DragonConTV Submission Guidelines
Submissions for DragonConTV will re-open in September!
So you’ve got this great idea for a skit, and your friends are ready to make a video out of it. Maybe you have a fan film or sweet music video that will go perfectly with our little convention. Welcome to the page you need to be reading. We started out as a fairly small community making videos for Dragon Con, but now DragonConTV really wants fandom to help entertain fandom.
Video submissions fall into two piles:
- DragonConTV Contributions
- Fan Films and Music Videos
Read on to figure out which one you’re submitting, because the requirements are slightly different.
Submissions for DragonCon 2021 are now closed!
Submissions for DragonCon 2022 will open in Septemeber after the show.
Just remember… If you’re not up for making an entire video, there are other ways you can contribute to DragonConTV.
Submission Guidelines for DragonConTV Contributions
Before whipping out that video camera, drop us a line. We’re working on dozens of videos each year, so make sure you’re not about to do a version of something we might have spent two months shooting and editing. It’s the video equivalent of wearing the same dress to the prom as your ex’s date … or being in the 501st (“I can’t believe he’s wearing white after Labor Day!”).
The basic “rules” …
- This is comedy, so please try to be funny. For dramatic pieces, see the fan film guidelines below.
- No profanity or explicit content. Despite what you read on Reddit, Dragon Con is an all-ages convention. People of any age can run into our content in a panel room or on hotel TV, so the convention likes us to be PG (sorry). We will accept substitute profanity from the sci-fi and fantasy genre. Items that are borderline or PG-13 may be shown at later hours or at select events, but that’s subject to our judgement.
- Your time limit is 2 minutes … 120 seconds. (not counting credits). That is the maximum time, and you don’t have to fill it. Robot Chicken shows us sometimes a shorter joke is funnier (see how we do product placement for the perfect example). Sometimes we use the term “long joke” to describe a skit where nothing happens even if the skit is technically under the two minute guideline. Trust us: we have years of painful experience to show us long jokes don’t work with this crowd. They have ADD and … look, an elf …
- No licensed music. Our videos get posted to the web, and we don’t like to get sued. The fewer copyright violations the better. Use appropriate music licenses to avoid litigation.
- Avoid use of video/audio clips from copyrighted works. You can make fun of George Lucas without unsolicited help from Harrison Ford or John Williams … trust us, we know. There’s a lot of audio and video resources to be leveraged that don’t involve pissing off the RIAA or MPAA.
- Videos should include credits. Credits won’t be shown in the ballrooms at the con, but they will be in the videos shown on the hotel feed and on DragonCon.TV.
- Good audio & video quality, so HD content only (720p or 1080p). This may not be a Peter Jackson joint, but it’s definitely not Troma (or at least it doesn’t try to be). Every year DragonConTV tries to improve production quality … if we can do it, then it proves anyone can do it.
- We don’t run ads. Occasionally we promote charities working with the convention or try to get you to participate in the blood drive, but we don’t do ads. Sorry.
- Final video must meet our Technical Formatting Guidelines.
Once you’re ready, submit a link to your video so we can proceed to the review phase.
If you want to see what one of our writers has to say about making the funnies, read this blog entry by Dr. Stephen Granade.
Submission Guidelines for Fan Films and Music Videos
These videos run on the hotel channels during the convention, mostly fan submissions that don’t fit what we program between panels (too long, too serious, etc.). Fans do all kinds of great video work, so we want to make sure it gets seen somewhere during the convention.
The easiest way to submit a video is sending a link (direct download, Dropbox, YouTube, etc.) with a short description. We will use similar standards for selecting fan films & music videos that we use with the skits (language, adult content, audio & video quality, etc.). We also have these pesky Technical Formatting Guidelines, so keep those standards high.
We have a time limit on fan films and music videos – nothing longer than 10 minutes (including credits).
Remember your audience is here for the convention and might not be willing to sit through really long videos while there’s a 70,000+ person party going on right outside their door (in other words, as this sentence illustrates, shorter may be better). We’re also a little less concerned about music rights, but original content always makes us happier.
Another note regarding music videos: we don’t take fan music videos or AMVs. We have seen some quality work where fans combine their favorite song and favorite genre, but that’s not what we’re featuring. We prefer videos with original footage and lyrics, even if they are song parodies (see “Sold it Off“, “Last Dragon Con” and “Comic Book Shop” for reference).
Video Review & Acceptance Process
I could make up some really complicated process, but it’s actually pretty easy …
- People send in videos via this form.
- We watch them
- We decide what we like
- We show it
The “we” is the Director of DragonConTV and several of the DragonConTV producers. If the video gets the nod, then the submitter is contacted so a high-quality version of the video can be acquired for playback at the convention. In the event of some tie, dispute or other challenge that one would like to see resolved on American Gladiators, the Director of DragonConTV has the final say (sorry Nitro). The buck has to stop somewhere, and in our case it’s there.
Note: please don’t use the website comment system or Facebook to submit videos. They will get lost. Use the form, Luke.
What if my video doesn’t get shown?
Yeah, this might happen … we hope you don’t take it personally or get discouraged. There’s limited time for us to review everything that comes in, and it’s possible that a video one person likes is one we won’t quite get. You may also have an issue with our rules on profanity or content and feel that you can’t compromise your work for us morons. Cool, we get that. Also, don’t forget the pesky technical guidelines that may cause us consternation.
There’s lots of videos we work on than never see the light of day, and plenty of stuff we’ve produced that we might have rather never released. Remember, only the mediocre are always at their best. YouTube, Vimeo and dozens of other sites will be happy to show your work if we decide not to … even other conventions may like it.