After reviewing successful projects on Artizen, here are some best practices for creating project profiles that win grants and attract community support. If you are looking for the basics, please read how to create project profiles.
The Hero Image is the first thing that anyone sees for your project so it is incredibly important to have an image that grabs your attention and accurately reflects the heart of your project.
JPEG or PNG
16:9 aspect ratio
At least 1920x1080 pixels
Choose an image that is representative of what you hope your final project will look like.
If your project is still in early development, we strongly encourage you to hire a concept artist to produce something visually striking to represent your project.
Your hero image will show up in many different places at many different resolutions, so make sure your hero image is recognizable at sizes as small as 200px.
Avoid overlaid text or graphics (see below)
Text and Graphic Overlays:
We strongly suggest you do not use any overlaid text or graphics on your hero image.
What is considered overlaid text or graphics? Any text or graphic element that is added as a flat layer on top of your primary image should be avoided. This includes things like project title, festival laurels, and credits. Here is an example of a Hero Images with overlaid text and graphics the break these guidelines:
Can I use my movie poster? Most movie posters include text and graphic overlays and as such would not work for your project's hero image. However, you can certainly remove all text and graphics and use the underlying image as your Hero Image and we also recommend that you add your movie poster to your project's image gallery where there are no restrictions on text or graphic overlays.
Why do you have this restriction? There are two reasons. First, hero images are displayed throughout our app in many sizes and overlaid text and graphics are not legible at smaller sizes and will look crappy. Second, it is super important that your hero image tells a story visually. By not allowing overlaid text and graphics we force you to select images that visually show us what your project is all about. There is nothing to hide behind.
I still see some projects with hero images that have overlaid text or graphics. What’s up with that? When we see an hero image that has overlaid text and graphics we write to the project owners and inform them of our recommendation, but ultimately it is up to them whether or not to adhere to our policy. And at this point we will not remove or take any action against projects that don’t meet this guideline.
Example Hero Images:
The following Hero Images are good examples to follow:
BODYLESS BY HSIN-CHIEN HUANG
Faces always perform well even when manipulated as in this example. We suggest using closeup shots as they look better across sizes and resolutions and you can see more emotions.
EXODUS BY ULRICO GRECH-CUMBO
Motion is always good. Try to find moments that embed a narrative.
AGENCE BY PIETRO GAGLIANO
You want your hero image to create intrigue -- at least enough to get someone to click and learn more. Try adding an element of mystery to your hero image.
EX CORPUS BY TRISTAN CEZAIR
Got someone famous working on your project? Make sure to feature them in your hero image.
Having a Preview Video is not required, however, it is strongly encouraged. Projects that have some type of Preview Video do significantly better on average than projects without.
You must use either YouTube or Vimeo to host your preview video
You must ensure your privacy settings on YouTube or Vimeo allow your video to be embedded on 3rd party websites. By default YouTube videos are embeddable but Vimeo may require you to change some of your settings which you can learn about here.
Do not have a password on your video. If you have privacy concerns, we suggest you post your video as unlisted on YouTube or Vimeo.
Your video should clearly give someone a sense for what your project is about and why they should care about it within 30-90 seconds. Highly recommend your video not be longer than 5 minutes.
If you are early in development and don’t have any work-in-progress to include in a trailer, just film yourself pitching your project.
Example Preview Videos:
GLOOMY EYE: https://youtu.be/UpFJrmPuFeM Nice and short. Evocative. Highlights talent and awards.
AFRO ALGORITHMS: https://vimeo.com/431669009 Good example of how you can create a strong video before you are deep in production.
PLASTI SAPIENS: https://player.vimeo.com/video/378159410 The video gives very little information but it is strange enough that I’m curious to learn more, which is the most important goal of a preview video.
A paragraph description that covers the most important aspects of your project.
1,000 character limit
Make sure you clearly articulate what your project is about, why it is important, and why you are the right team to create the project.
Even though you have a 1,000 character limit, we strongly recommend you try to make your description 500 characters or less. Brevity is almost always better. Three or four short sentences.
Avoid jargon or overly poetic descriptions. Use simple language to describe what an audience will experience in your project.
Highlight anything impressive that you or your team has accomplished that will help prove that you have the artistic, technical, and business skills required to pull off your project.
Give people a sense of why this project is important for you and the world. Why does this project need to exist? What does it aim to accomplish that nothing else currently does.
Example Project Descriptions:
BATTLESCAR by Nico Casavecchia and Martin Allais BATTLESCAR is an animated VR film starring Rosario Dawson that follows the story of Lupe, a Puerto Rican punk kid living in the Lower east side of Manhattan in 1978. An interactive coming of age story, memories are brought to life as the audience navigates through Lupe's journey. Get lost and found, get turned upside down in this wild tale of a runaway kid, her friendship with Debbie and how together they create Battlescar, a punk band born from the Bowery.
TERMINAL 3 by Asad Malik Terminal 3 is an interactive, augmented-reality documentary that explores contemporary Muslim identities in the U.S. through the lens of an airport interrogation. As viewers put on the Hololens, they step into the uncanny to directly interrogate, and determine the fate of, the hologram passenger before them. These interrogations become strikingly personal encounters that only end when the participant decides if the hologram should be let into the country or not—but there is a twist
A FISHERMAN'S TALE by Balthazar Auxietre Bend and twist reality in A Fisherman's Tale, the mind-bending VR puzzle adventure game in which being turned upside down and inside out is not merely a play on words. Playing as Bob, a tiny fisherman puppet, you live alone in your tiny cabin, oblivious to the world outside. When your radio broadcasts a storm alert, you have to get to the top of the lighthouse and turn on the light! But as you try to leave your cabin with the help of some uncanny sidekicks, you realize what's waiting outside is not at all what you expected... Break more than a couple laws of physics in mind-bending VR puzzles! Make it to the top of the lighthouse before The Big Storm, with the help of some uncanny sidekicks! Use your hands to pick up, throw, combine, and use all kinds of things in glorious fully immersive virtual reality! Toy around with your tiny little model lighthouse, inside a lighthouse, inside a... is that another lighthouse? Uncover the truth at the core of an unusually tall fisherman's Tale!
Add images that tell the story of your project.
Images must be JPG or PNG
Include at least four images in your gallery section.
Try to include a selection of images that show the full breadth of the visual landscape of your project. Do you have more than one look? Include at least one image per look.
Select images that show your main characters and locations.
While not a requirement, we suggest you mostly avoid images with text. For instance, don’t upload images from your pitch deck. The big exception to this suggestion is for movie-poster style images. We LOVE movie-poster style images in your gallery that show your project’s title, credits, awards, etc…
Add everyone who is actively involved in your project.
You need at least one person in your team section.
In general, projects with larger teams perform better. So make sure to include everyone in your team section who adds unique value to your project. Exceptions to this rule are projects that are truly being built by one or two people, in which case totally fine to just list those folks.
While not required, Pitch Decks are incredibly important. We recommend you read our pitch deck guide to learn more about how to make a great pitch deck.