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    HorrorFest II - Feedback Request Thread
    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.


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    Senior Member AJ Brooks's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    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.

    AJ Brooks - Writer / Director

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    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Upstate New York
    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.

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    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    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.

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    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.

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    Producer Mod Brandon Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Nashville, TN
    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!
    Please subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL to see all of my projects.

    New short film THE APPOINTMENT now available to see!

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    Mod v2.0 Noel Evans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Rice View Post
    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.
    w: Noel Evans TV

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    Senior Member Lynchenstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    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?)
    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

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    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.

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    Senior Member Shawn Philip Nelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Portland, OR
    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.
    Formerly user 'shawneous'.

    "Every great idea is on the verge of being stupid."
    -Michel Gondry

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