How to win AMV contests and alienate people

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How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Castor Troy » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:25 pm

DISCLAIMER: There are no guarantees that these tips will help you win contests, but they should help increase your chances a little.

Here's something that should spark a good discussion:

How do you win AMV Contests?

Everyone wants to the know the answer to this question, but most of us to this day still don't have a concrete and definite answer because tastes between fans and judges always changes. However, here are a few surefire theories that I've come up with that tend to increase chances of winning a contest...

Engage your audience emotionally
- The drama video that makes the audience most scared, inspired, motivated, or sad
- The action video that makes the audience the most pumped up
- The comedy video that gets the most laughs
- The dance/misc video that umm... does it's thing the best

The bigger question is how do you make the video that can do all these things and more?

- Drama: Sad scenes to sad music?
- Action: Intense scenes to intense rock/metal/etc music?
- Comedy: Family Guy lip sync?
- Dance/Misc: Dance scenes to dance music? :ying:

There's a million answers to this question, but the fact is, in order to win votes, you must make the video that invokes the most emotional response from the viewer. The video that they remember the most is always the one that they vote for.

Momentum
The best videos are the ones that keep you wanting to watch until the beginning to end to see what happens.

If you bore the viewer halfway, or even before that, you will lose their vote.

Story videos have a distinct advantage in this retrospect, so it might be a little harder for non-story videos to have a "beginning-middle-end" structure. However, if a story video is boring, then it loses all momentum. ANY video must be entertaining from beginning-middle-end.

Fan Pandering
I know a lot of editors are kind of against this thing as it's an easy cop-out way to win, but the truth is that it works. Here is my list of fan pandering techniques to exploit:

- Funny song + Funny scenes
- Lip syncing
- AMV HELL blipverts
- Various inserted pop culture references
- Crossovers between popular shows :uhoh:
- Inserting cartoon or live action footage
- Flavor of the month (Make video to a current popular show/video game/song)

However, just doing these techniques doesn't guarantee that you'll win, because you have to do them WELL which is very difficult.

ADD
The sad truth is that people at cons and online have ADD much worse than 10 years ago. Hell, maybe even 1 year ago. However, in a contest setting, the audience is forced to sit down and watch through your videos where online, they can easily turn it off. But ADD still applies. If your video keeps the audience glued to the screen the entire time rather than having them talk to a friend or check their cell phones, then you've done your job.

Mandatory Requirements
Here are the only mandatory requirements that go into winning videos:

- Good video/audio quality
- Good flow, editing, and timing
- Solid concept from start to finish

-----------

I haven't gotten into "how" to make these types of videos, because frankly, I don't have a definite answer. But I do have a few tips that helped me out throughout my amv career:

- Watch winning videos from contests and see what goes into them. This is probably the best source for inspiration
- Take advice from beta testers, participate in opinion exchanges, etc
- Learn all the proper technical stuff right off the bat
- Be active here on the forums since there's a ton of good people willing to give advice
- Don't be afraid to take and give criticism. Try to have a good attitude about it
- Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!

Once you've done all these things, here's how you can begin to move forward:

Ideas are worthless.

Execution is what matters.

Don't get so hung up on making an original idea. The simple definition of amvs is "anime + music". Your goal is to make that your own.

Once you grasp that concept, now you can start making videos for yourself and make them your own.

There's a million more things I can cover, but that's all I got at the moment. Feel free to add more.

Discuss.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:08 pm

To be honest, pandering really depends on the convention. The size and make-up of your audience (demographically) factors in quite heavily as to what actually works. What else the contest is actually getting in terms of submissions factors in too. If a whole category is rather meh, you can put in minimal effort and clean up. If you're getting a lot of good entries in a category, there's a point where even the uber-fans start to feel dishonest if they don't vote for the clearly superior video.

I've kinda been of the opinion that labeling something as "pandering" (that isn't yours) would implicitly entail passing judgment on the fact that the video was without merit on it's own (technical or otherwise). Sorta like you're saying that's ALL it was (i.e. successful pandering exists in a time and place where execution is not what matters).
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby machina21 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:43 pm

Castor Troy wrote:
Ideas are worthless.

Execution is what matters.

Don't get so hung up on making an original idea. The simple definition of amvs is "anime + music". Your goal is to make that your own.


Well, "worthless" is a bit of a strong word. Ideas still do matter but I would agree that the execution of an idea is a bit more important that the idea itself.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Radical_Yue » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:55 pm

This topic hurts my soul.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Castor Troy » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:28 pm

Radical_Yue wrote:This topic hurts my soul.


The secrets must be revealed!
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby TritioAFB » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:12 pm

That's something curious, since in the last convention I went, I personally felt touched by some drama videos, but the audience kept the same, but all the videos that belonged to comedy were clapped, no matter how bad they were. Now I agree with the point that the Dance are probably the ones that call the attention and even if your video might have the best technics, the entertainment factor wins at the end in an Audience Vote, no matter how plain the video is.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby lloyd9988 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:16 pm

Castor Troy wrote:
Radical_Yue wrote:This topic hurts my soul.


No one said the truth was pretty.


Fix'd :aimkissyface:

Also. . .

Castor Troy wrote:- Solid concept from start to finish


Castor Troy wrote:Ideas are worthless.


