The AMV Competition of AnimeCon is a fun event with serious competition. The 2021 competition at AnimeCon ~The Christmas Edition~ will be AnimeCon's 19th!
There will be an extra prize for the video which we deem to be the most in-theme. Since it's the Christmas Special, we challenge you to make your video to jingle some bells and make it Christmas-y. We leave it entirely up to you on the how and what, but you certainly don't need to limit yourself to Last Christmas or Mariah Carey. (in fact, we'd rather not) Good luck!
The rules have been slightly changed to protect the innocent, so read them! (especially the bit about how to submit your video.)
First off: time to stress about the deadlines!
* The deadline for participating in the AMV contest is Saturday November 20, 2021, 23:59:59.
If you submit your video past this deadline, you're out of luck and we advise you to try again next year. We mean it: plan ahead!
* The deadline for mended AMVs is Saturday November 27, 2021, 23:59:59.
This deadline is for already submitted, but non-playing videos which need some work, but only those submitted by November 20.
Remember: we test and watch each video fully to make sure it works. If for some reason your video doesn't play or has other malfunctions, we will let you know as soon as possible, and you'll have until this date to send us a fixed version.
* Formats and containers: please stick to video codecs like H.264/5, WMV, DivX/XviD and MPEG; AAC, AC3 or PCM for audio and containers like .avi, .wmv, .mp4, .mpg or .mkv. AVCHD transport streams muxed with Dolby Digital audio (.m2t) will do nicely as well.
We will flat out refuse AMV's in closed or clunky formats, like .mov, .rm, .flv, .swf and .3gp. Be glad we don't ask for a DCP, because that's a whole other league.
* The AMV contest, which you will have to attend in person, will be held on Saturday at Marieke's Main Stage. (we don't know yet what the exact name of it will be, so it's Marieke's Main Stage for now)
You as an editor will have to be there to vote for your peers' AMVs. We kindly ask you to be there about 45 minutes before the show starts, so we can explain how the system works and to make sure everyone's there. Not showing up in time without letting us know why may result in disqualification!
We have an Editor's and an Audience prize for the AMV: the former is decided by the editors, the latter will be decided by the audience.
The winners will be announced at the end of the competition, but if we have a feeling something's not right, we might decide to postpone the announcement of the final results to a later date and time.
Due to time and space constraints in the Events Program and the location itself, there will be no XMV Showing at AnimeCon Christmas Edition. This AnimeCon Original event will be rescheduled to take place at another edition of AnimeCon in 2022.
* Your video needs to be an original, as in not shown in public or in other Dutch contests before. Showing to family and friends for review is fine and even encouraged. We also frown heavily on copying other people's work, so don't do that.
When in doubt, we reserve the privilege of checking with various sources whether your video is an original.
To prevent repeat performances (ie. AMVs which already have been submitted to other festivals within our country), we have an exchange agreement with those festivals. This means that your AMV and your personal details will be made available to the person responsible for their AMV-competition and in reverse.
Suffice to say that nothing else will happen to your AMV or your details; we will not make anything public other than playing the videos at our festival and announcing the winners to the world, unless you give us explicit permission to do otherwise. We'd also love to play your video at other events if the need arises.
* Your video needs to contain animation as its prime ingredient and make sure it actually has audio.
Note that we will interpret the term 'animation' loosely. If you are confident that you can make something awesome with just stills, that's fine by us, but try to make more of it than just a slide show. It's OK to use live-action or game footage as well if you like, but keep in mind that in the end, it's an animation show set to music.
If there's a great demand for a Game video show or Cosplay video show, we will be the last persons to say no to that, but we will have to see whether the number of submissions is large enough to warrant its own competition.
* We're a family show, so no pornography, gore, excessive graphical violence or blood during the AMV competition please.
Cartoon violence is allowed. If you're in doubt whether your AMV will pass, please show us a rough version or let us know which show you're going to use and we'll advise for or against it. If you just send in your gory video without consulting, you'll most probably be disqualified and I'll probably make a mention of it for everybody to laugh at.
* You can put spoilers in your video.
There's no reason for us to say no to this.
* Your video's length must not exceed 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
There's a reason for that, more on that later. Your sequence must be like this: 1 seconds of silent black, 210 seconds of AMV (maximum, but doesn't need to be 210: a video that drags along is just as bad as a video that's too short), 8 silent seconds of white on black-credits to the music and animation in a readable, sans serif font, and 1 second silent black. Please don't name yourself in the credit screen; this might be of influence during judging.
* No visible logo's, (fan)subs, credits, or what have you.
Just don't. If you can't use a blu-ray or dvd source for whatever reason (often has a creditless opening and ending as extra), at least take some time to get rid of unwanted details. If we get the feeling you just threw something together, hit the Render button and be done with it, you'll be disqualified immediately. You may put in your own subtitles or texts if you want, but let us know, and keep in mind that most AMV fans are not deaf and able to hear what the artist is singing.
* Video resolution can be between standard DVD resolution and 1920x1080p.
If you want to make it smaller, your video will probably be rejected, because counting pixels isn't everyone's hobby, and you can only upscale to a certain level before things become awkward. Square pixels are preferred; while a 1440x1080 video will play OK, we'd appreciate progressive videos all the way. We probably won't have budget nor equipment to play 4k-files on a 4k screen for a while, so please don't put too much effort into a 4k video.
