The Visual Information Production Awards (VIPA) program recognizes the best Department of Defense VI productions achieving the official communication requirements of a Military Component or subordinate organization. It operates under the aegis of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (ATSD/PA) and is administered by the Defense Information School as part of a portfolio of annual recognition programs known as the Communicators of Excellence Awards.
The principal intent of the VIPA program is to recognize the effective, purposeful use of the powerful, but relatively expensive, video production medium. Standards to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of VI Productions include: achievement of communication objectives; appropriate use of the video medium; creativity of the approach used to communicate; and the production value of the end product. All VI productions accepted for the VIPA competition must be nominated by their respective Military Component VI management office and comply with the approval, review, clearance, and distribution procedures in DoD Instruction 5040.07 “VI Productions.”
The DoD Visual Information Production Award program was created in 1998 as an outgrowth of DepSecDef Management Reform #9, which addressed the quality and purposefulness of audiovisual materials created within the Department. The competition was traditionally run on an 18 or 24-month cycle, but has now changed to an annual competition in order to provide more timely recognition for quality VI productions and to align the VIPA with the other Communicators of Excellence Awards programs.
This is the tenth competition and is open to VI productions created between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Entries to the VIPA competition must be submitted through their responsible Component VI Management Office and be selected as one of their top two productions in one of the five competition categories. The Military Services have the option of running component-level feeder competitions using similar rules and objectives, but these are not required as long as the Component VI Management Office vets no more than two entries in each category. Defense Agencies may submit their qualified entries directly to the DINFOS VIPA competitions coordinator.
The principal competition categories are: (1) Training and Education, (2) Recruitment, (3) Internal/Public Information, and (4) Documentaries. This year the generic category of “All Others” has been replaced with the new category of (5) Public Service Announcements (PSAs). Based on the formal recommendation of the Defense Production Management Group, awards are limited to these five official categories and judges will no longer give special recognition or creativity awards for productions not placing in an established category. The title with the highest overall point total out of the five first place winners is automatically named “Production of the Year.”
VIPA Awards are considered unit-level awards and are presented to the production activity that created the winning VI production. First place and the Production of the Year plaques will be presented during the annual Communicator of Excellence Awards Ceremony. Second and third place awards will be sent to the responsible Component VI Management Office for distribution or presentation.
Entries are judged by a panel composed of professionals from military and media organizations with expertise in the fields of media production, video communication, instructional design, and educational technology. To reinforce the DoD’s policy of only using VI Productions for appropriate communication objectives, the judges’ scores will be adjusted using the weighted scale below. As such, it is absolutely critical that the documentation submitted along with every VIPA entry includes a clear and comprehensive description of the requesting organization’s desired communication outcome (e.g. purpose).
- Achievement of Purpose (40%)
- Appropriate Treatment and Approach (20%)
- Creativity and Originality (20%)
- Production Value (20%)