tricksters_990x120 Video Contest News - Part 2 Video Contest News – Featuring News about Video Contests!

“Dumb and Dumber To” cameo winner

Did you know there’s going to be a new Dumb and Dumber movie?  Well there is.  Hopefully “Dumb and Dumber To” will resolve all the mysteries and unanswered questions of the original.  I’ve been waiting 20 years to find out if Sea Bass ever managed to find manly love in that truckstop bathroom.

To promote the new movie, the Farrelly Brothers ran a Vine contest and offered a walk-on role to the winner.  Contestants were supposed to recreate their favorite moment from the original film.  Apparently there are a lot of hardcore Dumb and Dumber fans out there because the contest got more than 2,000 submissions. Here’s the winning entry:

The mid-90′s are kind of a blur so I have zero recollection of that scene.  But here’s the original clip on youtube.  I think the contest winner’s butt shake was actually funnier that Jim Carrey’s.  And apparently Peter Farrelly felt the same way. Here’s what he said about the winning Vine:

“The guy who won, Trent, it wasn’t that he worked the hardest, it was the one that made us laugh the most.  Basically, because he grabbed onto something that nobody else had thought of and it really cracked us up. It’s when Jim Carrey, after he does the scene, walks up the stairs. He had this ridiculous wiggle in his step. I don’t know why he did it. We never thought about it, but when Trent did it, we cracked up. Of all the things to pick! We debated about it, because the other guys had obviously put a lot of time into, and he could have done his in 20 minutes, but we just had to pick that one because it made us laugh the most.”

Pretty much every single entry in this contest is super weird and worth 6 seconds of your time.  So if you feel like watching a whole bunch of homemade Dumb and Dumber Vines, head here:


The magic of apple boxes

Whenever I’ve got a few bucks to spare I’ll buy a new piece of production gear.  If I’m buying a book or something small on Amazon I’ll add on a roll of lighting gel or some clamps or an (empty) sandbag so that my order qualifies for free shipping.  And when I really feel like splurging I’ll get something bigger like a backdrop or a camera slider or some new lighting stands.  I’ve been doing this for a few years now so I’ve amassed a pretty decent stockpile of gear.  But one thing I’ve never bothered to buy are apple boxes.  Every time I hire a professional cinematographer, they show up with a backseat full of those things.  I never felt like I needed to have my own set but this little video has opened my eyes to the magic of apple boxes.  Most of this is pretty boring but the guy makes a cool point at 2:08 mark.   According to the apple box guy, if you have a full set of apple boxes you can stack them to reach any height to the inch from 1 to 27 inches.  So it turns out my 6th grade teacher was right.  Math IS our friend….

After the guy explains how to arrange the boxes to achieve the various heights, he goes on to list the technical names for the different ways to place an apple box.  For instance, a flat apple box is laid down “LA Style.”  Did you know that?  I did not.  But now I do….thanks to apple box guy.

I checked B&H photo and a complete set of apple boxes costs $127.  That’s kind of steep for one sheet of plywood and some nails.  Here’s a guy selling some homemade sets on ebay for just $79.99.  Man, maybe I should get into the apple box business.  It sounds like a pretty sweet racket.  I could build a whole set for about $15 and make at least $60 profit.  I could probably even skip ebay and just put up some fliers at the local film schools.  I’m sure there are plenty hipster film students who would be thrilled to spend some of their parent’s money on my hand-crafted, artisanal, deluxe Apple Boxes.

Sigh….I can’t believe I just wrote a blog post about apple boxes.  I’ve sort of got a case of blogger’s block and I figured I should try and “write through it” by blogging about the first semi-interesting tutorial video I could find on youtube.  Sorry about that.  I think I’m still sort of loopy from Saint Patrick’s Day.  Hopefully I’ll be back to my old self next week after all that corned beef and Harp leaves my system.

- gets a makeover

When I first got into video contests, I made it a point to try out all of the major contest sites.  I entered a Poptent contest, a Mofilm contest, a Tongal contest, a Zoopa and even a contest that was sponsored by the European site,  (it’s pronounced: eye-ka)  I remember that my eYeka entry was pretty darn good and it was easily one of the best submissions.  But ultimately it didn’t win any prizes.  All of the winners were from Europe and I got the feeling that my entry was passed over because my actors had American accents.  So I sort of assumed that Eyeka was primarily meant for European creatives.  Plus I wasn’t crazy about their layout.  It was a little confusing and it wasn’t immediately clear which contests were open to filmmakers from the US.  There are so many websites and so many contests that are just for Americans I decided it was bad strategy to enter contests where I had to compete with the rest of the world.  So I basically just wrote eYeka off and I haven’t entered one of their contests since 2009.

