FANTASY FILM DRAFT
Summer is here and that means year three of the Fantasy Film Draft. The first two years (see: here, here & here for more details) have been a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to giving it a third go ’round, but this year with a new twist.
When I first conceived of this game I was trying to mimic fantasy sports drafts only with films instead. The problem has always been that by grading films on existing metrics like box office, IMDB score, and Oscar noms/wins, we were basing our draft on past performance. What that meant was that anybody nerdy enough (like me) to do extensive research beforehand had a real advantage (which is why I am the TWO TIME, TWO TIME champ!). While there was still room for variation depending on the actual films drafted, it took some of the fun out of it. So I had a brainstorming session with a couple of fellow nerds during which we came up with a new plan that we think not only solves the problem but also adds a secondary part to the draft that will allow us to figure out a winner that day, which I think we can all agree is more fun than waiting for me to go home and crunch numbers.
The game will work like this: as in the past we will pre-select a set number of categories for which each team will have to draft one film for each. (First year was directors, last year was actors, so this year we’ll be going with films from a certain year). Prior to the draft date I will pre-select a set number of films from each category (depending on how many teams we have playing) based on popularity and likelihood that most of us will have seen them. I will then send the various category lists to each team and ask you to rate them 1-to-whatever based on your personal feeling of which ones are better. I will then ask you to print out your rankings, put them in a sealed envelope, and bring them to the draft. We will then conduct the draft in the usual fashion, with each team drafting one film per round until each team has drafted one film to fill every category (year).
Once the draft portion is complete we will open all of the envelopes and tabulate the scores, with each team getting points for the films they drafted based on where they were pre-ranked. For instance, let’s say Bill drafted “The Shawshank Redemption” as his film for 1994. Bill will then get points for where each team ranked that film prior to the draft. As it is my fave film of all time I would clearly have put it #1, so Bill would get 1 point from me. But let’s say Fish hated the movie and thought it was overrated crap and rated it last (for demo purposes let’s assume there were 15 films per category). In that case Bill would get 15 points from Fish’s vote, and so on. Once we add up all the scores the team with the lowest combined total will be declared the winner. Thus rather than drafting based on already existing scores (the aforementioned box office, etc.), now we are drafting based on where we THINK a film will rank in the minds of everybody else playing. This makes the outcome completely impossible to predict and adds a second layer of strategy. It also gives us a second phase of trash talk as the pre-draft rankings are revealed and we are given the opportunity to argue with each over our respective rankings.
So here we are, on the cusp of season 3, armed with a whole new game. Here’s hoping it works.
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FANTASY FILM DRAFT RULES
Each participant (or “studio”) must draft one film for each year from the available pool of films provided. The goal is to draft the films which you feel will be the most popular among the other participants, based on pre-draft rankings. After the draft is completed points will be awarded based on the pre-draft rankings and a winner will be determined.
Attached is a ballot containing 20 films each for the years 1990 through 2005. Prior to arriving at the event please take the time to rank the films of each year based on your personal preference, with #1 being your pick for best and #20 being your pick for worst (only in comparison to each other – you may not think any of the films actually suck). If you have not seen a film (or films) in a given year please make an educated guess on the film’s quality based on reputation and rank accordingly. That can mean ranking them at the bottom if you really enjoyed the ones you saw or perhaps above films that you saw but did not care for. Please be fair as these rankings form the basis of the game.
Please do not share your rankings with anyone else participating in the draft.
Please bring a printed copy of your completed ballot with you to the draft (preferably in a sealed envelope). Your ballot will be collected prior to the draft beginning.
The draft will consist of 16 rounds with each studio selecting one film per round (there are 16 years in the available pool, hence 16 rounds). Draft order will be determined at random just prior to the draft beginning. The draft will continue in a snaked fashion until all 16 rounds are completed (meaning the studio drafting 1st in odd numbered rounds will draft 12th in even numbered rounds, the studio drafting 2nd in odd numbered rounds will draft 11th in even numbered rounds, and so on).
When it is your turn to draft you may select a film from any given year, although once you have selected a film from a specific year you may not select another film from that year with a subsequent pick.
Please note that there are 20 available films for each year although there are only 12 studios participating in the draft which means that 8 films from each year will go undrafted. This was done in order to insure greater variation in the final scoring.
After the draft is completed the pre-draft ballots will be opened and tabulated. Each film will be awarded points corresponding to where it was ranked by each participant on their ballot (IE – 1 point for being ranked 1st, 2 points for being ranked 2nd, etc.). The combined total of points from all 12 ballots will represent a film’s final score.
The studio that drafted a particular film will receive that film’s final score as part of their studio score. The combined total of all 16 films drafted by a studio will make up their final studio score. The studio with the lowest final studio score will then be declared the winner.
As always, trash talk is not only welcomed but encouraged, not just during the draft itself but also during the post-draft reveal of ballots. Taste is in the eye of the beholder yet is open to mockery and derision. Prepare to have your feelings hurt. That’s the whole point.
The draft will be held on Saturday, August 5th, at noon. Expect it to last several hours. A copy of the ballot of pre-selected films is linked below.