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Thread: 2019 AZ Haunters Awards Contest

  1. #1
    Administrator JustJimAZ's Avatar
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    2019 AZ Haunters Awards Contest

    AZHaunters.com is thrilled to present the 2019 AZ Haunters Awards Contest!
    In 2019 we will again be recognizing Arizona Haunters who decorate their home, yard or garage for Halloween. There is a new award this year, and a clarification to the rules.

    Last year's winners were:
    BEST DISPLAY: Lisa Sikorski and Doug Barksdale's Darkwater Bayou
    Best Walk-Through: Chad Jensen's Hauntstreet!
    As the 2018 winners, Lisa Sikorski, Doug Barksdale, and Chad Jensen and their haunts may not enter in 2019 but ARE requested to judge the winners this year!


    *** All entries must be made by video. Video submissions are limited to 10 minutes in length! If a submitted Video is longer, judges are only required to watch the first 10 minutes. ***

    Contest Rules:

    Home Haunters & Enthusiasts only, sorry no Professional Haunts.
    ** For the purposes of the contest, ANY haunt that requires payment of a fee to get in is considered a "Professional Haunt" **
    If your haunt is free but accepts VOLUNTARY donations for a charity or somesuch, it still qualifies for the contest.
    If patrons must pay any fee - even if that fee goes to charity - it is considered a Professional Haunt.


    To qualify, the haunt must be in Arizona. All entries must be submitted by a registered member of www.AZHaunters.com
    Submitted videos must be from 2019 (No previous years).

    Categories are:
    Best Display
    Best Walk-Through
    Best Original Costume


    If guests walk through any part of the haunt, it's a walk-through.

    If guests only look at the haunt and don't walk through it, it's a display haunt.

    If you created a costume of an original character, it's an original costume.

    All videos must be uploaded onto YouTube. Still photos should be made into a slide show video and uploaded onto YouTube. The video must be made "public". Your video should be titled Your name and "2019 AZ Haunter Award Entry". For example, "Heartstalker's 2019 AZ Haunter Award Entry". Alternatively, you may use the name of your haunt, e.g., "Noble Manor 2019 AZ Haunter Award Entry"

    To enter, post a link to your video on the AZHaunters Forum on this thread.

    Your post should be titled Your Name and "2019 AZ Haunter Award Entry".
    Put your name and "2019 AZ Haunter Award Entry" in the subject.
    Along with the link to your video, please include the following:

    Which category you are entering:
    The Name of your Haunt: (optional when entering the costume category)
    Address where your Haunt is located: (optional when entering the costume category)
    Character/Costume Name: (ONLY when entering the costume category)
    How many years as a Home Haunter (NOT just as an AZ Haunter):


    Haunts are judged on these criteria:
    Creativity - Creative theme, materials, sets, scares...
    Decor (Set-Dressing) - Is it appropriate to the theme? Are details like colors, distressing, or lighting well thought out?
    Props (Static or Animated, or used by actors) - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Are they interesting to watch or see?
    Actors (performance) - Do the actors seem engaging and entertaining?
    Costumes - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Are they interesting to watch or see?
    Music and/or Sound Effects - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Do they tell a story, set a mood, or make a scare?
    Overall Haunt Experience - Is the haunt as a whole engaging, interesting, effectively executed? "Scare videos" of people reacting to your haunt are welcome.

    Costumes are judged on these criteria:
    Originality – Does the costume stand out from the rest? Is it an original character?
    Creativity – Was the costume made creatively, and does it show personality?
    Functionality - Does the costume restrict the wearer's ability to move and interact?
    Workmanship - Does it appear to be well made? Are pieces falling off?
    Detail - Is the costume well thought out and executed, with accessories like jewelry/shoes, makeup/hairstyle, accents or aging/distressing addressed?
    Presentation - How well are the costume features being shown off in the video? "Scare videos" of people reacting to your character in a haunt are welcome.

    We ask that each costume creator enter only one costume, so pick your best!

    A haunt may be entered in either the Display or Walk-Through category, but not both. However, a haunt may ALSO enter a character costume, since the costume contest is based on the costume creator. In theory, if 3 different people each created ONE costume and all three were in one haunt, all three costumes could be entered separately. If it was a team of three creating all the costumes, then that team would only enter ONE costume. Make sense?

