Zim Music Video Contest

Invader ZIM Music Video Contest Rules

General Information
The Invader ZIM Music Video contest operates at the discretion of InvaderCON staff. Rules and schedules are subject to change without notice. Category and Award descriptions included here are guidelines only. Staff may add, change or eliminate categories as they see fit. Awards have no significant cash value. Awards may, indeed, have no tangible value whatsoever. By submitting a video, the video editor grants InvaderCON non-revocable permission to exhibit and distribute their work. The video editor otherwise retains all rights and responsibilities relating to the work. Any artistic or other rights involved remain with the original rights-holder.
Please follow all posted rules. We are expecting a lot of entries, as everyone only gets one shot at this, and we won’t have time to deal with people skipping or disobeying rules as a joke. If you do, your entries will be disqualified.

Artistic Rule #1
InvaderCON is a family-friendly convention. Content inappropriate for a “PG-13” rating in the United States will be censored, up to and including exclusion from exhibition at InvaderCON. Generally this means that any nudity and foul language must be brief and non-sexual in nature. This shouldn’t be too hard, considering our preferred source material. This applies both to video and audio content. For audio content, when in doubt we ask you to prefer a “Radio Edit” over an “Explicit Lyrics” version of a song. Censorship relating to ARTISTIC RULE #1 will be at the exclusive discretion of InvaderCON staff.

Artistic Rule #2
This is an Invader ZIM music video contest. Every video submitted must PROMINENTLY FEATURE Invader ZIM (the TV show, not necessarily the character) either as the sole source of material for the video, or as the dominant artistic focus of the work. Videos will be disqualified in violation of ARTISTIC RULE #2 at the sole discretion of the judges.

Artistic Rule #3
This is an Invader ZIM music video contest. Every video submitted must be set to music. You may edit your audio for content and/or duration. Entries can be from 1 to 6 minutes in length.

Artistic Recommendations
Videos should not have lengthy “studio” bumpers. Your video should start and end with the primary artistic content of your submission. Brief studio identification (a few seconds) is acceptable at the start of your video. A brief (again, a few seconds) dedication at the start or end is also acceptable. “Production credit” rolls are strongly discouraged. Because of time constraints, bumpers are likely to be trimmed from exhibition.

The recommended duration of a video is 2 minutes 42 seconds.

Judging will be held in advance of the convention, conducted by InvaderCON staff members and experienced fan music video editors. The judges’ deliberations are private and final.
Awards will be presented in two categories, entries consisting only of video from Invader ZIM, and entries mixing Invader ZIM with other content. Award categories include Action, Comedy, Drama and Romance in both “Exclusive” and “Primary Focus” subcategories. In addition, the “Primary Focus” subcategory will include a “Best Crossover” award, and a “Best of Show” will be selected from both subcategories. The video awarded “Best of Show” is also eligible for a second award however aide from this, no video will be given more than a single award.

The Judges may decide to give additional awards to videos that, while not winning in an announced category, exhibit unique artistic or technical merit, or somehow define categories beyond those listed above.

Only the winners are guaranteed to be screened during the convention. Overflow blocks may be scheduled during the convention, time permitting. Check your convention schedule for details.

Submission Rules and Technical Requirements
All submissions must be made digitally and must be uploaded to our servers via FTP. We cannot accept submissions by mail or at the convention. All uploads must be started by 11:59 PM, Friday March 11, UTC (6:59 PM EST), and must complete within 24 hours thereafter.

When your composition is complete, please visit http://submit-zmv.invadercon.com to obtain an FTP account.  You will then have 72 hours to upload your submission.  Please email us when your upload is complete and we will verify that we’ve received your video and that it appears to play.  If we have any difficulty playing your submission we’ll contact you via email to help correct any issues.

To allow the artist maximum control over the final appearance of the submission when presented, and to prevent conversion and reprocessing degradation, it is in the artist’s best interest to handle the digital conversion themselves according to the guidelines presented below.

If you have any technical questions regarding your submissions, please contact zmv@invadercon.com.

File Format
There are a lot of formats for digital video available right now. If you have any questions after reading these instructions, do not hesitate to check with us at zmv@invadercon.com. It is usually beneficial to include 2-3 seconds of black before and after the video. Please do not interlace non-MPEG video. Audio and video should be multiplexed into a single container (i.e. do not submit video and its respective audio as two individual files). MPEG-2 is the preferable format to submit in, as InvaderCON will convert all other formats to the MPEG-2 format for display. While the computers we use for judging has dedicated hardware that supports a wide range of specifications, the winners will be screened from NTSC mastered DVD discs. Any videos not adhering exactly to the specifications provided below may be subject to conversion/re-encoding to be compatible with DVD authoring.

Frame Rates
23.976 (preferred), 24, 29.97 (preferred), and 30. 23.976/24 fps content will be projected at the con and encoded for DVD discs with 3:2 pulldown on playback. Alternate rates (such as PAL) are accepted but will be converted to the nearest appropriate rate.

The winners are screened from DVDs mastered to 720×480. All videos will be scaled to this resolution.

Our projectors and screens are setup for 4:3 aspect videos, though our hardware is capable of properly supporting 16:9 anamorphic content if it is encoded as such. Otherwise please format standard and letterboxed wide content to conform to 720×480 4:3 playback. Progressive or interlaced content is acceptable but please only use interlacing if your vertical resolution is exactly 480 and are submitting MPEG encoded content.

