Imagine my surprise at receiving an email informing me TAZM Pictures’ entry in the video contest, “A Family Struggles with Going Green,” sponsored by Reelinsights.com, was selected as the Grand Prize Winner! This marks my second attempt at the documentary format, which is a challenge to do well – at least I think so. The first attempt was on the Aschiana charity in Afghanistan. This was also the second video in which I collaborated with musician Dan Cooper. The first collaboration is still in Judging over at the Lonely Planet.
The contest was an interesting format, run to support an even more interesting business model for Snippies. The really cool thing is, if you take the time to read their instructions and FAQ carefully, they pretty much tell you how to do the whole thing – your job is just to find them the interesting people and viewpoints and assemble the pieces. In order for them to confirm a “potential winner” (which my film currently still is) you have to send them all the releases a documentary would normally require, in addition to 30 minutes of relevant, pertinent raw footage. The prize money is basically a purchase of this raw footage which has been highlighted in your video, which they then use for market research products. In other words, this contest is accessible to anyone who knows someone interesting, knows the basics of operating a camcorder, and can edit video. If you plan to enter one of their monthly contests (next month’s prize is $2000), wait a couple of months – I’m currently trying to figure out who is “the most generous person I know” (the theme of next month’s contest, which has already opened! Check it out!
To reinforce the point that you, too can win one of these contests, here’s the winning video: