» Posts Tagged ‘contests’
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 »
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 »
- I hope for their sake that these distinguished jurors are judging contests at Filmaka other than this particular campaign… [↩]
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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).