does NOT force people to write better. I don't think anything will force people to write better, because things like writing and acting are largely afterthoughts on this site anyway. So far, time limits have not done anything to make the films better.

I think I proposed before a flash player for the films, and encoding them as flash, which would reduce the file size and standardize the viewing a little more...

Blaine
11-04-2007, 10:11 AM
Hey you "pain in the ass", I think we're saying the same thing...:evil:

Nothing wrong with 7 minutes either. We'll get the same result, though. A precious few good movies and a lot of fodder...:thumbsup:

Michael Anthony Horrigan
11-04-2007, 10:16 AM
What if each individual script had to be approved first? That might be interesting...

bosindy
11-04-2007, 10:19 AM
Time can only help because it gives the opportunity to go deeper. I don't agree that an arbitrary number 5 or 6 somehow improves the economy of the story and makes it better and more concise. It has overwhelmingly hurt most entries. A bad idea or bad acting can never be helped, but there have been many that could have been.

Of the good films, almost without exception other than "18 seconds" (and that film had little dialogue), pacing has seemed slightly rushed to me. Often the dialogue or the reaction shot seems a little too quick, or the realization happens too quickly. The ones that end up pulling it off regardless do so more as a function of the idea suiting the time.

Some might want 12 minutes, some might want 20. In the end, The only concern should be the server space because people are donating that. 5 or more minutes or so per film is not going to change this crowds viewing habits and an arbitrary limit doesn't make anyone better.

Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 10:28 AM
What if each individual script had to be approved first? That might be interesting...

Then you get into issues of - approved by whom?
Things start getting a bit too complicated, I think.


The ones that end up pulling it off regardless do so more as a function of the idea suiting the time.

I totally agree, which is why I think the problem is with the ideas people begin with.
It's not the the time limit is too short - but that the ideas are too long.

My point is - yes, longer GOOD films would be great, I don't think anyone would disagree with that....but there are two important points here -
1) It is possible to make a good 5 minute film, as we've seen some already.
2) There is nothing stopping anyone from cutting a longer version, or even making it longer from the beginning and submitting it for exhibition only.

Though I have to say, while I still think 10 is way too long for a fest like this... I'm starting to thinkg that going back to 6 (or even 7) might be a good idea.

By the way Mark - I really like the idea of going to Flash encoding.
That would be great.

Jason Ramsey
11-04-2007, 10:31 AM
So, who is going to read through every script that gets submitted and what guidelines are they to use to approve/deny them? Keep in mind that part of the uniqueness and allure of this fest is that it is free and that everyone who enters gets their film publicly screened and is eligible for prizes, critiques by their peers, etc.

You don't get that other places. Now, if you want to pre-screen entries for quality, you are talking about another kind of fest. And, a kind of fest that requires more manpower behind the curtain, and probably won't be free anymore.

Exhibition is cool, but that's also what the user films section is for. If we just wanted to do a periodic exhibtion only film fest, with no prizes or time limits, etc... well that's one thing...

But, if we are doing a free fest that is open to any and everyone, there has to be some kind of cut off that falls into a nice middle ground somewhere.

Personally, I thought 6 minutes was a pretty good time. I think a big part of the problem, is that a lot of us don't recognize the difference between a 6 minute story and a feature length. It's a different kind of story that you can tell in the short form. You don't write the same way. Probably the biggest problem that folks have with the short form is trying to fit a feature length idea into a 5,6, etc. minute time frame. In which case 10 minutes probably isn't going to help solve that problem. Or, there isn't a story in the first place. Just an idea or premise, or one thing in mind. But, not a whole story with a beginning/middle/end. In which case, lengthening it isn't going to help.

Another thing that I think would be great would be to get some writers to come in and volunteer their services like the music guys do for each fest. Let's face it. Most of us aren't writers. But, many of the films end up being written, directed, etc, etc by the same one or two people who are spreading ourselves thin out of necessity, but out of desire to participate. That's great in some ways though.

Anyways... I'm rambling now.

We can make it a paying fest, where not every film makes the final cut and gets viewed, and have longer films if you really want.....

But, ultimately I don't think we are at a place that it would be beneficial for the fests or the participants or the site to do that yet. If ever. It is also counter to the foundation and the whole idea of the fests in the first place.

The whole idea is to have fests to allow people to participate and get feedback and learn, and grow themselves, and gain experience, etc, etc, etc... And, to keep it as simple a process as possible to encourage maximum participation. If you start complicating things too much, you ultimately hurt the fest I think. It's an all inclusive fest right now. And, in terms of its function and purpose, I think it does very well and gets better behind the scenes each and every time. Then it's just an added bonus that DVXuser happens to be the bomb that it is and we can have 10,000 bucks in prizes for a free online film festival b/c we also have some kick ass sponsors. Where else can you get that? and for free? and with no pre-screening for quality?

I say we either make the run times shorter and do more fests, or we keep the runtimes around 6 minutes and perhaps have a longer time inbetween each fest to allow people for more production time. Or, just keep it like we've been doing it so far for the most part :)

Later,
Jason

Drew Ott
11-04-2007, 10:32 AM
5 or more minutes or so per film is not going to change this crowds viewing habits and an arbitrary limit doesn't make anyone better.

That would definitely change my viewing habits.

I'd say 7 max but 5 is ideal. With more and more entries each fest, the time constraints shouldn't get more lenient.

Drew Ott
11-04-2007, 10:37 AM
But, ultimately I don't think we are at a place that it would be beneficial for the fests or the participants or the site to do that yet. If ever. It is also counter to the foundation and the whole idea of the fests in the first place.

I definitely agree. I like the fests how they are. They appeal to everybody on the site instead of just an elite group.

However, I think if there is a time increase, the time alloted to view the films should also increase proportionally.

Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 10:43 AM
The whole idea is to have fests to allow people to participate and get feedback and learn, and grow themselves, and gain experience, etc, etc, etc... And, to keep it as simple a process as possible to encourage maximum participation. If you start complicating things too much, you ultimately hurt the fest I think. It's an all inclusive fest right now. And, in terms of its function and purpose, I think it does very well...



Absolutely.
Great post, Jason.
:thumbsup:

bosindy
11-04-2007, 10:49 AM
Yes, but it doesn't mean adding or reducing a time limit changes anything because it has been done and no one is suggesting making it fee based.

