Topic: Brickfilm Community Christmas Collab 2019
Hello everyone, and welcome to the 3rd Annual Brickfilm Christmas Collaboration! Continuing in the spirit of A Brickfilm Christmas and The 25 Brickfilms of Christmas, this year is a cross-community event with the goal of creating a Christmas-themed selection of brickfilms! Animators from Bricks in Motion, Brick a Brack, Brickfilm Day, The Plastic Films, and many more communities have come together to make this event a success, and we hope to continue the tradition.
For those of you who may not know me, my name is Chris and my brickfilm channel is Gold Brick Productions. Last year’s project coordinator, Slotborg, asked me to be this year’s project coordinator – I’ll be helping you all with the event theme, release schedule, and any questions you may have. I’ve had the privilege of partaking in the last two Christmas events and I am excited to see what this year holds!
This year’s theme is a bit different: Secret Santa! Based on the popular Christmas party game, the goal is to add an element of mystery and surprise to the assortment of animations scheduled for release in December. Participants will have the entirety of November to work on their animations and a good portion of December to edit, wrap up, and publish their films.
How Does It Work?
The idea of the traditional Secret Santa is an unexpected gift given by an unknown giver. We will be taking this idea but applying it to animating and brickfilms! Participants will submit a prompt for an animation to a random drawing and will receive a random idea from another unknown participant. That idea will be the prompt for their animation, which they will have several weeks to complete. As we approach the final week of the collaboration, we will then schedule slots for the film releases.
Here’s a breakdown of the event
All the participants get ready and hyped. A Discord server will serve as the main hub for announcements and activity.
Each participant comes up with a Christmas-themed prompt for a brickfilm. Examples include “Santa’s vacation,” “the perfect gift,” “nativity,” “blizzard,” etc.
The prompts are thrown into a hat and each participant gets a random prompt. They don’t know who the prompt is from.
Participants then have several weeks to create an animation based on the prompt they are given. They are welcome to trade prompts if need be, but there will be an assigned cut-off date where their prompt is locked in.
Coming up to the week of release, a formal release schedule will be announced. As the previous year had custom intro clips for each brickfilm, this year will provide custom intros that show who made the brickfilm, the original prompt, and the Secret Santa that gave the prompt.
The following schedule is subject to change, updates will be made via the Discord server. Major updates will be made to any forum posts and announcement threads.
November 1: The collab officially begins, and you’re reading this announcement! Please submit your prompt via this Google Form (https://forms.gle/QRL3DbG3i4NMJ5zK7) and join the Discord server (https://discord.gg/PN3SWsF).
November 4: Submissions for prompts closes. This deadline may be extended if a lot of people need more time. When the submissions close, you will receive your random prompt via Discord or email. If you don’t like your prompt, talk with the project coordinator to arrange a trade.
November 8: Trading prompts closes! The project coordinator will check in with everyone to get their prompt and make sure they are ready to begin!
November 9: If you haven’t started on your video, start on your video!
December 1: November has ended, and the holiday season begins! The project coordinator will check in with you on progress and make sure you’re all set.
December 15: Time to start planning the release schedule! The project coordinator will check in with you to make sure you have a time slot for Release Week. Between now and Release Week, you will receive your video intro and should get your animation scheduled for release on YouTube.
December 18 - 24: Release Week! Videos will be released at various intervals between the 18th through the 24th, so stay tuned to see who got your prompt and who sees your video based on their prompt!
December 24: Closing ceremonies. Congratulations! You’re a Christmas collab veteran now. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the time with your family.
Questions and Concerns
I DON’T WANNA JOIN THE DISCORD CHAT BECAUSE REASONS
There’s no obligation to join the chat, but that’s where all of the announcements, updates, and files will be. If you wanna join and mute, that’s fine. If you absolutely positively do not want to join, then contact me so we can discuss other arrangements.
I GOT A PROMPT AND I DON’T LIKE IT
You got a few options if you receive a prompt you don’t like. You can trade with another participant or trade with the event coordinator. The prompts should be open enough that you’ve got flexibility, but if you, say, receive a prompt that requires you to sing and you don’t want to sing, we can accommodate that.
There will be a participation confirmation deadline, so when that deadline passes, you will be stuck with your prompt. Choose wisely!
HOW WILL YOU RANDOMIZE THE PROMPTS AND PARTICIPANTS?
I’ve got a Python script I wrote up that will take the names and prompts and assign each person a random prompt. There is an additional feature so that I don’t see the names attached to each prompt when it runs, so that way, everyone stays secret.
WHAT DO OUR PROMPTS NEED TO HAVE?
Keep your prompt flexible, feasible, safe-for-work, and Christmas-themed. Allow some room for the person to interpret your prompt too. Prompts like “The President of Octan, dressed as Santa, falls down 30 flights of stairs to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’” are too specific and limiting. Stick with a phrase, a word, a broad scenario, etc.
Here are some rough ideas I came up with:
Christmas without snow
Peace on earth
Grandma’s not getting run over by a reindeer this year
A carol revisited
Decorating something other than a Christmas tree
The Ghost of Christmas Future
CAN I TELL ANYONE MY PROMPT?
Keep your prompt secret as much as you can, otherwise everyone’s gonna figure out everyone’s prompts and we’ll lose the “secret” in “Secret Santa.” You’re certainly welcome to share script fragments, screenshots, and test clips, but be sneaky and keep everyone guessing!
If you have to tell someone your prompt to make your film work, that’s fine. Just keep it quiet.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO WORK ON MY VIDEO?
If all goes according to plan, Nov. 9th – December 20th.
CAN I USE LICENSED/IP ASSETS IN MY FILM?
You can do whatever you want as long as you address the prompt. If your prompt is “Paladium Christmas Tree” and your film has Iron Man decorating it, that’s fine. If your prompt is “Santa visits the children” and your film is a Batman crime thriller, then you’ve probably deviated too far from the prompt.
CAN WE COLLABORATE ON OUR FILMS?
If you and your friends want to, sure! Just make sure that your film matches your prompt.
DO I HAVE TO USE THE INTRO IN MY FILM?
You don’t have to, but it’s highly recommended as it gives credit to the original idea and allows people to figure out who did their prompt. Always give credit where it’s due.
I HAVE TO DROP OUT BECAUSE REASONS
Unless you’ve got an emergency and you just absolutely cannot make it happen, please commit the time needed to finish your part and plan accordingly. You’ve got plenty of time and it’d be unfortunate if a participant didn’t get to see their theme become a reality. If you’re worried about time, just DM the collab coordinator and we can figure out a plan. And hey, better a short film or a good piece of a film than no film at all!
WHY AREN’T WE CALLING THIS A WHITE ELEPHANT BRICKFILM EXCHANGE?
Because we looked up what a “white elephant” is on Wikipedia and it still makes no sense.
For any further questions, feel free to ask me! This post will be updated as regularly as possible, so stay tuned!