But Eyeka just got a makeover and the site seems a lot cleaner and more user-friendly.  So maybe I’ll have to re-think my old strategies.  Here’s a shot of what Eyeka’s new homepage looks like:

eYeka's new look

eYeka’s new look

eYeka has also added new social features like profile pages and creative scores.  So it sounds like they’re gearing up to become a bigger player in the online contest scene.  Check out their latest announcement for more details about the new


My 500th post plus an update about “my” Charity Water project!

I’ve got two bits of news to share today; first off, this is my 500th post on VCN!  This morning I signed into my blogging dashboard and noticed that my blog-odometer (blogdometer?) was up to 503 posts.  But I’m a weirdo who enjoys celebrating digital milestones so I went through some of my posts from 2012 and deleted three of them.  So according to wordpress, this is now my 500th published post.  Ha.  In your face, reality!  Oh sh*t wait a second….over the years I’ve run maybe a dozen “guest posts.”  So I guess technically this is my 488th post and VCN’s 500th.  Screw it.  Let’s just call this post #500 and move on.

My other piece of news is a little more exciting.  24 months ago I won first place in a video contest sponsored by Randstad.  They sent me $5,000 but they also offered to donate $5,000 to the charity of my choice.  I figured that unless facebook buys VCN for sixteen billion dollars, this would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me to do some good.  So I decided to send the money to an organization named Charity: Water.  They build wells in the developing world and a $5,000 donation was enough to fund an entire project.  A few days I got a package from Charity: Water announcing that the project had finally been completed.  Here’s a screenshot of of the online version of the report:



Is that awesome or what?  If you’re ever looking for a charity to support, I definitely recommend Charity: Water.  There are lots of great and admirable non-profits out there but the first and most important thing that a human being needs to survive is clean drinking water.  If you don’t have water, nothing else matters.  So even a small donation can literally help save lives.  For more info, head to


Project ED wants you to embrace the darkness!



It’s time to get excited people; Daylight Savings begins this Sunday!  When I was a kid, I hated “springing forward” because it meant I’d lose an hour of sleep the next day.  But now I’m a grown man who can sleep as long as he damn well pleases.  So I’ve come to love Daylight Savings Time.  A 5:45PM sunset can really cramp your style if you’re a filmmaker.  But once we spring forward we’ll get an extra hour of sunshine in the evenings.  And I suggest you make the most of that extra light by creating an entry for one of Project Ed’s new “Dark” contests.

This month Project Ed is looking for videos that define “Hapless and Hopeless” words like disheveled and gruff and “Bad Guy” words like villain and tyrant.  And they’re also looking for GIFs that define sickly words like fatal and haggard.  But I think their coolest March contest is their “Rhythm and the Raven” competition.  For that one, contestants need to create a video in which they recite, rap or sing some lines from Edgar Allen Poe’s macabre masterpiece, The Raven.

There’s lots of money at stake so you might as well put your end-of-winter ennui to good use and create a submission or two  Here are the links for some of Project Ed’s March contests:

Hapless & Hopeless video contest:  Top Prize:  $1,000

Rhythm and The Raven video contest:  Top Prize:  $1,500

Sniffles & Sneezes GIF contest:  Top Prize:  $200

Bad Guys video contest:  Top Prize:  $1,000

“Speed Chaser” wins Mofilm’s Chevy contest and airs during the Academy Awards

For probably the 10th year in a row, I forgot to watch the Oscars.  I went out to dinner and then I went home to watch the Walking Dead.  During the first commercial break, I flipped channels and realized that the Oscars were already half over.  I decided to stick with the Walking Dead because I needed to know if Daryl and Beth lived happily ever after in that abandoned country club.  Besides, I had already missed the one part of the Oscars that I was most interested in; the grand prize winner of Mofilm’s Chevrolet Oscar Program aired during one of the show’s commercial breaks.

The winning ad was “Speed Chaser” by Jude Chun, Eunhae Cho & Sunyoung Hwang of Korea.  It’s a really fantastic mini-film and I think it was a perfect fit for the Oscars.  Here it is:

Now that I think about it, this might be the best Mofilm winner I’ve ever seen.  I loved the Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetics and the whole thing reminded me of the goofy short films I used to shoot when I was a kid.  According to the director of “Speed Chaser,” his team wanted to make something “that celebrated the magic of movies.”  Obviously they hit that nail right on the head but this short is also a great car commercial.  The Cruze is “the star” and it gets a ton of screen time but product placement feels totally natural.

Chevy’s Oscar Program was one of Mofilm’s biggest contests ever.  It ran for months and there were a bunch of big runner-up prizes.   Four 1st place regional winners got $8,000 each (the regions were North America, South America, Europe and the Rest of the World) four 2nd place winners got $4,000 and four 3rd place winners got $2,000.  Head here for a full list of the winning ads.


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