» Posts Tagged ‘contests’

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I had a project selected for Power to the Pixel a few years ago and the event, which takes in London in October, was a great and educational experience. If you’re got a project that seeks to push the boundaries of a what a traditional film is — call it transmedia or interactive or cross-media — I definitely recommend checking out the submission details, which are below. Deadline is July 20 and it’s open to entries from all over the world; if selected, you pitch your project at the Pixel Pitch during the BFI London Film Festival, and the winner takes home a £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch Prize. There are also a few new prizes this year. More »

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The 2012 Guerilla Film Challenge (formerly the 48GFC) starts in a little more than a week — May 18, 2012, to be exact — and challenges indie filmmakers to write, direct, shoot, and edit a topical short film in 48 hours. There’s a $5,000 grand prize and other goodies, and I’ve got a discount code for you below. I’m also one of the judges this year, along with Mitch from planet5D, and we just recorded a podcast with Nick and Clint (the duo behind the contest), wherein we talk about, what else, filmmaking: More »

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The 2012 Guerilla Film Challenge (formerly the 48GFC) will take place the weekend of May 18, 2012, and challenges indie filmmakers to write, direct, shoot, and edit a topical short film in 48 hours. Nick and Clint (the duo behind the contest) are great guys and I look forward to judging the contest this year along with Mitch from planet5D (and others). Here’s the launch trailer and details on the contest — which has a $5,000 grand prize — as well as a discount code for any NoFilmSchoolers who might be interested in entering: More »

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The 2012 Vimeo Festival + Awards submission deadline is February 20th, 2012.  Judging from previous years, it looks like it has been a great event, and this year is shaping up to be another interesting outing.  Not only are the prizes enticing ($5k grant per category, $25k grant for the grand prize winner), but they have a great line-up of judges – folks like Philip Bloom, Steve James and Edgar Wright. If you’re looking to get pumped up as you prep your submission (which can be any original work that has premiered online after July 31, 2010, or hasn’t premiered at all), check out the 2010 “Best Video” winner and other goodies from past editions: More »

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A year ago I asked, “Is Amazon Studios the Future of Film or is it a Bastardization of Crowdsourcing?” If you haven’t heard of it, Amazon Studios is a kind-of-strange crowdsourced movie studio, wherein Amazon.com is asking not only for script submissions but also test movies (which most often take the form of animatics) as part of their ongoing contest. To me the whole enterprise is offputting, as I tend to like movies that are sui generis as opposed to movies that are voted into existence because of a popularity contest, but hey — the film business is in need of new ideas and no one else is doing it quite like this. So, what’s happened over the last year? More »

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When I was 19 I was awarded grand prize in an online video contest put on by a now-defunct site named FirstEye. My music video entry (shot on a Sony VX1000, before HD, 24P, DSLRs, and After Effects made this video look primitive) won me a professional Sony video camera, which I used to shoot several successive projects — before selling it and buying a newer camera (which I’ve since done several times). Winning that contest gave me more confidence to keep pursuing film as a bona fide career, and every project I’ve shot since has been with that camera or its successors — including The West Side. In my own experience, contests offer a great opportunity to jump start a career. With this in mind, the following is a guest post by David Hinds, from video hosting platform Vzaar. They recently announced this year’s video festival winners. More »

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Film/video equipment manufacturer ikan is running a short film competition in which they’ll be giving out $17,000 worth of equipment to winners. The contest is open for any entries 3.5 minutes or less that haven’t already been published elsewhere, and asks that viewers follow the theme “Where is the Missing Piece?” $10k of equipment goes to first place, $5k to second, and $2k to third (to go along with the exposure winners receive). Oh, and I’m one of the judges. Deadline is September 6th, 2011; here are the details. More »

