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More Survey Feedback

Posted by Jorgha Haq on August 22, 2015 at 1:55 PM

One thing I can say about the survey that we posted is that it's giving us something to write about in the blog area for a change :) This post in addressing the feedback we have gotten on the survey is going to be quite long, I am afraid.  Apologies in advance.

The survey was made anonymous for a reason. We want to encourage the feedback and get opinions, especially with some of the things going on behind the scenes. Sometimes, though, I wish that I knew who gave the answers where I could talk to them and get more information. If anyone wants to discuss anything that they have put in the survey they can email us at [email protected] Right now I want to once again address some of the specific feedback 

"Make a contest only for people who are new with the sims stuff."  -  In theory, this isn't a bad idea, but it's something that would take time and planning. Having said that, we do have an award for Best New Director. New Director means someone who has made 5 or fewer machinimas. I don't remember how we came up with that number, honestly.  t's voted on internally by our Machinima Masters. This season we have a number of people who have been brave enough to share their very first machinima projects with us and we want to do something to bring a bit of attention to these new directors. Since we do acknoweldge the new directors on their own, I'm not sure that we need to set up a contest specifically for them. In some ways I feel that this would be doing them a disservice since SIFF has always been a way to introduce people to new directors and people use it as a vessle to get more views on their projects as well as more subscribers. Doing a separate, new and therefore less known, competition probably wouldn't provide them with that. This is a topic that we really need more feedback on.

"I would love to see more of an inclusion for animators, pose makers and cc creators. I know they are already welcomed and encouraged to participate but perhaps if there were awards for say, best costume designer, animation and pose creator more people who aren't as into the machinima aspect would participate and get in on the fun, as well as helping to spread the word." - I feel like I am picking on whoever suggested this but that isn't my intention. SIFF is and always has been about machinima. Without CC makers machinima wouldn't be what it is. It would all start too look the same very quickly. The CC community is a valuable resource. However, this isn't a CC awards show. It never will be. As a CC creator myself, I would love to get more attention for what I do but that's not going to happen, not through SIFF. There is no way we could do this. Every piece of CC, every pose, every animation would need to be kept track of along with what submission it's in there would have to be a way for the audiance to know where and what they are looking at. I don't even want to think about the logistics involved there. Having to pay attention to every little detail, like what outfit Alex, Tyler, and Samantha wore in each scene of "I Dream of Plumbobs" is just going to make the audiance tune out. Yea, CC awards are not going to happen. We do have awards for costume and set design that go to our directors because they are the ones that are putting all the CC together like a giant puzzle and making it work together.

Many of our directors list in their credits the CC creators that who's stuff they use. If you want to get the word out for stuff, let us know. We have been telling everyone over and over that we want adverts for the magazines for your content and websites and yet people don't take advantage of this.

"I feel like battle of the bands could be more a summer thing." - Battle of the Bands. Ah baby. LOL! This survey has told us two things that have been extremely helpful.


  1. People want two seasons of SIFF because of real life. Some people can't particapate in the spring, but can the fall and vice versa. We're not going to take that away.
  2. SIFF and Battle of the Bands have two very distinct audiances and Battle of the Bands should really be it's own thing.
We are going to work on making Battle of the Bands it's own thing that runs between SIFF seasons. It's going to take a bit to best decide how to do this, but we think it will be beneficial to both SIFF and Battle of the Bands.

"Make the Buzz more prominent/mandatory or just stop spending so much time and effort on it." - I am honestly confused by this. I'm not sure what is meant by "mandatory" here but as far as making it more prominent I am not sure what we can do there. This is one of those things that I wish I could ask whoever gave us this feedback what they meant. We promte it on all our social networking sites as well as post it on the site. It's a fun thing that is put together to help showcase what is going on in SIFF and our survey results show that people do not read it consistantly. We can't tie people down and make them read it and I am not sure what needs to be done to make people show more interest in it. Again, this is one of those things that we need more specific feedback on from everyone in order to make te best decision - that middle ground between what we want to provide for everyone and what everyone finds important/enjoyable.

"I feel a bit overpowered by the masters in BOTB or soon to be masters in regular SIFF" - Honestly I am not picking on anyone. This is the only way I have to address this stuff since we didn't ask for contact inforamtion on the survey. SIFF Masters compete iin their own catagory against each other. The soon to be masters...there is no way we can separate them out from everyone else.

