Topic: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Qualifying Entries

Here are this year's competition's 22 qualifying entries, in the order they were submitted:

Strange Happenings by TopBrick Studios
The Blind and the Deaf by Gillcrafter
One Eyed Yellow People Eater by HotRodChicken (password: legofun)
Lennard's Dreams by William Osborne
Reach for the Stars by rafael9522
Furious by Hoverfrogfilms
Ocean Treasures by OncecrasFilms
The Hungry Monkey Gormet Diner by filmseagull8
Face Swapped by Formal Lens
Myth of the Cave by LegoStudiosP
The Sense-sai by Isenbold
Sounds Like Trouble by nswihart
A Camping Trip with Dad by brickorbrack
Believing Sound by Blandeer
Always on Time by BrickBrosProductions
Draw by Mighty Wanderer
MARS 2029 by desa192
Tech Dog by sillypenta
Honk Honk! by VN
Don't Drink and Drive by bealight (password: bealight)
Specimen by Stonycharlie
First Day on the Space Job by BrickMaker

The theme of’s 2016 contest is Sight and Sound.

The contest will run from June 1st to September 1st, and we have an exciting collection of prizes thanks to our contest sponsors: Dragonframe and Brickstuff. If you want to be a part of this competition, keep reading!

When sound was first introduced to cinema, many filmmakers weren’t sure what to do with it. But as the art form has developed over the decades, sound design has become a crucial aspect of movie storytelling. Great sound design not only fits the visuals; it does things that images cannot on their own to create a more impactful, engrossing world in the movie.

Sight and Sound is our invitation to you to celebrate the way that images and sound can complement each other to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Many brickfilmers, and indeed beginning filmmakers as a whole, tend to focus on creating polished visuals but leave sound design as a last minute aspect of their projects. As a result, the end product is not as convincing or polished as it could be. Great sound design should be part of the creative process from the early stages of production, not something done as an afterthought!

At the same time, sound design relies on visuals to be at its best. The focus of this contest is both sight AND sound; we want the imagery and sonic landscapes of the films to fit together in a way that makes both seem indispensable and intertwined.

This can be done any number of ways, and we look forward to seeing your creative approach to the task. Whether your story is set in a fantastical world, the creepy attic of a nail-biting horror film, or is a subtly nuanced story in everyday settings, great use of visuals and sound working together can create a truly exceptional result.

Ultimately, we're hoping to see (and hear) films where audio is a focal point. This is not just about making sure the audio in a film you were already working on is decent and submitting it -- we're hoping that sound will be a key player in these stories.

Prizes for this year’s competition are provided in part by this year’s sponsors: Dragonframe and Brickstuff!

For this contest, we are offering a prize pool of three prize packages. This means that 1st place gets to choose which of the three packages they want, 2nd place chooses from the remaining the remaining two, and 3rd place receives whichever prize package remains.

Dragonframe - Software License and Controller
Plus Cargo Heli LEGO set
Dragonframe is the premium stop motion animation software that captured Laika's ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Disney's Frankenweenie. This software is easy enough for a beginner to learn, but offers a wealth of advanced features sure to meet the needs of any stop motion animator. Software and controller included. For Mac OSX and Windows.

Brickstuff Pico LED Light Board Starter Kit
Plus Super Soarer LEGO set
This versatile kit includes eight Brickstuff Pico LED light boards, perfect for fitting into small spaces. Based in Minnesota, Brickstuff custom manufactures a full line of lighting and automation products for LEGO builders. Brickstuff lights are the smallest commercially available lights for LEGO bricks, so you can put them right inside your bricks, and the wires are thin enough that  you can snap your bricks, plates, and tiles right on top of the wires-- no need to modify your bricks or builds!  Best of all, you don’t need to know electronics to use this system—everything fits together (just like LEGO bricks!), and you can start small and add lights and effects as your collection of creations and MOCs grows. The lights are perfect for use in brickfilms to create just the mood or effect you need.

Blue Snowball Microphone
Plus Chopper transporter LEGO set
A quality and versatile USB-based condenser microphone, the Blue Snowball makes an excellent choice for animators looking to improve the quality of sound, music and voice recordings compared to more basic microphone options. Compatible with Mac and Windows.

Entries will be judged on criteria including originality, production values (animation, set design, cinematography, sound, etc.), story, and creative interpretation of the theme by the 5 judges. Rather than judging on categories individually, judges will examine how all these elements work together to create a complete film. Films will be discussed and ranked collectively by the judges until a consensus is reached. The top 4 films will eligible for the prize pool. Entries below 10th place will not be publicly ranked.

