We have another practical evening lined up for you for this meeting but this one is different. Instead of learning about filmmaking we are going to hone a different set of skills – our judgement of films.

Opinions are like bottoms – we’ve all got one – but it is how we express them that matters and in the world of judging or reviewing films (must resist temptation to plug my own film review site) this is no different.  A brusque or snootily delivered comment can make all the difference in deflating the confidence of a filmmaker whilst excessive praise to disguise any obvious mistakes won’t help someone learn from them and improve in the future.

So, how can we all learn from this and distinguish the difference between brutal honesty and constructive criticism? Our chair Jane Oliver has this in-depth explanation as to what this evening is about:


The Purpose of the Evening
We all need to learn the art of giving and receiving constructive criticism and acting on it if we hope to improve our filmmaking skills. We need to learn how to mark films consistently and fairly across the board, irrespective of the filmmaker
Part 1
Show a short film (about 4 minutes)
  • Get club members to rate it in accordance with most of the points on the Top Ten entry judging form
  • Filmmaker provides explanation of how they went about asking for constructive criticism, accepting or disregarding that criticism and whether or not it resulted in the filmmaker re-editing the film.
  • Show film again, split into groups, expand on comments together through discussion and to make constructive suggestions as to how this film could be improved upon.
  • Feedback to whole club
  • Filmmaker commenting on the actions they took throughout the process
  • Show revised film if there is one.
Tea break
Part 2
  • Show a film that was entered into a number of different competitions resulted in extremely diverse results from the judges
  • Break into groups to discuss how this film could be improved upon
  • Guess whether or not it won any awards
  • If club members think it did, can they suggest which competitions it would have done well in?
  • What does this teach us about judging and judges?
  • Provide the judges comments to the groups
  • Filmmaker to make any additional helpful comments.
We hope that by the end of the evening, club members will;
  • feel confident to give appropriate marks fairly across the board
  • feel confident to comment constructively on other member’s films
  • be able to receive constructive criticism to assist in developing their filmmaking skills
  • be able to discard any criticism that is not constructive and helpful
  • be able to decide whether or not it is worth re-editing that particular film
  • have an understanding of how their film could have a better chance of winning awards
We want OVFM to grow, not just in numbers, but in confidence, with an understanding of how we can develop the quality of our films so that in time, OVFM will stand out from the crowd as a club that produces award winning films.  Bring on the next Triangle competition.  It’s about time we brought home the silverware!


I hope that is clear, so be sure to join Jane, John Epton and David Laker for what will be an interesting and worthwhile evening for us all.