    Judges will be last year's winners and non-competing members of AZ Haunters. Any ties will be broken by a coin toss. The decisions of the judges - or the coin - is final.

    All entries will be seen by ALL the judges on our panel.
    The contest opens on October 1st, 2019 and closes December 31, 2019.
    All entries must be in by December 31, 2019.
    The judging will start on January 1, 2020.
    The results will be announced at a Haunter dinner in February, 2020.

    The winner will receive a foam tombstone to display pronouncing them the "Winner AZ Haunter Best Display 2019" or "Winner AZ Haunter Best Walk-Through 2019" or "Winner AZ Haunter Best Original Costume 2019"

    First place winners will be invited to be judges in 2020.
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    Last edited by JustJimAZ; 06-29-2019 at 09:06 AM.
    "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!"
    “We gladly feast upon those who would subdue us.”

  2. #2
    Administrator JustJimAZ's Avatar
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    About the Best Original Costume Category

    Costuming is a HUGE and complex subculture. Only a fool would try to have a costume contest with no defined categories and only one winner. I proceed.

    It should be clear by the nature of this group that there will be a bias toward the creepy, scary, or uncanny. That does not mean you cannot enter your fairy, your happy clown, or whatever. It DOES mean that costumes like those need to be VERY impressive to overcome this natural bias. This is a haunter group.

    Originality and creativity are HUGE in this contest. The very name of the category is "Best Original Costume"
    At least half of the costume must clearly be created from materials other than a commercially available Halloween costume. Store bought accessories, makeup, masks, hats, components, etc. however, are acceptable.
    Just remember - it could be the world's most amazing Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger costume, built entirely from scratch and fully functional, and it would still fail the fundamental criteria - it's not an original character, so it's not an original costume. It therefore does not qualify. "Gender-swapping", race swapping, or other alternate-reality versions of existing characters may be cool and fun, but not original enough. Sorry.

    We want to know the story behind the costume. Tell us details of how you came up with the idea, how it was made and the reaction you got from wearing it. Feel free to share any additional information about your entry. This can be done at any point in the video. The more we know about the character and concept, the easier it will be for the judges to score your costume!

    All photos and video must be original and taken during the 2019 Halloween season which for this contest is the period of November 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. Sorry, you can't use photos or video from prior years. We're looking for fresh, new ideas! You can however use a costume made before this time period. It just has to be photographed in the 2019 Halloween season.

    We are looking for costume entries from amateurs, not professional costumers. If you are a professional costumer, PLEASE volunteer to judge the contest, and PLEASE feel free to post any tips you have on costume creation for the others.

    Remember that each costume creator may only enter ONCE. Just pick your best and make the best video you can! The creator of the costume need not be the one wearing it, but it can be. We understand that you might create a costume for a haunt actor, or your insignificant other, or whatever.

    Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on 12/31/19. Of course, you REALLY should be partying at that time, not uploading video, you know?Winners will be announced at a dinner in February.

    Tips From the Judges

    Make sure the video you're submitting is a good representation of your entire costume top to bottom, front back and sides. Make sure it's in focus, well lit, and the costume features are clearly visible. You may want to consider slipping in some nice still photos if you have the technical know-how.
    We want to see your costume move. We want to see it in character and interacting with people. A haunt setting is preferred but just about any interaction is good.

    If you are submitting a video that contains other people or other items that aren't part of the contest make sure it's obvious what we should be looking at.

    While makeup can certainly play an important role in creating the total costume look, submitting a photo that is only about a makeup look isn't what we're looking for. Makeup only entries absolutely will not win. They may be cool looking but this is a costume contest. A closeup of the makeup as part of the overall costume is great!

    We may receive several similar character entries. Zombies. Masked Killers. Zombies. Clowns. Human-animal hybrids. Clowns. Zombies. If you want yours to stand out, be sure you are doing something different. A great character story can help. Really showing off the details can help too. Feel free to spend a few minutes just talking about what it is made of, how you put it together, and what you are going for. It's fine if a five or ten minute video about a costume has only a minute or two in action. Just make sure we can see it in action. Eight minutes of explanation followed by two minutes of blurry darkness and sound effects is going to hurt. A lot.


