Topic: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

THAC has been a big success once again, with a total of 74 entries (+ 4 that missed the deadline by a hair's breadth), compared to 76 the previous year. Talking to participants throughout made me wonder if we could change it up a bit in future.

A lot of people I spoke to said that they wished THAC was more often that just once a year. To some extent I share the sentiment, because while having it come round so rarely means it's more special, it does seem a shame to limit it perhaps unnecessarily. Not only that, but the stress of the contest is multiplied tenfold by the knowledge that if you don't finish your film, you have to wait a whole year to try again. The contest is meant to be hard, but I saw people break down, become reduced to tears, proclaim they were done with brickfilming forever and apparently Squid got so delirious that he chatted in a rather out-of-character manner in a Skype call for an hour, then completely lost any memory of it happening.

I'd toyed with the idea of having THAC in Summer and Winter, but the fact that BRAWL (Brickfilm Rapidly All Week Long) traditionally took place in Summer prevented that.

After a little discussion, we came up with this plan:

  • Spring: THAC

  • Summer: BRAWL

  • Autumn: THAC

  • Winter: BRAWL

BRAWL is best placed in Summer and Winter because those are typically the longest school holidays, so the BRAWL week could be convenient for the most people. As THAC only requires a weekend (that's debatable) you could still participate even with no time off.

Other ideas for the future:

  • Should we change the mod element to only be in every shot, rather than every frame?

  • Should THAC even be a contest at all? To me it was always about the participation, rather than actually winning anything.

This is all up for discussion, I want to know what you think! Is there anything else you'd like to see changed in future contests?

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Yes.

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I'm not sure BRAWL in winter is a good idea. Christmas and the New Year might prevent people to enter the contest. (They might have guests these week and therefore not be completely operational.)
(That is why I couldn't enter THAC this year.)

And I think the mod element is enough in every shot, not in every frame. The point of the mod element is to be sure that the film was made within the 24 hours. Having the mod element in one frame of every shot is a sufficient proof to me.

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Easter BRAWL sounds good to me, and to be honest the more contests the better. Everytime a contest is posted we gain at least 30+ films (for THAC or BRAWL) to the community, so the more the merrier.

THAC was great this year btw.

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

That kind of schedule could work actually, I'm all for those contests being twice a year. Also yes, the mod element should be every shot, every frame is kind of ridiculous in a 24 hour contest where if you mess up you have to waste precious time going back.

This has been the second year in a row where I've had a breakdown, though last year getting over it made it feel all the better when I finally completed my film. But yeah, it wasn't a nice feeling this year knowing that what I'd been waiting a year for couldn't be done due to technical difficulties that had never occurred to me before. Having THAC twice a year reduces the horrible feeling that if you mess up then that's it for a whole year.

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BRAWL 2013 ENTRY Quack In Time
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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

No, guys, I don't remember that happening.  I'm pretty sure.
But seriously, what happened?


Every frame for the mod element is a bit too much I think.  Also, having the rules be inconstant between the two evens seems a little weird since they are so similar.  I would much rather the general rules become a standard to both.
I also think that any LEGO element should count towards the mod.  Having base plates and capes separated becomes a bit confusing.

It would be interesting to see how stuff works out as twice a year.  While I don't think I really went crazy and joined a skype call and then forgot about it, it still is really stressful knowing that you will have to wait a whole year to try again.

I still like the idea of it as a contest.  Though making a film is what's important, I feel like the race to be the very best really brings out people's ability in their films, which is quite fun to watch.

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I don't really like BRAWL (almost but not quite enough time to make a really solid, worthwhile film) and I feel like this would hurt participation in THAC. We hold it in December/January to maximize participation.

I like the idea of changing the mod rule to every shot.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I like the mod element rule change idea, but I do agree that BRAWL probably wouldn't work in the winter. It would just get in the way much more than THAC of winter break/Christmas/New Years. I think it would be nice to have two THACs a year, I was actually saying something about that yesterday.

And yes, please keep THAC. Although it is extremely stressing, I love being able to say I participated, even if I didn't really have much fun doing it. mini/tongue

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Why not have both THAC and BRAWL in the summer? You could have THAC in late June, and then have BRAWL in late July/early August?

