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misc I Challenge You to a Duel!

A few thoughts, based on a photo challenge I used to take part in from time to time on another forum:

  • The more "serious" the competition (prizes, super-strict rules, etc) the fewer entries we received. It seemed that anyone with any doubts as to the quality of their work would self-exclude just because. On the flip side, when the challenge was re-formulated and all the pro/semi-pro/wannabee pro stuff stipped out, there weren't just way more entries, but also more creative interpretations of the challenge theme.
  • When the challenge stagnated once again, many participants cited a lack of time as their primary reason for not contributing. It was a monthly challenge, so some less frequent visitors would only see the theme with less than ten days to go; others would be going through a busy real-life phase and simply didn't have time to both think about the shots and take them. Giving notice of the following (and eventually the subsequent) theme attracted more interest; with the voting also extended by one month after the close of each challenge.
  • The winner was decided by the number of thanks, and that alone; and there was no limit on how many images could be thanked by a single member. A lot of lurkers thanked every "nice" picture, without any regard for how well it interpreted the theme, with the result that pretty, well-composed, bland images regularly edged out photos that (in my opinion, and not always dis-interested! :D ) took the challenge seriously.

I'm a great believer in encouraging people to work within a tight set of demands, so would wholeheartedly support the principle of a duel such as this (although a duel is, by definition, a competition between only two parties ... :contract: - is that what @CamBlamo had in mind? )
 
1. lol, photographers complaining about not having time to make a single picture. Hilarious. (practicing Paganini riffs one handed, while typing this with the other hand, while running a render in the background of this window, to relax on my day off) (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not)

2. I'm in favor of something that allows a lot of creativity, To me being creative is the most fun part of the contest. Hopefully the rules are only as "serious" as necessary to create a level playing field. I echo your point though, if constraints get too tight, it's not fun for everyone anymore.

3. I don't know if we can expect an elite panel of judges for something like this. If we do it internally, that has one set of problems, if we do it externally, as I had suggested, it's going to be just regular people, many of whom won't even read the contest rules before voting. They would likely just vote for whatever film they liked the best, rules aside. Not sure how much control we will have over that. Maybe that would be ok. Just don't drop everything in the videos section and use the vote buttons. I'll show my concern about that in video form.


4. I have no idea if Cam wanted to stick with a 1v 1 duel format. I've kind of run with the ball, because I'm bored and wanted to stir up some action here. Perhaps if cam could chime in on this topic?
 
1. lol, photographers complaining about not having time to make a single picture. Hilarious. (practicing Paganini riffs one handed, while typing this with the other hand, while running a render in the background of this window, to relax on my day off) (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not)

Ah, but you see that's exactly what killed off the photo challenge on the other forum (or nearly did). You've told us - several times over - how your life is consumed by creating this kind of content, to the exclusion of just about everything else! So it's easy for you, surrounded as you are, by all your video resources, and being "in the groove" all day, every day.

It's quite a different situation for those of us who have other things going on in our lives, especially when those activities compete for the same resources or - worse still - when they make it impossible (or very undesirable) to bring the necessary resources into a different environment. Would you have let me borrow your Red camera to use while I was shifting 2-tonne tree-trunks with an excavator a few days ago, in the hope that I might catch sight of a wild pasta running across my path?

(No kidding: I haven't seen a piece of pasta of any kind in ... ... ... two, maybe three months, so were I to work around that theme, I'd first have to figure out how, when and where to get it - even for a still shot).
 
Ah, but you see that's exactly what killed off the photo challenge on the other forum (or nearly did). You've told us - several times over - how your life is consumed by creating this kind of content, to the exclusion of just about everything else! So it's easy for you, surrounded as you are, by all your video resources, and being "in the groove" all day, every day.

It's quite a different situation for those of us who have other things going on in our lives, especially when those activities compete for the same resources or - worse still - when they make it impossible (or very undesirable) to bring the necessary resources into a different environment. Would you have let me borrow your Red camera to use while I was shifting 2-tonne tree-trunks with an excavator a few days ago, in the hope that I might catch sight of a wild pasta running across my path?

(No kidding: I haven't seen a piece of pasta of any kind in ... ... ... two, maybe three months, so were I to work around that theme, I'd first have to figure out how, when and where to get it - even for a still shot).

It's going to be an unbalanced contest no matter what, film always is. I am isolated, but have massive computing power. Others don't have access to special effects, but have lots of friends available to help. Considering that this is to be a low stakes or no stakes contest, I thing we should all just try to have fun with it, and enjoy the many surprising results that emerge.

