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Our Official Selection Committee is made up of 10 established local music, video and art professionals. The selection process is guided by Kelly Denson who only participates as an advocate for creating a program that celebrates the diversity of the Asheville Music Scene.  The way selections are made is based on a weighted scale. Below are the percentages and descriptions of categories upon which we judge the videos.


Soundtrack Weighted 30% of total score


This category is weighted heavier than the others and is very important to the overall video. The soundtrack is the song itself in the video. Aspects taken into consideration are:


  • Recording quality

  • Lyrics 

  • Vocals

  • Musicianship


Visual Design (Art Direction) Weighted 20% of total score


The look and feel of the film that contributes to the overall tone or message (includes some elements of the other categories) For MVA this relates more specifically to the visual aesthetic as created by sets, props, background and graphic elements created in post-production. Aspects taken into consideration are:

  • Set design

  • Use of created vs. natural environment

  • Props

  • Post-production effects/treatment/graphics

  • Attention to detail


Cinematography Weighted 20% of total score


The camera becomes the viewer’s set of eyes in the scene (very closely related to visual design because it has to do with the DP’s visual rendering of his vision)

  • Technical Mastery- framing, composition, focus, types of shots, use of light, etc

  • Picture quality - lighting, exposure, color balance give footage a professional look

  • Good shot composition and staging - framing/design of shots reflect professional expertise and aesthetic taste

  • Variety of shots - use of creative camera angles

  • Originality/Innovation

  • Artistry

  • Vision


Editing Weighted 20% of total score

  • Concept/story developed adequately to effectively deliver the theme or message

  • Well-timed cuts and fluid continuity

  • Graphics/ special effects

  • Color grading

  • Transitions between shots

  • Length of shots


Costume Design Weighted 5% of total score*

  • Uniqueness and creativity of attire of cast

  • How well the costumes coordinate visually with the video

  • How well the costumes coordinate with the concept of the video

*As most videos have little to no costuming, this score only adds points to those with costuming, but does not deduct points for a lack of traditional costuming.


A Note on Curating a show for an audience:

As a group, we are also trying to balance the styles of music and film to provide an interesting presentation to the audience as well as offer as many bands as possible this platform to exhibit their art. Often times, if a musician or band has more than one submission, only the best of their submissions will be chosen. This also benefits the artists as it helps to prevent a split of the vote between a band's fan base as well as allows for more bands to be seen at the event.

Additionally, extraordinarily long music videos (greater than 5 minutes) sometimes are at a disadvantage in the selection process as the number of videos being shown increases if the videos are shorter. 

The selection committee remains anonymous other than Kelly Denson to ensure that decisions are made based on the final product alone and the curation of the program. Kelly Denson is only a proctor in the decision making process.



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