Well, I’ve taken the Aniboom Radiohead Contest banner down. I posted about the contest a little while back here. It looked like a pretty OK contest even though I stated later on in this post that I wouldn’t enter it myself.
But since it was primarily a storyboarding contest and this being a storyboarding blog, they approached me. They offered to give me a link in their resources section if I put up a banner on my site. I did and they gave me one. It wasn’t in a very promenent place and I seemed to be in the company of only their paid sponsors. Not many links there at all. Weird, but what the hey. No skin off my nose and I got a few click-throughs.
Frankly, I’ve never really gone back to the site since. Just kind of forgot about it and then I’d take the banner down at the end of June when the contest was over.
Yesterday one of the search terms that found my site was ‘aniboom contest scam’.
I wondered what was brewing over there but again, forgot about it. Who knew if that person found anything about that subject, right?
Then I get an email today. Most of it wasn’t so much a message to me but a cut and paste from the Adult Swim message boards and some links to the message boards on the Aniboom site.
It didn’t look good.
They’ve picked their ten finalists that get the $1000 to make a minute of animated footage from their storyboards.
But there’s a problem.
Most of those top ten are not storyboards at all. Maybe two or three are. The rest are fully animated or partially animated 2D and 3D clips. It has come up that one or two of the finalists have taken existing footage and just edited it to a Radiohead song. No original story made specifically for that song. On one of them, twelve people were credited. There is proof to some of these claims.
I went and I looked. I couldn’t even sit through most of them.
I don’t get it.
Some people in the message boards even said the wording of the rules and regulations ‘changed’ during the contest. I have no proof of this obviously. The commenters in the forum didn’t really come off as sore losers or whiners to me. Most were very articulate and raised many good points about fairness and what the real spirit of the contest was supposed to be.
Which should have been original storyboards and animatics FIRST. Then the finalists would do one minute of animation. But the rules didn’t forbid an animated entry (and welcomed them), so there lies the loophole. I just figured you’d be crazy to put in all that effort to animate something. A storyboard contest seemed reasonable.
The forum moderator came off as flippant, illiterate and bit of a jerk to me (sorry buddy, but you did). I know he’s getting all the flak for something he probably has nothing to do with, but he’s not taking anyone’s concerns seriously.
That’s a problem.
These people just want some answers. A statement. A denial. Anything. Aniboom is losing face over this. What they set out to do may be blowing up in their face. That’s too bad.
There is a ‘wild card’ entry that’s still open and some folks are killing themselves to make their entries. I think that’s nuts. Why bother? There is so much damn work involved just to make an animatic and these people are now trying to pump out one minute of animation. My hand-drawn final film for school was 45 seconds and took the better part of 5 months. It’s a crapload of work. Even with the tools today.
I say stop doing it. Your time is worth more than a slim chance at getting one spot.
Tons of people made 4-5 minute storyboard animatics. That alone is very time consuming. I currently get 5 weeks to do an eleven minute storyboard. And I bust my ass by the end. These folks worked hard to get that done in the month or so the contest gave them. Now they feel cheated and duped. It’s just a shame.
Even the $1000 is a joke to make one minute of animation. The $10,000 for the winner is too. Sorry, but it is. You know how much work it would be to animate all that? TONS.
But if you’re just re-editing some existing footage, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
This is why you have to watch out for contests.
To me the only type of contest to enter is when you submit work you have already created (and go into it knowing that). They have advertising and graphic design contests like that. You retain rights because you already created it. It’s judged for what it is. But they are probably far and few between for animation. There are lots of festivals though.
I just feel bad for the true fans of the band that put so much time and effort into this thing. Go check it out if you like. I’m not going to give the links…you can find it.
I just feel better by stepping away from the whole thing because it left a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, I’m emailing Aniboom to remove my link on the site.
I’m going to post an entry I discovered from a former student of mine Ben Meinhardt. He was recently featured on Cartoon Brew and is a very talented guy. Even before I got to him. 🙂 His entry is a true storyboard animatic with movement. I know this took time to do and it deserves to be seen. Check out his entry here:
Then go check out his site. It’s nothing fancy but has links to a series he did for MTV and links to his school films which remain in my top ten to this day. You must watch “Binge and Purge” first. Then “Dancing Animals in Love”…one of my favorite flash films EVER. Try to get the song out of your head after…no can do.
He rocks. Enjoy.
What do you think about all this? Did I make the right decision? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
UPDATE: My link has been removed from the Aniboom resources section as I requested. I feel all clean again.