Backstage Pass: Update and “Entry Issues”

First thing is first. Last day for entries is Sept 15. I promise I will have the playbill on the site and the YouTube playlists updated by then where the first round of voting for posters and trailers can happen on time. I still have 9 interviews to get out to people. The 15th is also the deadline for posters and trailers.

Here’s what is going to happen: On Sept 16th the gallery will be open for Red Carpet pictures. There will be a Red Carpet edition of Insider Magazine released on the day voting opens. Any interviews that have not run on the site will be in that issue of Insider so be prepared. The issue has the potential to be relatively big.

Next up, there is an issue that I want to address. It has come to my attention that someone is being accused of stealing someone else’s project. I have talked to the person who is being accused. This is the SimsFilmFest’s official stance on the entire thing (and hopefully this will put the matter to rest and there won’t be any drama about this going forward with the festival).

You can not copyright ideas. You can’t really steal them either. In the past we have had entries that have been relatively similar, down to the names. There were a couple seasons there that all the teen dramas and vampire stories ran together. In the past we have also had  people adapt the same book to machinima. It is entirely possible for two (or more) people to have the same idea. That is fine. 

There is only a problem when someone blatantly takes someone else’s project. This would be downloading something off YouTube and trying to pass it off as your own. This would also be attempting to recreate someone else’s project (past or present) scene by scene down to the sets and costumes. 

If we suddenly told people who wanted to do their own version of something that they couldn’t enter SimsFilmFest, we would have to ban adaptations of movies, books, etc. We would have to tell people that they couldn’t enter anything that is even close to something that has been done before. We would have to police machinima titles where they weren’t reused. We would only allow 100% original projects written by the directors, and that would include making your own music for music videos. I really don’t think anyone wants us to put that kind of stranglehold on things.

In 8 years of the festival we have had 400+ projects entered. At some point there is going to be things that are similar, the same music used for a music video, more than one person adapting a popular book. It’s the way of things. Unless there is some unquestionable copyright violation of someone else’s work and the copyright owner comes forward and says something to me and can provide proof that something of theirs was stolen, whatever is going on is a non-issue. Third parties (meaning those of you watching SimsFilmFest at home) don’t get any say in what is or isn’t accepted for the festival, even if they have concerns that something may be “stolen”. It’s also not cool for those not participating in the festival to harass and bully someone over a piece of machinima. If I ever find out who is bullying/harassing people over this kind of thing, I will ban them from participating in SimsFilmFest. No questions asked. This is unacceptable behaviour and it will not be tolerated.  

I hope that clears things up for now and in the future. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. 

Written by: Jorgha Haq

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The Sims International Film Festival was created in 2010 as a way to foster creativity in The Sims community through machinima, an art form that uses video game footage to make movies. Over the years, as new entries in The Sims franchise were released and new editing methods became available, we’ve seen a lot of changes, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to showcasing the creativity of this community and inspiring new artists.

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