Justin Kuhn
11-04-2007, 10:56 AM
Five minutes is fine, but it'd be nice to be allowed 30 seconds or a minute for credits.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
11-04-2007, 11:09 AM
Another thing that I think would be great would be to get some writers to come in and volunteer their services like the music guys do for each fest. Let's face it. Most of us aren't writers. But, many of the films end up being written, directed, etc, etc by the same one or two people who are spreading ourselves thin out of necessity, but out of desire to participate. That's great in some ways though.


John Labonney offered up quite a few scripts for this Fest. I believe that they were all taken, but only a couple saw the finish line. One of his previous scripts won SpyFest!

My thought of having the script approved might weed out the few who won't go to the trouble of actually using one. That might eliminate movies that don't really go anywhere.

Either way, the Fest is always run extremely well. I'm already gearing up for the next one. I'm taking all the negative comments to heart and hoping to learn from them.

Cheers,

Mike

Jason Ramsey
11-04-2007, 11:12 AM
I agree that adding or reducing a time limit doesn't change anything (with exceptions) concerning the overall quality of work that is put out for each fest. What it does do is change the amount of overhead that is required to run the fest.

If films were 10 minutes, would the maximum file size also be 100 megs then, or would it still be 50 megs? I dont' know about everyone else, but I am kind of bandwidth challenged and it is already a bit of an endeavor to download all of the 50 meg films.

Server space isn't a huge issue lately b/c we have had some generous mirror providers and Larry's COG system is getting better all the time at handling stuff like that. It does add to the view and download times though and will at least double the bandwidth and storage space needed as well as keep the servers busier for longer which could cause other issues with servers beyond bandwidth/storage like cpu usage, or whatever.

As far as being fee based, the point I was trying to make was that if you start talking about pre-screening scripts or not accepting every entry, you inevitably start talking about a fee based more traditional type of festival. The idea is to encourage maximum participation. Both from film makers and from viewers, critiques, voters, and so on.

No rules, or time limits or any of that will make anyone make a better film. There can be a point where rules or time constraints could hinder the creative process and that is worth exploring. But again, the idea behind the 'rules' is to encourage maximum participation, keep the fests running as smoothly as possible, and for people to make their films for this fest and not just rehash something they have already made.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 11:20 AM
I agree with you Jason and you make good points. I guess I am really asking what is the sweet spot to give the filmmaker the most time to explore the story and also take all the points you make into consideration? 6 has worked in the past and if we have a better process and more server space, would 7 or 8 work? If the number remains 6 fine, but if we can squeeze a few more minutes it will unquestionable help some entries not all.

Jason Ramsey
11-04-2007, 11:31 AM
We're on the same page then. It's just what is the sweet spot that doesn't unecessarily hinder the filmmakers or the technical stuff going on in the background, overhead, etc. And, still keeps download and viewing times manageable so as to encourage the maximum amount of people to download, view, respond and vote.

I like 6. But, I'm just one person.

Later,
Jason

Aculag
11-04-2007, 12:06 PM
I think something that a lot of people are forgetting is that ten minutes would be the LIMIT. Not everyone will make a ten minute film. Some would probably still make two or three minute films.

I am on the side of "not five minutes", but I say seven should be the limit, not ten. I know the film I made this fest could have used an extra minute or so to really fill it out, and a lot of the films in the fest felt a little bit cramped as well. But ten minutes is too long for an internet fest.

Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 12:28 PM
I think something that a lot of people are forgetting is that ten minutes would be the LIMIT. Not everyone will make a ten minute film. Some would probably still make two or three minute films.

This has been brought up before, and I still think that the vast majority of people would fill the time they are given. There was nothing stopping people in the past from doing two or three minute fims, but there are the rare exception. When the limit was 6 minutes, virutally every single film was 6 minutes - and I'm pretty certain if the limit were 10, the vast majority of films would be 10 minutes to the frame. I'm not necessarily saying that would be good or bad...just saying that I think people will fill whatever maximum time they are given. Just my 2 cents.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 01:42 PM
I agree that these fests should not be fee based. There shouldn't be pre-screening of films or scripts. That would take away from the sense of community around here.

However, I still think 10 mins is ideal. It allows more time for exploring the story, characters, and background of both. Another thing it allows for is a better demonstration of artistic and technical skills around here with more complex and better shots overall. I agree whole-heartedly that some of these films have been hurt by trying to cram what was probably a 7 or 8 min film down to 5 or 6 mins. The only way to do that is to cut out crucial scenes or cut down certain shots, resulting in poorly composed scenes with short reaction shots and no establishing shots.

Sure these aren't feature films, but shouldn't we strive to give these short films more of a cinematic quality? I don't think that can effectively be done in only 5 mins. Can it be done in 10 mins? Maybe, maybe not. There's only one way to find out and that's by trying it.

About the suggestion of a short 5 or 6 min version and then a director's cut... that just supports that the films are being hurt by the short format. those director's cuts have scenes or parts of scenes that were originally part of the script and part of the story as whole. Without them we're missing what the film is really supposed to be. I wonder how many of the hundreds of films made for these fests were originally longer than the version actually entered, meaning what percentage of the films actually had better versions that were longer than the time limit?

I suggest this... make the fest require the film be anywhere from 1-10 mins max. Actually put the "1 to 10 minutes" in the rules so it's clear to everyone that they can make a film as short as they want. The limit includes opening and closing credits. Not only that... require the scripts be no more than 8 pages. That forces the writer to write for an 8 min film, but allows the director and DP to shoot the film with about 2 mins extra to get what they really want. All you have to do is have the filmmakers submit their script to the mods when they sign up for (or just announce they're making a film for) the fest. No one has to really read the script, just see that it's no more than 8 pages which takes all of about a minute, if that. You can also have them submit the final shooting script with the film to make sure they adhered to 8 the page limit all the way thru the fest.

Ben Sliker
11-04-2007, 01:44 PM
This has been brought up before, and I still think that the vast majority of people would fill the time they are given. There was nothing stopping people in the past from doing two or three minute fims, but there are the rare exception. When the limit was 6 minutes, virutally every single film was 6 minutes - and I'm pretty certain if the limit were 10, the vast majority of films would be 10 minutes to the frame. I'm not necessarily saying that would be good or bad...just saying that I think people will fill whatever maximum time they are given. Just my 2 cents.

this makes a lot of sense. if entrants are trying to squeeze 8-10 min films into 5 minutes, what's going to stop them from trying to put a 15 minute film into 8-10 minutes? It suffers from the same problem regardless of the time limit. I really liked Jack's "flash fiction" thread because it gave people a source on how to LEARN how to write a good story for a five minute film, I think more resources like this and entrants will be properly prepared to write and create a story that would fit into say ... 5 minutes ... without shooting way too much and having their story compromised because of it.