We’ve assembled a panel of judges for this year’s competition with a wide range of filmmaking experience and achievements. Here’s a look at each of them (listed alphabetically):

Chris Boyer

Chris is an American stop-motion animator who has worked on a variety of professional stop motion video projects. He’s a brickfilming contest winner and BiMA nominee, most recently receiving nominations for his short film Beyond the Eleventh Dimension, for which he won best set design. Chris also created the film directory and submission system.

Philip Heinrich

Philip is an American director and producer. He recently completed the feature length documentary Bricks in Motion, and is the owner and administrator of His brickfilm works include Unrenewable and The Oven, and his pastimes include writing short autobiographies and appearing to be just the right level of dangerous in a suit.

Thomas Evans

Thomas is an Australian filmmaker and stop-motion animator. He has won first place in THAC twice and was awarded Best Cinematography and Screenplay in the Bricks in Motion Awards for his series, LEGO Minecraft: Creepers. He was also awarded the 2015 Brickfilmer of the Year by the Brickfilmer's Guild. Thomas is currently studying a Bachelor of Film and Television.

Steffen Troeger

Steffen is a German animator and LEGO enthusiast. He has made numerous popular brickfilms including the award-winning short Totentanz. Troeger is a radio producer by trade with extensive background in audio and music mixing, skills which will be valuable in his tenure as a judge of the Sight and Sound competition. He is also in charge of running this year’s edition of the German brickfilm festival Steinerei.

Nathan Wells

Nathan is an American graphic designer and stop-motion filmmaker. He runs BiM Awards with Zach Macias, serves as a moderator on, and runs the Twenty-four Hour Animation Contest. He also founded the Brickfilm Archive, helped create the Brickfilms Wiki, and produced the Bricks in Motion documentary. His brickfilm work includes Alex and Derrick: Five Years Later and 30 Years: The Story of the Minifigure.

  • All entries must be primarily composed of stop-motion animation. 3D, Flash, or other animation techniques may be used to in addition to stop-motion as long as the finished product is at least roughly 70% stop-motion animation.

  • Entries should use LEGO or similar building toys as primary elements.

  • No mature/explicit content is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: swearing, excessive/gory violence, overt sexual content, and blatant drug references.

  • Minimum runtime is 1 minute, including any titles and credits. There is no maximum runtime. Remember, it is better to focus on quality and attention to detail than to make a very long and ambitious film, but let the quality suffer. A highly-polished three-minute movie is better than a ten-minute movie that falls apart because the director ran out of time to do it the right way. The judging system won't favor a film for simply being longer, but low production values will hurt a longer film when competing against a shorter film that is better made.

  • Submitted films must be new films, created specifically for this contest.

  • Entrants may only submit one entry per person.

  • Films may not be posted publicly until after the contest deadline has passed.

  • The entry you submit to the judges must be the entry made publicly available to everyone else. This means you can't submit a rough version for judging then post a polished version you spent more time on as though it were your entry to the contest publicly. You may post reworked versions of your film once contest judging is completed and results have been announced.

  • Entries must contain only images, sounds, music, and story material which you have the rights to distribute -- no copyrighted content to which you do not have the rights may be used. No trademarked properties which might be confused with commercial enterprises may be used. This means you can not use storylines based on characters from Star Wars, Marvel, Ninjago, or other trademarked series. You cannot base your work on copyrighted material; however, old works that are now in the public domain are acceptable source material. All material included in films submitted must be original, or content that you have expressed permission to use. If you use content that is not your own, you must be able to provide proof that you have received permission to include it in your film.  All music must be credited, even if you made it yourself.

The deadline for submissions will be Thursday, September 1st 2016 at 12 am UTC.
Films may be submitted as early as the beginning of July 1st 2016, though they cannot be made public until after the deadline has passed.

To submit your film, send a link to your entry to our BiM Contest forum account by private message.

Our preferred method of submission is unlisted YouTube links. If you do not have a YouTube account, we also accept password-protected Vimeo uploads.

Q: Are we allowed to use the contest logo in our entry? In the credits of our film, for example?
A: Yes, although this is not required. If you want a high-resolution version of the logo to use in the credits of your film, here's a high-res version of the logo on a transparent background for that purpose.

Q: May we ask contest judges to voice act for our entries?
A: Because of the emphasis on audio and the ways in which this can overlap with a film’s vocal performances, we are asking for this competition that people involved in running the contest not be involved with the films in a voice acting capacity.

Q: Should entries focus on a particular genre?
A: Your film can fall into any story genre you like, as its story ultimately fits the criteria laid out in the theme section.

Q: Can we collaborate with others to create an entry?
A: Yes! Collaboration is encouraged. However, we won't be able to divide up the prizes evenly for you, so you'll have to determine who receives the prizes in the case of a win. Entries may be submitted on the basis of one entry per director, so you can help with someone else's entry and still enter a film you've directed.

