NTV Moneymaker: Short & Long Contests


Here we have two different video contests: One is looking for 30-second videos where you simply make a joke about current events, the other, for 5-minute “films” about characters struggling with issues outside of their maturity level. Lowbrow and highbrow. And as the Writers Guild of America expands it strike to include the prohibition of guild members working in “new media,” this might be the perfect time for you scabs budding videographers to get your foot in the door.

Stale V presents Comedy News Contest

Think you can be as funny as Jon Stewart? Here’s your chance. The online video channel Slate V, a branch of the Washington Post-owned (WPO) web magazine Slate.com, is hosting its first video contest. If you’ve got a camera, thirty seconds, and a penchant for witty political repartee you could come away with $500 and have your video punditry showcased on Slate V’s site. Slate V staff will select the finalists and Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer will choose the winner.

Launched on June 25th, Slate V has consistently offered up quality political commentary, though their site is still lacking in the user-interface department (where is my search function!?). However, with Current TV relaunching itself as Current.com on Oct. 15th and GOOD Magazine‘s inspiring video series continuing to grow, the niche market for short-form socio-political video commentary is getting quite crowded.

Slate V’s “Comedy News” contest opened today and runs until Friday, Oct. 26th, a paltry 16-day window, so get your camera out quick and start submitting.

H-P, Fox Searchlight, and YouTube present Project:Direct

Hosted by an unlikely trio of corporate giants, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Fox Searchlight (NWS), and YouTube (GOOG), the Project:Direct competition is targeting young Spielbergs. It’s asking for short films, two to seven minutes long, that include three simple elements:

  • A character facing a situation above his or her maturity level.
  • The line of dialogue: “I demand an explanation for these shenanigans! What do you have to say?”
  • The passing of a photograph.

Emceed by Jason Reitman, who is promoting his forthcoming film from Fox Searchlight, Juno, the competition looks to share some of the wealth and connections of Reitman’s birthright.

Upload your video through YouTube and you could win $5000 and a trip to “a major international film festival” to bump shoulders with Fox Searchlight executives. Reitman and his peers will narrow the finalists down to twenty films and then hand it over to the public, who will vote for the grand prize winner on YouTube, where, once chosen, it will also be featured. The deadline for this competition is Friday, Nov. 9th.

Looking back at Fox’s track record with user-generated competitions inevitably brings us to Fox’s partnering with Steven Spielberg and their much hyped American Idol-for-cinephiles, On The Lot. The show garnered middling ratings and lukewarm critical reception. During its run, the show had a navigable and comprehensive online presence where viewers could see the competing filmmakers’ projects and get behind-behind-the scenes information. But once the show wrapped in August, the official web site was all but shut down, destroying the forums and online community that had been fostered. So much for the interactivity of Fox Interactive Media properties.

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