PDA

View Full Version : HorrorFest II - Feedback Request Thread



Jason Ramsey
11-12-2013, 11:00 AM
Hello, everyone.

Since we just dipped our toe back in the water after an extended hiatus with the fests, and we tried the submission and viewing process differently this time, I'd like to get your feedback on the process this time. Both as viewers, and as entrants. Please feel free to submit any and all feedback in this thread (or send me a pm if you have anything that you prefer to discuss privately). I am interested to know what you liked, didn't like, and/or missed this time around.

Also, I will be tallying all of the votes today and getting those results posted this evening for you. Thank you for your continued patience.

As far as future plans for the festival, I would like to open up a separate thread on that in the near future. We are thinking right now of moving towards an annual format where we have one, big, kick ass festival every year. We would still maintain an online viewing and submission process, but we would also be moving towards adding a brick and mortar element to the festival as well, culminating with a live screening.

We could still also do a october/horror themed mini-fest in the interim if the demand is there.

We can reserve talk about future fests for the forthcoming thread, but I just wanted to let you know what kind of direction we are thinking towards, so you can be thinking about it as well.

Thanks.

AJ Brooks
11-12-2013, 11:23 AM
Great fest! And thanks to everyone who did the work to make it happen. It's appreciated! :)

Here's what I dig and would like to see for future fests:

#1. Shorter time limit. I think 4 min. MAX would be great. Allowing for 10 min. this time didn't necessarily mean we all packed in more story. I think a SHORTER run time forces us to be better story tellers by packing in beginning/middle/end into a smaller window.

#2. Link YOUTUBE with the film voting/rating. I loved the ease of uploading it straight to youtube, and the quick streaming. It made it simple to share the link with people who are not necessarily part of the forum. BUT the only downside was the "PM voting method". Is there a way to have us upload the videos to youtube, then collect all the links, or embedded videos, into a dvx page where you can vote via the star system? That would be ideal, so that way traffic could still link back to dvxuser, while not having to reinvent the well rounded wheel of youtube.

#3. Being allowed to make your own "leader" / (DVX Participant) was awesome.

ZazaCast
11-12-2013, 11:44 AM
YouTube seemed to work well and as a participant, didn't vote. So, seems like a good process to me!
That said, I do miss the option to download all the films for future reference.

Matthew B
11-12-2013, 12:10 PM
Thought the fest was great this time around. Loved the submission process and quite liked the Youtube channel for viewing. It would be great though if there was a download link to all the films in a zip file as well.
I do think the time limit needs to be shorter though, 10 mins seemed to drag on a little for the most part.

Barry_Green
11-12-2013, 12:31 PM
Loved the viewing, a big improvement IMHO, but the voting was not up to snuff. Handwriting the titles and the votes, then transcribing it to a PM, is a little 1990's; I'd wager we missed out on people voting because of it (as Zaza said, he didn't even vote). If we could have one post with all the fest films embedded and a 1-10 star rating under the names, that'd be ideal, perfectly simple system that would encourage maximum watching and maximum vote participation.

And yes, as said before, the time limit was an issue, I felt like each and every one of the films could have benefitted from being tightened up. We've debated the time limit endlessly, it's a subject that comes up every time we have a fest, we've tried it all sorts of ways, we shrunk it down (even had a 30-second AdFest once) and stretched it out, and we keep coming back to the idea that six minutes is about the right length to be able to tell a complete story within the short film format, so I'd recommend moving back towards that. With only about 13 films, the longer running time wasn't as much of a deterrent as it could have been, but if we had participation like back in the "old days" (70-90 films per fest) the longer time limit could have become a limiting factor as to how many films viewers would be willing to invest in watching.

If our goals are to have greater participation in the fest by more members making films, and greater participation by more members watching those films, and skill growth among the filmmakers by making better films, I think the shorter time limit helps further all three of those goals.

