Poll Suggestion: Your Directorial Debut

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  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
Greetings to all who read this.

Imagine that you are making your first live-action feature-length film.
Your budget is very low, but you are free from any studio interference.

So, with that in mind... what GENRE would your first film be? If it's a mixed-genre film, then pick the predominant one.
(to avoid voter bias, I've decided against putting actual films as entries).

LIST: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls095945618
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mihailo.razvigor

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Posted 1 month ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi mihailo.razvigor (AKA mihailorazvigor),

Welcome to the IMDb Poll message board. Thank you for your poll suggestion and thank you for having a properly working discussion link.

I understand that you decided to use the same title for each choice to preclude bias. However, the down side is that his makes your poll suggestion less visually appealing. Your poll suggestion may work better if you use an image list instead of a title list.

For instance, you could use this image for the ACTION genre:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6479450/mediaviewer/rm2108836608
In Praise of Action 2018
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mihailo.razvigor

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Thank you!

As for this poll's visual appeal (or lack of it), this is a third version of the list I made.

The first one had entries showing actual examples of low-budget debut films, such as El Mariachi (1992) for Action genre, Following (1988) for Mystery genre, Clerks (1994) for Comedy genre, etc. It took a lot of time for me to compile those, but ultimately, I decided against using that format, because of the voter bias (f.e. Nolan films often tip the balance of votes).

The second version I made was actually what YOU suggested - some random, little known films or TV shows who have their titles connected to a genre, like True Horror, or My Perfect Romance, or Crime Time, etc. However, I decided against it too, because of the translations. A lot of people (myself included) had it set for IMDb to automatically use a title from the country you are browsing from. That means there is a possibility the key-word alluding to the genre could be lost, if an AKA is added in any point in time. Here's an example: the film Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is displayed on my computer as Ispovesti tinejdžerske kraljice (Confessions of a Teenage Queen), because that's the film's name in my country. So, the key-word drama is lost in translation, which could make the poll feel a bit choppy. 

In fact, I've now made the fourth version - instead of all entries called Film, now the entries are called Genre, so the voter would have an easier job voting, because entries are basically called Genre Action, Genre Fantasy, Genre Thriller, etc.

And to make it just a bit more appealing, I've colored entries into four colors (red, blue, green, purple), although it seems to be not visible in list form.
(Edited)
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albstein

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Perhaps you could take images that come from little-known but which convey the genre visually? Something like that for action, or that for crime?
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mihailo.razvigor

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I also had that in mind, but then I remembered how the polls look like in mobile version of IMDb - a picture of an entry is barely visible and cannot be zoomed, so there's little use in using them. Therefore, polls which rely on images, such as ''Who was the Best-dressed Actress at the Academy Awards?'' are particularly affected by that. And since a lot of people browse IMDb via mobile phones, I don't want to use images to convey an entry.

Also, if I use an image poll, both desktop and mobile IMDb polls show a film's title and actors associated with it, in big bold letters, which is a first thing a voter sees. For example, if I was to make a ''Best Star Wars Poster'' poll, and put this image one as one of the entries: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/mediaviewer/rm2847334656
the entry will read Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew in Zvezdani ratovi: Nova nada (1977). That's too crowded. Yes, I am aware that IMDb polls have functioned like that since forever, but I always disliked it, and I'm trying to keep this polls as simple and clear as possible, although I am aware such thing will not be possible for 90% of other poll ideas, should I decide to suggest them.
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albstein

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Horror can be done effectively with relatively little money. I'd take either that or Drama.

Anyway, congratulations on your well-made and original first suggestion!
(Edited)
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mihailo.razvigor

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Thank you!

My friend once made a short, 5 minute long horror film, with no budget, but only his cell phone camera, and an editing software afterwards. There were no effects, but only smart editing choices that created suspense and fear.
So I agree, Horror genre is often most suitable for new filmmakers, while Drama is good if you want to show you have some writing skills, although Drama does require at least one good actor, for it to be taken seriously.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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No need to imagine: I'm filming my first feature film for nearly 13 years and I hope to finish it until I'm 28, at least assemble rough cut for screenings. As for genre... It's a mess with everything in it and I've seen that very problem with many other directorial debuts. It's not the worst kind of problem: it's kind of natural for a filmmaker to try everything at first, or at least multiple things: many directorial debuts are leaning towards at least two genres.  

An important missing genre in your suggestion is documentary. I actually have one feature film technically that way already, but I count it more as a 0,5th one. Firstly because it's a very limited interest production which has more to do with videography than movies (I tried my best for it to have bits and pieces of cinematic style and mostly miserably failed) and secondly because when I started and finished production of this documentary feature I was deep in the middle of making that other movie, which I consider my true feature debut.
(Edited)
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mihailo.razvigor

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I believe that, when you do manage to assemble a final cut of your film (I wish you success with that!), a viewer - including yourself, would be able to categorize your film in some genre, based on the personal emotional response they got out of it.
It reminds me of a very interesting IMDb poll about the film Jaws (1975).
But I find your story interesting, because it shows that you can set out to make one genre, and end up with others (or others).

