AMV Competition

Anime Expo’s AMV Competition is one of our most cherished and longest running events.

The Anime Music Video (AMV) Competition is a visual rhapsody of music and anime featuring a wild assortment of music videos created by fans just like you. Out of hundreds of submissions received every year, we meticulously curate an electrifying selection of Drama, Action, Sentimental, Fun, Rhythm, and Comedy videos in a professionally presented three-hour event where you pick the winner!

Want to enjoy the show? The competition takes place on the evening of Day 1 in the Main Events hall. Be sure to check the official Program Schedule for details!

For those of you who also fancy yourselves as creators rather than just spectators, we welcome your work! We accept submissions from anybody and everybody, local or foreign, beginner or professional, attending or non-attending.

Tickets are available to pick up starting July 5th at 2 PM outside of West Hall, near the Ticketing Booth.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email: amv@anime-expo.org

Technical Standards

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. We recommend MP4 or MKV file formats. We also accept AVI, MOV, M2TS, or MPG, but they are not recommended. Any other file format will be rejected.
  2. We recommend H.264/AVC 8-bit codecs. We strongly recommend against using antiquated codecs such as XVID, or bleeding-edge codecs such as 10-bit or H.265/HEVC.
  3. We recommend file sizes of 300MB* or smaller. We reserve the right to reject files that we deem to be excessively large.
  4. We recommend inserting one second of empty black silence to the start and end of each entry.

BE ADVISED: For the convenience of our judges, we reserve the right to adjust any entries to conform to the above recommendations. This may impact the quality of your entry as presented to the judges. To ensure that the judges experience your AMV in the most ideal way, please follow the recommendations above.

QUALITY METRICS:

  • The following video issues shall be considered technical flaws:
    • Interlacing
    • Squashed or stretched aspect ratios, or improper letterboxing/matting
    • Chunky/blocky video
    • Color banding  (i.e. Color gradients caused by video re-compression)
    • Blurry video
    • Heavily aliased/jagged lines
    • Low-resolution entries
      • 720p* is the minimum if using sources that were released on Blu-Ray or in HD.
      • 480p is the minimum if using sources that were never released on Blu-Ray or in HD.
  • The following audio issues shall be considered technical flaws:
    1. Audible distortion
    2. Levels that are overdriven or clipped
    3. Levels that are too low. We recommend normalizing to -0.5db peak
    4. Low sample-rate/bitrate
    5. Audible discontinuities or jumps caused by flawed audio edits
    6. Pitch-shifted or speed-adjusted audio (unless by obvious artistic necessity)

Entries that require a strange or unusual degree of difficulty to work with shall be considered technically flawed.

The Rules:

Subject to Disqualification

  1. Technical Requirements Non-Compliance
    • Entries that do not sufficiently satisfy our technical standards may be disqualified.
  2. Submission Freshness Requirement*
    • Your entry must not have been available for public view at a live event** or online prior to the freshness cut-off date of November 1st, 2017*. 
    • (*)  Bonus Category entries are exempt, but must not have been sent to a past AX AMV Competition.
    • (**) We track official contests and formal exhibitions at live events. An informal preview shown to a small live audience under non-contest circumstances would not count against this.
  3. Restricted Material
    1. Corner watermark logos or other trademarks. *
    2. Subtitles, karaoke lyrics, and superfluous text. *
    3. References to non-SPJA contests or events. *
    4. Introductions, closings, titles, credit slates, and self-promotion. *
      (*) Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis if such usage can be deemed necessary and relevant to your entry’s concept.
  4. Video Length Limits: Entries that do not adhere to the following video length limits may be disqualified:
    1. All AMVs: 1min 15sec minimum, 5min 30 sec maximum.
    2. Movie Trailers: 1min 30 sec minimum, 3min 30sec maximum.
    3. TV Intros: No minimum, 1 min 30 sec maximum.
    4. TV Commercials: No minimum, 1min maximum.
  5. Content Standards
    • The content and context of each entry must be suitable for an age 13+ audience. This includes (but is not limited to) gore, vulgar language, nudity, heavy sexual innuendo, and material that is demeaning or demoralizing.
  6. Non-Anime Content
    • The video content of all AMV entries must primarily consist of anime-styled or manga-styled content. *
    • (*) This definition includes non-Japanese content made in the typical Japanese anime style, such as Boondocks, Korra, RWBY, and Voltron (but not My Little Pony). If there is a non-Japanese anime-styled source you wish to use, contact the coordinators for approval.
  7. Non-Music Content
    • The video content of all AMV entries must primarily consist of anime-styled or manga-styled content. *
    • (*) This includes certain non-Japanese titles made in the typical Japanese anime style (e.g. Boondocks, Korra, RWBY, and Voltron.) If there is a source you wish to use that you believe meets this definition, contact the coordinators for approval.
  8. Excessive Submissions
    • Entrants who have exceeded a category’s submission limits shall have their excess entries disqualified. This includes entries re-categorized by coordinator review.
  9. Micro-Vid Reels
    • Entries that are primarily a reel of multiple unrelated and random micro-AMVs (i.e. AMV-Hell styled entries) are not eligible to compete.
  10. Incomplete and/or Minimal Effort Entries
    • Entries that mostly consist of largely uncut video segments from the original source may be disqualified.
    • Entries that have a minimal effort title (e.g. “My Naruto AMV” or “Timmy’s AMV”) may be declined until and unless given a proper title.
    • Entries that start or end mid-point in the song for no artistic reason may be deemed incomplete and may be disqualified.