Barry_Green
11-04-2007, 02:06 PM
because it gave people a source on how to LEARN how to write a good story for a five minute film, I think more resources like this and entrants will be properly prepared to write and create a story that would fit into say ... 5 minutes ... without shooting way too much and having their story compromised because of it.
Exactly. That's the whole point -- embrace the art form for what it is, instead of trying to cram too big of an idea into whatever window of time you've been given.

Shorts ain't features, folks. I know you know that, but I'm saying -- embrace it. Short films are a whole different beast, or should be, and the runtime that's given has proven adequate to make some great little films before.

It may be that the only way to solve this is to have an "openfest" with no runtime limits. At least once. And then we'll see -- will people really enjoy watching six dozen 40-minute films? Will the fest be as fun as it is, with as much excitement as it has? I sincerely doubt it, but maybe that's something that we should try someday; something that should be put on the endless list of things people want to do with the fest.

Let me just say this, while we're at it: DVXFest keeps getting more and more successful. Let's recognize that. What we have is working great, it's a fun event and it has so far really improved the quality of films that lots of people are turning out; heck, it got Kholi to finally make a film! ;) It's so far led to at least two people getting feature film deals. It's working. Just how much "fixing" do we need to do?

Weston
11-04-2007, 02:22 PM
I think 5 is too short and 10 is too long.

6 to 7 minutes would be good.

TwistedLincoln
11-04-2007, 02:28 PM
It may be that the only way to solve this is to have an "openfest" with no runtime limits. At least once

I love that idea. A fest with no rules regarding subject matter or length. Just a file size limit.

For regular fests, though, what about setting the base time limit at 5min, 50mb, but allow people to pay for the ability to have longer/bigger films? Say $5.00 gets you another minute and a 10mb larger file size. Don't limit how much people can spend -- so if I want to enter a 30 minute film, I can just pay $125 and do so.

Films that are in the 5min/50mb or less range would still enter for free, so most people would still enter shorter films, keeping things easy to manage. But the revenue from those who want longer films would help pay for the extra overhead-- not to mention help compensate those behind the scenes for all their work.

Also, should we decide to allow larger file sizes (either in the regular fests per my idea above, or just for an OpenFest), I'd be glad to volunteer my webserver to serve as a Bittorrent tracker -- that should keep downloads fast enough to be a non-issue for all those but dial-up users.

Barry_Green
11-04-2007, 02:34 PM
I love that idea. A fest with no rules regarding subject matter or length. Just a file size limit.
No restrictions at all? That would be an unfettered disaster.

You want to know what would happen? I can guarantee we'd get hundreds, if not thousands of entries. People will dig up anything and everything they've got on their shelves and enter it. We'll see more unwatchable dreck (as well as some good stuff) and we'll be totally overwhelmed by the number of entries, and it will become an unmanageable disaster.

You can't have a fest where we give away prizes like the occaisonal HVX, and not expect to be swamped by entries if there were no restrictions. The whole reason there's a unique identifying element assigned to the films is to make sure (or as sure as we can, with as little "footprint" on the films as possible) that the films were made for this specific festival. It's about getting the membership up and making movies.

When I said an "open fest", I'm not talking about anything and everything that anyone's ever shot. I was saying that if we experimented with no time limit, we'd see what we get and whether it would work or not. But a no-rules fest at all? I can confidently predict that it would become an unwatchable mess. Unless we did like every other "open" fest out there, and set up a screening committe and charged an entry fee. The entry fees in fests exist for two reasons: to fund the fest, yes, but to also set a bar for entry so people will only enter their films if they're really sure that they'll do well. And a screening committee and entry fee is not something we're interested in doing -- there are a billion other festivals that already do that!

Kholi
11-04-2007, 02:40 PM
Exactly. That's the whole point -- embrace the art form for what it is, instead of trying to cram too big of an idea into whatever window of time you've been given.

Shorts ain't features, folks. I know you know that, but I'm saying -- embrace it. Short films are a whole different beast, or should be, and the runtime that's given has proven adequate to make some great little films before.

It may be that the only way to solve this is to have an "openfest" with no runtime limits. At least once. And then we'll see -- will people really enjoy watching six dozen 40-minute films? Will the fest be as fun as it is, with as much excitement as it has? I sincerely doubt it, but maybe that's something that we should try someday; something that should be put on the endless list of things people want to do with the fest.

Let me just say this, while we're at it: DVXFest keeps getting more and more successful. Let's recognize that. What we have is working great, it's a fun event and it has so far really improved the quality of films that lots of people are turning out; heck, it got Kholi to finally make a film! ;) It's so far led to at least two people getting feature film deals. It's working. Just how much "fixing" do we need to do?

!!! A rushed one no doubt, but m'first one. =P

6 to 7 minutes max. They've already given us open cam, open genre with this past fest. I mean, all Hallows entries could've been whatever you wanted them to be so long as they had some sort of "darkness" theme and a Wineglass somewhere. You didn't have to make it about the wineglass.


Let's just hope for a next fest at all, y'know? No entry fees, great prizes, the mods are taking time out of their lives to screen films, handle uploads, etc etc. Everyone's entitled to get their thoughts out there, but at some point it should be realized that we're getting all this fun for free.

If any leeway, back to six or even seven minutes.

TwistedLincoln
11-04-2007, 02:40 PM
No restrictions at all? That would be an unfettered disaster.

You want to know what would happen? I can guarantee we'd get hundreds, if not thousands of entries. People will dig up anything and everything they've got on their shelves and enter it. We'll see more unwatchable dreck (as well as some good stuff) and we'll be totally overwhelmed by the number of entries, and it will become an unmanageable disaster.

Agreed completely. I meant no restrictions on subject matter. You'd still have to film your entry during the time specified by the fest. We'd still probably want to have a specified character name or object so that we know they aren't using stuff from their shelf.

Simon Höfer
11-04-2007, 02:59 PM
Let's just hope for a next fest at all, y'know? No entry fees, great prizes, the mods are taking time out of their lives to screen films, handle uploads, etc etc. Everyone's entitled to get their thoughts out there, but at some point it should be realized that we're getting all this fun for free.