    Costumes are judged on these criteria:
    Originality – Does the costume stand out from the rest? Is it an original character?
    Creativity – Was the costume made creatively, and does it show personality?
    Functionality - Does the costume restrict the wearer's ability to move and interact?
    Workmanship - Does it appear to be well made? Are pieces falling off?
    Detail - Is the costume well thought out and executed, with accessories like jewelry/shoes, makeup/hairstyle, accents or aging/distressing addressed?
    Presentation - How well are the costume features being shown off in the video? "Scare videos" of people reacting to your character in a haunt are welcome.
    Need an example of presentation?



    We ask that each costume creator enter only one costume, so pick your best!

    Last edited by JustJimAZ; 07-24-2019 at 02:01 PM.
    "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!"
    “We gladly feast upon those who would subdue us.”

  3. #3
    Administrator JustJimAZ's Avatar
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    A Word About the Haunt Entries

    We got some great videos last year. We're looking forward to seeing more this year!

    There was some talk among entrants that judges should visit the haunts in person. That would be nice but it's just not practical.
    For one thing, most haunts are open only on Halloween. The judges would need to forgo their own haunts to travel around. That's not realistic. Even if they had no haunt, the contest is open to ALL of Arizona. Ajo to Chloride. Williams to Nogales. We're haunters, not Santa Clause. We can't visit all the haunts in the state in a single night.

    So, this remains as it started - a video contest.

    Also, it's a contest for amateur home haunters. In keeping with the spirit of the contest, we made a decision this year that haunts that require a fee to enter or view should not be considered. Haunts that accept voluntary donations for a charity still qualify, because a fee is not required. If you ask people to pay for your haunt, your haunt does not qualify for this contest. You are encouraged to volunteer to judge the contest, however.

    Some thoughts on how to make the best entry:

    You get up to ten minutes. Use them. Tell us the story of your haunt. You can take video while you are building it to show off your ideas and skills. Talk us through it. You can dress up in character and tell us the back story. Nothing in the rules says all ten minutes has to be your haunt in action. Nothing in the rules says all the video needs to be of Halloween night itself. Five minutes of explanation and five minutes of quality video really should be plenty to show off your hard work.

    If you can, you should get some quality stills of sets and actors in them, and incorporate those into the video. If your haunt is not too long, maybe do a lights-on walk-through in addition to a quality video of your haunt in full on Halloween mode. Show off all your haunt's best and most original or most effective features!

    Haunts are judged on these criteria:
    Creativity - Creative theme, materials, sets, scares...
    Decor (Set-Dressing) - Is it appropriate to the theme? Are details like colors, distressing, or lighting well thought out?
    Props (Static or Animated, or used by actors) - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Are they interesting to watch or see?
    Actors (performance) - Do the actors seem engaging and entertaining?
    Costumes - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Are they interesting to watch or see?
    Music and/or Sound Effects - Do they contribute to the overall haunt? Do they tell a story, set a mood, or make a scare?
    Overall Haunt Experience - Is the haunt as a whole engaging, interesting, effectively executed? "Scare videos" of people reacting to your haunt are welcome.

    Don't fret if you have a static display with no actors. If specific criteria do not apply, they are not judged. We use a sophisticated formula created by Karl Steinmetz to make sure all results are calculated equitably.

    You really should use the best camera you can get your hands on, and if you are doing live video, pay attention to the sound. Get a great microphone if you can. Cellphone videos are accepted, sure, but it takes a lot of work to make a really great video just using a phone.

    If you have a Display Haunt with a soundtrack and no actors, why not dub the soundtrack over the video so it's as clear to the judges as it is to the live audiences? Just a thought.

    The deadline to enter has been extended by a month this year, to give people more time to get their videos done. Enter as soon as you can, so the judges have as much time as possible to view your entry. Entering on December 30 and demanding to know the results on Jan 5 is poor form. It takes time to watch a dozen ten-minute videos, and judges have lives too, you know? Some of them even have jobs.

    Have fun with your build, make a great video, and good luck in the contest!
    Last edited by JustJimAZ; 06-29-2019 at 08:59 AM.
    "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!"
    “We gladly feast upon those who would subdue us.”

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