Fanime 2003 new AMV coordinator wants input

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Fanime 2003 new AMV coordinator wants input

Postby scottanime » Sun Jul 28, 2002 12:29 pm

HI all,

I am Scott Peterson and I am the new AMV coordinator for Fanime con in Santa Clara, CA. This upcomming year I am trying to make the AMV contest one of, if not the best event at the show. In order to do this I will need a bit of assistance. I have attended many AMV contest at many different cons for several years and I have paid close attention to what has gone right, and what has gone wrong at these events. I also have many years of expirience in runnign events at convnetions, includeing video programming at Fanime, and Assitant Director of Nan Desu Kan in Denver, CO.

What I am looking for is as many ideas and suggestions from AMV creators and fans as possible. I beleive the combined knowledge and expirience of all of these people will ensure a superior event. I would like to make an updated rules posting in the near future, but before that I want as much input as I can.

Thank you all for any suggestions I can get

Scott Peterson
AMV Coordinator Fanime Con 2003
amayhem@quiknet.com
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Postby AbsoluteDestiny » Sun Jul 28, 2002 12:55 pm

Running events is one thing - amv contest are a totally different ballgame. Be warned, it may not be an easy ride.

Here's some starting pointers on running a good amv event from me:

1) Give yourself enough time and resources. Most amv contests go wrong because of a lack of time and resources to prepare things WAY IN ADVANCE. Things can and do go wrong and doing things early can avoid things like that.

(cf. AX2002 videos encoded with field order swapped, easily rectified given time - disasterous if too late)

2) Be consistent. This is the most important thing for running a contest of any kind - fairness. All videos should be viewed, judged, displayed, ordered and grouped according to the same pre-set rules and requirements. There should be no deviation from this - if there is deviation there is no contest.

Hypothetical situation, the first 30 videos are shown in their entirety but the last 10 vids are shown for only 30 seconds each because there wasn't enough time. If this is the case, there cannot be a "Best" of any video in that category because of biased judging. You can still give awards of "merit" but unless all videos are judged equally ther should, in my opinion, be no 'Best' awards.

3) Transparent judging methodology. If videos are going to be cast out for content, be specific. If judges are going to be anime fans without technical experience, tell us beforehand. AMV creators are very accepting if they know the facts beforehand - telling them afterwards only causes anger and spite. Changing the ballgame when the contest is happening can cause outrage. (cf. - AX making up new categories last minute would have been fine if we'd known)

4) Have experienced and dedicated technical support. Relying on general con techies is risky business if things go wrong. You need people who know what they are doing with all the video equipment.

There's some initial food for thought. As for making the contest a noteworthy and enjoyable experience here's some things that are, imo, "good":

1) Give as much priority to the contest as you can possibly get - make sure it is highly considered by the con organisers. This includes decent scheduling, decent conbook presence, well-sized rooms etc. People love amvs, but they wont watch amvs instead of masquerades or first thing in the morning or round the back of the convention centre on a 9" black and white tv.

2) Give credit where credit is due. Things never go the way anyone expects them to at conventions and it's always a good idea to have the ability to give Honourable Mentions as well as the main awards for competition winners. Also, give actual prizes - there's nothing more of a slap in the face for a convention to run a contest where the actual prize of winning is an afterthought or is forgotten. This also means treating the creators well (priority seating etc). Make them feel welcome and encouraged and the contest will be a sucess.

3) Have an interesting category that is unique to your convention with an attractive prize. This will encourage the amv makers to make something for your con and will make this particualr contest that little bit more special.


Anwyay, that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there will be lots more useful things posted by others. Also, talk to those experienced in amv contests for advice as I'm sure thye've learned many lessons over the years.

Oh, and I'm sure Anneke has some advice to offer too so expect a post from her at some point.
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Postby Castor Troy » Sun Jul 28, 2002 1:44 pm

*Waits for someone to make an ErMaC remark*
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Postby AbsoluteDestiny » Sun Jul 28, 2002 2:14 pm

To clariify (and to smooth over a potentially troublesome situation) my last sentence wasn't a loaded remark. I mentioned Anneke as she has written a thorough outline of advice on how to run a sucessful and fair amv contest.

I do not know where I can find this document presently, as it was posted on the old forum, but I'm sure Anneke could repost. It may be hosted somewhere for you to see as well, I'm not sure, but I'm sure if she sees the thread she will offer her own insightful suggestions.
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Postby ErMaC » Sun Jul 28, 2002 8:18 pm

I'll go at this from the perspective of changing the way the fanime contest was last year...

