Ever see a memorable Super Bowl commercial that inspired an idea for a creative ad, but you never knew where or how to get started? Well, now it is easier than you think.
Acclaimed Internet browser Mozilla Firefox has announced “Firefox Flicks,” a contest for aspiring film entrepreneurs interested in acting, directing, editing and producing to create a 30-second visual arrangement about Firefox.
There are big prizes, including $5,000 to the B&H Photo store, but in an e-mail from Firefox, co-founder Blake Ross said, “The real reward for students is to be judged by a panel of top producers, directors and advertising professionals.”
Some of the judges include Warren Zide (producer of “American Pie”) and McG (director of “Charlie’s Angels”).
“Students also have the most to gain by entering. Even if they don’t win, their work will be judged by the best producers and directors of our time,” said Ross, 20, an undergraduate student at Stanford. “This is a chance to launch a career straight out of college.”
Ross said college students were targeted due to their enthusiasm in promoting Firefox to their friends and family.
A winner for the contest may come from anytown in the U.S. and though many entrants apply from notable film schools such as UCLA and USC, Ross said that does not necessarily mean they will win.
“Firefox is a community project that hinges on the principles of a meritocracy, which means we don’t care where you’re from, how old you are, or just about any other data point except: How good are you at what you do?” Ross said.
Even though the contest is only for 30-seconds of film, it does not mean that the level of professionalism should be taken lightly.
“Because the barrier to entry with film is so high – producing just 30-seconds of quality footage can take 30 hours or more – I expect professional-grade entries from serious competitors,” Ross said.
Towards the beginning of the contest, Firefox officials were afraid only participants creating obscure technical (i.e. geeky) submissions would enter, but after receiving questions from interested students, that worry had soon disappeared.
“From the questions we’re receiving and the submissions we’ve seen so far, students are finding some very creative ways to sell Firefox to the mainstream,” Ross said. “We intend to broadcast the winning ad in mainstream venues.”
According to Ross in an e-mail, in December 2004, 10,000 Firefox fans independently conceived, funded and designed a two-page Firefox advertisement that ran in the front section of the New York Times.
“When December 2005 rolled around, we were eager to do that again-and what better medium to target than television,” Ross said. “Flicks are another chance for our community to demonstrate why the efforts of a real user always trounces the work of an on-the-clock design firm.”
Nearly 75 people have sent interest e-mails to Firefox, but many more are to be expected. There are a few thousand people on the mailing list, according to Firefox. Along with having their work judged by some of Hollywood’s top producers, film festivals such as the Vail Film Festival, Bluefire and Vidfest are where the best entries will be screened.
“Through ads, newsletters and media stories, word about the contest reaches approximately 10,000 new people each week-many situated in the heart of Hollywood. The contest winners will enjoy considerable publicity,” Ross said.
The deadline for Firefox Flicks is March 31. For more information, visit at www.firefoxflicks.com/adcontest.