Exactly! DVXUSER fests rock how they are! Keep up the good work. 'nuff said :D

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 03:27 PM
There should definitely be the restriction of having a specific character name or object in the film. That will make sure everyone had the same amount of time to make their films and puts everyone on an even level. It makes the competition fair.

I like the open fest idea, but the themes are fun. I guess it would be interesting to see what an open fest would bring.

I wouldn't suggest no time limit, but that would be interesting as well. I'm mainly looking for a longer limit than what there is now, but to not have to worry about cutting something out of my film that I really want to be there would be a welcome comfort. I don't mind paying a nominal fee to avoid having to compromise the integrity of my film.

Paying money for extra time is an option for everyone and sounds like a good idea as it would help support the site. Anyone can enter a film for free so long as it's no more than 5 min or 6 min, yet the option lets the filmmakers here have the opportunity to do what they really want with their films. Now there's some good thinking Tony!

Kholi
11-04-2007, 04:13 PM
There should definitely be the restriction of having a specific character name or object in the film. That will make sure everyone had the same amount of time to make their films and puts everyone on an even level. It makes the competition fair.

I like the open fest idea, but the themes are fun. I guess it would be interesting to see what an open fest would bring.

I wouldn't suggest no time limit, but that would be interesting as well. I'm mainly looking for a longer limit than what there is now, but to not have to worry about cutting something out of my film that I really want to be there would be a welcome comfort. I don't mind paying a nominal fee to avoid having to compromise the integrity of my film.

Paying money for extra time is an option for everyone and sounds like a good idea as it would help support the site. Anyone can enter a film for free so long as it's no more than 5 min or 6 min, yet the option lets the filmmakers here have the opportunity to do what they really want with their films. Now there's some good thinking Tony!

You're advocating a level playing field, yeah? So, say someone has a 10 minute short and doesn't have the money to pony up to upload, but you do? How's that leveling the field?

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 04:24 PM
We both have the option. You can't control who has money and who doesn't. It's no different than one person having the money for a Red camera and another only having the money for a DVX100 camera. Some people have access to established actors and some don't. Some have access to studio quality lights and other equipment. Those are things that can't be controlled. What can be controlled is the timeframe in which the films are mad.

Each filmmaker can make a great film. It's not just about the camera that's used or the time that's used. The 5 min film can be great or suck and the 10 min film can be great or suck. It's all about the talent what the filmmaker does with his/her resources. But if someone wants to make a 10 min film they should be allowed to.

Kholi
11-04-2007, 04:28 PM
We both have the option. You can't control who has money and who doesn't. It's no different than one person having the money for a Red camera and another only having the money for a DVX100 camera. Some people have access to established actors and some don't. Some have access to studio quality lights and other equipment. Those are things that can't be controlled. What can be controlled is the timeframe in which the films are mad.

Each filmmaker can make a great film. It's not just about the camera that's used or the time that's used. The 5 min film can be great or suck and the 10 min film can be great or suck. It's all about the talent what the filmmaker does with his/her resources. But if someone wants to make a 10 min film they should be allowed to.

The logic isn't there, but the exhibition category is.

Jason Ramsey
11-04-2007, 04:29 PM
Ok. First of all, individual users paying money if they want to enter a longer film isn't going to solve any kind of problem. It's just going to look shady, and it will only serve a purpose to unbalance the playing field. If you are willing to pay, you can do this, or this, or this... if not, you can't..... Nope. It's a level playing field as possible from our end. We won't make unbalanced from our end. That will come from the individual film makers and their resources. But, if our rules limit one, they will limit all equally. and, as said already, the goal is not to limit at all. Limiting the fests to a shorter run time (whatever that may be) allows for maximum participation. That is a good trade off.

If you do it for one, you do it for all, or you have no time limit.

We like to keep the playing field as even as possible, and this fest is open to EVERYONE.

You are allowed to make a 10 minute film if you want to. No one is stopping you from doing that. You just won't be eligible for competition in the fest.

There has to be a limit. And introducing things like pay if you want longer than 5 minutes don't help solve potential problems. On the contrary all that would do is introduce unecessary complexity and create new problems.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 04:54 PM
Putting it that way, it makes sense to not have a "pay for longer films" option.

How about the idea of an 8 page script limit and a 10 min film limit, or something like that. Allows for the possibility of a longer film, but forces writing for a short film to prevent the films from being cut down to 10 mins. You can still limit the length of the credits too.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 05:05 PM
Putting it that way, it makes sense to not have a "pay for longer films" option.

How about the idea of an 8 page script limit and a 10 min film limit, or something like that. Allows for the possibility of a longer film, but forces writing for a short film to prevent the films from being cut down to 10 mins. You can still limit the length of the credits too.

I don't think this would force anyone to write a shorter film - there's no realistic way to monitor the length of people's final shooting scripts.

Different wording, but same result. Virtually everyone would enter a film that ran 09:59;23. Just my opinion, based on the length of the entries in every other dvxfest.

I love that this fest is about the five minute short form.

Anything else is a different fest. And they are out there - it's just not this one.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 05:30 PM
I don't think this would force anyone to write a shorter film - there's no realistic way to monitor the length of people's final shooting scripts.


Sure there is. Just have them turn in their final shooting script with their film.

Kholi
11-04-2007, 05:35 PM
xD Your calf muscles must be strong from fighting this uphill battle.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 05:37 PM
Too complicated and just another thing the mods have to check before letting us watch the films. What's to prevent entrants from submitting an eight page version just to satisfy the rule when they know all along they'll be submitting a ten minute film...Will the mods have to compare each script to each film?

No point in adding the extra verbiage. If it was heading in that direction I'd say just call it a ten minute limit and be done with it. Too tricky to be juggling script uploads and limits on top of everything else.