1) Don't have a semifinals and a finals. Just have either Two showings of the same set of videos and do ballot voting, or have only one showing if you're gonna do audience vote by noise.

2) Actually HAVE a staff for this. Have a person to run tech, a person to run MC, and a person behind the scenes. Both years I've been to fanime the creators have wound up running things, much to the *ahem* disapproval of certain others. Last year Brad ran tapes while I queued them and John Bahker MC'd. This year John MC'd both showings, and I ran tapes on the second one (we queued them up ahead of time). THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN.

3) Set the deadline for when entries must be received to at least a month before the competition. Judge the videos shortly thereafter with a panel of judges. I'd suggest that half of them be creators, and half be viewers, but please make them educated viewers. Filter it down to a certain number of videos per category.

4) Speaking of categories, have them listed before hand, and CLEARLY defined. Some cons think "Action" videos must be only action, no drama, otherwise they belong in the drama category. Other cons think otherwise. However, do not let people submit a category they want their video in. This should be decided by the judges to avoid videos being miscategorized. The category a video goes in should be decided by a general vote of the judges.

5) Just a note about judging here - for whatever Drama category you have, I would highly suggest trying to ignore entirely whether or not you've seen a series or not. One of the biggest problems judging drama videos is that often times you cannot see the drama unless you've seen the series. This gives an unfair advantage to the Fushigi Yuugi/Cowboy Bebop/Trigun/etc Drama videos because most people have seen some of those, while giving the Gunbuster/Magical Princess Minky Momo/Pretty Combat Communist Rika-chan* videos a distinct disadvantage. If you view the videos from the perspective of never having seen a series before this helps to even the playing field.

6) On the technical side, DON'T accept Digital submissions unless you REALLY know what you're doing. This bit AX in the ass this year, and is continually biting other contests in the ass. If you are not properly prepared to handle and display digital submissions, you wind up screwing yourself and the creators who submitted this way. Audio dropouts, bad video, not-powerful-enough computers, all these things can really screw up a contest using digital submissions. I would definately recommend ONLY accepting Authored DVD, VCD, VHS, SVHS, DV or MiniDV, and possibly SVCD if you have a player that can handle it. These are all things which can be played independantly of a computer, and can be dubbed straight onto another tape when you...

7) Compile a contest tape. Since I know it'll come down to some guy with a VCR hitting stop and play at Fanime, my suggestion is to find the best videos and then copy them all onto a nice S-Deck with flying head erase so you can make one seamless tape with all the contest entries in the order they will be viewed. If you go over 2 hours of videos then have 2 tapes. But this is a FAR better prospect than this or last year where we had about 30 tapes we had to deal with and queue up ahead of time, and then shuffle around in the dark trying to find them.

8) Don't be afraid to disqualify videos for technical problems. Don't let a video that looks like crap into the finals. AX disqualified many entries this year based on video quality, and I think that was a good move since you're going to be blowing up these videos to a large screen via a projector in a dark room, and any major video problems (macroblocks, MPEG artifacts, interlacing issues) will be amplified by orders of magnitude. Putting those kinds of videos up on the big screen makes the contest look far less professional.
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Postby BigName » Sun Jul 28, 2002 9:26 pm

for the love of god make sure the AMV Finals don't conflict with anything this year, have the submission guidelines out at least 3 months before the deadline and don't do any last minute category additions *Cough* AX *Cough cough* umm... make sure that you have an AMV exhibition night just cause those rock (maybe in a smaller room?) and also, don't do what fanime did last year and add videos to the finals that weren't screened to an audience in the prelim's (if you decide to do it that way again like last year)

Since you're asking for help and advice from the creators and in all probability the people who will be submitting to your contest, as long as you follow at least some of the advice we give, we hearby waive all rights to bitch/moan/loot/riot... (loved seeing cops outside of AX as soon as they let us out that first night)
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Postby CArnesen » Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:06 am

Well, I guess I should introduce myself now... I'm Chris Arnesen and I'm the new AMV/Original Animation Contest Coordinator for Sakura Con 2003!

I was just about to post a new thread, when I saw this one. So I'll just add to the conversation.

Specifically, I want to know what kind of prizes AMV creators would prefer. I was thinking along the lines of a custom Apex AD-1500 (region free of course) for the top winners of each category, but then what could I give the "best of show" as a prize?

