A new multimedia contest has been set up to put talented young filmmakers and science communicators in touch with ATLAS.

The contest was conceived by ATLAS photographer Claudia Marcelloni and engineer Neal Hartman. The rules of the contest have been left deliberately vague, to avoid influencing the creative direction of the entrants. “We have very little description about what the multimedia should be,” says Claudia, stipulating only that, “We’re aiming high… I really expect to be surprised.”

The idea is that entrants produce a “multimedia project about ATLAS” which is under five minutes in duration. Their piece can be predominantly fictional or more documentary-like in its approach, but it must be based on or around the ATLAS experiment – from the physics and engineering to the human aspects of it.

The creator of the winning entry will be awarded a three-month paid “multimedia internship” at ATLAS in the autumn, when the LHC is fired up for the second time and the first collisions are seen. They will witness the excitement and exasperation of these intense months first-hand, and will document these unique moments in a second multimedia offering.

Part of the inspiration for the idea was the success of the LHC rap, according to Claudia: “It was able to educate and give the correct information, but in a very loose format that appeals to a young target.”

Getting young people interested in what’s happening at CERN is a priority for ATLAS, but communicating effectively with this audience requires a little thought. “[They speak] a very different language to the general public,” says Claudia. “They do things in ways that people in their 30s or 50s might not really appreciate.”

Claudia recognises YouTube as “one of the main effective media out there” for interfacing with young people. Its content is made up not only of home videos and TV clips, but also, increasingly, of quality original short films and works of art. Vimeo is another video-hosting site that has a reputation for more artistically inclined creations, such as the time-lapse movie of the creation of the ATLAS mural.

The closing date for the competition is June 15th.