VividCon’s vidshows and panels couldn’t happen without the effort of many vidders, vidfans, programming moderators, vidshow VJs, and technical staff. Making all the pieces line up can sometimes be complex; hopefully this guide will help anyone seeking to show a vid or suggest a programming idea, but if there are questions the FAQ doesn’t answer, please contact con staff.
- Where and how do I submit my vids?
- How do I get a vid shown at VividCon?
- What are the different kinds of vidshows?
- How are the themed vidshows chosen for each VividCon?
- How are the vids chosen for themed each show?
- What does a VJ do?
- How can I become a VJ?
- What are the rules for submitting a vid to a premieres-only show?
- My vid is potentially offensive/sexually explicit/graphically violent/some other variety of controversial. Does VividCon decide which vids can be shown based on content?
- What are the deadlines for vid submissions for each show?
- What if I can’t finish my vid by the submission deadline?
- Which vids end up on the VividCon DVD set?
For detailed technical and practical instructions on submitting vids, please see the vid preparation page.
VividCon’s programming schedule includes 16 or more hours of vids, so there are many opportunities to have vids play at the con. The easiest way to have a vid shown is to submit to one of the submission-driven shows:
- Premieres: if the vidder is attending and the vid has never been shown before, at a con or online
- Wish You Were Here (formerly Non-Attending Premieres): if the vidder is not attending and the vid has never been shown before, at a con or online
- Challenge: for premiering vids made specifically for the Challenge theme of a given year
- Nearly New: if a vid has been released online since June of the previous year
Themed shows and Club Vivid are at the discretion of their VJs, so vids can be suggested for consideration, but not submitted directly.
The majority of the vidshows at VividCon are themed vidshows, curated by programming volunteers and showing largely non-premiering vids.
There are three open submission vidshows for premiering vids: Premieres, Wish You Were Here, and Challenge; two closed submission vidshows for pre-arranged premieres: Club Vivid, and Auction; and a two-hour open submission vidshow for non-premiering vids: Nearly New.
The Premieres vidshow is a showcase for premiering vids submitted by vidders who are registered and planning to attend VividCon. The VJs for this show do not choose the vids except for limiting the size of the playlist to the time allowed and deciding the play order.
- Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here, previously known as Non-Attending Premieres, is part-submitted, part-curated, showcasing vids by vidders who aren’t attending VividCon in a given year. The VJs for this show supplement submitted premieres with a selection of non-premiering vids from the previous year.
- Nearly New
Nearly New is a two-hour vidshow showcasing vids that are not VividCon premieres. Vids must have been released since the previous VividCon (at a stretch, vids will be accepted that were released in the June or July before the last con), and can have shown at a different con/venue or been released online.
- Club Vivid
Club Vivid is VividCon’s Friday night dance party. The three-hour playlist draws from pre-approved premieres and old favorites, all set to danceable music.
Premiering vids for Club Vivid must be approved by AbsoluteDestiny prior to submission; as this is quite a long event that’s more party than vid showcase, songs must be submitted for approval so that they can be tested for danceability and considered for balance/variety of musical genres. The song approval process typically takes place in February. Vidders who wish to begin work on Club Vivid vids beforehand are encouraged to contact AbsoluteDestiny to double-check their song selections before committing to them.
Challenge is a premiering vidshow in which all of the submitted vids are made to a theme, with each theme selected for the specific year. Challenge themes to date have been:
- 2003: Dreams
- 2004: Luck
- 2005: Milestones
- 2006: Remix
- 2007: Faith
- 2008: FUCK YOU!
- 2009: IDIC
- 2010: Self-Portrait
- 2011: Blast from the Past
- 2012: Transformation
- 2013: Challenge Amnesty
- 2014: Gift
- 2015: Memory
Challenge is an anonymous vidshow; identities of the vidders are kept secret at least until after the vidshow and its discussion hour have taken place at the con. To submit a vid for Challenge, vidders must agree to keep their vids secret, including both the vid itself and the fact that they are submitting to Challenge at all. (Betas are fine! Twitter is not.) Vids are submitted without vidder names or other identifying credits (please don’t include dedications in Challenge vid credits — these are easy giveaways) and listed anonymously in the con program.
