Ok, so as of 12:14 am we’ve received four entries for the film contest, making it an official contest! I must admit that I’m a bit surprised that we haven’t received more, considering the incentives: make an interesting and meaningful short film, get a screening of their work at the Colonial Theatre during the Sphere College First Anniversary Celebration, make a bit of cash ($150/$75/$25), and perhaps add that all-important “line on the resume”: 1st place winner of the Sphere College Short Film Contest. It’s not over yet, though. The contest is accepting submissions until 11:59:59pm EST. And the most recent submission demonstrates that a valid entry doesn’t have to be an elaborate production.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re delighted and excited to have the entries we have so far. We just had different expectations. It’s all a learning experience for all of us. Jesse Crater and I worked through the details of the contest months ago and did what we could to get the word out. Our thinking was that when we advertised by posting on filmmaker websites and craigslist, and sent out notices to many faculty members in film and media programs in the Philadelphia area that the word would get propagated. Perhaps it did. We just thought more people may like to submit an entry considering the incentives. But this is probably more of a statement about what it takes to get the word out about things. Like I said, it’s all a learning experience.
And we’re getting another learning experience in the process: things change and we have to learn how to change with them. (See my previous post, Transitions and Balance.) In the current case, we had planned for the winners to be determined by viewer ratings on YouTube. Then YouTube recently changed their ratings format to a simple Like/Dislike, making comparisons more difficult. And it appears as though viewers must vote in order to see the numbers, which introduces bias.
So we’re faced with making a decision about how to determine the winners. And, of course, we want to do justice to the efforts of the filmmakers, so we will have a discussion about how to fairly determine the winners. That’s just the way the world turns, and we’ll turn with it and hope that those who submit will be understanding. I think they will.
In the meantime, perhaps we’ll see more entries before midnight tonight, and in any case we’ll have a great time at the celebration. Mark your calendars: Tuesday, April 20 at the Colonial Theatre! 6pm reception, 7pm program, 7:30 film contest winners, 8pm Living in Oblivion. Come celebrate with us!