Please use layer-II audio at 224 kb/sec or better, stereo (not joint stereo), and 48kHz sampling. AC3 audio meeting these specifications is also acceptable but not preferred. Please do not use layer-III or mp3 as it is incompatible with both DVD and our hardware.

If you are unsure on how or what resolution/frame rate/bit rate/audio settings to choose, please submit the original source file and let us do the conversion for you.

Other Video Formats
Thought it is preferable to get MPEG files, we can accept AVI (and similar) files though they will be recompressed on our end to MPEG2. Please don’t do anything weird and exotic to complicate the conversion process. Please multiplex the audio with the video rather than submit 2 separate files.

The resolutions and frame rates allowable for AVI files are essentially unlimited but please try and adhere to the profiles listed in the MPEG section to make all of our lives that much easier.

There are many video “container” formats such as MP4, MKV, OGM, etc., most of which are well defined and are things we can handle. Again, when at all possible, following the format above is the only way to practically guarantee that what you send us is what we actually screen, however, we can handle other formats, as noted here:
ASF/WMV/Windows Media/etc.

The quality on these formats can suffer during the conversion process. Windows Movie Maker is capable of exporting AVI files. To save as DV AVI:
Open Windows Movie Maker Load the project Click on ‘Save to my computer’ Select folder and filename, Click NEXT Click on SHOW MORE CHOICES and then select OTHER SETTINGS. In that drop-down list, choose DV-AVI Click NEXT to output the file
If you do export as WMV, do not “lock” the files when they are authored. Try to set the bit rate and settings to maximum.

Due to continuing compatibility and conversion quality issues we are strongly discouraging QuickTime (.MOV) submissions. If you are editing with QuickTime, or on a Macintosh, please use MPEG2 or MPEG4 rather than a Mac proprietary DV format.
Flash/Shockwave Animation/Real Media

We cannot accept video in these formats. We do accept videos authored with these programs if they are exported and submitted using one of the above supported formats, however we cannot provide assistance in doing so.

If your entry is in any format not mentioned here, please contact us and we will try to make arrangements.


  1. Mary Adelyn

    can we upload via imovie? it’s on the Mac……………..

  2. Wow, this is going to be a fun contest to watch! Can’t wait to see who wins!

  3. Hey! This sounds like a lot of fun! I was wondering though if you can animate some scenes yourself or it you have to use just clips from the show? Thanks ^^

  4. Christina

    Guess I’ll give it a shot.
    Prepare your bladders for imminent release!

  5. Definitely going to have to give this one a shot. I love me some video editing and have so many ideas… now, to pick one that’s family friendly and fitting and all that jazz… *puts on her thinking cap*

  6. Can we submit a video even if we cannot attend?

  7. @Mary Adelyn I have never used iMovie to upload, but as far as I know it will export an MPEG4, which is acceptable per the rules above. We’ll be accepting uploads via FTP, so I think your easiest route is to export to MPEG4 and then upload using your favorite FTP program.

  8. @Tori Yes, original animation is welcome, but your video must meet the artistic requirements of focusing on some recognizable character from the Invader ZIM show. ^_^;

  9. @swagner Yes, though if you actually win something tangible we’ll need to make arrangements to get your prize to you. It may be easiest if you know someone who is attending who can get it to you.

  10. Emily J. Hintz

    Are we allowed to include characters & stuff from our fan fictions?

  11. Is it allowed to focus around a single character of the show like a tribute? Such as if we wanted the video to focus around GIR, could we have it show clips of the TV show of GIR and put it to a song, and it would be like a tribute?

  12. Oh man, I am so entering if I get to go. I have a few good ones I might submit, after trimming the end credits from them, of course. Can’t wait to see the other entries!

  13. Are we allowed to submit more than one video or is one the limit?

  14. Can it be live action, or does it have to be made from clips of the show?

  15. When can we start submitting? My husband actually made a really neat vid a few years ago and would LOVE to submit it.

  16. Oh! Duhhhh. I re-read it and found my answer. Sorry.

  17. @Emily Yes, you may include anything you like, so long as you also include some sort of focus on something from the actual show. We want to encourage creativity, so I could conceive of somehow creating a video that uses, for example, nothing but the backgrounds from Invader ZIM, giving the video a very Invader ZIM feel, but containing completely different characters and exploring their reactions to the world of Invader ZIM and allowing it.

  18. @Tsuki Yes, tributes to a single character in Invader ZIM are just fine!

  19. @Miki You may submit as many as you like, but you must request an upload account for each video individually.

  20. @Maya It may be live action, but it has to focus on Invader ZIM in some way. This might involve, for example, using audio from Invader ZIM to overdub live action characters.

  21. @Toni As you saw, everyone can submit now! Just email the above address to request an upload account. We already have several submissions!

  22. do you have to attend to enter?

  23. @Emily You don’t need to attend, though if you actually win something tangible we’ll need to make arrangements to get your prize to you. It may be easiest if you know someone who is attending who can get it to you.

  24. Killian

    I want to submit my video, but I’m not sure what FTP is or how to work it. I’m pulling up all these pages on it, but I’m stumped on how to actually upload any file. :\

    Please respond and help!

  25. Killian

    Derherr ok i have a but of it figured out. But since im a tech-idiot im gonna go try and figure out how filezilla works.

  26. Killian

    Ok here i am spamming you again. I figured it out! ^_^

  27. I can’t wait to see who wins ^-^

  28. Mary Adelyn

    the winning video was great! is their a place where i can watch it again??? cloooooooooooudyyyyyyy………..

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