In terms of whether I would have loaned you my Epic. I'm actually more willing to help people than you might be imagining. If you lived in my area, I actually would loan you my Red. The whole SP thing is about pushing the simple advantages of strength in numbers, open collaboration, and pooling resources to give everyone in the community better odds than we would each have individually. Not sure about your odds of catching a wild pasta running through a shot. I tried to get a shot of a wild deer in a recent film, and failed utterly, lol. I would imagine that sightings of mobile pasta are even more difficult to capture. That being said, I have seen a lot of blurry 1990s footage of dinner plate shaped flying saucers, so it's a non zero chance.

In terms of my hyper focus on film, sure, I'm playing to win. What you don't account for is how easy it can be to loose, even with stacked advantages. I could make some amazing film, and get totally destroyed by one person with a cell phone who had an incredibly memorable line or moment. I think that's what makes creative contests so interesting, the fact that the score can shift unexpectedly at any time. Did you really foresee Parasite winning best picture? Marvel put in 300 million and every star in Hollywood, and a guy with 5% of the budget toppled the stack without so much as a single CGI laser beam. Personally, I liked that movie a great deal, and think it's a great example of purist filmmaking.

Don't sell yourself short! Also to be fair, I likely have the lowest actual budget of anyone here. Might be a bit more fair than you imagine. For all I know one of you has enough money to hire Danny Devito to play a depressed times square Elmo that shouts rude things to pedestrians. I doubt I can compete with that in the one minute format. Indie lives in NYC, so from my understanding $7,500 dollars there is just one week of rent on a 200 sqft apartment, lol. My point is, I wouldn't call the game quite yet based on the fact that I haven't slept in years. It's deteriorated my brain to the point that I am making cartoons with random people on the internet after all. Another year of plummeting IQ, and I'll be following Smashmouth on tour stops.
 
Well, this escalated while I was away... I apologize, I've been focused on work a little more than average, but now I am free to partaaay.

I like the sound effect idea. I think the limitation should be time based, makes it easier metric to control overall.

You all have chimed in with a couple of variables, so I'm curious what everyone would want to do now.

Lets say this:

1. You have to have a sound in your film, as chosen by the challenger (me).
2. Films can only be 1 minute long.
3. Due date is by Dec. 10th.
4. Films will be voted for by anyone willing to vote. But winning vote is whoever becomes a new member of Indietalk and introduces themselves on Dec. 9th. (Or within a week of the due date.)

These rules acceptable? Anyone want to change or add to this, gimme your thoughts by Nov. 19th.
 
Well, this escalated while I was away... I apologize, I've been focused on work a little more than average, but now I am free to partaaay.

I like the sound effect idea. I think the limitation should be time based, makes it easier metric to control overall.

You all have chimed in with a couple of variables, so I'm curious what everyone would want to do now.

Lets say this:

1. You have to have a sound in your film, as chosen by the challenger (me).
2. Films can only be 1 minute long.
3. Due date is by Dec. 10th.
4. Films will be voted for by anyone willing to vote. But winning vote is whoever becomes a new member of Indietalk and introduces themselves on Dec. 9th. (Or within a week of the due date.)

These rules acceptable? Anyone want to change or add to this, gimme your thoughts by Nov. 19th.
Overall sounds good, I don't fully understand no 4

I must be misunderstanding it. We all vote, but then that vote is overridden by whoever is new to the forum that week? Or do you mean in case of a tie it has to be broken by a new person? I'm just a bit confused by that.
 
Overall sounds good, I don't fully understand no 4

I must be misunderstanding it. We all vote, but then that vote is overridden by whoever is new to the forum that week? Or do you mean in case of a tie it has to be broken by a new person? I'm just a bit confused by that.
No, I only listed it that way because I think it is a little weird to have participants vote. If no one wants to vote or does vote (members of the community), you get the newest member of the community to actually get involved in something and vote.
 
Now, prize wise... I think we could do something fun-ish. Maybe we make it where all participants have to share the winners video on there social media sites? Or, we gift the winner something.

Would there be a way to send (safely) a prize to someone? For example, maybe we do it like a gamble... Where participants put something on the line that they have first before we start.

What if, I promised to ship my limited edition Kushtaka doll, or something similar to the winner? We could make it a rule that no one can go above $20 as a prize.... OR, if you wanna go real risk, high stakes, fast lane kinda deal... What if a participant bet a camera lens or a real nice piece of gear for the challenge?
 
Now, prize wise... I think we could do something fun-ish. Maybe we make it where all participants have to share the winners video on there social media sites? Or, we gift the winner something.

Would there be a way to send (safely) a prize to someone? For example, maybe we do it like a gamble... Where participants put something on the line that they have first before we start.

