Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DFW is the heart of North Texas

by Nathan Stout

In 2009 the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition held a contest called CannesGestion Film Festival. A video contest where the contestants let everyone know what drives them crazy with North Texas roadways and ways to improve them. Top prize is $5,000.

The finalist and winner's video would be shown to the state meeting in Austin as well as have the spot broadcast on TV one time.

This time I was in high gear to win this one. This whole contest was for just one geographic location so I knew my chances would be pretty good (hopefully).

My scam was this: I was going to produce several videos and submit them under different names to ensure that all my videos got a chance. I was afraid that if I submitted 4 videos under my own name some might be discarded for the lesser prizes since one might place. This is how my video distribution went:

Nathan: I submitted this for my first video. It was an interview style video where I talked to my coworkers about the issues they encounter driving in the DFW area. I took the camera to work and asked my Help Desk guys to get in front of the camera and tell me their horror stories. I also got Stacy Hopkins to do a little bit as well. She went on to be the landlord character in Season 2. Here is the contest entry.

Candice: I submitted a video through my wife so I could put out a video of my driving through Fort Worth that is sped up like 2000 times. It was shot for Season 1. I simply used some new titles talking about the traffic woes of the area and viola! New video. Easy peasy. Here it is. You might also like to see the original video that I had in Season 1.

Candice: She also submitted the best of all the videos (in my opinion). A video that utilized the camera and AfterEffects to it's fullest. I even got one of the directors at my work to do the narration. He had a deep booming voice. It was a sappy kind of piece that talked of the importance of clear roadways for commerce, health, and well-being. I took the day off and drove into Fort Worth and basically sat at busy spots off I35 and I30 and shot traffic. I also drive around and too pictures for some of the still shots. I then used some royalty free music I found on the Internet and added it all together. Here it is.

Chris: I submitted the final video through Chris. Originally I planned for this video to be of much higher quality. I shot it with the crappier, older camera (so there wouldn't be too many similarities between the different videos). I basically shot down onto a piece of paper and drew with a marker while narrating about the troubles I have while driving in the DFW area. The video looks horrible and I kept messing up the dialogue and having to re shoot. When I finished filming and had the footage in the camera I gave up on a coherent idea and simply slapped all three bad takes on top of each other so it got this blurred effect. I added some silly music and (in true Nathan fashion) sped up the footage for comedic effect. Here it is. If you notice it looks alot like what I did for the opening of Episode 2 of Season 1 of According To Whim. You will also notice it looks a whole heck alot like my EB video contest entry opening (with the same music too)!


I had my videos submitted and ready to win!


Let's go visit Miguel shall we? You know even though Miguel is 'part of our group' he always does things on his own instead. This contest was no exception. Miguel had this idea of doing an animated style comedy bit with 2 characters; Nat and Craig. Miguel got me to do the voice of one of them (I never figured out who was Nat and who was Craig). My character looked like one of the village people and spoke like a sailor. The intent was 'cussing is funny'.


Miguel did a speech about traffic and my character was bleeped out constantly with his rude responses. It's rather entertaining and he should have made reoccurring shows with these characters, I think they would have been real hits. Here is the video. Miguel did reuse Nat and Craig in a later contest called Car 2 Can. It was basically a 'hey fool, clean up after yo'self' type of message contest. Here is that video.


So one day (a while later) Chris gets notice. You won 2nd place in the TRTC Video Contest!


What?!


That video?! That was the crappy one. How... Why... What???


So Chris has to go accept his $500.00 award at the TRTC meeting in downtown Fort Worth. Now let's get this clear, Chris had never even seen the video. When the video was show to the audience at the award ceremony Chris was seeing the video with the audience for the first time.


Chris goes up there and accepts the big fake check (I wish they would have let him keep it, it would have been better than the $500.00). Miguel showed up and took video of it happening. Here is the whole sham as it happened!


I guess I SHOULD mention the grand prize winner while I am here (I guess). Another 'video team' from the DFW area (that I had such high hopes for when I first saw them) won with a video that didn't really address any of the topics of the contest. Once again I am not sure how this actually won. Never the less here is the video and here is the acceptance video. Miguel has a theory that the big winners featured loud yelling and that's what won it for them... interesting thought.

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