Chris Arnesen
Sakura Con 2003 - AMV/Original Animation Coordinator
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Postby AbsoluteDestiny » Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:15 am

I've always thought that the best prize you can give an amv maker is more source footage for making amvs so if you can make a deal with rightstuf or someone like that to get a nice big voucher that the creator could spend on footage, that would be a great prize and would promote more amvs to be made :)
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Postby dokidoki » Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:40 am

I got Harmageddon from Anime North as a prize, and haven't made a video with it yet. :)
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Postby paizuri » Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:56 am

dokidoki wrote:I got Harmageddon from Anime North as a prize, and haven't made a video with it yet. :)

Put it to the Star Trekkin' song. It's a guaranteed hit! :lol:
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Postby Quu » Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:47 pm

um.... if you want an amv cordinator can email me privatly..

i might be able to help... depending ona lot of factors

I has alot of experiance on the technical side of an AMV contest.... and really like to help...

I have recently gotten things back in order... so am open to help people again
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Postby Senta » Thu Aug 01, 2002 5:46 pm

For Otakon 2001, my prize was a tape of "Dog Soldier". The artwork looks so bad that I haven't taken it out of the shrinkwrap.

As far as prizes go, I usually see random stuff from the dealer's room, ie. dvds, shirts, etc, being given. For the most part, I could care less since I and hopefully most creators don't make videos in the hopes of winning a prize. Small random stuff, trophies, or plaques sound appropriate to me.
But really nice prizes like dvd players or dvd burners seem excessive and could lead to creators caring too much about what wins. There's already enough bickering about contests.

Dog Soldier with Star Tekkin? Hmmm, I like it.
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Audience Judging

Postby Art Smoke » Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:56 pm

Having the audience judge the most popular videos by applause, rather than by written vote, has it's merits. First of all, it is exciting as heck, both for the audience, and the creators. It is also fast and simple, you don't have to burden some poor soul with counting ballots, and everyone knows the results immediately. However, I would suggest that the decibel meter be placed at stage center, or better yet, at the rear of the stage. That will prevent people with small but loud support groups from having an unfair effect on the results, especially if they happen to be seated at the front. Also, run a small clip of each video before each vote in order to remind the audience of the work; this was not done at AX2002, and I think some fine videos paid the price.
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Re: Audience Judging

Postby Vlad G Pohnert » Fri Aug 02, 2002 12:08 am

Art Smoke wrote:Having the audience judge the most popular videos by applause, rather than by written vote, has it's merits. First of all, it is exciting as heck, both for the audience, and the creators. It is also fast and simple, you don't have to burden some poor soul with counting ballots, and everyone knows the results immediately.


It only works with a smallar crowd. I know that in the past few years (2001 & 2000) some of the screams maxed the meter and the videos won only beacuse they held the sound meter at max longer. This is kind of not very fair or a good method. Secondly, if you make a video that is a crowed favorate (popular song - footage, etc), it will always win on initial reaction. A very popular video editor may also have a slight edge.

Atleast with a ballot system, you have some time to think about it and it's not based on how loud you can scream and you don't know everyone's vote so it helps to give a more honest opinion.

I feel the sound meter is fine for a catagory like "fan's Favorate", etc bit it's sould not be ment to deterime all the winners....

Yes, It's exiting for sure when 3000+ people to clap and scream at your video (something that was missing this year do to the screw up), but a bad overall judging system if you ask me.

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Postby FurryCurry » Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:00 am

Just a few n00b comments here.

The contest vets, ie: ErMaC, AbsolutDestiny,CastorTroy know what they're talking about, pleas listen to them.

My own thoughts:
I would greatly prefer some sort of Trophy, Plaque, or Certificate declaiming a win to some halfass prize from the dealer room. However, a gift certificate from an online anime vendor would be an awesome prize, and of course any special awards from corporate guests, like ADV or ADOBE (maybe their own choice?) would be awesome.
(can you say free Premiere 6.5 upgrade, anyone?) or a free DVD and Tshirt from ADV, with a faux calligraphic, computer-printed award? Awesome!

Judging: applause meters kinda suck, but I have no good alternative to offer the larger cons. I liked the ballot at SakuraCon, but if the room had been much bigger, it couldn't have worked.

Last point: it looked to me like there was no entrance standard at all for the SakuraCon 2k2 AMV contest, other than the entries could be somehow played. Is that correct, or was there any screening done?
(There were awesome vids, and leave-the-room ones in the same contest)

Ok, the know-nothing n00b is done suggesting. :roll:
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