Following the vidshow, the audience will have open discussion of the vids, typically covering both the vids themselves and how they relate to the theme. Vidders may choose to reveal themselves after this discussion takes place, or to remain anonymous.
Auction showcases vids from the VividCon auction taking place in the spring before the con. The auction vids are made by volunteer vidders for a specific winning bidder or group of bidders. The funds raised help keep the con running year to year, helping to pay for things like equipment (both con-owned and rented), catering, and the VividCon scholarship, and helping to keep price increases on the con’s end from translating into registration fee increases. Anyone can place a bid or volunteer to be an auction vidder, regardless of con membership status. A different group of volunteer vidders are chosen each year; in the event that more vidders volunteer than are needed, vidders are typically chosen for overall variety of fandoms offered. The auction winners and vidders receive an exclusive DVD of the auction vids, which are not included on the larger con DVD set.
- Themed vidshows
Themed vidshows are centered on specific themes/topics and are put together by volunteer VJs. They make up the bulk of the con’s vidshow programming. A complete directory of past themed vidshows and their playlists can be found on the VividCon database main page.
Themed vidshows are selected by VividCon staff from a pool of submissions, chosen with an eye to variety of topics in a given year, depth of theme (shows with specific, narrowed topics are preferred), and recent history — generally, themes very similar to those that have shown in recent years are unlikely to be selected again so soon.
Vids for themed shows are selected by the VJs of each show. They may or may not draw from vid suggestions made after programming is announced; sometimes VJs submit vidshow proposals already having complete playlists in mind.
Yes. The con can’t guarantee that a vid only available as an online stream or download can be shown, but the tech staff does its best to convert online-only vids to con quality. In most cases, vids pulled from online encodes, YouTube, etc., are fine to show; in some cases, vids aren’t able to be shown due to visual quality concerns. All vids shown in the con vidshow room are run through a projector onto a large screen, and visual quality has to be at least good enough for the vids to be viewable when blown up to that size.
Yes. Vidders are encouraged to suggest their own vids for themed shows. Most suggestions are for vids that have already been released, but many VJs include premiering vids in their shows; if a vidder wants to offer a premiering vid, it’s best to contact the VJ(s) of the show directly.
When suggesting vids, keep in mind that show VJs only have 45 minutes per show, and often submit vidshow ideas with full playlists already in mind; they may or may not draw on vid suggestions when putting together their final playlists.
If my vid is chosen, how will I know?
When the playlists for the themed shows have been finalized, VJs will contact the vidders whose work is included on their playlists to request permission to show their vids at the con.
Vidshow VJs submit programming ideas, create vidshow playlists, contact vidders to arrange for vid submissions for their shows, and (with a few exceptions for non-attending VJs) run their shows at the con.
A VJ’s pre-con responsibilities include:
- Putting together a playlist of vids on their chosen theme, with an aim to include a diverse array of subjects and sources
- Bringing their playlist in at 45 minutes total or less, as the con ends each vidshow 15 minutes before the hour
- Gathering all the information needed for each vid, including vid title, song title (if different), artist name, vidder name, source(s), and a short, descriptive blurb for the program
- Providing at least three alternate vids, in case of playlist conflicts with another vidshow, or in case a vid on their playlist can’t be found in sufficient quality for the vidshow projector
At the con, the VJ is responsible for:
- Attending the VJ/panel moderator orientation on Friday morning to become familiar with the equipment needed to run the vidshows
- Making certain that the show starts on time, at the top of the hour
- Adjusting the volume of the speakers if necessary
- Finding the appropriate member of con tech staff (for the vidshow room, here’s luck or elipie) in the event of technical difficulties
Programming submissions are open to any attending member of the con. Anyone interested in putting together a themed vidshow is welcome to submit their ideas during the open submissions period, taking place in February or March; vidshows are then selected by con staff.