But hey, we had to try the longer time limit; I mean, who knows, we could have had some major increase in filmmaking and storytelling skills put on display with the nearly-doubled time frame. As it is, I think we got basically the same type of films as before, with the same story depth, but just stretched out over a longer time frame. If that's going to continue to be the case, then I think the filmmakers and the audience would both benefit from the discipline of the tighter time limit.

Brandon Rice
11-12-2013, 02:34 PM
As a participant in this fest, as well as a viewer, I wanted to mention a couple of things.

1. Loved the viewing.

I loved being able to view on any device, and stream the films on YouTube. It was a great way to do it. I also think it limited any technical issues regarding upload/formatting, etc.

2. Didn't love the voting.

I wish we could have had a system in place to allow voting on the site itself, instead of PM'ing in votes. I know that some of that is due to us needing to work on some behind the scenes infrastructure. I'd like to see that beefed up.

3. Loved, and didn't like the time limit.

As a participant I actually liked the time limit being stretched. Could our story have been told in 6 minutes? Sure... as could MOST stories. However, I enjoyed being able to explore the "world" a little bit more, and allow scenes to play out a bit more than in the past. I think a nice compromise in the future might be to have two categories for films. One category for 1-6 minutes films, and another for 6-15 minute long films. Having been involved in MANY online festivals, ranging from 3 minutes to 10 minutes, I think having the choice is nice.

4. One fest to rule them all.

I think it would be a good idea, in the future, to have 1 big fest as Jason mentioned above. Maybe allow film-makers up to 6 months or more to complete their films, and broadcast network-wide (throughout the "user" websites) but hosting on DVXuser. I was very encouraged that many came out to participate in Horrorfest II, and it even inspired me to get back to what I love. I hope to see the fests grow again, and inspire more film-makers to get out and shoot something.

Thanks for all of your work Jason! :thumbsup:

Noel Evans
11-12-2013, 07:05 PM
and broadcast network-wide (throughout the "user" websites) but hosting on DVXuser.

I personally think this is the way forward in getting numbers up. Fests hosted here, however Landmine / User wide involvement.

Lynchenstein
11-13-2013, 09:25 AM
Here's my vote:

View: A+
Voting: C- (embedding with stars to vote would be ideal for me)
Duration: A+ (you don't have to use all 10 minutes...I appreciated the time in order to play more with some shots)

Thanks Jason (and crew?)

zucked
11-13-2013, 09:31 AM
Thanks Jason and all, so much, for putting this together. My team and I have a lot of trouble moving from start to finish on our films, and this basic structure to get us going and force us towards a finish line (no matter how imperfect our final result) is a beautiful thing.

I'll echo a lot of what was said above: The time limit's gotta move back down. In the past, with the six minute limit, I sometimes felt like it needed to be longer, but I must say I had the sense during my watching of just about every single film this round that they were all loosely edited six minute films. I'm always amazed at the way some of you are able to tell truly complete stories in six minutes, and it's continually a goal I struggle towards. I think we will all better our craft by working within that smaller time frame, so I suggest we move back to that.

Congrats to everyone on a great fest. Some fantastic competition this time around.

Shawn Philip Nelson
11-14-2013, 11:08 PM
Thanks to all who do these fests, even though I didnt participate directly this time, I was glad to see it happen. A few thoughts, take them for what they are.
1. Agreed with Noel, and it's something i've been saying here for years, this should be a fest that also encompasses Reduser. You could also feed the winner into the 4k fest if shot on Red/Scarlet/Epic (side prize)
2. I might take flack for this but... I really feel the low numbers of entrances are due to the prizes not being announced in entirety BEFORE the contest even starts. Other contests that get much higher entrances always dangle the rewards front and center upon immediate start.
3. The voting, as others mentioned, sadly i didnt even vote since i said to myself 'oh shoot, if im going to have to PM, i'll wait until ive watched them all', but i didnt get around to it
4. 10min is a long time, i think 7 plus credits is more ideal.
I really hope there's one announced before Christmas, i'm hoping to try this again.

