Moga’s Mega Video Challenge winners

moga3One of the biggest and best video contests of 2013 was the Moga Mega Video Challenge.  If you’re unfamiliar with Moga, they make game controllers that hook up to Android smartphones.  Their Mega Video Challenge was one of the only contests that I entered last  year and even though I lost, I still have to applaud this company for running one of the best video contests I’ve ever seen.  In total, 1,600 videos were submitted and 325,000 votes were cast.  The contest was a massive hit and that’s because it was brilliantly planned and executed.  The competition was actually made up of 4 different contests.  Each week Moga announced a new theme and filmmakers had just 7 days to plan, shoot and submit their entries.  That might sound like a lot of work but Moga motivated contestants by offering some amazing prizes:  Each week TWO winners would receive RED Scarlet-X cameras.  (One winner was picked by votes and the other was picked by judges)  Most regular folks have no idea what a RED camera is but any good filmmaker would love to get their hands on a RED Scarlet.   So a lot of very talented directors and editors went all-out in their efforts to try and win one of those cameras.  And Moga did something else that was really smart; they hired a Youtuber named Freddie Wong to be the spokesman for the contest.  Wong runs an extremely popular channel about video production and VFX that has over 6.8 Million subscribers.  By hiring Wong, Moga was able to promote their contest directly to young filmmakers who already have a strong interest in creating videos with high-quality digital effects.

The “popular vote” winners aren’t that great (they never are) but the winners that were picked by the judges were all really cool.  Here’s my favorite weekly winner.  The theme for this round was “Dead Battery Agony” and contestants also had to include a video game reference, bacon and a musical instrument.

 Round Two Winner.  Prize:  Red Scarlet-X Camera.

After the first three rounds were over, the six grand prizes winners then had to shoot a final film.  The judges picked their favorite and the winning team received an additional $25,000.

Final Round Winner:  Prize:  $25,000.

Both of the videos I posted were actually created by the same team, TIZZYENT.  In addition to the RED cameras and the twenty-five grand, Moga also gave out tons of runner-up prizes.  You can see all the winning videos here.

How much does it cost to make the Crash the Super Bowl finals?

FritoLay has released the budgets for all five “amateur” commercials that made the 2014 Crash the Super Bowl finals.  As always, the ads that made the Top 5 had pretty hefty budgets.  This year the cheapest entry was Time Machine which cost $300 to produce.  Finger Cleaner was the most expensive submission and in fact, it’s the most expensive Crash the Super Bowl finalist EVER!  Why don’t you try and guess how much that video cost to produce and then scroll down to see the actual budget.  I’ll list all five 2014 finalists in order from least expensive to most expensive.

TIME MACHINE.  Budget: $300
Creator: Ryan Thomas Andersen.  Age: 28.  Current City: Scottsdale, AZ

OFFICE THIEF.  Budget: $1,500-2,000
Creator: Chris Capel.  Age: 33.  Current City: Valencia, CA

Breakroom Ostrich. Budget: $1,700
Creator: Eric Haviv. Age: 30. Current City: Atlanta, GA

COWBOY KID.  Budget: $5,000
Creator: Amber Gill.  Age: 34.  Current City: Ladera Ranch, CA

FINGER CLEANER.  Budget: $7,000 (U.S.)
Creator: Thomas Noakes.  Age: 27.  Current City: Sydney, Australia

As I’ve said before, Finger Cleaner is a pretty hilarious commercial.  But it’s also very professional-looking.  I wasn’t surprised at all when I read that it cost $7,000 to produce.  In fact, the only budget that surprised me was Time Machine‘s.  I thought it would have been a little more expensive.

And that leads us to a fact that FritoLay definitely tries to downplay; true “amateur” productions have pretty much zero chance of making the Crash the Super Bowl finals.  The judges in this contest can’t pick ads that aren’t TV quality.  And even though professional-quality production and post-production tools have gotten much cheaper, you still have to hire (or at least feed) a bunch of talented people who know how to use that new technology.  That might sound kind of unfair, but hey…who said the world of advertising was fair?  It costs money to make a commercial that’s good enough to air during the Super Bowl and in a way, you gotta respect the folks who are willing to take such a big gamble and sink so much of their own money into their submissions.