The inbox of the programming coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, is always open for questions, including questions on how to brainstorm topics, how to put together a vidshow proposal, and how to put together a vidshow playlist.
Premiering vids must never have been shown at any previous con/venue or been posted anywhere online (including YouTube, Tumblr, Dreamwidth etc.).
They must follow con submission formats, and be submitted by the posted deadline.
(See the vid preparation page for more details on how to submit vids.)
Vidders may submit up to two vids for either show, and should choose the show that fits their con attendee status – if the vidder will be attending the con, they should submit to Premieres; if they will not be attending, they should submit to Wish You Were Here.
If a vidder submits two vids, they should indicate which one is their first priority vid by labeling their submissions with the number 1 or 2. First choice vids are guaranteed to be shown, but depending on the number of submissions, second choice vids may be cut for time.
Each vid submission is required to be submitted by a specific vidder. Only one vidder in a collab can be the submitting vidder, so a collab vid counts as one of the two vids allowed for the submitting vidder. (So, if Vidder 1 and Vidder 2 have made a vid together, and 2 submits it, it counts toward 2’s total, but not 1’s.)
The Premieres show is (roughly) 2 hours long, with a 15-minute intermission. The number of vids varies, as does exact runtime; it isn’t uncommon for the show to go slightly over the two hour mark, so that all first-priority vid submissions can be shown.
Attending members are guaranteed to see their first prority vid in the show. After that, the VJs do their best to include as many second priority vids as possible.
If not all second priority vids can be included for time, the VJs may exercise discretion in selecting for variety of sources, subjects, and vidders, and overall balance of tone.
(That hasn’t happened in quite some time, but in the event that it does, con staff will work with vidders to try and find alternate venues for their second priority vids at the con.)
If a vid is submitted but not shown for time, it is still eligible to be included on the VividCon DVD set. (See Which vids end up on the VividCon DVD set? for more info.)
VividCon doesn’t filter vid submissions for subject matter. Sexually explicit and graphically violent material is accepted; the con is intended for adults only, and con attendees must be 18 or older. Additionally, the con has a long history of showing vids whose pointed critiques include material that may be upsetting or triggering, and the con recognizes that what content may be considered harmful can vary widely from person to person.
For this reason, VividCon has a standardized content notes system for vids. When submitting vids, vidders are required to select either no standardized content notes apply, the content note(s) that correctly apply to their vids, or choose not to give content notes. This system is in no way designed to filter what can or can’t be submitted, but it does provide vidders who may be concerned about the content of their vids with a way to warn for specific kinds of content, and vid audiences who may be concerned about potential triggers with a way to filter their viewing experiences appropriately.
For more information about the content notes system: Content Notes Policy
In the majority of cases, the content notes system should handle any concerns about vid content; but if a vidder has specific concerns about the content of a vid, they are welcome to contact con staff with any questions they may have.
The con reserves the right to refuse to show any vid for any reason.
Vid submission deadlines, along with other important dates, can be found on the calendar page.
Deadline extensions can sometimes be granted, depending on the vidshow and the circumstance. Some shows, like Club Vivid and Challenge, have more leeway for extension deadlines than others; themed shows, Premieres, Wish You Were Here and Auction run on fairly tight tech schedules, and when extensions can be granted for those shows, they are typically very short, no more than a day or two.
Any vidder seeking an extension on a deadline should email email@example.com with the reason the extension is needed and the vidshow they’re submitting to.
If an extension is given, the vid must be submitted no later than the extension deadline given by vvctech staff. Extension deadlines are final.
Because of the very tight schedule for vid tech from submissions to DVD, extensions are not guaranteed, and if extension guidelines aren’t followed, vidders may (depending on circumstance) be banned from deadline extensions in the following year.
Submitting a premiering vid to the con (for any show) constitutes permission for inclusion on the DVDs, even if a vid isn’t shown at the con for the second priority/time allowance reasons detailed above. Vids not shown at the con may still be included on the DVD set if space allows.
Auction is the only premiering vidshow not included on the standard con DVD set. Auction winners and vidders receive a separate DVD of the vidshow.
