Hmmm, curiousity got the better of me and I went to the convention to see which version of the "Ah My Scooby Doo" would be shown. To my surprise none of my contest entry videos were shown.
Actually, I showed the "Kentucky Derby" parody in the Pre-show ahead of the contest, and there were some good giggles here and there. Now, oddly enough, the energy of the room DROPPED a little during one certain fan-service-y clip (the huge-glands girl in the bikini at a finish line.)
This validates my theory that strange though it may seem, the crowd (as a crowd) is actually more conservative than they would admit if interviewed as individuals, and why judges panels over the years still often tend to skew toward entries that are squeaky-clean "G" even when we are a PG or PG-13 event.
Just because I wasn't going to attend meant that the videos should be removed.
The judges selected a playlist on 24-July-10, Unless an entrant reveals in a bumper whether he or she intends to attend, there is no way the judges would know to 'burn' any particular entry based on attendance - and that's truly NOT a factor in which videos get picked. Four winners this year came from across one or another ocean, they did NOT attend, and they will be sent a prize and a convention swag-bag.
Besides, I'm nearly 50 years old and only have windows movie maker.
FWIW, I am 47 and I use an old version of AE (5.5) and I just got PRE ver 8. You can buy Adobe Premiere Elements 8 in a combo pack with Photoshop Elements 8 for less than $200 at Target. I think I paid $169 with a $30 rebate knocking it down to $139. Vlad Pohnert and Brad DeMoss are highly accomplished AMV editors who are well into if not on the backside of 'middle age' as well. I really don't think age has anything to do with it, except us older folks may tend to make references that the younger crowd doesn't get. (Vice-versa applies on THAT!)
Aging is no place for wimps; your eyes and ears don't do what they used to, but maybe you can see some issues in new ways because of your accumulated wisdom, and create a message which is engaging in a unique way.
You can also dig up and re-use old classic jokes the young-un's haven't heard yet...
Imho, WMM should be viewed as training wheels on a bike - its video output quality is mediocre at best, and very easily surpassed by 'lite' versions of the more powerful editing programs out there. (Sony Vegas, PRE, AE,) and personally I sometimes use Hash Animation Master ($79.)
Getting out of WMM and into any of these other programs will up your video quality, so your videos won't get weeded out so quickly, and you have a better chance of getting up on the screen. "Kentucky Derby" was VERY original in its audio source - THAT get you props and instant advantage over every other AMV that used lame-ass sappy, syrupy drama/romance songs (and we got about 18 of those) plus anything else that simply was NOT funny enough (for the Random Amusement category.)