Contradiction?? :awesome:
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby JudgeHolden » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:27 pm

You Sir, are the Thomas Jefferson of our generation! |:>
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby ngsilver » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:16 am

so THATs how it's done...

I SHALL NEVER BE STOPPED NOW!!!!

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!

:A
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Castor Troy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:05 am

The floodgates have been unleashed.

Now fill your houses with TROPHIES! :bzz: :bzz2: :amv:
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby DriftRoot » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:33 pm

Castor Troy wrote:
Ideas are worthless.

Execution is what matters.

Don't get so hung up on making an original idea. The simple definition of amvs is "anime + music". Your goal is to make that your own.

Once you grasp that concept, now you can start making videos for yourself and make them your own.


Ideas are not worthless! Audiences may react predictably to certain types of videos, but that doesn't mean you should shoot for the same old, same old. Take a great idea and combine it with good execution, and you've probably got con gold. Granted, it's not a formula that's easy to achieve, but if you CAN achieve it...well...you're probably way ahead of the pack.

pan·der (pndr)
intr.v. pan·dered, pan·der·ing, pan·ders
1. To act as a go-between or liaison in sexual intrigues; function as a procurer.
2. To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses


I don't really want to think about an AMV that could act as a go-between in sexual intrigues... :x

As far as "pandering" goes in the second sense...if you're in it to win it, why pull your punches? If you're out to win an audience vote, then paying attention to what that audience likes is a sound strategy. If the audience is a bunch of screaming fangirls into yaoi, that's one kind of AMV, if the audience is into cutting-edge special effects, that's another kind. Good for you, successfully gauging that audience and pushing all the right buttons! Just admit that's what you did, and acknowledge that this doesn't mean your AMV automatically gets high marks in other respects. You may have served up Cheetos to an audience that loves junk food, but that doesn't make your junk food fine cuisine just because the audience preferred it to filet mignon. Filet mignon is still a cut above even if the Cheeto-eaters don't care for it.

'K, now I'm hungry. :pizza: :beer:

Hrm...so other techniques to win an AMV contest. Here's a big one:

Don't Do Anything that Automatically Counts Against You
Seems simple enough not to even need to be said, but...you're going to have a tough time even getting into the finals if you make very bad blunders video/audio quality. Same thing goes for violating strict contest rules (i.e. no non-anime, excessive violence, bad language, etc.). A lot of people seem to ignore these fundamentals, however, which implies they need to be reminded of them. Bottom line: don't make stupid mistakes that will cripple or destroy your chances of being a serious contestant. All the engagement, momentum, pandering, ADD goodness will avail you naught if you've got fansubs scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

This thread reminds me of one of Code's Lip Flapper episodes wherein he talked with contest coordinators about what goes into finalist selection...ah, here it is.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby JudgeHolden » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:45 pm

Castor Troy wrote:The floodgates have been unleashed.

Now fill your houses with TROPHIES! :bzz: :bzz2: :amv:



But, but, but I already have a house full of trophies without following these simple rules ... do you mean I could have ruled the world? |:>
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Zarxrax » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:26 pm

Fan pandering is a science. If you want to win audience-judged contests, you only have to follow some simple rules, and you are guaranteed to win.

1. It needs to be a comedy video
If you make people laugh, they are having a good time, they will remember it. Drama videos might get an emotional response from like 1 person, and they just put everyone else to sleep. Action videos can be cool, but everyone does these, and its really hard to make one that stands out from the rest. Just go with comedy, its safest.

2. Make it amv hell-style
Like caster troy already mentioned, people have ADD. No one wants to watch a single video for 4 minutes. Besides, why make 1 video when you can make 20 videos, which gives you 20 chances to win?

3. Use the most popular anime
You want to appeal to a broad range of people, so don't use some crap anime that no one in the audience has even watched. Stick with the big names. But don't just stick with the mainstream anime... you also want to be sure to use a number of niche anime that have a strong fan-base. The ones that will make fan-girls squee just from the mere sight of it in your amv. They will cheer out loudly and fan-gasm during those scenes, which makes everyone else think they just missed something awesome, meaning they will vote for your video because they wanna watch it again after it wins, so they can see whatever they thought they missed.

4. Sex
Big boobies win contests. Also throw in some gay yaoi stuff to get the girls excited. The yaoi stuff is mandatory. This is what wins it.

5. Pick the right audio
Any audio clip from family guy should work. Actually, you probably want several of those. Also use stuff from lots of cult-classic films and tv shows. Hit the nostalgia angle by using stuff from 80's and 90's cartoons. Also choose popular songs from the top 100 charts.

6. Copy good ideas
Throw some popular memes into your video. Even classic ones like Numa Numa or All Your Base never get old. This also plays into the nostalgia angle. Also if you have seen some funny stuff used in other amvs, feel free to reuse it in your own video. Most people in the audience see maybe 5 amvs per year, so they probably haven't seen it yet.

And there you have it folks, 6 easy steps to guaranteeing that you win an audience-judged award at an amv contest.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby ssgwnbtd » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:33 pm

Just make sure your video starts with a pair of gigantic breasts. Everything else in the video is secondary to this part. Double up the explosion scene in Akira side-by-side to make it look like huge, exploding boobs.
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Re: How to win AMV contests and alienate people

Postby Castor Troy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:41 pm

With all the Marvel and DC anime adaptations out now along with all the upcoming movies, people need to jump on that bandwagon!
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