Hello people. This is a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline to suggest a theme for this year's A.V. Club/Grolsch Parameter short-film competition. We've gotten some fun ideas so far, but we need more! See below for all the details.

It’s official! Parameter 2013—The A.V. Club’s short-film competition, presented in conjunction with Grolsch—is here. Last year was a fantastic experiment, with some incredible entries and a fun-ass party/awards ceremony to cap it all off. This year is going to be even bigger and better for many reasons, but let’s start with these two: The grand prize is now $20k plus a prize pack that includes a camcorder and more, and the competition is now open to residents of California. The contest will officially launch and begin accepting entries on April 16, 2013. The microsite is live now.


As you may recall, it works like this: We will provide a theme and a set of ultra-specific rules—a.k.a. parameters—that each entry must follow. (Last year, for example, films were required to include the word “homeslice” in a line of dialogue.) This year, though, you’re going to help us out even more.

YOU PROVIDE THE COMPETITION’S GUIDING THEME, YOU WIN $500: Last year’s theme was “an escape from everyday existence,” to give you an idea of what we’re looking for. Grolsch promotes something they call the “Grolsch occasion,” which they define as “those fleeting but excellent times when you can get away from responsibility and do something you might not normally do.” Think of that as a jumping-off point, and give us a theme to inspire budding filmmakers. Whoever inspires the theme will win $500 and our eternal gratitude (ARV of gratitude: $0). We are only accepting theme entries via e-mail, to parameter@theonion.com. See official rules for this mini-contest here. Entries are due by noon central time on Tuesday, April 9.


YOU SUGGEST SOME PARAMETERS, YOU WIN FAME AND NOTHING ELSE: We’re also soliciting individual parameters—the funny little rules that make this competition what it is—via Twitter. Just post with the hashtag #ParameterFilm and we’ll select some of the best to add to our own. We’re accepting suggestions now, and if we use your suggestion, you’ll be credited on the site and maybe we’ll send you a Simpsons toy or something. We're also only accepting entries until Tuesday, April 9. For reference, here are last year’s Parameters:

The film must include all of the following parameters:

  • Entry may not be a spoof of TV or film.
  • The sound of a popping bottle, but the bottle must be off screen.
  • Entry must be in color, and use only original music.
  • The line, “Wait a minute… The answer will come to me.”
  • The main character being boring at the beginning, but not at the end.


The film must include at least three (3) of the following parameters:

  • An animal (may be stuffed).
  • An ending with an explosion, metaphorical or literal.
  • One character referring to another as “Homeslice.”
  • The main character experiencing some kind of change.
  • A character playing a videogame at some point.
  • A character coming to an important realization, but not about a romantic relationship.
  • The director in a Hitchcock-like cameo (or larger role).
  • Astronauts, in which case, all characters must be astronauts.
  • A character must comb or brush his/her hair.
  • Set must contain a rotary phone that figures into the action in some way.