Thursday, June 03, 2010

Do You Really Want To Win This Competition?

It seems to be the rage to run video/film making competitions. Make a video, write a script, everyone's doing it. Heaven's, I've even been suckered into entering one or two for the fun of it.

But sometimes, you have to wonder what's really going on. Take the latest one from American Express in partner with the Tribeca Film Festival. The My Movie Pitch offers a grand prize of your "pitch idea will be turned into a short feature film....complete with a dream indie budget." Only problem is, it's somebody else's dream!

Read a bit closer, and you find that, the 60 second video pitch is the beginning and ending of your involvement; the film gets made by "movie professionals selected by Sponsor." Read the small type and you find that the winner has absolutely nothing to do with the film:
Short Film: Sponsor, in connection with Tribeca Enterprises LLC, plans to bring the Grand Prize Winner’s Movie Pitch to life by making it into a short film (of up to approximately 40 (forty) minutes) (“Short Film”), to be produced and directed by movie industry professionals selected by Sponsor. Grand Prize Winner will have no input on any aspect of the Short Film. [emphasis mine] Complete details will be provided at time of Grand Prize notification.
So you make a 60 second pitch, and get your friends to vote for it...and what you really win is a trip to New York. And a computer/camera/and editing application valued at $3,500. Where's the fun in that?

I'm tempted to pitch a movie about some guy that wins a competition, someone else steals the prize, and he spends a miserable time in New York alone...except that such a pitch might contravene at least two of the hundred or so competition rules:
  • 3. (e) Cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products or other people, products or companies;
  • 3. (h) Cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate;
I'm so depressed....

Amercian Express: My Movie Pitch

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