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?
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
- 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.