Topic: THAC XIV - Coming in January 2017!
THAC is a brickfilming contest that lasts for exactly 24 hours. All brainstorming, writing, recording, animating, editing and submitting must be done within the time limit. It's a challenge, it's frantic, and it's a lot of fun!
The contest will begin on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 12pm (midday) GMT and will run for 24 hours. It will end on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 12pm GMT. You can see what that is in your time zone by clicking here.
A note on the time of the contest: Normally, THAC takes place on the first Saturday after Christmas. However, that would have started this year's THAC on New Year's Eve. Because many people have plans on New Year's Eve, we decided to push THAC back one week to the 7th-8th.
Anyone who is a registered BricksInMotion.com member in good standing before the official start of THAC XIV (January 7, 2017) may enter. Judges may participate, but are disqualified from being ranked and from receiving prizes. Joint productions are allowed, but it is up to you to divide up the prizes if you win anything.
Your entry must be entirely made and submitted during the 24-hour period. To prove this, mod elements must appear in every shot of your animation (more information below).
Your entry must consist primarily of LEGO (or similar building-block toy) stop-motion animation. Live-action, CGI, hand-drawn, or other forms of film or animation may be used to supplement your entry, but stop-motion animation must be the primary focus.
Your entry must consist of at least 30 seconds of stop-motion animation. There is no maximum time limit.
No mature/explicit content is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: swearing, excessive/gory violence, overt sexual content, and blatant drug references.
You must not make your entry public until the deadline has passed.
The entry you submit to the judges must be the entry made publicly available to everyone else. You cannot create a version of your film that includes the mod element to send to the judges, and then publicly release a second version of your film that has the mod element removed.
Use of copyrighted material (including music) is allowed, though discouraged. Use of copyrighted material will not affect the judging of your entry. There is no direct score deduction but a film that uses preexisting IPs will not be viewed as favorably as a film that creates something entirely new. Using a preexisting IP is like writing a paper but half the paper is quotes from other people.
While copyrighted/trademarked properties are allowed, you are discouraged from basing your movie off of pre-existing franchises (Star Wars, Marvel, etc.). Its not original, and could affect the judging of your film. Copyrighted music may be used, due to the time constraints for this contest. If you do not wish to do so, you are permitted to create original music beforehand. Original music does not have to be created within the 24 hour time limit.
To prevent cheating, the contest theme will only be announced when the contest begins. You can brainstorm ideas beforehand but there is no guarantee your brainstorming will match the theme. In addition, "mod elements" must be present in every shot of your film. These mod elements will also be announced when the contest begins. The first mod element is a color mod. This will be a combination of two random brick colors connected together or touching (for example, a white brick connected to a grey brick). The second mod element is a letter mod. This could be any of the 26 letters of the modern English alphabet. You may use the uppercase or lowercase version of the letter, but the letter must be recognizable as that letter.
To prove that you made your film within the time limit, at least one of the mod elements must appear in every shot of your animation. You do not need to use both mod elements. You can combine these mod elements in any way that you see fit, so long as at least one is present at all times. You could choose to use just the color mod or just the letter mod, you could choose to use both, you could alternate between scenes, or any combination of the above. All that is important is that at least one of the mod elements be visible in every shot.
The letter may be upper or lower case, but it still must be clearly that letter. The letter can be rotated but not mirrored. Again, it must be clearly identifiable as that letter. It may be written or printed on a piece of paper or sticker, drawn directly onto a brick, printed on a piece, or built from pieces and even integrated into the set.
The letter mod element may exist on a printed LEGO piece, but it must clearly be that letter. An eyebrow or wrinkle on a minifig’s face, or a fold in the shirt on the minifig's torso are not letters.
The mod element must be physically present in the shot. Mod elements cannot be added digitally in post-production.
Minifig parts (for example a red torso attached to grey legs) can count as the color mod, but bricks connected to or touching baseplates do not.
You do not need to include either mod element in the titles or credits.
If a shot must be clarified by changing the shot in anyway (changing brightness, black and white to color, etc) to be able to identify the mod element, the shot will be not counted as containing the mod element and the entry will most likely be disqualified. See next rule for one exception regarding the cropping of the image.
For particular shots where including the mod element would be disruptive to your artistic vision (such as extreme close-ups and shots with very low depth of field), you may include a legal mod element in the shot and then crop the mod element out in post-production. You then must provide an uncropped frame from that shot and explain in detail the cropped shot in the submission email. You will have to provide separate proof for each shot.
Entries will be judged on criteria including originality, production values (animation, set design, cinematography, sound, etc.), story, and creative interpretation of the theme by the 5 judges. Films will be discussed and ranked collectively by the judges until a consensus is reached. The top 3 films will eligible for the prize pool. Entries below 10th place will not be publicly ranked.
This year, like earlier years, we will be offering a prize pool of three prizes. This means that 1st place gets to choose which of the three prizes they want, 2nd place chooses from the remaining two and 3rd place gets whichever one is left over!
Philip and I believe we have refined the THAC rules down to a science, so there are no rule updates or changes from last year!