Dubai Lynx 2016: Great Guns’ Laura Gregory on crafting excellence

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 Laura Gregory explains why craft isn’t as easy as it looks.

Craft is one of the toughest categories on the awards circuit. You are always mindful of the core idea, but the unique element of execution is what we are here to award. The most awarded ideas will win at every award show in the world, but don’t always make gold for craft. Sometimes, a good idea, which may have one exceptional element, is recognised but the same piece may not get an award under another jury. The best part of judging craft is unearthing a team, or an individual whose outstanding contribution to the overall project lights a passion in the jury.

We begin with the briefing session: we discuss the criteria for each judge to stand by, based on the guidelines for all award shows, followed by a personal visit from one of the key Lynx team to remind us of anything to look out for during our sessions. Work that may not feel ‘real’ or work that we know has an unusual track record. It is every juror’s duty to speak up if they see good work but feel it may not have run in line with entry rules. We always question a film that is good enough to award when there’s even a slight element of doubt attached to it. Our Lynx team leader will do exhaustive research to validate a piece of work.

What should you enter into craft? Anything that you feel warrants recognition for its unique skill set, adding value to the piece of work as a whole.

We’ll be looking across the board to award individuals and groups of individuals in specific departments, including direction, cinematography, editing, music, visual effects, script, casting, production design and art direction, that bring a touch of magic to a project.

Dubai Lynx will have chosen a strong group of peers, all experts in their field and usually with a strong viewpoint to bring to the table when work pertinent to their strength or passion is shown. We argue, laugh, and make new friends. Often in the final debate, work will be reconsidered, rejected, and moved up or down until we find the best of the best in its craft. One of the most exciting moments is when you unearth something that has not been previously awarded at any other show. Without doubt though, the best moment of all is when you know you’ve given an award to a person or team whose life will be changed forever by their win.

Laura Gregory is chief executive and founder of GreatGuns and president of the film craft jury

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