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The Possible Futures Film Contest is now open for submissions of 1-5 minute shorts. I like the sound of this contest, as submitted films should “envision a new, positive, possible future for the world. One that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, peaceful and spiritually fulfilling.” The contest is put on by The Pachamama Alliance, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon (where, coincidentally, I shot a short doc several years ago). Here’s a video about the positive-themed contest, which runs until June 21st: More »

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Founded in 2005, this year’s 48 Hour Guerilla Film Competition will take place May 13-15. From the moment the challenge is announced, competitors have 48 hours to write, direct, shoot, and edit a short film. Every entrant is screened and the winner walks away with $5k; of course, the money is only part of the appeal, as the experience of making the film is the primary goal. Add it to your calendar if you’re interested: More »

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Openfilm’s second “Get it Made” competition (first one was here) is offering a $50k/$450k cash/financing prize to one lucky winner. If you’ve got a live-action or animated film (40 minutes or less) that you think has potential to be adapted into a feature film, you’ve still got a couple days to submit: contest ends January December 31. More »

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I wasn’t going to post this, because I doubt that TV dinner company Hungry-Man is of much interest to filmmakers (or anyone who cares about arterial health). But Filmaka’s current pitch contest, for 2-minute short stories incorporating Hungry-Man’s “Hungry Heroes,” includes a $30,000 production budget and a $10,000 cash prize. Hard to believe, but Filmaka’s jury also includes such filmmaking heavyweights as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Neil LaBute, and Paul Schrader.1 Here are the details for the contest, which is accepting submissions until November 22: More »

  1. I hope for their sake that these distinguished jurors are judging contests at Filmaka other than this particular campaign… []
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Time Warner Cable and IFC have been running a short film contest, which wraps up on Halloween (yes, in a few days — I’m a bit late with this). Four grand prize winners will be given tickets for two (including airfare) to this year’s Sundance Film Festival in late January, a $500 travel stipend, and “a Sponsor-selected video camera.” The contest closes at midnight on October 31st, so either get shooting or search your hard drives for shorts between 2-5 minutes; no particular subject or theme required. Here’s the official video: More »

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I always make it a point to say “check out the fine print” when I post contests or other opportunities here, but I owe much of my career so far to grants and other awards. Thus I think many contests are overlooked by the larger filmmaking community – so here are five upcoming contests I’ve found recently (and be sure to read the fine print if you’re planning on participating): More »

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Vimeo and I go way back, as I wrote a positive review of their service early enough in the game to be quoted on their front page for a while (this would never happen now, as they don’t need the help!). Their service has evolved tremendously since then, and now for the first time they’re running an awards competition with a $25,000 grand prize. Here’s my college classmate Blake Whitman with the announcement: More »

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Artists Wanted wants, well, artists. They’re currently looking for “your best photographs” and are giving away $10,000 cash and a year of free living at a $1.2 million apartment at The Edge in New York City, along with a Manhattan gallery reception and airfare to and from New York City for the event. Obviously this is going to be a highly competitive project with prizes of that caliber. Deadline is June 7, so if you’ve got some great photos, check out their blurb: More »

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This contest didn’t come to me from the most reputable source — I found out about it by a Google Adsense ad run on this very site. Regardless, it’s worth mentioning: Your Indie Film is a short film competition run out of Canada with a grand prize of $5,000. From the horse’s mouth: “There is no jury or panel, just film fans and filmmakers voting on the films. The film with the most votes wins… Voting starts on June 1st 2010 and ends on August 1st 2010. Once the festival is over the films will be deleted and the festival starts over again.” Simple enough, but here’s what I hate about these contests: More »

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Zooppa is an interesting site, deeming itself “people powered brand energy.” Wait, that sounds pretty… ugh. So basically it’s a bunch of people using their creative energy to create spec work for brands looking for original ideas? Don’t they have overpriced agencies for that? More »

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The New York Television Festival will be accepting scripts for comedy pilots 25-35 pages in length from June 1 to June 15. From NYTVF: “25 Finalists will have their scripts evaluated by FOX for a possible development deal with the network and one winner will receive $25,000 and a development deal.” Only open to residents of the U.S.; there is no fee to enter.

