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Dragoncon is one of the biggest media parties every year, based solidly in Fandom from its origins to its current incarnation, and encompassing one of the largest collections of creative folks from the US. One aspect of that creativity is expressed within the AMV or FMV competition, an event many cons have taken up. In its simplest form an Anime Music Video or Fan Music Video contest encourages you to take some video footage, either created by you or extracted from a favorite show or film and give it a song for a soundtrack. It rapidly gets more complicated than that, as you select the best scenes, try to match the lip movement to the song lyrics, and finally try to tell a unique story from these component parts. But even if you only achieve the first level, you have created something that has never before existed, which is always a good thing. I should also mention that the source laws for fair use have changed this past year, so you are allowed to rip your video segments directly from the DVDs if you want to now.

The DragonCon AMV 2010 is now over, and you can see the winners at that site (and maybe one or two at the end of this post). But the competition for 2011 just got serious this past October 1st, when the Fandom Music Video Awards went live. They are accepting contest entrants in three phases, or rounds: October 1st to December 31st, now underway, January 15th through April 15th for round two, and May 1st to July 31st for round three. Each round shall have its winners, and the finalists will be part of the con itself. The first video in the next segment includes some rules, hints, and trips. The others are a few of last years winners, starting with the Best In Show winner Building Steam, made from video from Steam Boy and the soundtrack being Steampunk band Abney Park’s Building Steam. Good Luck!