This goes along with something someone else sent in about adding a beginners and intermediate catagory. That would mean prescreening everything. Last season there was around 48 hours of machinima to watch. That would mean that the staff would have to find the time as soon as the films were released to watch everything ASAP. One of our staff members works 12 hour days with very little time off. Another one of our staff is in University full time. Watching all this stuff as soon as it comes out would put a huge stress on our staff that we don't want. Then we would have to sit down and debate between ourselves where each submission belongs. What if we can't agree on something? What if people don't agree with where we put them? What if we asked them where they wanted to be put and we didn't agree with it? This would seriously hold up getting the polls up for everyone to vote on and potentially stop people from re-entering making SIFF die a slow death.

Pulling out those that would be put in the masters catagory prior to putting up the polls isn't really fair. This means ruining the SIFF experience for the few people that make masters every season. They aren't officially masters so they can't compete there, so where would they compete? Against each other? That's not going to work because some seasons only one or two people are put in the Masters catagory. It would also mean getting a second group of people with commitments in real life together to watch everying quickly and make the decision about who will make Masters early on where we could do with them whatever we decided would be "fair" (and there isn't much that would be fair to them). Logistically this would also be a nightmare. You also don't annonce "winners" before vote even starts and that is, essentially what we would be doing by separating those that will be added to Masters at the end of the season.

The films submitted by the Masters are there to inspire, to push each of us to improve. While a big part of SIFF is to showcase our films and practice our craft, everyone wants to win and/or be acknowledged for what they have done. Everyone wants to be told "You are good enough to be a Master."  We need those films that are better than ours to encourage us to improve. I am not a master, as much as this surprised Gus Rockman on a regular basis, who thinks I should be there based on creativity alone. I don't mind competing against those that are better than me - the almost masters - because no matter how much I improve there is always going to be someone better. There is always gonig to be someone with a better eye for various details than me. There is going always be someone with more skill than me because of their major in university or because they have more time to perfect the craft. This is just the way of things and those people shouldn't be penalized because I don't or can't live up to their standards. It's my job to find the time to improve. I really hope that makes sense.

One thing that people may not realize is that the Masters are approachable. They are willing to help people and give feedback on how to better do things. They are more than happy to help. Believe it or not, their first machinimas were probably pretty bad...and speaking bad quality machinima I want to direct everyones attention to Manscaping with Duct Tape. If you haven't watched this you should. Fall 2012's "Best Advert". I threw this together in 15 minutes tops. I'm not kidding. It was written and put together on the fly. No planning, no nothing. I did it to amuse myself and very little effort was put into it. True story, Min chased me down and told me to enter it, and that if I didn't, she would enter it on behalf. Yes, I was blackmailed. From a technical standpoint it is probably one of the worst pieces of machinima ever submitted to SIFF. This is NOT something I would have ever said "This is good enough for SIFF" and I really didn't expect it to get more than maybe 5 votes, and I am being generous there. It did not stop it from winning against things that people spent more time on and were technically oh so much better.To this day I still have no idea why it won and why people like it. I have seen brand new machinima makers put together better quality stuff. A peice of machinima doesn't have to be a technical masterpiece to be entertaining and enjoyed or even winning. Remember that.

"Promote it more on social media" - I will admit, we fail here. I hate admitting that because I spent a number of years working in social media. It comes down to time and resources. Promoting stuff on social media is a full time job in itself and we need people dedicated to doing it. We are working on this and I think we are slowly improving.

To everyone who thinks we're perfect, thanks for the vote of confidnece. I think we have a lot of room for improvement and every season we make adjustments where they are needed. I want everyone to keep sending us their feedback. 


Categories: SIFF, Miscellaneous

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1 Comment

Reply sylentwhysper
10:19 AM on August 23, 2015 
Separating submissions into skill levels - In theory it may make sense, but there is already a divide between the Masters and the general participants, breaking the films into beginners, intermediate and masters will only cause a bigger gap. And it really is inconceivable that each film be pre-screened to be placed in a category. As a lot of films aren't even finished until release date and basing an opinion on a trailer isn't ideal or fair.

I was one of the first machinima masters in SIFF and I want to address a misconception. People have often expressed that they are intimidated by the Masters and I want to say that we are a pretty friendly bunch. It may not seem like it but we are humans. :P We started out as newbies at one time and have been in your place, we understand how you feel, but there is no need to feel intimidated because we are here to help. We may be considered a master at our craft but we aren't perfect, we don't have all the answers but we will share the knowledge that we do have. I hope that the other machinima masters will step forward and take more initiative in encouraging the community so that this divide is eliminated. We are here to support each other no matter our skill levels and that's what SIFF is about. It's to showcase our work and show support to our fellow artists, learn and grow from each other.

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