Tongal and Project Greenlight Digital Studios want to produce the next great animated series

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Hot news from Tongal:  Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Tongal are teaming up to find and produce the “next great animated series.”  Right now they’re looking for an original concept that can be developed into a new show.  The judges are looking for “unforgettable characters, fun conflict, compelling storylines, engaging worlds, and clever points of view.”  Translation:  They want to create the next Rick & Morty.  God bless them.  Here’s the fine print:

Now through December 14, submit your idea in a one-to-three minute pitch video. Five finalists will be selected and awarded $5,000 each to create a “proof of concept” based on their original animated series idea. The public will have a chance to vote for the winning idea on tongal.com, along with a panel of industry judges. The creator of the winning series idea will then receive $70,000 to produce an 11-minute pilot episode based on their concept.

To submit a pitch, head here:  https://tongal.com/project/nextgreatanimatedseries

Tongal and LucasFilm want you to #GoRogue and shoot your own Star Wars stories

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I got my first video camera back in the mid-90’s.  It was already dark when we got back from Circuit City (R.I.P.) so I couldn’t go outside and film anything.  So I went through my old toy box and pulled out my original Return of the Jedi action figures.  I tried to make a stop motion scene that featured The Rancor and a Gamorrean Guard but of course it didn’t turn out.  I guess the failure really affected me because that was the first and last time I ever tried to make a Star Wars-themed video.  I wish I had kept at it; if I had, maybe I’d already have a decent entry for LucasFilm’s new “Go Rogue” UGC fan film contest.

The winners of this contest will get to live my wildest dreams and visit LucasFilm’s HQ in San Francisco.  They’ll also get to see their work on the big screen (plus an advanced showing of Rogue One.)  Before the contest was launched the sponsors actually teamed up with Tongal and had them create a series of videos that would inspire other contestants:

“In a celebration of UGC fan creativity, Lucasfilm and creative network Tongal have collaborated with a team of fans to create a series of stop-motion shorts all featuring the debut of key Rogue One products.”

The stop-motion in the Tongal films is really amazing.  I wish my Rancor fight scenes had been this smooth:



Here’s some more background on the contest, i.e. Tongal’s involvement.

The fan-made series debuting Rogue One toys brings together characters and vehicles from Hasbro, The LEGO Group, FUNKO, JAKKS Pacific, Mattel, and Disney Store as they try to track down the building instructions to the LEGO Star Wars Death Star set which have been misplaced by the Empire. The creative team was led by James DeJulio at Tongal, and the series was written by Kevin Ulrich and brought to life by stop-motion animators and directors Dan MacKenzie and Tucker Barrie. New installments will roll out throughout September.

“I’ve been a Star Wars fan my whole life so this is a dream project,” said James DeJulio, co-founder of Tongal. “It’s been amazing to see what an inspiration Star Wars has been to so many members of our creative community, whether that’s coming up with their own Star Wars storylines, or playing out scenes with Star Wars toys at home with their kids. I’m excited to share this first ‘Rogue Story’ with the world and hope it inspires other fans to share theirs.”

So are you feeling inspired?  If you are, you better finish your wookie suit ASAP because entries are due October 21st.  For more details, head here:  http://www.starwars.com/go-rogue-contest

Paqui Chips launches the most dangerous video contest of all time

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Back in 2012 I almost died while shooting an entry for a video contest sponsored by Charles Shawab.  I was filming inside a poorly-ventilated bouncy castle in the middle of July and the thing pretty much turned into an oven.  Even though I was over-heating I wanted to finish my shoot so I kept bouncing and filming.  After a few minutes I started to get dizzy and I realized I couldn’t stand up anymore.  I laid down and could barely move.  I was all alone and there was no reason for anyone to check on me.  I knew that if I didn’t crawl out the escape tunnel in the next few minutes I’d pass out and probably die.  Even though it would have been a hilarious and totally appropriate fate, I didn’t want to be the first person to die while shooting a video contest entry.  So pulled myself to the exit and managed to squirm out the kid-sized porthole.

And (spoiler alert) I lived.  (And I won the contest’s $10K grand prize!)  Which means that do this day, no one has ever died while filming a video contest entry.  But that may soon change thanks to Paqui Chips!  Paqui makes “gourmet tortilla chips” and ridiculously hot chips are their specialty.  The company’s new Carolina Reaper chips are apparently made with the spiciest pepper in the world.  These things are so hot that Paqui only sells one of them at a time.  Eating a Reaper chip is pretty much like getting pepper sprayed right in the mouth.  So of course the company wants people to film themselves while they eat one for the first time…..



I’m surprised that Paqui’s lawyers ok’d the #ONECHIPCHALLENGE because eating super-hot peppers can be really dangerous.  Although it’s unlikely, the Carolina Reaper Pepper is so hot that it could cause serious side effects…like death.  I don’t want to bum you out so I won’t post any links, but if you check google you’ll find some stories about people who died from eating (non-reaper) hot peppers or hot pepper sauce.  (They’re especially dangerous for small kids).  So pepper-related tragedies do happen every once in a while.

But one little chip probably won’t trigger any fatal heart attacks.  Still….you’d have to be at least a little crazy to enter this contest.  The grand prize is a year supply of (regular) chips and a nee GoPro Hero4 Silver.  So that’s a lot of risk for a medium-sized reward.

