Topic: 2015: The Contest

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2015 is ridiculously overcrowded, with dozens of high-profile blockbusters coming out (Star Wars Episode VII, Terminator: Genesis, Jurassic World and even a Ninjago movie to name but a few) in a short space of time.

That gave me the idea for this contest. Over the course of the whole of 2014 and into the beginning of 2015, participants slowly create a short section of a film, or a trailer for a fictional film, that is of cinematic quality. By that, I mean you do something that looks as spectacular and amazing as possible. People can work on this alongside their other projects, as the timeframe means it isn't  so urgent that people get in a panic and work on it solidly without doing their own projects.

Rules
The rules are as follows:

  • If a section of a film, it must be no less than 5 minutes but no more than 8 minutes. It can be any part of your fictional feature film - beginning, conclusion, mid-film conflict, climax, prologue…whatever ya' want.

  • If a trailer, it must be no less than 2 minutes but no more than 3 minutes, and must feature clips from more than 15 different scenes (though each of those does not need to be huge). This may sound like a lot but if you watch a trailer, you'll find that they actually use far more. When you come to making your trailer, it could have far more than 15 too! Just to clarify, that's 15 distinct scenes, not shots. You will have far, far more than 15 shots.

  • It does not need to be a whole film. In fact, this is discouraged. Focus on a small section of the story, though make it clear what is happening; be sure to properly establish your characters, locations and storyline in the time you have.

  • Must not be a presold idea, by which I mean no adaptations of books, films, comics or video games. Pieces from licensed themes like Star Wars and The Hobbit may be used, but no characters, locations or storylines or anything that could be construed as an element of published fiction.

  • The competition will run from January 1st 2014 all the way to the 1st May 2015 (the release date of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the many blockbusters coming out that summer).

  • Participants are not allowed to upload their film/trailer until 2nd May 2015, the day after the closing date. However, you may upload it on the 1st May if you think it will take that long to upload, as long as you make it unlisted until May 2nd.

  • No copyrighted material is to be used - that's clips from other movies, music etc.

  • This goes without saying, but it must be a brickfilm. CGI or stop-motion (or both), not live-action. The aim of this contest is to create a high-quality brickfilm.

Items to be submitted alongside:

  • Production photos. For the sake of the judges, only submit between 10 and 20.

  • A plot synopsis. Somewhere around 60 words, and no spoilers.

  • A full plot outline. Word count is around 600 words (10% either way). The reason for this is just to show that, especially for trailers, you have a coherent story behind your segment.

  • A film poster is also optional.

Where I've put no presold ideas, that's not to say you can't so something in the style of a realm film or trailer. For instance, you might want to do a sci-fi film's opening flashback in the style of the opening to The Fellowship of the Ring. Equally, you might want to do a long and fleshed out trailer as engaging as this Avatar trailer.

As far as specific LEGO themes go (e.g. Chima, BIONICLE, Mars Mission) I would say that participants should be encouraged to come up with their own material, though they can take inspiration (a little or a lot) from LEGO themes. That's not to say you can't do a Ninjago film, but it will be more challenging for you to create something of your own. For stuff like Castle and Space, which are pretty generic, you're fine.

I'd like to reiterate that this can be any genre at all. Most of the examples I've used are sci-fi or fantasy, but you could do a western, a crime thriller, a mockumentary…anything that floats your boat! You could even do a genre mashup - dragons in the wild west? An alien spaceship appears over Industrial Revolution-era London? Be creative!

Prizes
Thanks to the great generosity of several members, 2015: The Contest now has prizes! They are as follows:

1st place
$100 (provided by Willow Tree)

2nd place
$50 (provided by Willow Tree)

3rd place
$50 (provided by Willow Tree)

4th Place
Choice of LEGO Movie series or Series 11 minifigure, provided by LASF

5th Place
LEGO Movie series minifigure, provided by LASF

6th Place
LEGO Movie series minifigure, provided by LASF

Honorable Mention
Rebel Trooper battle pack, provided by JonnDthunDer.
Note: this is US-only, as the pack will not be shipped outside of the United States.

I'd like to take this opportunity to give a hearty thanks to Willow Tree, JonnDthunDer and LASF for their generosity in contributing to the prize fund! I can't thank you guys enough for making this contest even more special and worthwhile!

Judging
The judges are:

  • jampot

  • Walter Benson

  • LASF

Regrettably we cannot take any more judges at this time.

Backup judges:

  • Dyland

I will say this now to assuage any finger-pointing that I'm trying to get someone else to hold this contest so I have a chance of winning: false. I will subject myself to the same rules as everyone else, including the upload date, but will not enter myself to receive a place or a prize. I'll just be making my entry totally for the fun of it. Glad we've sorted that out.

Anyone who wishes to judge but also wants to create a film for this can submit themself to the same rules: make the film but not enter it for a place or prize. I think that's perfectly fair.

As for how your blockbusters will be judged, it is broken down into segments (courtesy in part of Monsieur Cooked Cat):

  • 20% Animation: You will be judged on the smoothness and clarity of your animation.

