AIPP video awards show promise for future

The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) is confident it can build the Australian Video Producer Awards and Conference (AVPA) into a major annual event, but it’s a ‘work in progress’ that will need greater engagement from members.

The live judging at Swinburne utilised a lecture theatre and projector, and was open to the public – including students. Photo: Randal Armstrong.

AVPA, held over two days last week at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, was a toe in the water in exploring whether the AIPP is capable of representing another image-making industry – video producers.

Rather than tying AVPA into the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA), as was done last year, the Institute ran the event as a standalone conference aimed at video producers.

The conference was at one stage threatening to fail to attract sufficient ticket sales, however a final call to AIPP members pulled together the required numbers to run the event.

The awards follow the APPA system, with live public judging, contest categories, and an overall winner.

AVPA received approximately 93 entries – around 20 more than the first AIPP Video Producer awards.

AIPP board advisor for video, Rochelle Morris, who organised the event, told ProCounter this was a good number.

However there’s a way to go to attract greater participation from AIPP video producers.

‘We need more video events to get it out there and to let people know what it’s all about,’ she said. ‘As the AIPP we’re still a little unknown for video. Obviously it’s going to take a little bit of time for people to think about more than just photography when they hear AIPP.’

The numbers are there. AIPP executive officer Peter Myers estimates a third of the Institute’s 3000 members shoot video, as either a supplementary to stills, or full-time.

The AIPP’s first big step into video could be characterised as promising, but the move needs support from members.

‘I’ve been instrumental in pushing the AIPP toward making this (move toward video),’ said Rochelle. ‘The AIPP is like a vehicle. Without the members pulling together then nothing will happen. The AIPP can and has made things happen on an infrastructure side, but it’s up to us. It’s gaining momentum and it was really great to have the Australian Video Producers Association join and to see them at the awards.’

Stills and video unite
Earlier this year the Australian Video Producers Association, with 200-300 active members, finalised a merger deal with the AIPP.

(To avoid confusing acronyms and words, we’ll refer to this group as the ‘Video Producers Association’, and the event as AVPA)

The AVPA event served as an opportunity for former Video Producers Association members to familiarise themselves with the AIPP.

‘We transitioned over at the end of June, so we were able to get Video Producer Association members over to the AIPP and into the awards. Many former members came to AVPA as both entrants and judges. It was great to see this community come together for the awards. And the public live judging – this just has never happened in a video contest. Contestants said it was a great experience,’ said Morris, who is a former vice president of the Video Producers Association.

The Video Producers Association became increasingly inactive from when it originally formed 20 years ago. up until the merger, the Association was funded and largely based around its annual awards, and communicated primarily through a Facebook group.

The AIPP – the final active and financially healthy member-driven industry group – offered the Video Producers Association continued viability through a ‘merger’, as it has done with Australian Commercial and Media Photographers group (ACMP) and Professional Schools Photographers Association (PSPA).

All image-making professionals are united under one umbrella, the AIPP, but can still represent their respective fields through committees and Special Interest Groups. Strength in numbers, they say.

The AIPP will continue running the AVPA awards, however the planning process is yet to begin. The Institute will review multiple avenues for next year’s event, and weaving it back into APPA remains an option.

Who won?
Cinematographer Abraham Joffe won the first AIPP Australian Video Producer of the Year award for his entry, Ghosts of the Arctic.

Ghosts of the Arctic follows the journey of another AIPP member, polar photographer Joshua Holko, as he captures polar bears in Svalbard, Norway.

Read more about Ghosts of the Arctic here.

– 2017 AIPP Australian Video Producer of the Year – Abraham Joffe
– 2017 AIPP Australian Corporate Video Producer of the Year – Abraham Joffe
– 2017 AIPP Australian Documentary Video Producer of the Year – Abraham Joffe
– 2017 AIPP Australian Wedding Video Producer of the Year – Jared Kettle

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