Tag Archives: video contests


Something good, just got a whole lot better.

After recently completing and submitting to MOFILM’s Walmart commercial assignment, my wife and I discussed with each other the total experience. We knew that at this point, it could likely be the conclusion of the experience and we needed to compare it to other spec. work we’ve done for various crowd sourcing portals. We determined that it was one of our best spec. creation experiences, and for a bunch of reasons. The two most important being: Even if we failed to sell anything to the brand, we still enjoyed more open communication channels between all three parties during production (MOFILM, Walmart and JCF), and secondly: the production grants from the brand/MOFILM allowed us to pay our talent and crew leaving only ourselves as the owners of Jared Cicon Films to work on a speculative basis. This increased level of risk-sharing does so much to increase the strength and value of so many assets of production.

We concluded that regardless of the judging outcome, we would definitely produce again for MOFILM.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the rock concert. With only a week to go before the scheduled announcement of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, Walmart informed MOFILM they were still in the judging phase and hadn’t yet determined a ‘best’ Walmart submission. They had as yet only narrowed it down to a top ‘3’. But wait a minute! The 1st place prize included a trip to Chicago to meet the brand, receive the award, attend events related to the Lollapalooza music festival, etc., and if Walmart hadn’t yet chosen a 1st place pick, how would they know who to send to Chicago?!? MOFILM’s answer? Send all top three creatives and a guest each to Chicago and let ‘the lot’ enjoy what was originally promised to only a single creative.

Since MOFILM contacted yours truly informing him his Walmart spot was one of the top three chosen by Walmart, Yeah, something great just got even better.

So the ‘King’ and Queen Cicon will be visiting the land of Lollapalooza later this week courtesy of the generosity of MOFILM. Air fair, five days and four nights accommodations, dinners, brunches, hobnobbing with Walmart executives and the MOFILM family, VIP passes to Lollapalooza music events, and whatever else MOFILM has up their sleeve.

OK, I’m gloating. And is it really ‘news’ that the king prevailed in his kingdom and won yet another video contest. Hardly. After all, it happens with such frequency that it’s not exactly headline material anymore.  What ‘is’ news though, is how MOFILM handled the situation. Kudos to them. Kudos to Walmart. And “here, here” to the evolving nature of crowd sourcing that seems to be of increasing benefit to the freelance creative as our role in an ever-changing advertising world becomes more appreciated and further defined.

The King


The King introduces: Sir Keith Hopkin…Duke of GoPro

You should probably watch this video before reading the blog post. The context will better explain the information to follow.

Every now and again a fellow creative produces something His Highness prefers to watch, even more than even his own content. Though infrequent, it does happen. After all, I am my biggest fan.

Through this post, I hope to introduce the reader to two things.
ONE: The GoPro camera that shot the footage in the above video.
TWO: The artist behind the footage.

BTW, this video was uploaded to Vimeo late last night (about 12 hours ago), and already there are indications it is going viral in a big way. More on that, later.

The GoPro is hardly new gadgetry. It’s been around for about two years now. Yeah, I know, that something which came out in 2010 can be considered not-that-new, still sounds absurd to an old fogey like me, but if our industry has taught us anything, it’s that technology waits for no one. Considering how fast things change in the imaging world, two years is a fairly long period. Over that time frame, a friend of the Kingdom, Keith Hopkin (Sir Hopkin , Duke of everything GoPro), has regularly shared with me, the many projects he’s executed with his GoPro camera(s). I usually get a video every month or so with Keith showcasing yet another application for the camera. I would bet, by now, Keith probably knows the limitations and strengths of the camera better than even the manufacturer of the GoPro camera themselves. When I go to the GoPro website I’m mystified why they don’t have some of Keith’s footage as the greeting video. I think you’ll agree after viewing/comparing the above video with what GoPro offers on landing page.

Check out these impressive product SPECS in a camera retailing for about $300:

30, 48, 60 & 120 FPS  |  field of View: 90°, 127°, 170°  |  720p, 960p, 1080p

When you factor in the camera’s rugged durability and the places/locations/sets in which you could take, shoot and abuse it (placing/things you would never think of going/doing  with your ‘regular’ gear), I’ve come to the conclusion that the GoPro camera will soon be a common piece of equipment in the the serious freelancer’s bag of production assets (go to the website and discover the myriad of applications). The images you capture with these babies are pretty darn clean. Though we may find ourselves beholden to our Panasonic-this-or-that, or our Canon-whatch-a-ma-callit, I don’t think anyone can argue that with the right story and for the right brand, shooting a :15 or :30 spot with the GoPro as a primary or ‘sole’ camera could be the ticket to setting our work apart from the competition. No, I’m not saying we replace all of the cameras we currently use and have come to trust, but if we want an extra paint brush and a custom mixed oil color that we can pull out of our taborets when the time is right, ……well….need I say more?

The King himself is seriously thinking about picking up the of these babies (HD HERO2). I don’t think we want to overuse this tool. We should be careful not to do that, but it’s my opinion that, as long as we stay true to our own unique styles of story telling, that despite it’s distinctive ‘look’, we needn’t worry about our work looking too similar to an equally equipped peer.

Keith Hopkin
If you want to see the work of a filmmaker who is constantly striving to think ‘outside’ the box, then go to Keith’s vimeo page.  Granted, lots of Keith’s recent work is GoPro centric, but don’t we always tend to stay true to something we fall in love with? Besides, it is people like Keith who do the homework for us in areas we all end up benefitting from. Keith has directed/produced in a variety of entertainment formats ranging from music videos to commercials to short films, as he has described to me he has been fortunate to work with, “many talented actors, comedians and musicians”.

Just so you know, at the time of writing this blog post,….. Keith’s ‘Dogs in Cars’ video was/is beginning to go viral. During an email exchange we had this morning, Keith shared he’ll be doing a Skype interview with a television show called ‘Right This Minute‘. It is a show that deals with breaking news stories and viral videos (as determined from my rather cursory investigation). They are interested in showcasing Keith’s video. Seems they picked up on the buzz that’s been building over the last 12 hours or so. These guys are fast, especially in light of the fact that Keith only uploaded his video to Vimeo last night. It’s kind of cool to witness through a fellow peer and friend, the minute-by-minute that occurs when the fuse of viral video is lit.

BLOG UPDATE: Click below to see Keith’s interview on ‘Right This Minute‘.

Below are some on-location stills from a recent video Keith shot for comedian Mark Malkoff. They show the GoPro camera in action.  And when you’re done here, be sure to go to Keith’s Vimeo channel to check out more of his work. You won’t be disappointed.

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