Disappointed with StockStock

A few months ago I entered the StockStock film festival. It sounds a good idea – they choose a bunch of video from the Internet Archive and anyone who stumps up $20 gets a copy of their chosen material on tape. The entrant then gets a few weeks to edit it in to something interesting before posting back a completed entry.

So why am I disappointed? Because it seems that despite their novel use of archive footage they seem locked in a weird time warp when it comes to communication and sharing.

  • They provide email addresses, yet have never once replied to any of my emailed questions.
  • They don’t even acknowledge receipt of submissions, let alone provide feedback to entrants.
  • They listed the names of the entrants whose work was selected for screening, but nothing at all about the videos.
  • They have not provided any way of contacting other entrants.
  • They have not even mentioned how many entrants they had.
  • Worst of all, they have not provided any way for interested viewers to see or discuss the entries other than attending a one-off screening in Seattle last September.

This is crazy. I understand that my entry was probably not good enough to make the screening, but how can I get any better with neither feedback nor the ability to see the work of other entrants?

By diligent web searching, I have managed to find a very small number of other entrants who have made their entries from this year’s competition available on-line:

While searching, I also found a few entries from last year, too, but still no official page, or links.

A few others have mentioned their entries, but not (yet) made them available:

If any readers know of any others, please let me know and I’ll add to this list.

And to the stockstock folks, if you read this:

You have a fantastic opportunity to connect a thriving community of movie editors, please don’t waste it by being a black hole and thinking that one screening (to what, a few hundred people?) is the end of the road. Share the love.

fantastic resource for accents

I love accents and regional dialects, so I was enthralled to find IDEA, the International Dialects of English Archive. There are some interesting samples available, but unfortunately they seem to have a somewhat harsh view on what you can do with them. There also seems some confusion on what rights they give out. The above “copyright” page states:

You may play an IDEA recording or text file in a lecture, class, training session, or workshop directly from the internet, or your students may do so from their own individual terminals, without obtaining special permission; but distributing copies of them either by disc or by digital file, requires special permission and the payment of an appropriate fee.

Yet the front page of the site states:

Once you have chosen a recording to download, simply click on it and save it — at no cost to you!

And when you get to a page of samples it states even more forcefully:

**IMPORTANT** In order to properly play these soundfiles, you must first save them to your hard drive! Please right-click on the desired sample and choose to save it to your computer. Our server does not support streaming audio at this time.

I leave it to you to work out what you actually may or may not do.

Via Complications ensue.

Detailled review of “Digital Video Hacks”

The always thoughtful Robert Nagle (a.k.a idiotprogrammer) has just published a detailled and useful review of Digital Video Hacks by Joshus Paul from O’Reilly.

I’ve been meaning to take a look at this book for a while – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed some of the other books in their “hacks ” series. Robert’s review not only waxes enthusiastic about this book, but includes a bunch of useful references and comparisons too.