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Competition Judging

The one thing that most club members have in common is that we do not like judging and I include myself in that. It is never easy to stand up in front of our peers and pass comment on their work.The seven deadly sins of judging is something that most of you will have heard of before. Yet is easy for those members who have been good enough to volunteer and judge a competition to fall into the trap of committing one or more of these deadly sins. So I thought if would be a useful reminder and something worth considering if you are going to get involved in judging future competitions.


Telling the filmmaker how they should have made the film. Avoid saying things like “I would have liked to have seen……” or “It would have been better if you had…….


Basing you opinion on your own personal preferences and prejudices on a subject. Try as much as possible, to override the subject matter and to see the film beyond it, even if it really doesn’t appeal to you. Avoid saying “I am not a great fan of……


Taking an approach of focusing on “what’s wrong with the film”. Feedback should be constructive and should consider ‘pluses’ as well as ‘minuses’. Avoid saying “A tripod would have helped with some of the shots”.


Dissecting or closely scrutinising a film without first assessing the film as a whole. OK – so some of the shots may have been shaky or there may have been a dodgy zoom BUT was it a good film?


Describing in detail how you think a film was made, how something was shot, or how something was done without knowing the facts or being 100% certain. Remember you weren’there!


Making unnecessary and useless remarks. Remember sometimes “silence can be golden”.

Degrading or joking about an entry. This is a definite no, no!
Remember judging should be a constructive and positive experience designed to help the filmmaker develop and improve their skills.


Clive Hand