Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sony Contest Part Dupe

by Chris McGinty

In April 1995, a full year had passed since April 1994. It’s a fact. Look it up if you don’t believe me. If you read yesterday’s blog, and then clicked over and read Miguel’s show history, you know that Miguel was a little disappointed in October 1994. It seems that even on the amateur video maker scene we weren’t being taken too seriously. We knew that we were better than much of what we had seen. I knew there had to be people who were better than us, and I’m sure that Miguel even felt so. What perplexed us is that aside from some acting issues, and a questionable job scoring the music, we made a decent video. But even still we didn’t place in the 1994 Sony contest, and Miguel had actually paid a $15 fee for inclusion in a video festival just to be told there was no room for it. There was certainly room in their pocket for that $15.

Miguel was not to be swayed though. We were going to make these contest and festival folks like us. In that way we set out to do our second 20 minute masterpiece, which we called “Repeat Offender.” Nobody got that.

In much the same way I referred you to Miguel’s Show History before, I’ma refer you there again, because he says it all.

This, amongst many other things, started me on a certain train of thought. I was always about self-publishing. I think a large part of this is that I’m not too worried about impressing people. This isn’t to say I don’t like impressing people. There is a huge difference.

My mom used to say that if you were good enough there would be someone who would publish you. But over the years I’ve heard plenty of stories that contradict this wisdom. The truth is that no matter how many publishing houses or record labels or movie studios, there is at least one story of someone who had to go out and do it alone because no one saw the talent, or saw the talent but didn’t have the funds to add yet another project to their budget, and some of these folks who went it alone did pretty well.

I started spouting off to Miguel about becoming our own media. Why were we running around trying to get the Sony judges to like us? Why were we worried about the opinions of video festival lackeys? Why were we worried about the editorial staff of Gear magazine, or any of the other things that we seemed to be worried about.

I say a lot of things that seem to be misunderstood. Look at Nathan’s comments that last couple of days and you’ll see this in action. I get that there are advantages to doing the contests, but there are not as many advantages if that’s all we do. I get that we all have our issues with doing personal goal stuff, but that’s why working as a team and being accountable to each other is important rather than blaming each other.

Miguel, as I remember, misunderstood my declaration of self-media to mean that we don’t ever worry about contests, or festivals, or newspapers, or magazines. It was that we don’t kiss ass, and we don’t sit around kicking ourselves because they didn’t fall over kissing our ass.

The sad fact is that we started doing many things that had we followed through for the last decade, would have built the media we were (or maybe only I was, I don’t know) trying to build. The audio show could have fit in nicely with the other podcasts. We had videos on Extranet TV, but weren’t paying attention when You Tube first burst onto the scene. And the old Two Dogs stuff I was doing would have worked well as a blog, since I usually wrote short pieces for my email list when announcing updates. It’s too bad. Because now years after the fact, the online video, podcast, and blog markets are saturated with people who just never stopped self-publishing and self-promoting.

I think this is all I have for Stupid Contests week. I figured Nathan could round it out with an explanation of the Whimmy Awards, since that would be perfect for the theme. I think I’d like to do theme weeks from time to time. So maybe when we have a lot of ideas along the same line of topic we can do this again.

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