POLICIES AND CONDITIONS

  1. You unconditionally grant us eternal, irrevocable, and limitless permission to use, copy, share, and exhibit your submission(s) in any way, including for purposes and usages outside of or unrelated to this event, and you grant this permission with no expectation of compensation, remuneration, or any form of obligation from us of any kind.
  2. All entries are subject to category review. The judges and coordinators may change the categorization of any entry at their discretion. Any re-categorizations will still be subject to all category limits and rules.
  3. Entrants may re-submit a revised version of a current entry at any time before the deadline, but no more than twice per entry. Once the deadline has passed, resubmissions require coordinator approval.
  4. The coordinators reserve the right to decline further entries or re-submissions from entrants who have had three or more entries disqualified.
  5. The coordinators and judges may accept or reject any entry for any fair and justifiable reason not foreseen in these rules.
  6. The coordinators and judges are the final interpreters of any rule. Their decisions are final.
  7. Dishonesty, plagiarism of other AMVs (in whole or in part), or any actions that cause grief or dishonor to the event or to others may result in the offender being excluded from future SPJA AMV activities. Severe cases may result in banishment from all SPJA events, as well as a notification of your conduct to other AMV events we are affiliated with.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

In consideration of participation in a contest, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, you, on your behalf, and on behalf of your heirs, successors or assigns, administrators and personal representatives, do hereby FOREVER DISCHARGE, INDEMNIFY, FULLY RELEASE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE SPJA, and each of their respective direct and indirect subsidiaries, affiliates, partners and related entities, their respective directors, officers, employees, volunteers, agents, insurers, attorneys, shareholders and representatives, and each predecessor, successor, and assign thereof, from and against any and all actions, charges, claims, losses, costs, damages, expenses (including attorneys’ fees and expenses) and liabilities of any kind or character, whether known or unknown, in connection with, arising out of or in any way related to your participation in the contest. By providing a submission to this contest, you agree to comply with and be bound by all rules, policies, requirements, and conditions outlined on this event page..

CATEGORY CHOICES:

All entries must be categorized under one of the following choices listed below. Certain categories receive more submissions than others and therefore have stricter limits.

LIMITED CATEGORIES
  • Drama
  • Action
  • Sentiments

Category Limits:

  • One Limited Category entry per entrant (I.E. One Drama or one Action or one Sentiments, etc.) 
NON-LIMITED CATEGORIES
  • Fun & Play
  • Rhythm & Beat
  • Comedy & Humor

Category Limits:

  • Three entries maximum, in any combination.
  • Entrants may send one entry to each category or multiple entries to a single category. In the case of the latter, only one may qualify for the finals.
BONUS CATEGORIES
  • TV Commercials
  • TV Intros
  • Trailers

Category Limits:

  • Five entries maximum, in any combination.
  • Exempt from Freshness Rules, provided that the entry was never sent to a prior AX contest.
  • Multiple entries may be sent to a single category. Each has a chance of qualifying for the finals.

The total number of entries each entrant may submit is: One Limited Category entry, plus three Non-Limited Category entries, plus five Bonus Category entries, for a total of nine entries.

All entries will be inspected by the coordinators for proper category fitment. If it is determined that your entry is miscategorized, it will be moved to the appropriate category. Your preference is given heavy consideration, but the coordinators have the final decision. Rule 8 still applies, even for re-categorized entries.

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS:

The information below will help you decide how to categorize your entry.

Please be aware that certain categories receive vastly more entries than others, and are therefore judged far more strictly than other categories. We encourage you to try the less competitive categories, but only if your video would be clearly appropriate for them. (I.E. Don’t try to put an obvious Drama video in a less competitive category in the hopes of improving its chances.)