What if, I promised to ship my limited edition Kushtaka doll, or something similar to the winner? We could make it a rule that no one can go above $20 as a prize.... OR, if you wanna go real risk, high stakes, fast lane kinda deal... What if a participant bet a camera lens or a real nice piece of gear for the challenge?
I think it's a cool idea but problematic for a couple of reasons. For one, all of our contributions would be of different value, and if that value had to be under 20 bucks, the prize would likely end up being a bag of junk. I'd suggest a $10 entry fee, pooled and paypaled to the winner. simple, clean, and balanced. If the community would be interested in a more ambitious proposal, read on.

I'd put up something big, If we had the size of community to make it reasonable. Or if we advertised it big enough to make a profit. I'll outline a scenario that might work, but I don't know if this forum community has the cash to make it work.

If Indie will run enough ads to rope in 2000 filmmakers, at a 20 dollar buy in, and required indietalk forum sign up, I'll put up my Red Epic, Gimbal, Kessler Crane, Cine Gimbal, Greenscreen wall, lens kit, and ARRI light kit for the contest, Like a Raffle. I'd get paid 20k of the entry fees for the Epic home studio cinematography kit. The rest of the entry fees would be used to cover the cost of the advertising, and enhancing the forum.

This would accomplish 4 things simultaneously

1. It would create a prize for filmmakers that would be able to lure thousands of people to the contest.
2. It would drive a huge amount of traffic here with member signup required, and generate a million hits as people obsessively watched the competition to see if they had a chance to win.
3. I could get a fair price for my kit, which I've been considering selling as a transition to CGI becomes more viable.
4. It would cover the cost of advertising Indietalk to around a million filmmakers around the world.

Basically here is how this mechanic would work. Indie puts up the ad money, and I put up the Epic Kit, but it has to reach a critical mass to cover the prize, and pay itself back. If I put up the complete Red Kit, He'd need to keep running ads until we had enough entrants to cover the costs. Probably the chance to win a Red Kit would be enough to get fair click through. I would estimate 5k in ads would get it out to a around 625k targeted viewers, with a conversion rate of 1/400 needed for success, at a gross 31k intake. That leaves a 6k margin for ad overflow without financial losses taking place. Obviously the time frame would have to be extended. Any left over money could go to supporting the forum. (running additional advertising to grow the forum. and increasing the size of the audience for everyone on the forum)

The risk is that IT would have to keep running ads until we had the entrants to cover the cost of the contest. That's not a guaranteed win, but it's a reasonable bet. A lot of filmmakers would want a Red Epic kit. Anyway, it's just a suggestion for some possible synergy. Could work out great, or IT could loose money if the ad campaign went bad. I will say that this whole thing would get a lot more interesting with 20 grand on the table, lol. I would have to recuse myself from the contest, but honestly, I'd rather get top dollar used price for my kit than win 200 dollars. Enter a contest for 20 dollars for a chance to win prizes valued at $20,000 actually sounds like a pretty good pitch to prospective entrants.

I assume we're going to end up doing something small, I'm ok with that, just throwing out an offer to escalate this thing into something massive. We could let anyone vote that became a member here, and people would stack every friend they had on here to try and win the Red, meaning the site could end up with 20-30k new members at the end of the day.

Something to think about. legality would depend on where Burntime was incorporated. For example, my incorporation is based in Delaware, rather than where I live.

Here's an article outlining contest legalities. I don't see how this idea is any different than any film festival collecting entry fees and offering prizes.


TLDR, I see your $10 and raise you 20k, lol
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Love the idea and the challenge. But the deadline is just out of my time-frame.
Doing pyro for New Years Rockin' Eve this week (Nov21 to 24)
Then off to Disney World to do camera work for their NYE special shooting December
3,4 and 5. Going to spend another week there just goofing around. And then back
to CA for a daily fireworks show at Universal.
 
Everyone is saying the timeframe is out, but I am super flexible. We can easily push this to any time we would like. Majority votes on this one. I don't mind seeing if the pot could be bigger, but I'm sure people would rather get the pot themselves than pay to get shipped gear they may or may not need/want.

If it was just a money prize, that would be great. Even if it only amounted to $500, that's still a good amount for a lens or something? No?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I look forward to it. As far as website involvement, I would like to simply be a spectator.
 
I'm very sorry I won't be able to partecipate due to commitments, and, if the theme is really going to be pasta in the end, as an italian, I'm painfully embittered. Anyway, I'll keep an eye on the competition.
 

Not possible. A 1 minute movie with a required sound effect was simple. I think the prizes and possible Youtube sharing is overcomplicating this.