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I do like the change of having the MOD element in every shot, rather than every frame; BRAWL has been doing this for the past 4 years (maybe more?). If anything, THAC needs it more than BRAWL.

Like Smeagol said, moving BRAWL to winter break would most likely drop the amount of entries in THAC but, it might greatly increase the amount of entries in BRAWL!

Personally, I support this new schedule, it makes sense and I think it will work.

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Willco66 wrote:

Why not have both THAC and BRAWL in the summer? You could have THAC in late June, and then have BRAWL in late July/early August?

This guy speaks sense.

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

It may be alright for you guys in the US, but here in the UK we don't have Summer holidays until July. On top of that, Summer is when people have GCSE/A level exams, so that wouldn't be good at all.

http://i.imgur.com/WAr6hHC.png
BRAWL 2013 ENTRY Quack In Time
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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Fun Sucker wrote:

I do like the change of having the MOD element in every shot, rather than every frame; BRAWL has been doing this for the past 4 years (maybe more?). If anything, THAC needs it more than BRAWL.

Like Smeagol said, moving BRAWL to winter break would most likely drop the amount of entries in THAC but, it might greatly increase the amount of entries in BRAWL!

Personally, I support this new schedule, it makes sense and I think it will work.


I agree, Although maybe switch it around so Thac in the winter and Brawl in the start of the year?


Another idea would be to switch Thac around each year or each "time" we have a thac so people in different timezones don't have to suffer every time we have thac. For example instead of 12 noon GMT we have Thac 12 Midnight GMT next year making it so it would switch by 12 hours each year or each thac.

Last edited by Shutterpoint (December 29, 2013 (11:34am))

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I support changing the mod rule to shots instead of frames. Keeping things on a per-frame basis might (in our wildest dreams) prevent one or two cheaters from entering, but we know from experience that it plagues legitimate entrants every year.

As for whether THAC should be a contest, I'm ambivalent. In theory, I like the idea of THAC as a festival of sorts where everyone gets together and makes films for the fun of it- that's basically what I've done every year, and I'm sure there are others who hold a similar attitude. That said, I've heard people getting excited about the prizes this year, and it can be motivational to see where your skills stand among the community when the judging is said and done. THAC has become such an iconic thing for the site that I wonder whether it would lose some prestige if we stopped running it as a competition. If I had to take a stance, I'd be in favor of keeping it a competition- assuming we continue to find competent volunteers and sponsors willing to run it.

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Personally, I think THAC should stay annual. I remember when THAC happened a few times several years ago it hurt participation in both occurrences. Having multiple THACs dilutes it and I think the best time for THAC has always been winter break. Both people in school and with jobs generally get time off during the holidays. But the same can't be guaranteed for almost any other month.

I agree the mod element should just be in every shot.

It's a pity there seems to be an attitude around here that people are really only ever motivated to make films if there are some juicy prizes behind it. People should make films because they want to make films. I think this last year with some subpar contests just shows that we should be focusing on one or two good contests per year, instead of clogging up the year with contests. Otherwise people will just be hopping from contest to contest without making anything on their own.

Keep THAC annual, keep it a contest, and keep it during winter break. Change the mod element so it has to be present in every shot, not frame.

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

Nathan Wells wrote:

Keep THAC annual, keep it a contest, and keep it during winter break. Change the mod element so it has to be present in every shot, not frame.

I agree with all of this, personally I want to have more than one THAC a year but it will hurt participation.

http://i.imgur.com/CSwoca1.png

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I wasn't going to chime in, but might as well.
I agree with Nathan Wells 100%.
That is all.

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

THAC is pain, adrenaline, joy, stress and other various emotions all rolled up into one and experienced in a 24 hour time period.

I think for everyone's sake it should only take place on one day of the year. mini/wink

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Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

One THAC and one BRAWL a year should be what we stay with (but having a mod in every shot not every frame in THAC would be nice)

Re: The Future of THAC (and BRAWL)

I'd say 2 BRAWLs because I think 1 week is enough time to make a well polished short if you alot your time correctly. Not a fan of THAC though, it usually generates a large stream of poor quality films, so I cannot talk.

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