Judging will be done based on the following criteria
1. Creativity & Originality – Is it an original story that you wrote? Is the script predictable or creative and engaging? Are you doing something that has never been done before? Is the writing, directing, acting and editing imaginative and does it support the structure/story?
2. Ability to Deliver a Message – Is the film emotionally engaging? (e.g. makes you feel hopeful, challenges how you think changes your perception of Sikhi issues). Is it about a relevant sikh topic? Does it deliver its message well? Is the message clear? Is the message applicable to modern times? Is it inspiring?
3. Technical Execution – Does the entry demonstrate competent production techniques (Editing, cinematography, sound quality, graphics, lighting, image composition)?
4. Overall Impact – After watching it does the viewer say “wow, that was amazing”, or “I’m going to show this film to all of my friends and family”? After watching all of the films the one the viewer remembers or thinks of first had the most impact on him/her. Does your entree have this ‘lasting quality’?
Tips and Suggestions:
1. Creativity & Originality
- Almost everything has been done before but you can adapt something old with something new. For example, doing and old fashioned black and white film style about visiting a Gurdwara. “The Scott and Drake Show” were the first ones ever to do that about a Gurdwara, and it created a certain charm.
- Think of something, even if it has been done before and improve upon it, so you make it original. For example “Mythbusters… with Masala” – they took a known show and added a twist.
- Try to mix media. for example, using rap music (modern colloquial) to express a Sikh topic.
- The more time and thought you put into it, the better impact your film will have.
- Sit around and brainstorm your ideas with friends and family. ask everyone what they think about your idea and get as much feedback as you can. Don’t rush the ideas. Start now to give yourself enough time.
2. Ability to Deliver a Message
- Try to avoid Sikh history, a modern story with a western perspective is more applicable to modern youth.
- Think of the things that are closest to your heart, that will have an emotional pull.
- Make the message important, and make something that all of the viewers can relate to.
- Make the delivery believable, and not unrealistically emotional.
- Make sure the plot is realistic (unless it’s a comedy)
- Make sure everything in the film relates to the message, and try to stick to one message per film.
3. Technical Execution
- You can record a lot of dialogue in post production to avoid wind blowing into the mic.
- Think of different angles you can shoot (instead of only doing a straight on), lighting (additional lighting may be necessary indoors), scene transitions (do scenes drag on too long? can you keep it exiting by cutting to different angles during a single dialogue? how does the film flow?), and sound levels (make sure every word of dialogue is easily audible)
- Watch some films or TV shows and observe how long each scene is, and how long each camera angle within a dialogue.
- Background music and score can really emphasize a feeling, as well as provide continuity for a film
- Shoot B-roll. This is good for interviews and documentaries.
- Do some research about film making. Watch some films and shows, and start to notice what techniques are being used in sound editing, filming, editing etc. Try to make your film as close as you can to studio quality.
- As you may know, editing is where a lot of the film magic happens, so don’t underestimate this step. In 2012 especially, the judges are looking for higher quality productions.
4. Overall Impact
- Think of the films that have impacted you the most and try to understand why. Which films had an emotional impact on you?
- Watch other independant films, and the SikhNet Film Festival videos, and analyze which films were popular, which films won prizes and why
- Try to make a message that is uplifting or inspiring rather than depressing or angering.
- Make the message Sikh related.