  • 20% Story: Just as essential as the animation itself, your story must be well thought-out and portrayed in a clear way. If a film's plot is too convoluted or hard to understand, it will hurt its mass audience appeal, and you should create your stories with the same principle in mind. Basically, don't make Solaris or season 10 of Smallville and you'll be pretty much there.

  • 20% Sound: Sound is a vital part of any movie, and coming from a family of radio-geeks I feel like it's my duty to emphasise how important sound is mini/bigsmile  Remember just how essential it is. Voice-overs and their acting skills also come under this category - emotion, people!

  • 20% Picture: You will be judged on cinematography, VFX, and lighting and the general quality of the content, rather than the image resolution - some users have had concerns about whether participants with better cameras will be further ahead in this category, but that is not what Picture is about.

  • 20% Sensation: Being a contest all about blockbusters, it would be foolish not to judge based on the reaction your film elicits. The judges will award marks in this category based on their own reaction to this film, and how successful they feel it would be to a mass audience.

You won't be judged on your additional material, but the plot outline and synopsis, and the production photos are still required to enter.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Can I make a trailer for a brickfilm I am already working on?
A) No, as this would give you an unfair time advantage over other participants.

Q) Can I use BrickForge, BrickArms or any other custom parts allowed?
A) Yes, they are.

Most important of all, have fun! What can I say - this is a contest about Hollywood, so I had to put at least one horrible, cringe-inducing cliche into this thread.

-JR

Last edited by jampot (January 24, 2014 (01:42pm))

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"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

I absolutely love this idea! I think it would generate several brickfilms of spectacular quality, which is always good. I would definitely enter a contest like this.

Something you should consider though, is that if the contest requires people to write a plot synopsis and even a plot outline, and create a poster, then they might as well just make an entire film, not just a short(er) part of one. That could be a lot of work, though. What I really want to say is people should be required to make a trailer for a fictional film.
It could work with a short section of a film, but I think it would make more sense to stick to a trailer, of great quality, of course.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, it didn't make much sense to me.

Last edited by BrickStory (December 31, 2013 (10:00am))

Re: 2015: The Contest

I agree that this idea sounds pretty neat.

Re: 2015: The Contest

Sounds like a good idea; a bit ambitious, but nothing I won't consider doing, maybe sometime in the near future.

Have you seen a big-chinned boy?

Re: 2015: The Contest

BrickStory wrote:

Something you should consider though, is that if the contest requires people to write a plot synopsis and even a plot outline, and create a poster, then they might as well just make an entire film, not just a short(er) part of one. That could be a lot of work, though. What I really want to say is people should be required to make a trailer for a fictional film.
It could work with a short section of a film, but I think it would make more sense to stick to a trailer, of great quality, of course.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, it didn't make much sense to me.

I think I understand what you're saying, although writing a plot synopsis/outline, making a poster and making a 5 minute section of a film is very different to making a whole feature length brickfilm. I should have made that clearer, that the intention is to make the section of film (if that's what you choose to do) as if it were part of a full feature, not just a 10 or 20 minute brickfilm. If the final film was set to only be 10 minutes then I agree with you wholeheartedly, but the idea is to create something reminiscent of a feature length blockbuster.

I'm glad there's been such a positive response! What about prizes though; would y'all wanna' do this even if there weren't prizes?

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"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

jampot wrote:
BrickStory wrote:

Something you should consider though, is that if the contest requires people to write a plot synopsis and even a plot outline, and create a poster, then they might as well just make an entire film, not just a short(er) part of one. That could be a lot of work, though. What I really want to say is people should be required to make a trailer for a fictional film.
It could work with a short section of a film, but I think it would make more sense to stick to a trailer, of great quality, of course.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, it didn't make much sense to me.

I think I understand what you're saying, although writing a plot synopsis/outline, making a poster and making a 5 minute section of a film is very different to making a whole feature length brickfilm. I should have made that clearer, that the intention is to make the section of film (if that's what you choose to do) as if it were part of a full feature, not just a 10 or 20 minute brickfilm. If the final film was set to only be 10 minutes then I agree with you wholeheartedly, but the idea is to create something reminiscent of a feature length blockbuster.

I'm glad there's been such a positive response! What about prizes though; would y'all wanna' do this even if there weren't prizes?

Not exactly what I meant, but it doesn't matter anymore- I just realized I misunderstood an important part of the concept.
Anyway, I would do it even if the only thing I'd gain was glory, because that is all I really want, at the moment, but I'm sure actual prizes would encourage more people to enter. The only way organizing such a (seemingly) big contest would make any sense is if alot of people participated. Having prizes would help with that -having good prizes would help even more.

I think you should wait and see how many more members are interested in taking part in such a contest before putting too much thought into it. You can count me in, I think it's a fantastic idea.

Happy new year, guys! mini/smile

Re: 2015: The Contest

I've been toying with the idea of making a polished trailer brickfilm for a fictional film for a while. Sounds cool to me.

