We’ve updated our video submission tips for Dragon*Con 2013, so take a look if you want to help entertain the masses this year!
So you’ve got this great idea for a skit, and your friends are ready to make a video out of it. Maybe you have a fan film or sweet music video that will go perfectly with our little convention. Welcome to the page you need to be reading. We started out as a fairly small community making videos for Dragon*Con, but now Dragon*ConTV really wants fandom to help entertain fandom. Video submissions fall into two piles:
- Dragon*ConTV Contributions
- Fan Films and Music Videos
Read on to figure out which one you’re submitting, because the requirements are slightly different.
Submission deadline for Dragon*ConTV 2013 is August 1, 2013. We prefer to accept submissions between March 1st and July 1st (waiting till the last minute doesn’t give you much time to fix any problems with the video).
Just remember … If you’re not up for making an entire video, there are other ways you can contribute to Dragon*ConTV.
Submission Guidelines for Dragon*ConTV Contributions
Before whipping out that video camera, get in touch with Dragon*ConTV. We’re working on dozens of videos each year, so make sure you’re not about to do a version of something we might have spent two months shooting and editing. It’s the video equivalent of wearing the same dress to the prom as your ex’s date … or being in the 501st (“I can’t believe he’s wearing white after Labor Day!”).
The basic “rules” …
- This is comedy, so please try to be funny. For dramatic pieces, see the fan film guidelines below.
- No profanity or explicit content. Despite what you read on LiveJournal, Dragon*Con is an all-ages convention. People of any age can run into our content in a panel room or on the hotel channels, so the convention likes us to be PG (sorry). We will accept substitute profanity from the sci-fi and fantasy genre. Items that are borderline or PG-13 may be shown at later hours or at select events.
- Your time limit is 2 minutes … 120 seconds. (not counting credits). That is the maximum time, and you don’t have to fill it. Sometimes a shorter joke is funnier. Our ten second clip of the Homeless Klingon is a perfect example. We have years of experience that show us long jokes don’t work with this crowd. They have ADD and … look, an elf …
- No licensed music. Our videos get posted to the web, and we don’t like to get sued. The fewer copyright violations the better. Use appropriate music licenses to avoid litigation.
- Avoid use of video/audio clips from copyrighted works. You can make fun of George Lucas without unsolicited help from Harrison Ford or John Williams … trust us, we know. There’s a lot of audio and video resources to be leveraged that don’t involve pissing off the RIAA or MPAA.
- Videos should include credits. Credits won’t be shown at the con, but they will be in the videos downloadable from Dragon*ConTV’s website.
- Good audio & video quality, so HD content only … that means 720p or 1080p formats. This may not be a Peter Jackson joint, but it’s definitely not Troma (or at least it doesn’t try to be). Every year Dragon*ConTV tries to improve production quality … if we can do it, then it proves anyone can do it.
- Final video must meet our Technical Formatting Guidelines (e-mail us for details – email@example.com)
Once you’re ready, submit a link to your video so we can proceed to the review phase. If you want to see what one of our writers has to say about making the funny for DCTV, read this blog entry by Dr. Stephen Granade.
Submission Guidelines for Fan Films and Music Videos
These videos run on the hotel channels during the convention, mostly fan submissions that don’t fit what we program between panels (too long, too serious, etc.). Fans do all kinds of great video work, so we want to make sure it gets seen somewhere during the convention.
The easiest way to submit a video is submit a link (direct download, YouTube, etc.) with a short description. We will use similar standards for selecting fan films & music videos that we use with the DCTV contributions (language, adult content, audio & video quality, etc.). We also have these pesky Technical Formatting Guidelines, so keep those standards high.
Unlike the Dragon*ConTV spots there are no hard time limits for fan films & music videos, but remember your audience is here for the convention and might not be willing to sit through really long videos while there’s a 52,000 person party going on right outside their door (in other words, as this sentence illustrates, shorter may be better). We’re also a little less concerned about music rights, since playback at the hotels should be covered by the convention’s ASCAP/BMI license … but original content always makes us happier than re-hashed clips.
A note regarding music videos: we’re no longer taking fan music videos or AMVs. We have seen some quality work where fans combine their favorite song and favorite genre, but that’s not what we’re featuring. Dragon*Con has a wonderful “Fandom Music Video Awards Contest” that’s a better fit for these videos. We prefer videos with original footage and lyrics, even if they are song parodies (see “I’m On A Blimp” for reference).
Video Review & Acceptance Process
I could make up some really complicated process, but it’s actually pretty damn easy …
- People send in videos – firstname.lastname@example.org
- We watch them
- We decide what we like
- We show it
The “we” is the Videography Director of Dragon*Con (Brian Richardson) and several of the Dragon*ConTV producers. If the video gets the nod, then the submitter is contacted so a high-quality version of the video can be acquired for playback at the convention. In the event of some tie, dispute or other challenge that one would like to see resolved on American Gladiators, the Videography Director of Dragon*Con has the final say (sorry Nitro). The buck has to stop somewhere, and in our case it’s with Brian.
Note: please don’t use the website comment system or Facebook to submit videos. They will get lost. Send us an e-mail.
What if my video doesn’t get shown?
Yeah, this might happen … we hope you don’t take it personally or get discouraged. There’s limited time for us to review everything that comes in, and it’s possible that a video one person likes is one we won’t quite get. You may also have an issue with our rules on profanity or content and feel that you can’t compromise your work for us morons … cool, we get that. And don’t forget the pesky technical guidelines that may cause us consternation.
There’s lots of videos we work on than never see the light of day, and plenty of stuff we’ve produced that we might have rather never released (“only the mediocre are always at their best” :) ). YouTube, VImeo and dozens of other sites will be happy to show your work if we decide not to … even other conventions may like it.