Monday, 26 April 2010

D&AD awards

On Wednesday, I headed down to the Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre, for the D&AD Awards, as a student rep. It was a really interesting opportunity put forward by D&AD to students, to be able to have a look behind the scenes of the judging process. I was allowed to sit in on the sessions whilst judges examine real projects from industry in to various categories. Unfortunately any student reps were politely asked to move well out of the way from the area that the student work judging was taking place.

I was shadowing the Music Videos jury, made up of Sasha Nixon, Tim Nash, Dawn Shadforth, Richard Kenworthy, and Corin Hardy. All the music videos were in different categories depending on which one best reflected why it was there: simply as a music video in general, or for editing, cinematography, special effects or animation – and loads were entered into more than one. Judges voted using aps on iPod Touch’s that were handed out, so all the information could be logged digitally – the second year of doing it like this; last year they used a Nintendo DS each. This was a bit of a faff and caused a few problems when we were waiting for results to be printed off at the other end of the building. A good old pencil and paper would have been much quicker. The jury could vote Yes, No or Abstain – if it was their work we were looking at, which happened a few times, as most people there were successful directors. The videos were entered by the agencies that the jurors worked for rather on those projects. Corin Hardy in particular had a couple of videos that he could not even mention when they popped up – Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing (posted back in november), Paolo Nutini’s Pencil full of lead and the Prodigy’s Warrior's Dance.

There are 3 stages in the judging process; the first round, called ‘in-book’, where all the rubbish is turned away and a shortlist is decided on that will make it into the D&AD Annual. Then a new list of work that is nominated for a yellow pencil is made up from the in-book list, chosen by majority vote of the jury. The final stage of judging is each juror casting a single vote for the nominated piece of work that they think most rightly deserves a yellow pencil, if any.

It was a long time to sit and watch videos back to back (over 40 before lunch, just to decide what made it in-book), and went on from 9ish until after half 6, breaking just a couple of times in between. Although, it was great to be able to chat to such top professionals about the work they do and what they were looking for in the entries, and see lots of great work that I hadn’t seen before.

By half 6, the music video results looked like this.

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