Saturday night events such as Karaoke and Trivia have sometimes included premiering vids, but those vids are not included on the DVD set, owing to the late dates at which they are accepted for inclusion.
Non-premiering vids are not included on the DVD set.
- How can I become a panel moderator?
- How are the panels chosen for each VividCon?
- What are the differences between discussion panels, tech panels, and workshops?
- What are fandom panels?
- What are vidshow/panel pairs?
- Can I volunteer to help with only the vidshow or panel of a paired show/panel? What panels has VividCon offered in the past?
- What panels has VividCon offered in the past?
During the panel brainstorming period (typically in February or March), anyone, regardless of attending status or desire to moderate a panel themselves, is welcome to suggest panel ideas. If someone has an idea but doesn’t wish to lead it, this is a good time to pitch it to others; and conversely, if someone wants to moderate a panel but doesn’t have a solid idea for one, this is a good time to find potential panel topics.
After the brainstorming period ends, panel submissions will open. Any attending member may submit a panel topic for consideration. Panels must have one or more volunteer moderators attached, as the con no longer allows for panel topics to be submitted without moderators.
Panels are chosen by con membership vote, usually in March.
A discussion panel is driven by audience participation, and the moderators act largely as discussion leaders, working to keep the discussion focused and ensure that a variety of voices are heard.
A tech panel is largely or entirely focused on moderator presentation, with moderators leading the panel audience through specific techniques, aesthetics, software, and so on. These panels may include some audience discussion, if time allows.
A workshop has a more one-on-one aim, such as the 2015 Collaborations panel that sought to pair up future vid collaborators while going over elements of successful partnerships.
Fandom panels look at a specific aspect of vidding within a specific fandom. Some past fandom panel topics have included:
- Marvel Cinematic Universe: How vids in MCU have changed from phase to phase
- Doctor Who: Different approaches to vidding the Doctor as one character, or as many
- Due South: dS vidding fandom changes over time, from Ray to Ray to F/K/V and beyond
As with general vidding panels, fandom panels must be submitted with a specific topic (beyond their fandom) and panel moderator volunteers.
Themed vidshows and panel topics can be submitted together, with the panel hour building a discussion or tech workshop that draws on the vidshow’s theme. Past examples include Constructed Reality (a vidshow exploring CR vids and a tech panel on the specific techniques used in constructed reality vidding), Comedy (a vidshow looking at different types of comedic vids and a tech/discussion panel looking at how basic comedic frameworks translate to vidding and what makes vids funny), Horror, Setting, and so on.
Yes. Paired panels and vidshows are sometimes run with one VJ and one moderator, a co-VJ who doesn’t speak on the paired panel, a co-mod who doesn’t work on the vidshow playlist, etc. How work on a vidshow/panel combo is divided is up to the moderators.
A page on VividCon programming history is coming soon.
- Is there a limit to how many panels and vidshows I can submit in one year?
- Are there any circumstances under which a con attendee isn’t allowed to submit programming?
- I submitted a vidshow or panel and it was approved, but I can no longer attend the con. What do I do?
- What programming events does the con have outside of the standard vidshows and panels?
- What is VividCon Trivia?
Potential VJs may submit up to two vidshows for consideration, with the understanding that the con will – with a few exceptions – only put one themed vidshow per submitting VJ on the schedule.
Exceptions to this are very low-submitted years, in which there are not enough vidshows to fill the schedule without choosing more than one vidshow by a single submitting VJ, and co-VJ status, in which a VJ may add a co-VJ to assist them even if that co-VJ already has their own vidshow on the schedule.
(VJs may, and frequently do, indicate that they only wish to VJ one show when submitting multiple topics.)
Potential panel moderators should submit no more than one panel for which they are the sole moderator, and no more than two panels on which they are one of multiple moderators, so that as many people can have opportunities to lead panels as possible.
