by Nathan Stout
In 2009 Rosa's Tortilla Factory (a restaurant here in the DFW area) held a contest called 'Crazy for Rosa's). I thought, hello, why not give this a shot. It's a local contest (to Texas) so there might not be that many contestants and I might actually have a chance.
I told Miguel and Chris about my plan and the we got rolling. Miguel declined to help us (I don't remember if it was an actual decline or the usual 'he never showed up') but Chris and I got on the ball. I read the rules and they said the video could not be more than thirty seconds. Now, I have had 'experience' with this particular rule in the past (I'll leave my EB contest discussion for another time) but I knew that thirty seconds is not a lot of time so my video would need to be fast and furious (as well as funny).
Miguel is real big on seeing what the competition is up to. When a contest rolls around and other contestants start posting their videos Miguel will frequently go check them out. I usually don't care to (no real reason). During this time Miguel is posting some thoughts about what others are doing (planning his own video I guess) and I am just keeping to my original vision. I am not wanting to focus on the food, family, and fun aspect of the contest but more on the food and fun part.
I get Chris over towards the end of the contest submission time frame and we shoot the video in less than thirty minutes. Basically I want something akin to Benny Hill. Footage that is sped up to give it that comedy feel. One of the other rules (besides the thirty second rule) was that the video had to have a Rosa's logo somewhere in it. We places a Rosa's cup in the background (and later in Chris' hand). I basically fed Chris his lines about how great their food and atmosphere is and we cut it into little bits and shot it from different angles. Chris had to be convincing because he had never actually eaten there. In the end it didn't really matter because there were several videos where you could tell the people who made them had never eaten there (career video contest people). I also had Chris do a couple of physical gags that would look amusing sped up. One thing I didn't notice while we were shooting it (and didn't see it until I was editing) is that Chris had on a True Crime video game shirt on. I think it might have hurt us a little bit because it was more like an advertisement for the game than the restaurant.
Soon I get the footage into the PC and start the editing process. By this point Miguel's video is up on the site and it looks real promising. He basically (mis)used his kid to try to win some cash. I kid! I kid! He did a rather touching story about her and she even narrated it. I really think it looked great.
I finished the rough edit of the video (only speeding up a couple of bits) but it was running about 1.5 minutes. I had to shave a whole minute off of it. Now, you wouldn't think that would be a big deal but when it can only be thirty seconds long, that is HUGE. In the end I did remove a few lines and sped almost everything else up.
I encoded it and uploaded it. In the end it was pretty good. I am pleased with it (although Chris likes to disown it). Here it is.
The people running the contest took EXTRA long to come to a decision. They kept telling everyone the contest results needed to get pushed back again and again. Finally the results came out... we didn't win. Some kids won with a rap song. Click the link, watch the video and then read the comments below (they are priceless). These doofuses won 5,000 for this turd in the waterpipe. Now the whole prize and 'narrowing' of winners is so confusing that I need to break it down for you...
There were 17 'areas' (where the restaurants were located around Texas and Oklahoma).
People could enter their video in ANY of the 17 areas.
There would be a finalist chosen from each of these 'areas'.
Of the finalist one would win grand prize of $5,000.
So if there are 50 entries in Highland Village (or where the hell ever) then 'the best' one was picked.
So if there was 1 piece of crap in Podunk, Ok then that one was in (defacto).
Their first mistake was to do this whole 'area' thing. It just confused everything so much! What I should have done was to look on a map and see which 'area' of the 17 was the smallest and submitted my video there. My chances would have been better.
Either way I still can't believe the rap video won the prize money! I mean come on!
Ok, back to the contest. There were 17 'Local Winners' who got a Rosa's gift card and a little camera/camcorder device.
But then AFTER Rosa's employees were kicking themselves with the whole debacle about the 'area' thing they decided they needed award more prizes. So they picked another 4 videos as 'honorable mention' winners. Miguel and I both won. We got like 75 bucks in Rosa's gift cards and tee shirts.
Now I am not saying my video was better than the rest but it was better than that rap!