But again, this is a five minute fest. Personally I hope it stays that way.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 05:55 PM
The bottom line is not that the story can't be done within the time constraint. IT CAN. No matter WHAT the time constraint is, there will be complaints that more time was needed. That comes from trying to fit 10 lbs of (edit: well you know) in a 5 lb bag. Stories are written TOO long. If you've written a story and it clocks in at 6-8 pages, it's time for a rewrite. Put some effort into it. Give it some thought. You'll find a way to do something in a more economical way. I've had issues with some of JDS's stories in the past but one thing you can say for him, he puts the time in on the script. For most of the members on the board, the script gets the least attention, instead of the most attention as it should. If a filmmaker isn't up to writing his own script it's time to collaborate with another member on the board. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Find an expert in each area. Give the script more attention than you think it needs. Work it out, then have someone you trust for an honest opinion to read it for you. If it someone that will give you an honest opinion (not your spouse or parent) they will find the holes for you. This will let you know where your problems are and let you know what you need to work on to fix it. I think it might help to write it first as a short story. Is it engaging? Is it something you'd like to see? The go ahead and adapt it.

Now, is it too long? If so, how can you make it shorter and still get the meaning across? If you can't, either enter it as exhibition or find a different story.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 06:20 PM
a lot of artists arguing for less choice. 5, 6, 7 , 8 , 9 minutes are all arbitrary constraints beyond server space. More time means more choices. It is not a radical departure for an extra minute or two if it doesn't cost anything. Maybe 6 is the max to host it for free than fine, if not trying 7 or 8 minutes doesn't seem like the end of the fest as we know it and it might help improve a film or two written properly for the short form.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 07:01 PM
Not every story can be done within 5 mins. You can start with a 5 min story that is really good, then find that by adding some more elements to it it's much better. That's what's happened with the last short I made (originally intended for All Hallows Fest) and with the script for the 2nd film I was going to make for All Hallows. We had a script ready to go then felt we were cutting ourselves short with that script at only 5 mins. We found we could have a much better film by adding a little more to it. Could we have made two 5 min shorts? Sure. Would they have been good? We think so. So you may ask, why didn't we enter them? Because I want to enter the best film I can and not a shortened version of a really good film. If I'm going to do something I'm going to do it right.

Not every 10 mins film is full of crap. I really hope that's not what you really think because that's a very negative attitude. Not every story is written too long and not every film is made too long. Just because a script for what was supposed to be a 5 min short ended up at 6-8 pages doesn't mean it sucks and needs a rewrite. You haven't read it so you can't judge the content. You don't know how much attention the script has been given or not been given.

For instance, my latest short film I wrote 9 years ago and had been sitting on my hard drive since then. All Hallows came around and I immediately thought of that script. It was 4.5 pages long at that time. I've become a better writer over the last 9 years and needed to rewrite it to fit within All Hallows rules. I rewrote, rewrote it, and rewrote it. The script ended up being 8 pages long after coming up with some great new ideas and characters for the script. It was originally 1 character and became 3 characters. I sit back and compare the original 4.5 page script to the 8 page script and there's no way I would consider making the 4.5 page script. The 8 page script is very tight and concise. The film ended up being nearly 11 minutes long with credits.

Obviously it was too long and we still had time to make another film for All Hallows. We wrote a script and it ended up being 4.5 pages long. We were ready to shoot it, but then we thought "You know, we could do a little more with this" and came up with some great background scenes on one of the characters for during some opening credits and some more building, conflict, and vulnerability scenes for the main character in the middle of the film. Altho the 4.5 page script could stand on its own, the current 10.5 page script (the opening credit sequence is very detailed in the script, so without that it's 8 pages) is a far better story and will be a far better film overall. Some day we'll come back to it and actually make it.

So what's my point? My point is that had we gone ahead and made these as 5 min films they might still have been good, but they are all better with more work. Just like with these 2 scripts we have, I'm sure many of the 5 min films could be improved upon with some additional writing, a few additional supporting scenes, and spending more time on them. Remember, I am saying they all work as 5 min films. I'm just also saying they can all be improved upon with some more scenes. Do you want to make a mediocre 5 min film or a more complete, compelling, fulfilling, entertaining, and overall better 10 min film? And ask anyone if they'd rather watch a mediocre 5 min film or a good 10 min film?

Lastly, I know not every 10 min film will be good, just as not every 5 min film is good. So there's no reason to say that again.

Luis Caffesse
11-04-2007, 07:31 PM
Just curious, why didn't you make the film you wanted to make and just submit it for exhibition?

Blaine
11-04-2007, 07:35 PM
And why not make it 15 minutes and make it that much better? Or 20 minutes and it might be twice as good...:evil: I think what's being said is that there is no correct arbitrary length, only that that is right for the story, but then who makes that judgement? At some point decisions must be made. That's why there is an exhibition category. Jack's film was arguably the best of the fest. It just couldn't make it in under the requirements set for the fest. Still, he wanted to exhibit something, so he did.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 07:54 PM
No one saying it is the only factor, it would be nice to have a few more minutes for breathing room. I know of 3 DVXuser members who stated one of the factors for not making a film this go around was the 5 minute limit. 2 of them that have had multiple entries.

I don't think people purposely set out to make an exhibition film. It seems to be that they are a victim of circumstance.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 07:56 PM
I didn't turn it in for exhibition because I figured I'd wait until we have our wrap party so everyone that worked on it could be the first to see the finished film. We were supposed to have that wrap party today, but we've postponed it until next week. After the wrap party it will be posted on my website.

Why do you think my film wasn't 15 or 20 minutes long? That's not a good argument and sounds more like a foolish statement. The film wasn't 15 mins or 20 mins because it's 10 mins and 46 secs long. It is what it is. 15 mins or 20 mins wasn't necessary to tell that story.

Jack's film being the best of the fest fully supports the argument for longer films. It just shows that even when you set out to make a 5 min short, that it could end up longer and if you cut it down it won't be as good. I'm guessing if Jack were to cut his film down to 5 mins it wouldn't be nearly as good as it is now.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 08:24 PM
Jack's film being the best of the fest fully supports the argument for longer films.

Not really. Jack's films are always among the very best of the fest, regardless of the time limit. He's one of the few here who has done very well with the concept of the five minute story.

I admit that I don't understand folk's desire to raise the limit.

Will someone answer the question: Why can't this fest be about telling a story in five minutes?

Is it that people think it's impossible? Or do they think it's too difficult? We know it's not impossible. There have been plenty of quality five minute entries. Difficult? Or course. Why can't this fest be allowed to be challenging? And Blaine's point is a good one - if 10, why not 15, or 20? Five minutes forces you to take a really hard look at what is essential in "story."