If a VJ or moderator fails to follow through on their programming commitments, they may be asked not to submit programming in future years, either for some short length of time or at all, depending on the situation. Examples of reasons the con might ask someone not to submit programming in the future include (but are not limited to):
- Never submitted a vidshow playlist, in which case the programming/tech staff must find an alternate VJ or a different show entirely in a limited timeframe
- Submitted a vidshow playlist but never contacted any vidders / solicited any vids for their show, in which case tech staff must solicit all vid submissions themselves and press vidders to a very limited submissions timeframe
- Had one or more panels scheduled, but failed to show up at the con itself without advance notice, in which case there is a merry scramble to find an alternate panel moderator from among those present
These situations are exceedingly rare, but they do arise. If someone has been told not to submit programming in the following year, but does anyway, their submissions will be rejected.
If a VJ or moderator can no longer attend the con, they should contact con staff as soon as possible. The more advance notice the con has, the better it works out for everyone, but life happens, and last-minute emergencies won’t be held against anyone.
VJs who have done the work on their shows already but can no longer attend can usually VJ remotely, either by arranging for a friend in attendance to be their in-room replacement or by asking the con to provide a volunteer.
How panelist absences are handled varies depending on the nature of the panel and how late in con planning it happens; con staff will first attempt to find alternate moderators for existing topics, but if that isn’t possible, or if the panel is on a very specific technical or academic topic in which the previous moderator was an expert, the topic may be replaced by a new one.
In cases where a panel moderator can’t attend on the very eve of the con, all bets are off and the hour may be filled by an impromptu discussion panel, a throwback vidshow, or whatever staff can find to substitute.
Programming outside of daytime hours, Club Vivid, and Premieres can vary from year to year. Here are some things that have taken place in prior years:
- Thursday: Welcome to VividCon for first-time attendees (and anyone who might wish to gather to be welcomed by con staff) usually takes place Thursday night during/after pre-registration.
- Friday: Before the Joxer Dance kicks off Club Vivid, there are a selection of appetizers on the mezzanine, typically a mix of fruit, vegetables, dips, tiny finger foods, and meat on sticks. (Attendees planning on making use of the bar are encouraged to eat before coming down to the mezzanine, as the appetizers are delicious but not a true substitute for a full meal before consuming alcohol.)
- Saturday: Following the Premieres show, the vidshow/panel room usually hosts an event put on by con staff. In past years, Vid Karaoke hosted by AbsoluteDestiny was a regular event; now that Vid Karaoke has retired, the regular Saturday night event is VividCon Trivia hosted by Trelkez and sweetestdrain.
- Sunday: VividCon hosts a great deal of vidding discussion, and Sunday in particular is a discussion-oriented day of programming: Vid Review (two hours), which looks at the vids from Saturday’s Premieres show; In Depth Vid Review (one hour), which selects approx. 2 vids from Premieres to look at in greater detail; and Challenge (one hour, following a one-hour vidshow), which discusses the Challenge vids immediately following their premieres in the show.
VividCon Trivia is styled on a pub quiz, with questions covering vidding, broader fandom, fannish TV/movie/book trivia, VividCon history, and more. There are two full rounds of questions plus a final question.Trelkez and sweetestdrain write the quiz and host the event on Saturday night in the vidshow/panel room, following a brief break after the Premieres show.
In each of the main rounds, the categories for all questions are given in advance (sample categories: vidding history, famous fandom authors, buddy cops, etc.). The hosts then read a question and then play a vid during the answer period (as pub quizzes play songs during theirs). All answers must be turned in before the vid ends.
Each team may wager up to 15 points per round, giving their answers potential point scores of 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1, depending on how confident they are in their answers. Wrong answers aren’t counted against point totals, so it’s always better to guess and get 0 than not to guess at all, and to save higher point wagers for categories the team thinks it will know better (“I am an EXPERT in buddy cops! Five points!” vs. “What even is The Sentinel? 1 point.”)
Participants may form their own teams. Anyone who wants to play and doesn’t yet have a team will be assisted in forming one or joining an existing team. There’s no strict limit on team size, but more teams makes for a more fun atmosphere, so very large teams (eight or more) may be asked to split into smaller ones.