Every year the EVCOM team and board hand select judges from our industry to review your work as part of the EVCOM London Live and Film Awards. These judges come from the client side: Nationwide, Barclays, BBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Blackrock, CIBSE, Shell, Standard Chartered, Sandow, Anglo American and GSK. They also come from live and film agencies including Studio Giggle, Live Union, The Edge Picture Company, Content Engine, ITCH, Inspired Films, Zing Films, Hamlett Films, Brunswick Group and Taylor Made Media. Not to mention vital institutions such as the BFI and LiveCom Alliance, and suppliers and venues like Edge Venues, Searchlight, Diverse Speaker Bureauand Manchester Central. And finally educational establishments, Bournemouth University, St Dunstan’s College and University of West London.
Our judges, and their collective expertise, is what defines these awards and allows us to recognise and celebrate the best of the best year on year.
With the ceremony only a few weeks away, we asked some of our judges about their experience of the judging process, what stood out, what advice they would give to entries that didn’t quite make the cut and what they took away from it all!
Patrick Russell (BFI) says, “Judging for the EVCOM Awards is always a pleasure and a privilege. If also, always, a somewhat daunting one! There’s so much good work out there that requires careful consideration: as a judge you have to pay attention both to the quality of the work and also its context, purpose and effects. Having judged for many years – going back as far as the days when VHSs or DVDs were screened live in front of jurors! – I’m impressed by the robust process EVCOM has evolved in recent times: jurors initially judging individually and remotely, according to clearly explained EVCOM criteria, then meeting together on Zoom to compare scores and perspectives.
I’ve been struck by the high overall standard of entries in recent years: the ‘average’ entry now is far superior to that of 15 years ago. But just as back then, there’s still only a handful of entries in each category each year that really pull from the pack to merit EVCOM Gold. I’m also always fascinated by the light that the nominated films shed on our wider society and economy. Social inclusion was a noticeable recurring theme this year.”
Priya Narain (Diverse Speaker Bureau) says, “Judging the EVCOM London Live and Film Awards was a fun and engaging experience. The calibre of entries was truly impressive, and it was evident that participants had invested considerable effort in making their submissions stand out. Reading through the submissions highlighted a wealth of inspiring entries, each showcasing the immense creativity and talent within the industry.
One aspect that made the judging process smooth and enjoyable was the clear and well-defined guidelines for evaluating entries. This clarity allowed for a fair and objective assessment of each submission, making the entire process seamless. It was an honour to be a part of this process and it served as a reminder of the extraordinary creativity that the EVCOM Awards celebrate. Good luck to all those who are shortlisted.”
Sarah Beadsmoore (Zing Films) says, “I’m honoured to be one of the judges at this year’s EVCOM London Live & Film Awards. I’ve now watched all the submissions and have to say I was impressed by the standard of entries – an eclectic selection with some really strong creative ideas, an eye on objectives, and great production values. It reminded me how lucky I am to be a part of this talented, innovative industry. My scores have been handed in and it’ll be fascinating to see if they tally with the other judge’s opinions at the glitzy award ceremony in November.”
On the live side, Maarten Schram (LiveCom Alliance) says, “It was a pleasure to review the entries. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of hybrid and virtual events in the list and the extended reach created accordingly. Also impressed by the production part of many projects. However, there is still much to gain too. Firstly, in regards to the description of kpi’s and the measurement of the results. Effectiveness in any way should, besides a creative idea and a flawless execution, always be an important element of our craftsmanship. And for many cases; it’s up for grabs. It’s just a matter of doing it; we owe it to our field of play. Secondly, in elaborating on the use of other media and the marketing communication framework in which the event is embedded in general (in order to extend the campaign, increase reach and share the created content). I have evaluated potentially brilliant cases, however I was not able to make a really balanced judgment because one or both of the elements were missing. In conclusion; good to see so many great cases. It seems entering the stage and aiming to win an award is widely acknowledged and that’s a good thing for the live communication industry.”
Alex Amos (The Edge Picture Company) says, “This was the first time I have judged in many years – it was great to see the range of work other companies have been doing.
Being honest – from what I judged – there were no standout ‘wow’ factor films. Maybe that’s just the nature of our industry at the moment – one of the themes that came across strongly was how agencies were trying to make the most of challenging budgets and limited schedules.
But it was great to see how some agencies were pushing creativity as best they could to make their clients’ films standout given these challenges. I can see this being a continuing theme – the expectation on agencies to think innovatively and differently within limitations.
Another theme was authenticity. There was a real honesty that came through many of the films. This is in contrast to the style of storytelling we’re seeing in commercials currently, with a slant towards entertainment and escapism.”
Leigh Jackson (Standard Chartered) says, “It’s always an honour and a privilege to be asked to be an EVCOM judge. As always, the entries show great skill and innovation and everybody who entered – not just those who end up winning – should be immensely proud of their efforts. The awards are one of the highlights of the year and I hope to be invited back as a judge in 2024.”
Thank you to these judges for sharing their thoughts, and to our whole roster of judges for supporting these awards and helping us showcase excellence.
If you haven’t already bought tickets to join us at the ceremony on the 9th November, you can do so here.