Jack's name keeps getting brought up - Anyone looking for a perfect example of how to tell a compelling story in five minutes need only go watch all of his previous entries.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 08:26 PM
The films Jack has done that I have seen have been 6 minutes. 5 minutes was the hard limit for this last fest and I think maybe some of the very early ones. In recent times it has been 6 other than adfest.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 08:38 PM
Sure. At least two were five minutes and a few came in under six. All of them placed very high among the winners. The point is that Jack can tell a story regardless of the restrictions.

For the sake of argument let's consider Jack's entries as consistently being the very best of the fests. If that's so, very few of the rest of the entrants have even come close to his mastery of story. Are the other entries going to suddenly improve with more time? If he can do it, why can't the rest work harder to get there?

The five minute story is an awesome training ground for the budding filmmakers around these parts. I'd like to see many, many more entries near Jack's quality level before we all have to sit through 50 ten minute films of so-so calibre - and even then maybe not.

Five minute framework is a perfectly legitimate filmmaking exercise and can be mastered. But very few participants have yet, which is why Jack's stuff sticks out!

Brandon Rice
11-04-2007, 08:46 PM
5 min.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 08:46 PM
Why do you think my film wasn't 15 or 20 minutes long? That's not a good argument and sounds more like a foolish statement. The film wasn't 15 mins or 20 mins because it's 10 mins and 46 secs long. It is what it is. 15 mins or 20 mins wasn't necessary to tell that story.I won't push this into the personal realm by saying you put forth a foolish arguement. What I will say is that I pursosely put the smiley in there to keep things light. I just chose to take your own arguement to the next level. If you think it's a foolish arguement perhaps you need to look inward.

bosindy
11-04-2007, 08:49 PM
For the sake of argument let's consider Jack's entries as consistently being the very best of the fests. If that's so, very few of the rest of the entrants have even come close to his mastery of story. Are the other entries going to suddenly improve with more time? If he can do it, why can't the rest work harder to get there?


boy if jack is the standard for why we do things, we all are in trouble. I do think the quality was higher at the 6 minute mark from what I have seen. I am not sure what the sweet spot is as I have said before.

I don't understand the religion behind this time limit debate, but it seems my argument for a few extra minutes offends the sensibility of some. That the people who are making what others deem as crap will continue to make what others feel is crap. I feel choices help the process and 5 minutes is an arbitrary as any other number. That given more time, many of the films would improve. A time limit is a commercial choice, not an artistic one.

With that I am becoming redundant so I am out of this.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 08:54 PM
boy if jack is the standard for why we do things, we all are in trouble. I do think the quality was higher at the 6 minute mark from what I have seen. I am not sure what the sweet spot is as I have said before.

I don't understand the religion behind this time limit debate, but it seems my argument for a few extra minutes offends the sensibility of some. That the people who are making what others deem as crap will continue to make what others feel is crap. I feel choices help the process and 5 minutes is an arbitrary as any other number. That given more time, many of the films would improve. A time limit is a commercial choice, not an artistic one.

With that I am becoming redundant so I am out of this.You are right that crap is crap. The problem is: where do you draw the line. Whiie it is a legitimate problem for some, the time limit is a crutch for others. I'm not saying that someone would not make a better movie if it was longer. But longer is by no means a guarantee of quality. Personally, I find the 5 minute short very tough to write for and I'd love to see more time to do the story. But I still see that no matter what the time limit, it will always be perceived as too short by some.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 08:56 PM
And Blaine's point is a good one - if 10, why not 15, or 20? Five minutes forces you to take a really hard look at what is essential in "story."

I mainly said that it was foolish statement because it sounded like what he said was directed at my and my latest film. I wanted to be clear that I didn't make a 10 min film because it was twice as long as a 5 min film. It was the length that it was because that's how much time it took to tell the story the way I wanted to.

I think 20 mins would be too long for these fests. However, I think 10 mins would be better than 5, and 40% of other users that have voted in the poll think so. Perhaps those other 60% would just stick to their 5 min length even if the 10 min limit was there.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 09:00 PM
boy if jack is the standard for why we do things, we all are in trouble.

I brought up Jack because several people arguing for a longer time limit have pointed to his 8 minute exhibition film as evidence that longer = better. I think that's illogical, given that he's consistently placed regardless of the time limit.

Your dig at Jack aside - you can't argue that no one here comes close to his track record. If there's another dvxfest participant with the same consistent ability to tell a story, regardless of the framework, I'm unaware of him.


I don't understand the religion behind this time limit debate...

No religion. Just a discussion. :)

Brandon Rice
11-04-2007, 09:00 PM
Or, better yet, just make whatever the heck time limit you want! Don't let these fests limit what you do! If you can find the means, and production crew to do a fest entry, then you can do a longer short if you want to! And don't just make it for the fests... make it for yourself.

Brandon Rice
11-04-2007, 09:01 PM
I brought up Jack because several people arguing for a longer time limit have pointed to his 8 minute exhibition film as evidence that longer = better. I think that's illogical, given that he's consistently placed regardless of the time limit.


And I'd argue his 8 min. exhibition film isn't as strong as his others (in storytelling)

Blaine
11-04-2007, 09:04 PM
And I'd argue his 8 min. exhibition film isn't as strong as his others (in storytelling)And I'd argue that you're wrong and it is the most fully realize story he's had to date...:beer:

bosindy
11-04-2007, 09:07 PM
Your dig at Jack aside -

Whatever it was I said, it was not a dig at Jack, actually it was a compliment.:cheesy:

I thought many of the shorts this fest needed more time, some don't agree. Just trying to make the process better and with that ... now I am out of here.

Matt Harris
11-04-2007, 09:10 PM
Five minute framework is a perfectly legitimate filmmaking exercise and can be mastered. But very few participants have yet, which is why Jack's stuff sticks out![/

agreed. master 5 minutes first, then move on. however i fully understand flmmkrs POV.
my 2 hack-fests (cabin and glassjaw) ended up being 10 minutes which lost a lot of plot and character once they were chopped to 5 minutes. but thats my bad, and it makes me determined to write and direct a successful 5 minuter for the next fest.

Brandon Rice
11-04-2007, 09:11 PM
And I'd argue that you're wrong and it is the most fully realize story he's had to date...:beer:

And I'd argue you're wrong...

goes to show how subjective this stuff is! :) :beer:

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 09:15 PM
Whatever it was I said, it was not a dig at Jack, actually it was a compliment.:cheesy:

I thought many of the shorts this fest needed more time, some don't agree. Just trying to make the process better and with that ... now I am out of here.
Whoops, must have misinterpreted it. Sorry! :)

Mark Johnson
11-04-2007, 09:16 PM
I think 20 mins would be too long for these fests. However, I think 10 mins would be better than 5 ...