1. Drama

There are two types of entries appropriate for this category. The first type are entries that focus on theatrics, performance, and/or artistic expression. The second type are entries that are emotionally heavy or serious in tone. Our judges are instructed to inspect each Drama entry based on how well one portrays an interesting story and evokes an emotional connection (with an emphasis on that order). Be advised that due to the immense overabundance of entries that this category regularly receives, our judges are instructed to be harsh, and any imperfection is grounds for disqualification in this category.

(Competitiveness Level: Over 9000. Recommended for expert editors who seek bragging rites.)

2. Action

Entries in this category tend to be more adventurous or adrenaline inducing. The focus of such entries is on the thrill of a battle, challenge, or adventure, and the music for such entries should accentuate this.

(Competitiveness Level: 5 out of 5. Recommended for adrenaline junkies.)

3. Sentiments

This is the less intense and more light-hearted side of Drama. These entries focus on romance, reminiscence, nostalgia, or other uplifting sentiments. Similar to Drama, it should evoke an emotional connection and portray an interesting story (with an emphasis in that order).

(Competitiveness Level: 4 out of 5. Recommended for hopeless romantics and storytellers.)

4. Fun & Play

Though not to be mistaken as "Comedy-Lite," entries to this category consist of whimsically clever, playfully silly, or light-hearted fluff.

(Competitiveness Level: 3 out of 5. Recommended for the young at heart.)

5. Rhythm & Beat

If it makes you want to dance, tap your foot, or nod your head, it's doing something right. Such entries generally have a catchy rhythmic beat matched to flashy on-screen action.

(Competitiveness Level: 2 out of 5. Recommended for technically skillful music fans.)

5. Humor & Comedy

This is the category our audience craves the most, but also the category we often receive the fewest of. This is the home of hilarity, ridiculousness, absurdity, silly extremes, and utter wrongness. If it makes you laugh or chuckle, it belongs here. An ideal entry breaks the minds of the audience through laughter, shenanigans, or plain “WTF!”  If you somehow get the audience to play along with your insanity, all the better.

(Competitiveness Level: 1 out of 5. Recommended for crazy people.)

7. TV Intros

These are parodies or re-creations of an opening credits sequence from any show (anime or non-anime) edited using video material from a different anime show. Such entries should mimic the typical style of a television intro by using credits and title logos where appropriate.

8. TV Commercials

This category is ideal for those who want to make something quick and fun. These can be short parodies or remakes of popular television commercials using the actual audio from such commercials, or they can be completely original commercials using anime footage and your own original audio in a way that promotes a fictitious product or service. All entries must either be exactly 15 seconds, exactly 30 seconds, or exactly one full minute in duration.

9. Trailers

If you’ve ever thought a Hollywood movie would be so much better as an anime, this category is for you. These entries are anime parodies or remakes of actual motion picture promotional trailers. Such entries may repurpose the audio of a genuine motion picture trailer, or (if you’re feeling brave) you can make your own from scratch, so long as it mimics the typical editorial style of a movie trailer. We recommend adding a custom “green-band” slate typically seen in most movie trailers (We’ll add our own if yours is missing one). Entries that use audio from a video game promotional trailer are also appropriate for this category.

ABOUT OUR PRE-SHOW

Pre-Show is a non-competitive “coordinator’s choice” block selected from the list of competition non-finalists. It is shown during audience seating just before the AMV competition starts. If your entry does not advance to the finals, there is a chance it may instead be shown during this block.

The final four videos that play in the Pre-Show are considered “Honorable Mentions”. It is also considered a special honor to be the last video of the Pre-Show.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email: amv@anime-expo.org

How to Enter

  • Register to participate via the AMV Competition Entrant Registration Form, provided below.

    DEADLINE: April 28th, 2018

    Do this even if your AMVs are not yet ready. An entrant code will be emailed to you within 48 hours along with further instructions.

  • As you wait for your code, please prepare a way to send your entry file to us.

    Only video files are accepted, as per our Technical Standards. YouTube, Vimeo, or similar links will not be accepted. Cyberlocker services such as Dropbox or Google Drive are recommended. Postal entries are no longer accepted.

  • When you receive your entrant code, follow the instructions enclosed in the email to send us your entry.

    Remember, your submissions must be obtainable by the deadline date.

Submission Status

This area is for entrants to see the current status of their AMV submissions. It is updated frequently, so please check back often.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email: amv@anime-expo.org

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