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“Get Animated!” with Clark Planetarium and Spy Hop Productions

August 31st, 2015

Clark Planetarium and Spy Hop Productions are hosting the first annual “Get Animated!” animated short video contest and we want your entries!

ENTER NOW (make sure you finished your YouTube upload!)

Who can enter?
Utah students in grades K-12

What is the entry timeline?
We are accepting entries September 1, 2015 – October 5, 2015 @ Noon MDT. Late entries will not be accepted.

Is there a theme?
Yes! This year’s theme is “New Horizons/Pluto” and entries should incorporate the theme in order to be eligible to win. And hey, don’t forget. This is an animated short.

What are the video specs?
Video entries should be no less than 30 seconds without credits and no more than 3 minutes with credits. Videos should be uploaded to your own YouTube channel and be publicly viewable for judging (you’ll enter your public link on the entry form). When making your video, please keep in mind that winners will need to provide a .MOV or compatible version of their video on DVD or BluRay. Please remember that this contest is for animated shorts, not live action video.

How do I enter?
After you’ve completed your video, there’s two things you’ve got to do to enter this contest:
1- Upload your video to YouTube and ensure that it is publicly viewable.
2- Fill out this form completely. We won’t be able to judge your entry if you haven’t filled out the form or if it is incomplete.

How will entries be judged?
Entries will be judged on precision, merit, and use of the theme. If you’re using scientific facts in your animated short, please make sure they’re accurate! Entries will be judged in age groups K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

What do the winners of this contest receive?
Other than bragging rights, we’ve got something pretty cool for the winners of this contest! Winning entries will be screened in Clark Planetarium’s Orbital ATK IMAX Theatre on October 28, 2015, during a special event for International Animation Day. And that’s not all. Top entries will be played as pre-features to IMAX films between January 2016 and December 2016. All participants will receive a certificate to commemorate their creativity and entry into the contest.

When will you notify winners?
Winners will be notified by October 20th and may need to provide a final cut of their video by October 26th, 2015 for ingesting into our IMAX system.

Who is judging this contest?
Right now, we’re keeping this under wraps. But there will be professionals from the space science and film industry judging.

Do I have to be affiliated with Spy Hop to participate?
No! This contest is open to all Utah students grades K-12.

What are the big rules that I need to know?
1- This contest is for Utah students in grades K-12. There is no adult entry category.
2- You must upload your video to YouTube and make it publicly viewable or we will be unable to judge your entry.
3- You must adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines. If you entry is removed by YouTube, we won’t be able to judge it.
4- Please ensure that your video is minimum 30 seconds without credits and maximum 3 minutes with credits.
5- This is an animated feature contest. Please keep that in mind when producing your entry.
6- You must completely fill out the entry form after uploading your video to YouTube.
7- Students must complete their work without significant adult assistance.

Why are you doing this?
Clark Planetarium and Spy Hop Productions both look to encourage outstanding work in the field of animation and film. Did you know that Clark Planetarium even employs a team of animators and designers who make the full dome shows and features that you know and love? That’s right! We make features like Accidental Astronauts and light show favorites like Led Zeppelin and Rock on Demand right here at Clark Planetarium!

ENTER NOW (make sure you finished your YouTube upload!)


Gateway to the Stars September 2015: Bad Moon Rising

August 31st, 2015

It is the very error of the moon:
She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad.

William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603)

The Moon has fascinated men for ages, but has been enjoying a recent resurgence of interest. Although I’ve not done the sociological legwork to prove that, it’s my overall impression, and I’m tempted to the increased popularity is a good thing. After all, we want more people thinking about space, right?

Alas, the internet…

Continue reading “Gateway to the Stars September 2015: Bad Moon Rising” »


Night Vision: Saturn

August 31st, 2015

Looking southward in the night sky, it can be easy to spot Saturn among the stars.  Ever since we turned our telescopes to the sixth planet, we have fallen in love with this beautiful world.

Continue reading “Night Vision: Saturn” »