Ah, thanks for noticing I was missing a Documentary genre! It actually WAS on the original list, but when I was retooling the list with new images, Documentary got lost in the shuffle.
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cinephile

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GREAT IDEA, but I don't like the idea of using 14 times to the same image to represent each genre.
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mihailo.razvigor

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I'm not that satisfied with it myself, but I chose the lesser of three evils, and have given my explanations as to why, in my replies to dan_dassow and albstein up above.
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Breumaster

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Why not take real directors a a epitomal wildcard?
Like e.g. Scorsese for crime. It would be a change in the list.
The list would have to be a names list.
It could also be a title list with extraordinary titles of each genre.
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mihailo.razvigor

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As I stated in my post to dan_dassow, I would like to make this list wholly and completely bias-free. I want voters to decide for themselves, without the poll itself giving them ideas. I don't want for a voter to sее an image of Tarantino (for Crime) and say: ''I love Pulp Fiction! I love Tarantino films! I wanna be like him! *vote*'', and putting any of the known directors or films would do just that.

I've seen a lot of the polls where, for example, Christopher Nolan makes a landslide victory in votes, even though his directorial competition is very strong. IMDb has a lot of fan bases, and I'm trying to avoid this poll being overrun by passionate fans.
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cinephile

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Christopher Nolan never flopped a movie (according to me and IMDb rating of his movies) none of them are below 7.0. Plus, most people will vote on the basis of the director is recent work, Yes Steven Spielberg Was Great in the 1980s and the 1990s, but in the last decade is best movie is Bridge of the Spies with only 7.6.

In conclusion,  Nolan his movies are more recent, the voters will more likely remember " Christopher Nolan is the best, he has made Inception" than "Steven Spielberg is the best he has made Schindler's List."

Subjective opinion: I think that Christopher Nolan is the best (I'm part of what most people call "Nolanites".)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Hi mihailo and welcome to the poll board. : )

The idea is good, the intro is well written, and it's constructed well, especially for a first poll, so bravo! I also commend you for how thoughtfully you approached this. I completely agree with you that voters often vote for a photo of a popular film instead of really answering the question and wanting to avoid irrelevant bias is smart but it's also wise to consider other authors' opinions because, after making a few hundred polls, one finds out what works and also what polls get chosen to "go live." 
What is visually appealing does matter quite a bit to those who choose the polls and even more to those who choose polls for the home page and how things look on cell phones is rarely, if ever, discussed, so I would encourage you to consider the above advice. Another consideration is, that even if this were to go live the way it is now, users are probably much less likely to take a poll that doesn't catch their eyes. I agree with alb that using little known films will avoid the bias while making it more visually appealing. An image poll would accomplish the same thing. 

Good luck and, again, welcome aboard!

Oh, and FYC:
animation (although this can sometimes require more money)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Hi mihailo and welcome to the poll board. : )

The idea is good, the intro is well written, and it's constructed well, especially for a first poll, so bravo! I also commend you for how thoughtfully you approached this. I completely agree with you that voters often vote for a photo of a popular film instead of really answering the question and wanting to avoid irrelevant bias is smart but it's also wise to consider other authors' opinions because, after making a few hundred polls, one finds out what works and also what polls get chosen to "go live." 
What is visually appealing does matter quite a bit to those who choose the polls and even more to those who choose polls for the home page and how things look on cell phones is rarely, if ever, discussed, so I would encourage you to consider the above advice. Another consideration is, that even if this were to go live the way it is now, users are probably much less likely to take a poll that doesn't catch their eyes. I agree with alb that using little known films will avoid the bias while making it more visually appealing. An image poll would accomplish the same thing. 

Good luck and, again, welcome aboard!

Oh, and FYC:
animation (although this can sometimes require more money)
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mihailo.razvigor

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Thank you!

As for putting lesser-known films, I'm not against that idea. However, to keep with the spirit of the poll, those films would have to make certain requirements:
1. feature length
2. directorial debut
3. low budget (the number itself is debatable)
4. have one dominant genre, for which they would serve as a placeholder
I'm sure there are a lot of films on IMDb with all those 4 requirements, but finding them would take a lot of time browsing.
Oh, and FYC:
animation (although this can sometimes require more money)
You know what? Sure, why not, I'll add Animation genre. It was unfair of me to exclude potential animation directors from this list. And it IS possible to make a low-budget animated debut, especially since the rise of personal computers.
Added. Thanks!
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mihailo.razvigor

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By the way, it's not that my list is completely unappealing and depressive-looking. :-D
I colored each genre with red, blue, purple and green colors, so I guess it will stand out a bit, no?
(Edited)
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Jessica, Champion

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COMEDY
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mihailo.razvigor

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My first film would be a simple story of characters undertaking a journey from Point A to Point B, with little importance to the actual goal of that journey. Everything inbetween could be either comedy, thriller, horror, or action, but, in essence, the whole film would be an ADVENTURE.
(Edited)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Great idea!  That's a very good question... I'm leaning towards horror, actually.  I think the world needs more well-made, well developed, non-bloody scary movies!  :D  Normally I'd say fantasy, but that might take a higher budget.

Also, instead of using the Genre, you could just choose images that match.
(Edited)
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mihailo.razvigor

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I thought about using images that match, but opted against it. I gave the reason why in response to albstein, at the beginning of this thread.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Oh, I see... yes, that really bugs me about images... all those names cluttering it up.  :/