THAC XIV entry here: (Never) Meant To Be

Re: 2015: The Contest

BrickStory wrote:

I think you should wait and see how many more members are interested in taking part in such a contest before putting too much thought into it. You can count me in, I think it's a fantastic idea.

Awesome! I did think it was a bit last minute to be starting on January 1st or close to it. Yeah, see who's interested first. That was kind of why I put this thread as an idea rather than an out-and-out contest.

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"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

My BRAWL entry for 2012 was a cinematic-like trailer and I would totally do it again because its so much fun.

Re: 2015: The Contest

This seems like a awesome idea!

Re: 2015: The Contest

I LOVE This idea!

EDIT:
also, how about, the more one person does on a entry the more points they get in judging, say, they narrate the trailer, animate it all, do stuff like that, but get stock music, they wouldnt get as much points as one that say did everything.

maybe someone could write up a bunch of 'base' scripts, and have them in a pool, so, say, someone uses that as a base for the trailer, but does everything else, could get the same points as one that did everything bar the narration... make sense?

break it down in to segments, so the scoring goes of:(something like)
20% animation
20% Story(yes, even for trailers, they could portray a vast story, gripping)
20% sound effects-environment
20% Picture
10% score
5% acting
5% Wow factor or something...

make sense?

Last edited by Cooked Cat (January 1, 2014 (09:44pm))

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Re: 2015: The Contest

Cooked Cat wrote:

also, how about, the more one person does on a entry the more points they get in judging, say, they narrate the trailer, animate it all, do stuff like that, but get stock music, they wouldnt get as much points as one that say did everything.

I can see where you're coming from, but I don't agree with your example. Not everyone has the facility or the musical talent (myself very much included) to create their own music for their films, but I see your drift.

Cooked Cat wrote:

break it down in to segments, so the scoring goes of:(something like)
20% animation
20% Story(yes, even for trailers, they could portray a vast story, gripping)
20% sound effects-environment
20% Picture
10% score
5% acting
5% Wow factor or something...

make sense?

Seems like a good enough way of scoring it, although what's the 10% score for?

We've established that story is important, hence the plot synopsis/outline - should they be scored separately? You know, like with college - 40% coursework and 60% exam?

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"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

So, if I understand this correctly, we're meant to make part of a film or a trailer for one, except that we came up with the film ourselves?  It certainly sounds like an interesting idea; I like the idea of having a small snippet of something larger.  I'm not sure I would be able to participate as I won't have a lot of time to film in the first half of 2014, though.  Would it be any film, or is it more geared to Fantasy/Sci-Fi (seeing as most films you've mentioned are of that genre)?

Retribution (3rd place in BRAWL 2015)

&Smeagol      make the most of being surrounded by single, educated women your own age on a regular basis in college
AquaMorph    I dunno women are expensive

Re: 2015: The Contest

Any kind of film: western, crime thriller, mockumentary, horror…any genre you want. And this isn't the BFCU, there are no restrictions on violence or language.

The full time of the contest goes up until 1st May 2015, so there's plenty of time if you want to enter, though I understand if you have other commitments (I know the feeling all too well mini/sad  )

Okay then! Since enough people are interested, I'm turning this from an idea into an actual contest! Still no prizes though, unless people donate them later in the year or something (heck, don't look at me, I only post here).

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"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

I'd probably make several trailers cause its so much fun

Re: 2015: The Contest

That's the spirit!

That said, I'm not sure whether it would be fair for you to enter all of them - maybe pick one and enter that as your actual entry, release the other ones as sides/inspiration for other participants, or if they were all trailers for movies in the same series you could enter them as one entry?

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ZoefDeHaas/stuff/sig1.png
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: 2015: The Contest

jampot wrote:

We've established that story is important, hence the plot synopsis/outline - should they be scored separately? You know, like with college - 40% coursework and 60% exam?

In my experience it's usually 25% coursework, and 75% exam... mini/lol

Anyway, since the trailer/clip is the primary thing we're looking and the finished product, hence why it should be the primary focus.  However, since this is a full film we're talking about, I do think some consideration should be given to the backstory and plot as a whole.

Retribution (3rd place in BRAWL 2015)

&Smeagol      make the most of being surrounded by single, educated women your own age on a regular basis in college
AquaMorph    I dunno women are expensive

Re: 2015: The Contest

jampot wrote:

That's the spirit!

That said, I'm not sure whether it would be fair for you to enter all of them - maybe pick one and enter that as your actual entry, release the other ones as sides/inspiration for other participants, or if they were all trailers for movies in the same series you could enter them as one entry?

I don't even know, seeing as this contest would go on for over a year I would never be able to stick to just one idea

Re: 2015: The Contest

this sounds awesome! I know i'm not really making brickfilms that much anymore and I say this every time there's a contest but maybe ill try entering this one. I might make like a screenplay that I've already written just to see how it turns out.

Re: 2015: The Contest

the 'score' i mentioned, another word for soundtrack.

yeah, sounds good.

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