Tag Archives: poptent

MOFILM bankrolls a VCK contest submission.

Hear ye, hear ye!!! The VCK (aka Jared Cicon Films), applied to MOFILM for a production grant to help offset production costs for a video to be submitted to one of their contests, and the award was granted! Pretty cool huh? Although it makes me feel pretty special (and it surely does), the truth is, it happens all the time at MOFILM.

MOFILM issues up to 10 production grants per assignment (ranging from $500 – $2,000.00) to creatives who demonstrate the talent, will and track record of producing quality content, as they pitch/propose to MOFILM.

These Production Grants are intended to raise the quality of the assignment submissions by increasing production values. The grants may be spent for items ranging from, paying for pro talent, buying/renting legit props, buying/renting equipment, etc. Basically, most anything that ensures the brand can get a better, more ‘usable’ video at contest conclusion.

FYI, MOFILM is similar to crowd-sourcing models like tongalZOOPPApoptentGeniousRocket, eYeka, etc..

Why didn’t I do this earlier?
It’s funny how comfortably self-sabotaging we allow ourselves to be in our daily/weekly/yearly routines. Never reaching out, rarely willing to truly explore and try and apply new things. Case in point: Over the last several years I’ve seen countless adverts and articles for the MOFILM brand, and never took the time to ‘really’ check out their offerings. It actually took one of MOFILMS’s representatives, (Kerry Gaffney), to finally spur this royal clydesdale into drinking at the watering hole. I didn’t realize how dehydrated I’d become.

What caught my attention?
Kerry Gaffney (MOFILM) posted a comment in a recent VCK blog:
It can be easy for the people organising the contests to forget that entering isn’t free, even if there is no ticket price to enter per se, making a decent entry costs time and money for [a] result that isn’t guaranteed.

These are courting words for any ‘available’ freelance creative, and they definitely got my attention. I can’t understate how important it is to the freelance creative to hear from the crowd sourcing portal, that they understand the financial plight of the spec-producing freelancer as we regularly and repeatedly create and give away the life blood raw material of the business model…for free.

OK, back to my particular dealings with MOFILM.
What’s cool about the grants is, even if my submission is not chosen by the brand, as long as I faithfully follow the script/pitch I submitted to the grant committee, deliver the video as promised by deadline, and can produce reciepts for my expenses, MOFILM will still honor the grant and pay me the $2,000.00 grant to help minimize my losses.

How’s that for a crowd sourcing portal shouldering some of the risk of speculative content creation? It makes me feel like MOFILM is a ‘real partner’ in what I am trying to accomplish in my filmmaking career. Please, anyone, correct me if I’m wrong here and offer an alternate to MOFILM that provides equal or better risk-sharing. I hope, sooner than later, there become many.

Just so you know what we’re talking about here. I originally submitted a grant request for $3,500.00. I read the creative brief, provided a 3 or 4 sentence synopsis and a fully fleshed out first draft of the script (though a fully drafted script is not mandatory to pitch a project, I would suggest you do it. It will say a lot more about you and your ability to get an idea across.) I provided a list of items the funds would be allocated for: props, wardrobe, talent, craft services, labor fee for editing hours, etc..

MOFILM countered with a grant offer of less than what I requested. The reduction was primarily the result of disallowing payment for labor hours spent at the editing bay. It was explained that these hours are part of the ‘creative’ what will be awarded if the brand finds value in the content. It is one of the assets I must be willing ‘risk’, as I create on spec.. MOFILM did however approve of compensating for talent fees, crew fees, craft services, props, etc., all of which will markedly increase the realism of the finished spot. In the end, MOFILM agreed to a $2,000.00 grant. I accepted the terms. Though this will not pay me for any of my time or creative (editing/writing), it will surely allow me to employ tangible elements during production that will assuredly help to create a more polished national quality message.

This is good for me. This is good for MOFILM. This is good for the Brand.
This is good for the future of freelance film creators everywhere.

Let’s say I win the assignment and mine is the video purchased by the brand. Along with winning the top prize level $8,000.00 (in addition to the $2,000.00 seed money – $10,000.00 total), MOFILM will fly myself and a guest to Chicago, put us up in some nice digs for 4 days, and treat us like VIPs as we are shuttled to special events associated with the Lollapalooza Music Festival. Events will include a screening of our commercial (along with all other MOFILM awardees’ videos), where we will personally meet the brand representatives who purchased our content.