There is no limit on file size, but be moderate. There is no need to reserve more than one gigabyte for 3 minutes of HD video. 20Mbit video streams should be more than sufficient to let you show wat you want to show and uncompressed AVI-files will not be played.
* Aspect ratio can be 4:3 or 16:9.
Our screen is 16:9, our player output and display device will be set to 1920x1080 pixels. Our screen will be something in the range of 6 to 12 meters in diameter.
However, don't upscale your DVD source to something it's not if you don't absolutely have to; it might end up becoming ugly. Just adhere to your source material: the scaling hardware in our equipment will take care of it instead.
* Mark your file with your Ticket number (YTP---------), your initals and the title of the AMV in one uninterrupted file name (for example, mine would be YTP12345678-KS-Eat-Sleep-Rave-Repeat.m2ts).
This makes life easier for us and helps to determine which is what and to whom it belongs. Titles like Sequence01.mpg are NOT acceptable and its eligibility for participation will be determined by rolling a D6 dice. When the result is a 7, your lazily-named file will be accepted after all.
Please put your AMV into a ZIP, 7zip or RAR-file with the same name as described and upload it to your server or use Google Drive, Dropbox or WeTransfer.
* You need to attend the competition in person, holding a valid ticket for the festival.
We need you there to vote for the other contestants. Besides, it's more fun to see the people react to your AMV when you're there.
* Voting is done on the spot, through a custom voting system.
We built the system for the editors in-house. Very reliable, and it's been in service since 2012. We also have an online system for the audience votes.
The editors get a vote box, the audience votes through an online form. When it's time to vote, the boxes are set to receive input, the judges enter their points (0 to 99 points) and hit the pound-key (#) to enter it into the system. The boxes save the entry locally and are read out by the master system. We can see live and on the spot which votes are cast and how many points are given.
At the end of the run, we can announce the scores in mere seconds.
Since we will have an extra prize at AnimeCon 2021, there will be a pre-judging to determine the winner of this prize.
* Duration of the event.
The number of entries depends a little on the amount of time available, and thus on how long your AMV will be.
For example: the 60-90 minutes of playing time we reserve for the contest itself can contain about 20 contestants with AMVs that use the maximum allotted time. However, an AMV doesn't NEED to be 3.5 minutes; it may very well be less. We draw the line at 25 contestants.
Some contests have a limit of 5 minutes or even longer. We feel that it shouldn't be necessary to have longer AMV's like that. It takes more time to edit, and there are not many AMV's that really are able to hold water for that long. Without meaning to disrespect the efforts made by AMV makers, the audience needs to have fun as well. We also want to encourage you to be creative, and hone some extra editing skills.
If we have more entries than slots or in case we go past the 60-90 minutes mentioned earlier, a pre-judging will be necessary. This will be done through a small group of non-competing editors and experts in the field of video editing. They will be looking at a variety of parameters, such as story, sync, imagery and overall synergy between music and footage.
The editors that don't make it are invited to come to the show at the same time the other editors do and will fall under the same category as alumni. They are not allowed to vote, however.
* Collaborations are permitted.
We can't enforce a ban on things like this, so we won't try. However, you can only send in one AMV and we will only have one trophy for the winning AMV, unless your team manages a double whammy for both audience and editor's prize.
*Tips and tricks:
+ Make sure your encoding machine has computing power to spare; the average video encoder takes every last bit of processing power it can find. Professional editing software also uses your GPU when compatible. For example: Premiere recognises the nVidia CUDA-GPU and uses its processing power when it renders.
+ Make sure your project settings fit your source material in terms of frame rate, resolution et al.
+ Despite following the specs to the letter, it's still possible to screw up because you're adamant on using PCM, while the container demands AC3/Dolby Digital. Good editing or rendering software usually helps you with this, so pay attention!
+ Interlaced video in progressive AMVs usually makes your video look like crap (jagged lines are a giveaway), so make sure you de-interlace your source material and set your output to progressive as well. Most editing software doesn't allow you to go back and change the fundamental settings of your project, so be extra careful when you set up your project.
+ Don't add black bars to your video! Video players are perfectly able to figure out which aspect ratio the video has and will add black bars when necessary.
+ Make sure your audio sounds good with a sufficient bit rate. Check this by playing it through a proper audio set instead of a set of in-ear headphones, your Bluetooth speaker with 3cm diameter and a lot of distortion, or the tiny speakers of your laptop. We will have a large, professional audio setup available during the competition which amplifies (ba-dum tshh) every flaw your audio stream has.
+ Normalize your audio and make sure the peaks do not go above -3dB, but definitely not over 0dB. Our equipment and hundreds of pairs of ears will thank you for it.
+ When you're all set and done, make sure you watch and listen to your video at least one last time before you send it in and perhaps show it to your significant other, a member of your family or a friend as well. If one of them or you sees something out of the ordinary, you can still do something about it.
The 2021 entry form can be found here.
Good luck, you will have fierce competition. As always, we're looking forward to seeing your creations.
Ask your AMV (Anime Music Video) related questions here.
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