Matthew B
11-15-2013, 12:42 AM
2. I might take flack for this but... I really feel the low numbers of entrances are due to the prizes not being announced in entirety BEFORE the contest even starts. Other contests that get much higher entrances always dangle the rewards front and center upon immediate start.


I tend to agree with this point. I also think that it might be worth advertising future fest and the prizes up for grabs on sites like nofilmschool, cinescopophilia, cheesycam, and video related sites. Those guys always seem desperate for content and it might just attract some new members to this forum.

Charli
11-15-2013, 05:18 AM
YouTube - Yes

Length time - Shorter. Problem is at 6 minutes you had filmmakers use up 1:30 mins just on credits alone, not really building a story. Here you had 10 minutes and it seemed like forever before or If the story went anywhere. More time does not mean more story. Just means more space to fill.

Voting - Most fest the voting are held by a panel of judges that are impartial and unbias.

ripupthehwy
11-15-2013, 06:56 AM
Do we have the results of the votes yet???

Brandon Rice
11-15-2013, 07:33 AM
Voting - Most fest the voting are held by a panel of judges that are impartial and unbias.

This was the case here as well. The panel vote is what determines prize awards. We still allow audience choice, which will be a combination of all the votes we received from the users here.

Jason Ramsey
11-15-2013, 11:06 AM
Though, I think Charli might argue that since the mods are part of the panel, and various people know each other to greater or lesser extent, it could be perceived as not being completely impartial and unbiased.

With a small return fest like this, I don't think it was a huge deal, and it was an opportunity to elicit feedback on moving towards a more panel based awarding of prizes/winners (while still maintaining an audience vote as well).

But, as we move forward, particularly with an annual fest format, we would definitely like to have a panel made up entirely of non-dvxuser, industry professionals, festival coordinators, etc.

Matt Harris
11-15-2013, 01:26 PM
Hi guys and gals, great fest! congrats to each and everyone of you!

1. youtube viewing was awesome, so easy. a non-issue.

2. the voting was so simple, i made a list of the movies and wrote a vote next to each one. it took me all of 3 minutes.

3. the length: after years and years of 6 minute movies, which taught us how to tell better and tighter stories, we suddenly added 4 minutes.
which noone asked for. I always wished i had an extra minute, so for me, 7-8 minute shorts would be spot on. 10 minutes is too long.
Nothing will go viral at 10 minutes, i could barely get through wes anderson's new 9 minute short that came out last week, and that's freakin' wes anderson!
and that's because our attention spans are built for 5 minute scenes.

That being said, i don't think a single film abused the 10 minute length, that's not my point, my point is that less is more. tighter is better. my 2 cents.

4. prizes: they should be used to lure in more entries, but should not be the reason you enter. I enter because i like the feedback and the competition, and
the community.

5. i like the idea of not only having a winner, but having smaller awards like "best actor" "best score" "best cinematography" etc.

I hope to enter the next fest so let's keep this moving along.
-Matt

edit: "best sound design" and "best score" and "best cinematography" and "best writer" and "best actor" would be really cool!

Lynchenstein
11-16-2013, 09:44 AM
I tend to agree with this point. I also think that it might be worth advertising future fest and the prizes up for grabs on sites like nofilmschool, cinescopophilia, cheesycam, and video related sites. Those guys always seem desperate for content and it might just attract some new members to this forum.

The prizes had nothing to do with my entry (and the fact that I've no hope in hell of winning anything, anyway...but that's another matter).

I'm here for the feedback that I receive. I'm grateful for the feedback that I've received, but I wonder of the viewing format has made this more difficult for viewers: leaving DVX to watch the film, then having to hunt the forum for the film thread in order to leave comments.

I'd personally like to see the films embedded in each film thread with a scoring control (stars). It keeps people on task, if you will.

Regardless, I'm grateful to Jason (and crew) for the effort involved planning and implementing a fest like this. I know it's a massive undertaking...

