Friday, November 1, 2013

Winners of Plein Air Persistence

Congratulations to the winners of the "Plein Air Persistence" Video Contest.

The winner in the Live Action category, and the overall highest vote-getter (672 votes) was Frank Hegyi and Shane Kier.  They will win:
1. A signed copy of any one of my in-print Dinotopia or art instruction books or DVDs.
2. A certificate of $250 worth of Richeson Art Products
3. A gift certificate from Liliedahl art videos.

Meghan N. Sours received the second highest number of votes overall, which entitles her to a $150.00 certificate from Richeson and a gift certificate from Liliedahl art videos. Here's the link to her video.

The winner in the Animation category was Dominik Litwiniak. He receives his choice of my in-print Dinotopia or art instruction books or DVDs and a certificate for Liliedahl videos. Here's the link to his video.

And Nathaniel Gold, who did a great entry but was barred from voting because his entry landed in my spam folder, gets a Special Awesomeness prize of one of my signed books or DVDs of his choice.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and voted in the poll, and we'll all keep on persisting as we paint en plein air.


Anonymous said...

Aww come on! No fair if you get all your friends to vote for you, shame on you! It's plain who had the best video for the name of the contest "Plein Air Persistence". While the winner had a very lovely video, it didn't really fit the name of the contest, there wasn't anything persistent about it.

James Gurney said...

Amaza, I don't think it's reasonable to suggest that the winners won merely because they rallied their friends. The winning film won the most votes—that's all we know, and I would guess the voters weighed a lot of factors in deciding. As with most prizes, it's like comparing apples and oranges, and the top slots are filled by very worthy entries.

Amanda said...

James, I think the outcome might have had more credibility if the winner had been chosen by you and/or the other sponsors. Open voting in the age of social media isn't fair or indicative of being the best (whatever that is).

Psycho James said...

WOW What an amazing video! The winners (Frank Hegyi and Shane Kier) are well deserved! I like how they narrate the piece with a simple explanation between artist and nature! I know as an art the "Persistence" that I have to deal with every time I go out to capture an ideal with a paint brush! The video is brilliant and well put together! It is like they know how I feel when I am out there which, is always a challenge. My vote was for these guys an I'm happy they won! Great job Mr Gurney an, I look forward to entering future contest!

Making A Mark said...

I'm not commenting on this individual contest - I've not taken part in the voting and not previously commented on it. However given the comments to date I would like to relay my conclusions based on similar contests elsewhere.

It's a sad fact that running contests with online voting is now a bit of a challenge for the organiser! There are some safeguards which can be put in place but even so it's still far from easy to keep things fair.

I am coming round to the view that voting in a social media world relates more to popularity than quality. It's the 'X Factor' if you like.

I'm beginning to think that voting to produce a shortlist with a judgement then being made by an individual or panel is actually more likely to produce a fairer result. Otherwise logic tells us that it is always possible that the result actually tells us who has the most friends.

In the past I've actually had blatant cases of touting for votes going on in a contest I was running - and had to expel the person from the contest as a result (on the basis I already had a strict "no lobbying" rule in place). I know another person won a large cash prize in another contest with online voting because the constituency the artist could ask for votes from happened to be very large - and this generated a huge number of votes for that individual - purely based on which 'community group' the person belonged to.

Spikes in voting are the clearest indication that I know that something untoward is going on which has nothing to do with the art and has everything to do with how many people know or like the person in question.

The thing which is most likely to generate "untoward activity" is the nature of the prize - and it's the main reason I don't have prizes for the Making A Mark Awards. The bigger the prize, the bigger the risk that something will happen.

Sorry if this puts a damper on this contest but since others had already commented I thought I'd give you my perspective of having run such 'competitions' and conversations I've had with others while trying to work out a solution which eliminates the scope for 'spikes'.

There isn't a solution which completely eliminates repeat voting - however the 'one vote only' software which records the ISP of the voter and blocks all subsequent attempts to vote from that ISP is helpful.

Finally - I'd like to thank James for a brilliant idea for a video contest and for being such a generous host in sharing the endeavours of others.

I'm sure all those that entered learned some valuable lessons about film-making and will be back again next year if there is a rerun!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Psycho James.

And thank you, Katherine and Amanda for those thoughtful and constructive comments. Any voting system, online or otherwise, is prone to the possibility that entrants touted for votes. But let me say that there is no evidence to my knowledge the winners did that. And even if they did, soliciting votes isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I didn't forbid it. Movie companies do it relentlessly for the Academy Awards, as anyone who has subscribed to Variety in the winter months well knows.

Human juries aren't any less arbitrary than online polls, nor are their results any more free from grumbling. Having served on art juries several times, I've seen "groupthink" and popularity operating in awarding prizes. It's tough being a juror because once you weed out the 85% of stuff that's clearly not in the top rank, it's really tough to pick out the very, very best. It's not like a car race where only one car comes in first. And whatever you choose, someone's going to be unhappy.

For what it's worth, Jeanette and I each privately ranked our top three favorites in this contest before the voting, and our ranking exactly matched the way the popular vote actually came out.

So congratulations to all the entrants and thanks to everyone who voted. Making a video is a lot of work and presenting your stuff takes bravery! We're all learning from each other how to make better videos. I hope this contest proved inspiring to you all--ALL the entries certainly inspired me!

Leo Mancini-Hresko said...

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this video a few months ago.