The NYTVF runs concurrently with Independent Film Week (a strategic but somewhat annoying scheduling move) this September 20-25; the winner of the FOX contest will be announced at the conclusion of the festival. $25k isn’t going to land you on a yacht, but if you don’t already have a foot in the door this could be a good opportunity; be sure to read the find print, however, as I refrained from submitting The West Side to a similar NYTVF contest years ago because of some draconian legalese.

Link: NYTVF Comedy Script Contest

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I’ve been working on an internet video serial for the better part of the past year (yes, despite avoiding writing about “starting a film career,” I am actually, actively trying). My once-a-month-at-best posting schedule on this site is likely due to the amount of time I’ve been putting into this project (at least, I’d like to think it is–in reality it’s due to any number of reasons, possibly 46).

A few weeks ago a contest came to my attention which seemed to be the perfect opportunity for our work-in-progress. The New York Television Festival and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace (the best hi-def movie download service, from what I’m told) are running a contest wherein would-be filmmakers submit a 5 to 15-minute TV pilot, and the winner receives $100,000. In addition to the sizable paycheck, said winner goes on to produce a six-episode TV series, he or she undoubtedly receives a good amount of exposure, potentially launches a film career in the process, and enters into unilateral negotiations with Iran.

My co-creator and I were understandably excited about this prospect. So it was with an elevated blood pressure that I combed over the submission guidelines, liking our chances more and more as I read on: the contest is open to all genres (good) and it’s judged by a panel on merit and originality rather than a populist (and potentially sophomoric) voting system (great). However, the final page of the agreement put forth the most draconian legalese I’ve seen in any submission guidelines:

NYTVF and the Designated Entities shall have the perpetual and exclusive right to exhibit, disseminate, or broadcast each entry (and any portion(s) or element(s) thereof) in any manner, media or format now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe. Each entrant agrees not to exhibit, disseminate, or broadcast, or authorize any third party to exhibit, disseminate, or broadcast, in any manner, media, or format, his or her entry (or portions thereof) and, by entering the Competition, each entrant irrevocably and perpetually waives any copyright and intellectual property rights in and to the entry, including, without limitation, rights of droit moral or similar rights which entrant may now have or may hereinafter become entitled to.

Basically: you can never show your entry anywhere else, even if you don’t win. As someone who’s participated in (and won, I should–or perhaps should not–note) some of these contests in the past, I’d never seen anything like it. You’re asking someone to enter their original work into a contest where it’s overwhelmingly likely that they’ll walk away with nothing, and even then you refuse them the right to try their hand at building an audience elsewhere? It’s like submitting a film to a festival under the agreement that even if your film doesn’t get in, you can’t show it at any other festivals. It’s patently absurd.

I called the festival to confirm this deal-breaking rule, and afterwards considered submitting a pilot anyway, guessing that they’d be unlikely to sue us if we later premiered a modified episode elsewhere (assuming we didn’t win, of course–for that kind of money it’s understandable that the winner would enter into an exclusive agreement). On the money side, $100,000 would be approximately $100,000 more than our current budget. On the legal side, I briefly considered consulting an IP lawyer. But on the content side, I realized that our first episode was already shot and was not meant to be an end-all-be-all pilot, but rather the first ten minutes of a serialized feature–not exactly ideal for this contest. So after some long discussion with my co-creator/writer/director Zack, we realized that our dream all along was to build an audience purely through word-of-mouth with a do-it-yourself approach to everything–the content, the website, the production blog, and whatever else there may be.

One thing’s for sure: because of digital video and the internet, there’s never been a better time to try your hand at truly independent filmmaking. It’s why I started this site two (long? short?) years ago. Stay tuned, because within a few weeks, Episode 1 of The West Side will finally be up (you can bet I’ll let you know the minute it premieres).