There are plenty of film festivals out there with varying lengths and requirements. If you don't like the submission lengths settled on here you always have the option of entering elsewhere or submitting a film for exhibition.

I emphatically disagree with 10 minutes or longer for future DVXUSER fests if we are going to keep to the same schedule of doing this many fests per year. Being able to watch all entries is important and any significant increase of film length will (in my opinion) seriously cut down on the number of people willing to devote the time necessary to watch all the films.

Mike@AF
11-04-2007, 09:24 PM
I don't think the point of DVXuser fests should be to have the most number of fests or entries as possible. It should be to have the best quality of films possible. It comes down quantity vs. quality and I'll take quality 100% of the time. I'd rather spend double the amount of time making a great 10 min film than two mediocre 5 min films. I imagine those watching the films would rather spend more time watching good films than less time watching mediocre films.

EDIT
And I'm not saying the films will be better just because they're longer. I can tell the films are already longer than what has been entered and I think the full versions of those films should be entered, not these cut down 5 min versions. Personally I think most of the 5 min films aren't very good and imagine the full length versions are much better. Therefore, why not allow those films to be entered in their entirety so we can see how good they really are. That may anger some and it's not meant to degrade anyone's work. I'm not saying I'm any better. It's just my opinion of what I've watched.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 09:35 PM
I imagine those watching the films would rather spend more time watching good films than less time watching mediocre films.And as it stands right now I expect to see 2 or 3 good entries per fest with another 3 to 4 watchable entries. The rest are pretty raw. But I put that down to basic story telling more than time constraints. I watch EVERY film in its entirety. If the general quality was better, maybe I wouldn't mind sitting through 10 minutes, but as it stands right now with a 10 minute movie and 30-50 entries, if it didn't grab me pretty quickly, i'd be awfully tempted to pass on the rest.

EDIT: My response was prior to your edit. Personally, I'm not sure why any writer is working on anything less than a feature length project anyway. Writing shorts just doesn't (IMO) translate into writing features, which is where most writers I know want to be.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 09:42 PM
Whatever it was I said, it was not a dig at Jack, actually it was a compliment.:cheesy:...

I understood you.

Jared Meyer
11-04-2007, 09:48 PM
Yeah, I took the complete opposite translation. Sorry about that, bosindy.

Justin Kuhn
11-04-2007, 09:49 PM
Personally, I'm not sure why any writer is working on anything less than a feature length project anyway. Writing shorts just doesn't (IMO) translate into writing features, which is where most writers I know want to be.

A story's a story, and good feature writer should be able to write a good short. Just sayin'.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 09:52 PM
A story's a story, and good feature writer should be able to write a good short. Just sayin'.In a perfect world, yes. But if it were really true, any good writer could do a good thirty second commercial. But in the real world, different skill sets are better suited to the different formats.

Just sayin'.

Mark Harris
11-04-2007, 09:55 PM
In a perfect world, yes. But if it were really true, any good writer could do a good thirty second commercial. But in the real world, different skill sets are better suited to the different formats.

Just sayin'.


Yeah Blaine, well you suck.


















Sorry, just felt like starting a fight...:)

Kholi
11-04-2007, 10:01 PM
Five minute shorts are a great practice ground for writing, IMO. It's very hard to churn out a feature with any weight to it. Going from five, to fifteen, to twenty and so on is great practice.

And, Blaine-- course you know this-- a writer writes because it must.

Even a bad writer that writes all the time is still a writer because it must write. AKA me. Sit and write a character's background, a non-sense story, etc.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 10:03 PM
Yeah Blaine, well you suck.


Sorry, just felt like starting a fight...:)You can start a fight with me anytime, my friend. http://www.geocities.com/chad_callaghan/Guinness.gif

But if we're going to fight, let's do it at The Black Watch Pub. Your skills are being wasted on the east coast.:beer::beer::beer:

Mark Harris
11-04-2007, 10:07 PM
Five minute shorts are a great practice ground for writing, IMO. It's very hard to churn out a feature with any weight to it. Going from five, to fifteen, to twenty and so on is great practice.


I have actually bee n doing this, increasing the length of my shorts and practicing more and more with longer formats. Ultimately I don't think I even want to write features, but probably more TV shows. So I am working up to the one hour length right now.

Kholi
11-04-2007, 10:14 PM
I have actually bee n doing this, increasing the length of my shorts and practicing more and more with longer formats. Ultimately I don't think I even want to write features, but probably more TV shows. So I am working up to the one hour length right now.

There's nothing wrong with doing it, either. You become practiced at just WRITING, the doing of, and you can do it more without falling victim to distractions. Not only that, building a great story in five minutes, ten, so-on and so-forth helps for the longer run-times.

If you can establish a main character in five, should be cakewalk to do it in 90+.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 10:15 PM
Five minute shorts are a great practice ground for writing, IMO. It's very hard to churn out a feature with any weight to it. Going from five, to fifteen, to twenty and so on is great practice.

And, Blaine-- course you know this-- a writer writes because it must.

Even a bad writer that writes all the time is still a writer because it must write. AKA me. Sit and write a character's background, a non-sense story, etc.I'm kind of in a contrary mood tonight, Kholi. But for me, personally, I'm MUCH more comfortable in the LONG form... :thumbsup:

Kholi
11-04-2007, 10:19 PM
I'm kind of in a contrary mood tonight, Kholi. But for me, personally, I'm MUCH more comfortable in the LONG form... :thumbsup:

Admittedly, I need to go back and pad out a feature because it's been way too long. I suppose it's double-edged, because if you stay in short form territory too long it might take a bit of grinding to get back into the thick (100 pages) of things.

Paulius
11-04-2007, 10:28 PM
I liked 6 minutes like it has been for 4 out of the last 6 competitions. Not counting adfest with its 30 second cuttoff.

It's not just server space, it's viewing time. 10 minutes is just way too long for server and viewing time.

30 films X 5 minutes = 2 hours 30 minutes viewing time
30 films X 6 minutes = 3 hours viewing time
30 films X 10 minutes = 5 hours viewing time !

and there are usually more than 30 films


Such a good point! Five to seven is the way to go!

