PortConMaine 2003 AMV Contest Guidelines help please!

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PortConMaine 2003 AMV Contest Guidelines help please!

Postby Scott A Melzer » Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:40 am

Heya all!
I'm going to be running PortConMaine 2003's AMV contest (an anime & gaming convention in Portland Maine in June), and I'm working on the guidelines.

Just want to know if you guys have any suggestions. I've been in the AMV "biz" for about 8 years now, and have entered tons of contest, and I'm planning on using what I've liked and disliked about contests in the past here. But, what does everyone else think? I want to have these guidelines up and posted by the end of the week, but I'd like to listen to any ideas that anyone here has.

I am going to try to also include a "short film" section, for stuff like trailers, parodies, commercials, etc. Stuff still under 6 minutes. I'd just like to try to encourage that sort of thing!

Let me know what you all think!
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Postby MistyCaldwell » Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:01 am

Heeeey :) hi Scott

Anyway, my only gripe about contests is something that isn't really practical. I would assume it's hard to know ahead of time what kind of equipment (sound/video) you'll be working with so far in advance. But some cons post a wide range of digital compression options that they say they can accept. The problem with that is certain kinds can look really bad if quality equipment isn't used or set up right.

For example, I have been to a con that did not have the ability to correctly play stereo sound. A lot of the videos lost a lot of meaning and feeling and overall appeal. Another con had problems with mpeg-2 videos even though they said they could accept them. I am not sure what was done, but a good portion of the mpeg-2 videos were bleached and ...stretched. I don't even know how it was done, but I spoke to other submitters who had the unfortunate thing happen and all we had in common was mpeg2.

Maybe that had nothing to do with it but having a video look bad when shown can have a very negative impact on the audience as well as the creator :cry: .

I'm sure you'll do fine though ^_^
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Postby Scott A Melzer » Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:23 am

Thanks for the input!
My plan is to try to avoid all of these problems. I'll do it the Otakon way...

Basically, I'll try to solve all of those crappy technical problems ahead of time (there ARE a hell of a lot of them, of coourse), create a compilation of everything (with my own title screens), and put it on a S-VHS tape to be shown. A LOT less can go wrong with a completed tape.

I totally HATE it when cons show each video separately. When they just swap tapes or try to play them on their computers one at a time. There are always problems, and trying to solve them AT the showing is just STUPID. So, I'll be fixing all those problems ahead of time, compiling onto a tape, then showing that. Hopefully that will mean a better looking contest, and be more fair for everyone involved.
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Joined: 02 Sep 2001

Postby Vlad G Pohnert » Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:52 am

The method I would use is to still run off a computer (in a predetermined batch) like at AWA (With a backup system), but as well have a SVHS copy of the contest and a player available. That way, if all else fails than there is plenty of backup! I would also (if at all possible) run several other videos in that room prior to the con (night before, etc) and ensure everything works.... But if the proper computer equipment is not there then I would look at maybe having a DVD master and a player that the DVD has been played in in it's entirty and is proven to work. I never like to walk into a room where the equipment is provided and has not been tested with the contest tape,disc etc! Even for SVHS....

In terms of rules:

I've am working on developing a system based on observations at a lot of AMV contests and 10 years of experience I have of Convention running

I not sure what your ideas are on this, I feel that it's a good idea to still have audience participation (ballots, etc) and then a small panel of judges depending on what is being judged (Technical, best Overall, Comedy, artistic, etc). I like having fan participation since it makes the crowd feel part of the process but not to judge all the categories since I feel there are those that require a group of experienced judges. A mix fo the two and being able to do it at the convention is the tough part and is doable expecially for smaller crowds.

I think the hardest part is how do you determine the finalists? Do you use a small group of judges or an audience prior, or just the organizers?

Submissions:

Are you planning on taking digital submissions? I feel this will determine how many entries you can get as well. I personally feel that it's important to take both analog and digital submissions. But the digital ones will require very clear and precise rules or else it seems to always turn into a disaster.... I personally only like to submit to cons in DV tape or in Mpeg2 encodings sine then I have the most control over quality. SVHS is OK, but I know a lot of people can't output to that format easily or prefer to stay digital...

Vlad
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Postby Vlad G Pohnert » Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:55 am

I should clerify that if it is played on a computer, I agree that it must be automatically (Something like having a Mpeg2 encoder card and software player that has a play list saved and all that has to be done is to run it).

Vlad
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Postby Scott A Melzer » Thu Jan 02, 2003 2:55 am

Vlad (seems you've been following me around tonight!):

I think I'll just stick to the tape thing, since this is a really small convention and there won't be ANYTHING in the way of equipment there. It would seem a major pain in the ass for me to lug my equipment all the way up there (It's an 8 hour drive), and I'm not even certain that I'll be able to go. If I HAVE to, I'll make the tape ahead of time and send it up with other friends of mine on the staff. Seems like something else that can go wrong, but I'm trying to work with it.

I AM planning on having the "voting" work both ways. Both an audience favourite award, as well as a judge award. That's how it was done last year, and I like the system. Instead of just picking which vid you liked best, you get to rank each video in three different categories. Not perfect, but it gets us partway there. This will only work if there are only a few entries (last year there were about 8) of course. We may have to modify it. Secondly, there will be a few judges (myself included) giving an award. So I hope to mix both.

I don't think we'll have to "determine finalists" since I expect the turnout to be smaller. Even if we do get LOTS of entries, I doubt that we'll go over the two hour limit that I've set. However, if we DO manage to get more than 30 entries, then I'll have to come up with something. It's best to have that set ahead of time, though, so I'll add that to the guidelines. The compilation will definately have to be finished ahead of time, though, so I can't have people choose them at the convention. It will have to be a group of people weeks in advance. Hmmm...

Yes, I'm going to take digital submissions. I'm a bit leery on the rules for Digitals, since I haven't worked much with stuff from other people's computers. For "This Is Otakudom" we ran into problems with the two trailers that bookend the parody, so I've already had a taste. Quu has given me some suggestions, and hopefully myself and my friends can figure it out. I've already written some guidelines, but I'm hesitant to say "Mpeg-2 720x480 ONLY" or some such since that will probably limit things, though I've stated that I PREFER that. I do not have the ability to read DV tape at the moment, so that's out.

I just (as in about 2 minutes before reading this post) ordered my Hollywood Plus card, so hopefully that'll help. As you might remember, I edit on a Mac, but I'm planning on using my PC for the video compilation and conversion as per Quu's suggestions.

Thanks so much for the input!!!
Scott A Melzer
 
Joined: 02 Sep 2001

Postby Vlad G Pohnert » Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:58 am

Scott A Melzer wrote:Vlad (seems you've been following me around tonight!):


I just (as in about 2 minutes before reading this post) ordered my Hollywood Plus card, so hopefully that'll help. As you might remember, I edit on a Mac, but I'm planning on using my PC for the video compilation and conversion as per Quu's suggestions.

Thanks so much for the input!!!


Nope just that you read the same groups, thats all....

I got a system with a netstream card (same company that makes the hollywood plus card). I have a dedicated system to the playing videos in Mpeg1 or 2 and it works great! I also have another system that I will be fitting up as a backup since I am looking the possibility of dong a whole AMV track at a con or even two next year (now that should keep me busy!)

Vlad
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