Sunday, June 30, 2013

Do Craft Awards Count?

Last week a friend of mine said on Facebook: "Craft awards don't count. Fact."

I sniggered at that.
Maybe because I was brought up to believe that 'the idea is king'. Maybe because I'm from a copywriting background. Or maybe because I'm mildly disgusted that Cannes gave out over 100 Lions for Craft this year.
There's even an entirely separate category for Film Craft, added in 2010. I can't deny there have been some worthy winners. Philips 'The Gift' won the inaugural Grand Prix. In 2011 it was won by Puma 'After Hours Athletes', in 2012 it was Canal Plus 'Bear, and this year the visually stunning 'Meet The Superhumans'.
But do they count as much as the non-craft awards?
Well, John Hegarty always says: "It's 80% idea, and 80% execution," and he normally knows what he's talking about.
And maybe we under-appreciate craft, since the art of it often lies in not drawing attention to itself.
For example, I was recently chatting to someone involved in the post for Sony 'Balls'.
The whole intention, he told me, was to make it seem real - like there had been no post.
But in actual fact there was loads. That ad was in The Mill for weeks.
They took out the mortars that fired the balls. They took out the nets that caught the balls. They took out the balls themselves, in places where there were too many.
And they took out the strings that pulled the frog.
That's right - the frog was on strings.
Blew my mind, when I heard that.


Sam Hughes said...

Nice frog fact. I've already used it twice in the office this morning. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Craft awards count. But, as a copywriter, I wouldn't really feel like it was mine if I got one.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming the assertion that 'craft awards don't count' is meant to be taken as to mean that creatives et al shouldn't consider them as their own achievements. But am I wrong, is your assertion that they either shouldn't exist - or at least should be separate from the general creative awards?

Anonymous said...

We've had animation craft awards for jobs that had minimal craft but big, clever ideas and missed out for beautifully crafted jobs that lacked a worthy creative spine. Every once in a while a great piece of craft with shite creative will break through but more often than not Craft is judged by more Ideas people than Craft people, it's not surprise that the idea trumps the craft. We've pretty much passed on entering craft at ad award shows for the above reasoning.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works at a post VFX house, it makes me cry that your FB friend would glibly claim that craft awards don't count. Considering we devote our lives to breathing life into your ideas, I'd like to think there's a consideration there that we're all in this together, contributing equally to making sure you have an end result you're pleased with, surely? Craft awards are about the only thing that give us some sort of opportunity to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, as lord knows we sure don't get that from anywhere else!

Anonymous said...

As an Art Director I'd much rather an award for the idea than for film craft. However when you've lovingly crafted and fought for something for over 6 months you kinda feel like putting that bronze for direction on in your CV.

The question I ask is. What do you think of seeing an award for direction on a creatives list of accolades?

Scamp said...

That's a good question.

Categories like 'direction', 'casting' and 'editing' do probably bring less glory to the creatives.

Overall I suppose I'd have to say that while craft awards do count, they shouldn't count as much (for the creatives) as the idea categories.

Anonymous said...

@ Scamp 6:50.
So if as the Art Director I co-wrote the script, storyboarded the idea and provided reference it's worth putting the direction award on my list of accolades?

We do like to claim things in this industry, and some are more deserving of certain claims than others. In this case I'd like to think I gave the director a good start toward doing their best work.

Scamp said...

Yeah, put it on. It does count, I'd say. Just not as much as an idea award.

Justin said...

Sure they count! They are awards for the craft itself right? Always nice to be rewarded and recognized for the work you do. But having said that, a strong idea will go a long way to help you win a craft award (in VFX anyways).

pixelpusher said...

Wow what a kick in the guts to all vfx artist. Doesn't matter how good your idea is if it looks like shite.

Dr said...

No advertising awards count.

We just pretend that they do.

50s/60s/70s/80s/90s/00s said...

Of course craft awards count. 'Craft' can help decide how a decade is remembered visually. I think the spine of your post is actually how many craft awards are necessary.

Old CD Guy said...

Surely good craft is the price of entry these days. Effects have improved immeasurably over the past decade or two, good cinematography is no longer the province of expert film-makers and processes that needed expensive edit and post facilities can now be done on comparatively inexpensive equipment or even a Mac. I love your example that demonstrates that some of the best craft isn't even apparent. So let's have a category for the best craft you weren't even aware of. But frankly, in an era where even awards for exceptional creative ideas struggle for credibility aren't awards for craft unnecessary applause for simply doing the job competently?

Depends said...

When it's your craft, of course it counts. When you're claiming a cinematographer's craft as your own, it clearly doesn't.

wendy said...

You can argue all you like about which is more important, but you should remember that advertising plays second fiddle to the Film industry anyway. So you both lose. I see this article as a feeble attempt of trolling.

Awards said...

No craft awards do not count one bit, Advertising is about selling products not creating art which some directors and agencies tend to forget, alot.

If there was an award for best advertising that actually gets the message across there would be lucky to be any that win at all.

Show me the money said...

Really all awards are about money - someone runs the show for a profit. Remove craft awards and half the shows income disappears. Simple as that.

crafty wench said...

Of course Craft Awards are important to the 'crafters' - photographers, VFX artists, musicians etc. I think what he's saying is, do they count as merit for creatives?

David Smith said...

When you say craft awards don't count, what you are saying is that craft doesn't really count. That is why most creatives from Australia are not that good. They don't realise the value in their craft. Copywriters who can't write more than a headline. Art directors who can't design. What is the point of the job if you only focus on the first scribble and forget about the rest?

Crafty shaft... said...

Does craft for copy count?

Art direction?


For print?


If the Art Director / Writer slaved behind the photographer / retoucher / VFX artist / Director / Art Department or cast the right person does it count?

Did somebody not win a craft award this year?

Of course they bloody count. And with creatives getting even more involved in the production side (at the good agencies) they should count for even more.

On the flipside, I'd hate if a director / photographer didn't claim the awards they helped me win because they weren't craft, and I think they'd agree with me claiming the craft awards too.

Especially when the agency submits the award.

me said...

if i was hiring a writer or an art director, I'd be very happy to see craft awards for writing, art direction, design, etc. probably even more so than idea awards... at least you know you can generally attribute the writing award to the writer in front of you.

as for the other craft awards, a huge skill a team needs (if they're to make world class work) is knowing which people to bring in to a job, and how to get the best out of them. If a team is constantly getting awards for craft outside of their own skillset, I'd say that says that team has great judgement and and positive influence on the people they work with.

IMO simon's mate doesn't really understand the requirements of the creative team circa 2013.