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-04-2007, 10:35 PM
I am just surprised all my math is right.

Justin Kuhn
11-04-2007, 10:59 PM
In a perfect world, yes. But if it were really true, any good writer could do a good thirty second commercial. But in the real world, different skill sets are better suited to the different formats.


Any good writer knows story structure and how to apply it. Granted I am not that writer, it takes me about two years to finish a feature. And I do have a specific kind of dialogue I'm sort of OK at writing, you might call that my skill set. Personally, I find all writing to be equally torturous. I'm not sure if I'm making my point here.

Blaine
11-04-2007, 11:03 PM
I'm not sure if I'm making my point here.Yeah, I'm not sure if you are either. I believe there are writers that are better suited for commercial work, television or features. That's not to say that there is no crossover, just as a writer myself, I know what I'm more comfortable with.

Barry_Green
11-05-2007, 01:05 AM
I don't think the point of DVXuser fests should be to have the most number of fests or entries as possible. It should be to have the best quality of films possible.

Nope. That should be the goal of the filmmakers, of course, but that's not the point of the fest. The point of the fest is to get the membership making films rather than just talking about 'em.

Simon Höfer
11-05-2007, 02:41 AM
The main problem still is, that people don't understand the concept of a 5 minute fest. But its is really simple, you have to write a story for a 5 minute entry. Not 6 or 7 or 8 minutes.

If you write a story and in the beginning it fits for five minutes, but afterwards you start expanding it, then it has never been a 5 minute flick. In the beginning you just didnt know that. You chose a story that was too complex for 5 minutes.

If you plan your entry time on an uncomplete script, you are screwed at the end with your finished script. You MUST plan your movie based on the skeleton with flesh on the bones, not just the skeleton.

It is possible to tell a complete story in any time.

You don't like 5 minute stories? Then go ahead and participate at other festivals that allow movies up to 10 or 15 minutes. It is just not possible to watch 40+ movies that are 10 minutes long. It would distract the members from watching them all.

I think DVXUSER found a good balance at 5/6 minutes. That way many people watch all the entries. Alot of members enter the fests and we have a lot of possibilities to enter, because we can have more fests during the year and not just one big festival.

And now stop whining or go away :cheesy:

J.R. Hudson
11-05-2007, 06:32 AM
The fest calls for 5 minute films. What is so hard to grasp about that ? Why try and change it ? Will :60 seconds suddenly make your film better ? Your film being better due to adding minutes aint gonna make it so. It either is good or not good.

I can barely sit through the majority of these films as it is.

5 minutes is good.

Take Brandons film entry; 2 minutes of credits to me was overkill (Yes, Brandon, I know your reasoning behind it). That sequence could have been chopped by a minute and 45 seconds and been just as effective; more effective as my attention waned early, realizing I was seeing the same thing for 2 minutes

(Sorry Bricey; not singling you out; just an example)

-

The thing with film is that if a scene or shot or segment isn't pushing your story forward, then it shouldn't be there in the first place. The majority of these films suffer from this very thing.

Think of movies that open with a short sequence that sets up the film.


JAWS

The entire opening sequence (Chrissy being eaten while swimming gorgeously naked) is just over 4 minutes long.

House of a 1000 Corpses

The opening sequence is 4 Minutes 20 seconds

Poltergeist

4 Minutes and 30 seconds

All of these films are very compelling in these small scenes and they each set up the rest of the movie while still standing on their own merit.

-

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-05-2007, 06:46 AM
John my deal is that the fest was 6 minutes since Sci Fest and it was working well. Only Zombie fest was 5.

And the 6th minute does seem to be the sweet spot. It does seem to make a difference. At least to me, having done 6 of these.

So I think 10 minutes is nuts. But any time someone asks me ... 6 is better than five. Just seems to work out better. There's that one extra page of development.

I couldn't have done ODD Squad, Bone Hand, or REKINDLED without the 6th minute. No way. They were packed right to the end and I think each post contest cut was about 15 - 30 seconds longer.

J.R. Hudson
11-05-2007, 06:54 AM
6 is good too.

My point was, whether or not it was 1 or 15; the fest is what it is and it doesn't seem broke.

If anything, I wish we had a jury selection.

Slimothy
11-05-2007, 07:47 AM
3 minutes!!

mjjason
11-05-2007, 09:51 AM
5 minutes is perfect. Much longer than that tends to be long and drawn out work. 5 minutes force people to get to the meat of the project which is what a short should be about.

Mike@AF
11-05-2007, 02:19 PM
Nope. That should be the goal of the filmmakers, of course, but that's not the point of the fest. The point of the fest is to get the membership making films rather than just talking about 'em.

Well then I guess I've misunderstood what we're trying to do here. If just making films was the goal then there's been quite a bit of success. I suppose what I'm saying is it's one thing to make a film, it's another to make a quality film. I see room for improvement... and that's with everyone including myself.

I'm not saying the fest is broke. I'm just saying it would be nice to see what kind of films could be created given more time. Most of the films that have been created for the fests thus far seem to be incomplete. Everyone can write a 5 page script and it may end up being 6 min or 10 min. To make it a 5 min film, it may require only a 3 page script, which is much more difficult to have a complete story for. With a little bit more time I think we'll start to see a bit better quality... not with all, but with some. That may be a small improvement, but at least it's an improvement.

J.R. Hudson
11-05-2007, 02:22 PM
http://coreygilmore.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/beating_a_dead_horse.jpg

Barry_Green
11-05-2007, 08:48 PM
Well then I guess I've misunderstood what we're trying to do here. If just making films was the goal then there's been quite a bit of success.
Yes, there has. The fests are very popular, and we're seeing many, many members contributing some great work. And lots of members making lousy work, sure -- but then we can track some amazing growth among them too. It's working quite well. It's a community event, a festival, a party. That's what the point is.


I see room for improvement... and that's with everyone including myself.
Of course there is, and everyone should always be striving. We're not saying that's a bad thing. All I'm saying is: the point if the fest is not to force people into making better films, it's like I said before: to have a fest, to get people making films. Them wanting to make better films will happen naturally.


With a little bit more time I think we'll start to see a bit better quality... not with all, but with some. That may be a small improvement, but at least it's an improvement.
There's nothing in the world stopping people from making longer films. Look at Norm -- he's making his "Berlin" film, and he anticipates it being 20 minutes long. It just won't be part of the fest, is all.