Now having said all that….I think I’m going to enter!  I mean hey, why not?  If that bouncy castle couldn’t kill me, one chip’s not going to do me in.  Plus I’d love to get a new GoPro.  And everyone who enters gets a free bag of chips!  So if you’re feeling as bold and as stupid as me, click here more details about the contest:  http://paqui.com/reaper/

 

Tongal wants to give you $119,000 to shoot a TV commercial for Seagram’s

Gotta drink 'em all! (responsibly)
Gotta drink ’em all! (responsibly)

I don’t usually post about individual Tongal projects but any contest with a six-figure prize pool is definitely newsworthy.  This week they launched the Seagram’s Escapes Video Project and it looks like it might just be the biggest video contest of the year.  (NOTE: Tongal doesn’t exactly run traditional “video contests” but their “projects” are close enough for me.)  Here’s a general recap of the contest project:

The goal of this project is to create a 30-second broadcast spot with a 15-second cut down for Seagram’s Escapes featuring singer, songwriter, actress Kelly Rowland.  Additionally, you will need to create 30-second broadcast spot along with a 15-second cut down, focused specifically on Jamaican Me Happy (Kelly Rowland will NOT appear in the Jamaican Me Happy video).

Got it?  One Tongal producer or team will create a 30 second commercial that features Kelly Rowland (one of Destiny’s Children!).  After that they will create a second, entirely new 30 second commercial for a specific Seagram’s flavor. Then the creator will provide 15-second cut downs for both ads.  So in total that’s two unique 30 second ads plus two short versions of those ads.

That’s a lot of work.  But trust me, Tongal is making it worth your while. Take a look at what this gig pays:

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No, those aren’t typos.  One Tongal member is going to get paid $119,000 to produce these commercials.  That’s a serious mount of money so this project will probably attract a lot of heavy hitters.  I’m sure most of Tongal’s top tier winners will submit pitches.  But $119,000 might bring in a bunch of new producers.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the project was awarded to some mid-sized production company that came out of nowhere.  So if you’re an independent filmmaker and if you know a semi-established producer you may want to try teaming up with them.

Hardcore Tonglers may have noticed that this isn’t Tongal’s only active, big-money project.  Right now they are also running an assignment for Labatt beer entitled Cheers to Hockey.  The creator that lands that gig will get paid a total of $153,000!!!!

This is really exciting stuff and I hope we see more of these “Super-Projects” over on Tongal.  Right now they’re running the Idea Phase for the Seagram’s project but you can begin submitting pitches on August 5th. The Pitch Phase in the Labatt project is already open and runs until August 2nd.  Good luck folks.  If you win either of these projects, please save me a 12-pack!

https://tongal.com/project/SeagramsEscapesVideoProject

https://tongal.com/project/LabattCheerstoHockey

Here is the MUST ENTER video contest of the summer!

Usually when I learn about a really juicy video contest, I try to keep the news to myself.  But today I leaned about a contest that is so gigantic and that has so many prizes I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share the details.  Even though it’s only June I think we can safely call this the Must Enter contest of the summer.

NOTE:  I don’t want anyone affiliated with this contest to find and read this article.  So I’m adding hashtags to certain keywords to throw off google.

The contest in question is Lo#tus Bakeries “Your P#erfect Kick” challenge.  I’ve never heard of Lo#tus bakeries but I guess they make little cookies that go with coffee and tea.  They teamed up with a soccer star named Ed#en Ha#zard (whom I’ve also never heard of) and challenged him to kick a soccer ball futbol through a tiny opening in a giant wall of coffee cups….



Now the sponsor wants YOU to film your own creative “perfect” kick.  Ok, I know what you’re thinking; soccer is dumb.  Yeah, it is.  But you know what’s not dumb?  A trip for 2 to London.  And you know what’s really, REALLY not dumb?  50 TRIPS FOR TWO TO LONDON.

That’s right: the sponsor is going to send 100 people to London to have a meet-and-greet with Ed#en Haz#ard.  For a free trip to England you can bloody well pretend to get excited to meet a soccer player you’ve never heard of.  Now, there are a few catches here; the first is that not all 100 people will win plane tickets to London.  It seems like the sponsors expect a lot of winners to come from Europe.  And those folks will only get their ground transportation covered.  But I bet Lot#us has enough money set aside to fly in at least 25 pairs of winners.  So if the judges really like your entry, they’ll be able to cover your plane tickets.  The other catch in this contest is that you only get one free night in a hotel in London.  So if you want to stay longer you’ll need to spend a few hundred bucks and/or pounds of your own.  But in a way, this is actually good news.  I think it shows that the sponsor expects a lot of winners to come from the UK area.  (and that would free up more travel money for winners from the US.)  So anyway, don’t think of this as an all-expenses paid trip to England.  Think of it as a highly subsidized trip to London.

Here’s some info about how the winners will be chosen:

“The winners of the Contest will be selected as follows: a jury, composed of three members including Ed#en Ha#zard  (or a member of the Ed#en Ha#zard management), a member of the Organizer and a member of T#BWA, will select 50 winners from all valid entries based on the quality, the creativity, the fun factor and the general appeal of the uploaded video. The selection of the winners shall occur during July 2016”

So basically you just have to shoot a “fun” video of yourself shooting a soccer ball.  And actually, you can enter as many times as you want!  So if you can think of 20 different trick shots you can go ahead and shoot 20 entries.

The deadline for this monster contest is June 30.  So you better hurry up and get kickin’!  You can find more details and a link to the contest site HERE.