Awards season is upon us again. You can’t move for articles from production companies comparing themselves to the Oscar winners…inboxes are being clogged up with deadlines for this award scheme and that. If you’re anything like me you are sitting there thinking of the financial outlay and the time spent writing winning entries. We’ve just been nominated for a Bristol Life award and won lots of awards over the years and we’re very smug about it but a few years back we just stopped entering. Why? The time it takes to enter and it is sooo expensive. Especially if you win! Only enter if you are happy to spend at least £2,000 on a table. If you win it can get super expensive. Hotel fizz is not the most economic way of celebrating. We spent a fortune the night we won the Grand Prix at the EVCOM awards! So what is the benefit?

The winning team from Giggle, Crisis and SNK (who mixed the music and sound).
Studio Giggle’s EVCOM Grand Prix win 2014

In the last few months I have been thinking about it and yes, it is a good idea to enter awards

Why?

Winning and entering awards provides you with plenty of opportunities of how to use the nomination:

  • blog about it
  • announce your win to the trade press
  • feature in the awards branding
  • you can invite your clients out (always a winner)
  • a great night out for your hard-working staff 
  • it is great for team morale to be awarded amongst your peers
  • it is great for your ego!

So, we are starting to get our act together. This year is the year we start entering awards again. 

Embarking on this again it has reminded me how writing an award entry is a bit of a fine art. In one year (quite a few years ago) we entered the work below (1 of 6 films) for 2 different awards schemes. The first time we weren’t even short listed the second one we won the Chairman’s Award.

Why? 

We wrote the application better. A friend of mine was in the room with the judges and simply said they didn’t understand the project at all. So from all these learnings here are my top 4 tips.

  1. Only enter your best work. Every year, as you are producing your lovely projects, identify the award winners early and make sure that every bit of love and care has been taken over them. The extra details will push you over the edge. Each award entry can set you back anything from £100 – £700 so make that investment count.
  2. Write the copy really really carefully. Imagine you are trying to explain your project to your 95 year-old grandmother (yes I have one still – although she is still the cleverest person I’ve ever met). You have no idea who that jury is and a lot of them can be very opinionated and also quite old fashioned so explain it in the most interesting and simple terms that you can find.
  3. Edit your award entry film carefully. Awards can be won or lost in the edit. Choose your music carefully. Keep it short. Make a story about your work and keep it interesting.
  4. If your work wins one award. Enter it into all the awards. If your best work (and it really is amazing) doesn’t get shortlisted or win, 9/10 times, it is the quality of the entry writing. Rejig how you write the award and try again.

Best of luck with your entries may the best company (us – obvs) win!

Jonathan

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