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Anime Music Video Contest FAQ

Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about the Anime Music Video Contest at Anime Boston. If you don't see the answer to your question, feel free to ask us on the Anime Music Video Forums.

  1. I mailed my video a week ago and I haven't gotten a response. Did you get it yet?
  2. Will you take VHS or VCD submissions?
  3. Can I send a CD-ROM with my videos on it?
  4. I have a Mac. Will DVDs made with a Mac work?
  5. What file formats are acceptable?
  6. What file format do you recommend?
  7. You used to specify DVD ready MPEG 2. What happened? Will you re-encode my video?
  8. The rules state we can't have inappropriate content. Is underwear inappropriate?
  9. What about violent scenes?
  10. Can I use video game footage?
  11. So can I use footage from Invader Zim or the Avatar series?
  12. Can I use live action footage?
  13. Can I use footage I recorded off TV?
  14. Can I really be disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules?
  15. Who are the AMV contest pre-screeners? Can I become one?
  16. If I'm not a finalist, will you still show my video?
  17. Do I have to go to Anime Boston to enter the contest?
  18. When will you announce the results?
  19. Can you send me a copy of the contest?
  20. What's a MD5 Checksum? Why is it used when uploading entry files?


  1. I mailed my video a week ago and I haven't gotten a response. Did you get it yet?
    We do not check the mailbox every day; however, If you do not hear from us after three weeks please contact the AMV Contest Coordinator.
  2. Will you take VHS or VCD submissions?
    VHS and VCD are not accepted as they are obsolete formats.
  3. Can I send a CD-ROM with my videos on it?
    Yes. Please make sure the files contained on it are in the proper formats as required by the contest rules.
  4. I have a Mac. Will DVDs made with a Mac work?
    Yes. However, we recommend getting good quality DVD-R media (such as Apple-brand DVD-Rs). The cheapest materials are unreliable and often have problems.
  5. What file formats are acceptable?
    Pretty much any file format is acceptable: AVI, DIVX, MPEG, MOV, QUICKTIME, WMV. But sometimes if a format is too new our encoder may not support it and we may ask you to resubmit in a more widely accepted format.

    The online file upload form will accept the following file extensions: asf, asx, avi, flv, mov, mp4, mpg, mpeg, rm, swf, vob, wmv, ogm, mkv, dv, dvx, m2t.

  6. What file format do you recommend?
    We recommend submitting in AVI format. It is widely disseminated, high quality, and easy to convert.
  7. You used to specify DVD ready MPEG 2. What happened? Will you re-encode my video?
    To ensure complete uniformity in the final product, all entries submitted will be re-encoded to our proper specifications. Although you can choose another format than what's recommended, remember that the higher quality file you send the better the end result will be.
  8. The rules state we can't have inappropriate content. Is underwear inappropriate?
    Underwear is fine for the AMV Contest; however, there should be no sexually-oriented nudity. Please keep in mind that the AMV Contest screenings will occur Saturday morning and are a PG-13 rated event.
  9. What about violent scenes?
    Please use your best judgement when referring to the PG-13 guidelines. Violence should not be overly excessive and constant. If your AMV resembles a Quentin Tarantino movie, then it will not meet the PG-13 guidelines.
  10. Can I use video game footage?
    The rules specifically require that at least 75% of each entry must contain anime-oriented footage. "Anime-oriented" includes footage that appears in the typical anime style and is originally produced for Japanese audiences. Video games like Final Fantasy X and .hack//INFECTION are good examples of video games that would fall under that provision. Western video games like Call of Duty, Portal, and World of Warcraft would not.
  11. So can I use footage from Invader Zim or the Avatar series?
    While these shows have anime influences, they were produced in the United States primarily for American audiences. Other examples of this include Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans. However, these and other sources that are not anime-oriented may make up a total of 25% of your entry. But the remaining 75% must be anime-oriented.
  12. Can I use live action footage?
    No. Live action footage of any kind is not considered anime or anime-oriented. It may be used as part of the 25% allotment for not anime-oriented sources.
  13. Can I use footage I recorded off TV?
    You may attempt, but footage recorded off the TV does not usually have the same quality as DVD or Bluray rips. Also, watermarks from TV footage are not permitted. Nor are subtitles from fansubs.
  14. Can I really be disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules?
    Yes. The AMV Contest pre-screeners determine which videos will make it to the finals. Several videos each year are disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules. If any of the pre-screeners detect an infraction of the Content Rules, the video will be rewound to review the offense. Confirmation results in immediate disqualification. This can happen no matter how well made your entry is.
  15. Who are the AMV contest pre-screeners? Can I become one?
    The AMV Contest pre-screeners are comprised mostly of veteran Anime Boston staffers. Most of them have been doing it for years and are familiar with the AMV Contest. Individuals who submit entries for the contest are generally not allowed to participate in the pre-screening. The pre-screening itself is an invite-only event that usually takes 12-14 hours.
  16. If I'm not a finalist, will you still show my video?
    There are overflow screenings scheduled over the course of the weekend where we can show some of the videos that did not make the finals. However, if there are more videos than can be shown we may decide to simply not show the remaining videos and send our apologies to those creators.
  17. Do I have to go to Anime Boston to enter the contest?
    No. You do not need to attend the convention to enter the contest. Attendance has no affect whatsoever on the determination of finalists. But we highly encourage finalists to attend in order to accept any trophies they may win.
  18. When will you announce the results?
    We will not announce finalist videos until the convention itself. (The ballot will be provided at the door of the screenings.) However, we will contact finalists to inform them that they will take place in the final stage of the contest. A list of winners will be posted online within a few days after the convention.
  19. Can you send me a copy of the contest?
    Anime Boston does not provide copies of the AMV Contest to anyone. However many editors may post their own videos on the internet.
  20. What's a MD5 Checksum? Why is it used when uploading entry files?
    A MD5 Checksum is like a fingerprint of a file. Based on the content of the file, a 32-character value is determined. When transmitting large files online, the MD5 Checksum of the original and destination files can be compared. If the MD5 Checksums are identical, then the file was transmitted successfully. When you upload an AMV file for submission, an MD5 Checksum value is given to you, so you can confirm your file was uploaded correctly, without any corruption. This is the only way to verify the file's integrity yourself, as you cannot re-download the file due to our storage method. You may, however, contact the AMV Contest Coordinator to have him test the video.

    There are several utilities for getting the MD5 Checksum of a file. For Windows computers, we recommend FastSum. For a Mac computer, check this page.