I used to have a lot of love for Poptent. That site basically saved my ass a few years ago. Back in 2008 I was working for an AV company when the economy suddenly crashed and burned. Most of our clients were big banks and credit card companies and by the fall most of them were in freefall. By the spring of 2009, I (and about 30 other AV techs in Chicago) were out out of work. My company had laid off guys who had 20 years of experience so I knew there was no way in the world I’d be able to get a new AV job any time soon. So after a few months on unemployment I started entering every big video contest I could find. Eventually I discovered Poptent and compared to the crappy contests that most companies ran on their own, the Poptent contests were actually fun and fair. I think I made about $10,000 during my first 9 months on Poptent. Here’s one of my winning videos from 2009. I won $3,500 for this Coors Light ad remix:
Now as you might have noticed, I uploaded that Coors Light video to my personal youtube account. That used to be against Popetent’s rules and Terms of Service but there’s no need for me to worry about getting my Poptent account suspended because my Poptent account doesn’t exist anymore. And guess what? Neither does yours. Last Thursday Poptent.net (and their PR site Poptent.com) quietly went offline.
Everyone saw this coming but I was a little surprised that the site just blinked out of existence. An official heads up would have been nice. I think it was really sloppy and disrespectful that the staff didn’t at least send out an email to let their members know this was going to happen. As I said, Poptent didn’t let filmmakers upload Poptent videos to third-party sites like Youtube or Vimeo. Poptent videos were supposed to stay on Poptent. So I’m sure a lot of filmmakers lost a lot of their work when the site went down. I just checked my personal website and all of the Poptent videos I embedded there have been replaced with a 503 Service Unavailable message.
But a few thousand missing videos is nothing compared to a five hundred thousand missing dollars….and that’s allegedly how much Poptent still owes some of their members and employees. It sounds like someone has started to send out partial payments to some of Poptent’s recent prize-winners. If Poptent owes you money, please let me know if you’ve gotten a check recently. You can leave a comment below or you can email me at VideoContestNews@gmail.com.