How’s that for making immediate and direct connections with brands as we grow the roots of our commercial production careers? I’d say it’s more than just a bit awesome.

And this ain’t no cheesy infomercial. After being purchased by the brand, if the commercial airs on television, MOFILM is starting a program that will provide for substantial additional residual payments for the creator of the content, and also for the talent that acted in the spot. If you want to read more, and you should…click here.

As of today’s date there remain contest opportunities relative to the Lollapalooza event at MOFILM. Brands associated with the contest include: Chevrolet, Walmart, Campbells Soups, Play Station, and Sovereign.

Similar to sites like poptent.net, you needn’t receive grant money to enter a contest at MOFILM. In fact, the best thing that could probably happen is for you to win a MOFILM contest without a grant. From that point forward, you would definitely be a big blip on the MOFILM sonar, and getting future grant money would likely become a whole lot easier.

I apologize for sounding like a commercial for MOFILM, and it is not lost on me that I am in the throes of the Honeymoon period of the contractual relationship between them and myself. As there is no perfect crowd-sourcing model, there will likely be stumbling blocks that need to be navigated, but so far I am sold on the the MOFILM structure/model.

I’ll be blogging about my experience with MOFILM as it unfolds over the next few months and my gut feeling tells me I’ll have more good things to report than bad. On it’s face, IMO, MOFILM represents the best opportunity for our community, relative to compensation, risk-sharing and freelance career advancement. If it’s not already, MOFILM should be included in your crowd-sourcing rolodex as a strong option when you embark on spending your most precious creative assets.

The King


Poptent and the Superbowl

Congratulations to Remy Neymarc and Andrew Neymarc and everyone involved with Poptent’s Dannon OIKOS Greek Yogurt Superbowl Commercial Broadcast. What a great story with even greater implications for our freelance creative community. I would so love if Dannon’s spot scored right there with the Doritos spots on the USA Today Ad Meter poll. Even more awesome would be if Dannon barely edged out Doritos for high ranking in the top five. I say this, not because I wish Doritos ill. I say it because in this particular instance there is potential for enough publicity for everyone. In fact, IMO Doritos stands to get more than the normal coverage if there is some additional ‘special’ story involved. ‘Crowd Sourcing Crowding Madison Avenue‘ is quite the nice story line. What better way to demonstrate it than on the biggest TV advertising stage the world has to offer.

If both companies rate high in the USATAM, and if Dannon is a close second to Doritos, it may slip through the cracks of the media, as once again Doritos beats all comers. If however Dannon scores high and beats out Doritos, Dannon stands a much better chance of catching the attention of the media. The resulting story would be that ‘crowd sourcing’ is on a meteoric rise and something that mainstream brands need to take a serious look at en masse. Ultimately, we all (in the freelance/crowdsourcing fraternity),  would stand to benefit in a big way and in the very near long term.

I would have loved to have been a visitor to the Dannon set to see what kind of lighting, camera and production techniques Remy and Andrew employed. I loved watching the YouTube video and dug some of the diffusion techniques they had set up, from what I could tell. I would have also loved to re-connect with John Stamos. I had the pleasure of working with him during a week of shooting on the Warner Brothers lot back in 2006. Despite what most of you here in the Video Contest Kingdom have come to know His Highness for, on the W.B. ER set, my work was limited solely to ‘acting’. In fact, the ER experience occurred just prior to my changing careers path from acting to a more comprehensive production career. In my brief traditional acting career I was fortunate to have enjoyed success enough to appreciate the importance of writing and producing ones own content if controlling what you are part of is a priority.

I would bet that this experience with Dannon and Poptent was quite the education for the Neymarc brothers, considering their admission of being self-taught and their relatively young age. (Remy, 21 yrs. and Andrew 23 yrs.). It’s the kind of experience that can help propel talented professionals to the next level. What a great resume addition. BTW, when you get a moment you should check out their website, NEYMARCVISUALS.

Now I have even more reason to watch the Superbowl. I wonder if Dannon knows when it will broadcast. I know when I was a finalist in the Crash The Superbowl contest they let us know the winning spot would air as the 3rd commercial spot immediately following the opening kick-off. At any rate, I will be glued to the USA Today Ad Meter Poll immediately following the game to watch as the final scores are tabulated and posted to the website. This is honestly, very exciting stuff.

To check out some of the behind the scenes action, Danny Winn suggested I post the correlating YouTube video. I thought that was a brilliant idea.

The royal crown is dipped to Dannon, Poptent and the NEYMARC brothers.

The Video Contest King