Q: May we post trailers, images, or other work-in-progress elements of our film publicly on the forum?
A: This is encouraged! Feel free to post about the progress on your film in the forums. You can even make a thread devoted to your progress on a film if you like.

Q: Can we use some non-LEGO elements in building our sets and characters?
A: Yes. The intention of the rule is to put the focus of films made for the competition on LEGO animation.

Q: Are we allowed to release alternate versions of our films at the same time as the version submitted to the contest? (for instance, a version with profanity or other restricted content)
A: In order to maintain the integrity of the judging process, please only release the version you are submitting to the contest publicly at the time the deadline passes. Entrants who violate this rule may be disqualified. If you want to re-release a revised version of your film, you may do so after contest judging is completed and results have been announced.

Q: Are we required to include any "mod elements" like BiM's THAC contest?
A: No. Those are used in THAC to ensure films are created in the 24-hour period. You have three months this time. Even if you did submit a film you began working on before this competition was announced, that would be fine as long as you haven't released it anywhere before this contest, and it fits the theme of this contest.

Q: How fast and loose should I play with the content restriction rules?
A: Ultimately, we want winning entries that won't earn us angry emails from parents, or concern from contest sponsors (present and future) if they win and are celebrated throughout and our social media postings. This community has members of a diverse variety of ages and backgrounds in it, so for a competition we want to be respectful of that. These rules are undoubtedly going to be limitations for some filmmakers, but we believe it's still possible to make compelling, even dramatic stories within these limitations. Potentially, one could approach them as creative limitations that empower the filmmaker to find more original, inventive ways of conveying ideas in a story.

Q: When can we share our films publicly?
A: As soon as the contest deadline passes; here's a countdown clock.

If you have further questions, feel free to reply in this thread. Nathan Wells and Philip Heinrich will be running the contest.

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Alrighty, let's do this! mini/bigsmile

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

This is going to be really fun! mini/smile

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

I really like this year's theme and setup. Way-to-go guys!
May the best film win. mini/wink

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

You've done it again...chosen a great theme that has my mind churning up ideas!
2nd place Darkness and Light entry: The Tree
Behind the Scenes

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

I've been waiting for this day for a long time. Now, finally, I can conjure up a plan for a film.

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Great, now my brain will be completely preoccupied with trying to come up with film ideas while I'm at work today mini/tongue

Definitely gonna enter this year. Unfortunately, my computer gave up the ghost recently. I just hope I can get a new computer before I lose too much time...

YouTube  |  Flickr  |  Twitter

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

I am so excited for this! Definitely going to submit a video!


Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

I can't wait! I already have an ideas as to what I'm going to make. Good luck to everyone!

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Sounds good

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

AquaMorph wrote:

Sounds good

Sight's good too.

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Finally a contest that legitimises banning the use of Incompetech

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Ooohhh YEAH. My brain gears are already spinning. This is going to be awesome. mini/delirium

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

rioforce wrote:

Ooohhh YEAH. My brain gears are already spinning. This is going to be awesome. mini/delirium

Uh oh. mini/lol

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Good luck to everyone. I wish I could enter... but I can still help with writing and voice acting! So let me know if you need anything. mini/smile

"Of course I'm lucky, I'm a leprechaun!"-Fred the Leprechaun
I hope no one has realized I like emojjies mini/shifty

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

sillypenta wrote:

Finally a contest that legitimises banning the use of Incompetech

Are they seriously going to ban the use of incompetech?

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

[Philip's] pastimes include writing short autobiographies

Wait, how many times have you written about yourself?

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

William Osborne wrote:
sillypenta wrote:

Finally a contest that legitimises banning the use of Incompetech

Are they seriously going to ban the use of incompetech?

No. But you definitely hurt your chances in an audio-driven contest if the music is stock music we've all heard in half a dozen other brickfilms.

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Sméagol wrote:

No. But you definitely hurt your chances in an audio-driven contest if the music is stock music we've all heard in half a dozen other brickfilms.

If only, if only...

I'm really excited for this, though! I know I say this for ever contest, but I'd really like to try and get an entry in for this one! Sound design, like you stated, was never my or others' forte, so I think it'll be an interesting exercise to actually get some good stuff done.
Youtube @TheRealSonjira I consider it a personal defeat if my pee is not perfectly clear every time.]

Re: Summer Contest: Sight & Sound

Sméagol wrote:
William Osborne wrote:
sillypenta wrote:

Finally a contest that legitimises banning the use of Incompetech

Are they seriously going to ban the use of incompetech?

No. But you definitely hurt your chances in an audio-driven contest if the music is stock music we've all heard in half a dozen other brickfilms.

So, do you have a better chance, if you compose or get a composer from BiM to create an original score?