I'm really busy with a December 31st deadline. Had this got going a week or two ago, I was going to do it. I was going to show a couple going into a dark room, and then we hear high and low pitched sex sounds of the Wilhelm scream. :censored::censored::censored:
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I thought it was going to stay a simple "duel" too ๐Ÿ˜‚
 
I guess this is a semantics issue. When I hear, make 1 minute of competitive film, I'm thinking about 140 hours of work. I started on my entry on the 19th, as specified, and I've probably put in about 18 hours so far.

The reason I was trying to scale this up a bit is because you guys have been talking about doing a comp for 2 years. There's a thread about this same thing from 2019. My thinking is, if we're going to do an IT film competition, let's do it right, and make it count. If we were doing one of these every 2 weeks, my mentality would be different.

I said several times that I was just making suggestions. This is Cam's challenge, so it makes no sense for anyone to quit just because I threw out some ideas. I'm not in charge of this, Cam is. For me, the higher the stakes, inclusive viewership and prizes, the more exciting the contest. I'm not sure that's so unusual.

Anything you guys want to do is fine, I was only thinking out loud about how we could make this a bigger event that would interest more people, and perhaps showcase some of the talent on the site.
 
I think there is definitely a fine line between too complex, and not complex enough.

Either way, this is all supposed to be mainly about one thing and one thing ultimately... Which is FUN. And if anyone learns something along the way, or gets something more out of it than just plain entertainment, then awesome.

Keep the ideas coming, and maybe I can get more people interested as time goes on and the thread grows to ridonculus depths. I did say duel, but I really meant all out war. Once we get enough people who will actually participate, then I think it would be time to launch on it. But until then, I will just plan it out a little more.

I'm not the best cat herder on the planet, but I try my best. lol.
 
I guess this is a semantics issue. When I hear, make 1 minute of competitive film, I'm thinking about 140 hours of work.

I'm editing two features, and am on a timeline. First one has to be finished at the end of next month. No way was I going to put near that amount of time in. By "competitive," I thought that meant that members voted for their favorite, whether it was something that made them laugh, or something with all the production put into it. You'll find that it is unpredictable what audiences like.



this is all supposed to be mainly about one thing and one thing ultimately... Which is FUN

That's what I thought it was. Something to get people moving, and quickly put out something. Anyway, my window has long passed, and you still haven't decided what your rules and parameters are. I'm wondering how Nate has already started without the required element(s).

I'm not the best cat herder on the planet

I used to run composer contests on another site. I'm sure Indietalk used to see them. There was no prize, it was simply a vote. It went like this:
1) First, there would be a thread to talk about the contest (like this one).

2) Next, there was the thread, where the first post set the rules, established a deadline, and for the entrants and members to comment on.
In those days, all the clips were sent to a person to organize them, but links could just be posted on the thread, nowadays.

3) The voting thread. First post would have links to all the entrants. We used code names for each entrant, so there was no member favoritism. In this case you could just go with the film title. Don't put credits on the entrant version. Forum members would vote on this thread, until a certain date. They can make comments about why they liked the movie they voted on, which is great for feedback.

4) Optional to be a separate thread, but something members can easily follow - you could have a Winner Results thread. Hypothetically, 1st place might have be Nate (20 votes), 2nd place CamBlamo 18 votes), 3rd place directorik (17 votes).

Also, someone like Indietalk would need to see who is voting. Everyone should vote, but you can't vote for yourself. People who are your friends, who sign up just to vote for you, should not be allowed. For this reason, people who sign up to Indietalk and have never posted should not be allowed to vote. Established posters should vote.

I ran several composer contests, which was really popular at the time. I've also run "A.D.D. (under 4 minutes) shorts contests at IndieMeet. In those cases, I had 3 neutral judges, who did not have a film entered. We did prizes for those, which were items that people donated, such a DVDs, McFarlane figures, etc.

One year, I actually did cash (from me). It was $100, $75, and $50. Guess what? People who didn't win or place high enough got really ugly!!!! One guy ranted to me about how he should have been higher than 3rd place, because his film previously won awards. They came up to me and bitched about the judges' choices, etc. Here I was shelling out over $200, plus another $1,500 for the event costs, and people were bitching! This didn't happen with the DVDs and toys, but when it was really worth something, it was awful!

But, this 1 minute dual should really be an introduction to something you might want to repeat. I know Indietalk had a few monthly contests, which I really wanted to do, but had commitments at the time. I've always been pretty busy, but if you did a few of these 1 minute things, I would certainly throw my hat into a future (after January) event.
 
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