Lynchenstein
11-16-2013, 09:50 AM
Hi guys and gals, great fest! congrats to each and everyone of you!

3. the length: after years and years of 6 minute movies, which taught us how to tell better and tighter stories, we suddenly added 4 minutes.
which noone asked for. I always wished i had an extra minute, so for me, 7-8 minute shorts would be spot on. 10 minutes is too long.
Nothing will go viral at 10 minutes, i could barely get through wes anderson's new 9 minute short that came out last week, and that's freakin' wes anderson!
and that's because our attention spans are built for 5 minute scenes.

That being said, i don't think a single film abused the 10 minute length, that's not my point, my point is that less is more. tighter is better. my 2 cents.

4. prizes: they should be used to lure in more entries, but should not be the reason you enter. I enter because i like the feedback and the competition, and
the community.

5. i like the idea of not only having a winner, but having smaller awards like "best actor" "best score" "best cinematography" etc.

I hope to enter the next fest so let's keep this moving along.
-Matt

edit: "best sound design" and "best score" and "best cinematography" and "best writer" and "best actor" would be really cool!

Yeah Matt, I'd love to see different categories:
- overall film
- "DVX Forum Favourite"
- original score
- actor
- writer/script
- sound design
- cinematography, and so on.

I think having a maximum of 10 minutes is just fine, and it'll be the more disciplined filmmakers who can cut their film down to get it as best they can - be it 4 minutes or all 10.

Chris

Charli
11-19-2013, 07:29 AM
What Jason said, there will always be a "bias" when you know a person.

lawriejaffa
12-20-2013, 09:44 PM
Voting

Guys I was shocked to learn that the new voting system ignored the community vote in favour of a panel of judges for first prize... or should we say significant prizes/competition position. Sure the judges are all nice guys, working hard for the site as volunteers and moderators for a sprawling community. But... they're also filmmakers among peers here... with predispositions towards filmmakers already in the forum. Half of you will already be mates with the winner AJ Brooks (I know I am!) and it just stands to reason that this and any other personal relationship will effect how you perceive a film. We can all relate to to this... because we experience predisposition towards all manner of things in life because of our experience with them despite the objective facts.

It places an enormous amount of responsibility and accountability on a small number of chaps for a site that is strongest when it places COMMUNITY at it's center.

IMO, the community vote, and the judges vote should yield two prizes of approximate equal value - reflective of a parity in the reflection of opinions. Those judges cannot just be the moderators haha... it just doesn't look professional imo / too personal etc. I say that despite the judges all being professional filmmakers/artists/techs etc.

In defence to the rationals that saw the vote change... it is true that festivals do employ judges and that the audience award (as it is often known) is but one of many. However... the dvxfest is borne FROM the community, to attempt an elevation of that festival to one where we throw ourselves upon the critical mercies of a half dozen dudes... feels disenfranchising... a step away from a community led festival.

And yet... the addition of judges IS an important step forward. If done right... it allows for the opinion of a few with significant industry experience and or artistic merit to lend a credible expert point of view. Often past dvxfests are comprised of votes reflective of the majority of the communities members. Ie. new filmmakers... and often they tend to favour the films that most succesfully emulate the commercial fare they (predominately) aspire to. The judges can allow for more creative works to flourish alongside the peoples voice... but there has to be parity between the two imo

It leaves open an unnecessary level of cynicism and suspicion that is easily avoided by balancing the awards/ and seeking genuinely impartial judges. I believe our judges would have tried their best to be impartial but could not succeed in doing so... because nobody really can.

This is no particular criticism to the films that came first/second/third and so forth... they're all worthy 'winners' but because of my misgivings about the system change, they don't feel... I guess as authentic/real to me as in past festivals.

Still awesome... still so glad to see it back... but doesn't quite sit right.

Shawn Philip Nelson
01-19-2014, 08:27 PM
Is there a new fest coming?