Ryan Chartrand

What if it was you?
You that I needed all along?
It had to be you.

Hear that? Motion City Soundtrack is beckoning college students nationwide to direct their next video – for $12,000.

mtvU’s “Breaking the Video” is giving broke, music-loving college kids a chance to dig themselves out of debt with their own creativity by producing and directing music videos for some of today’s hottest bands. Motion City Soundtrack will pick their favorite film and make its way to the campus of the winning entrant to shoot the music video.

The video will premiere exclusively on mtvU and mtvU.com. And, of course, a behind-the-scenes “making of” will be broadcast as well.

Entrants first need to listen to the song “It Had To Be You” on Motion City’s third album, “Even If It Kills Me,” which was released Sept. 18. They then create “the best video in the world ever,” write it up as a video treatment (pitch) and submit it.

It is recommended that, in addition to the film, students submit more videos to support their entries and let the band know more about themselves. They should pitch the idea themselves on video, showing graphics and animations; the more students show through footage, the better the band will understand who the individuals are and what it would be like to work with them.

The winner receives a budget and the cash prize of $12,000, not to mention the ability to kick it with Motion City Soundtrack, whose videos are known for their genius concepts and quirkiness. (Check out “This Is For Real” or “Broken Heart.”)

To enter the contest, which started Sept. 10 and ends Oct. 15, you must be at least 18 years of age and an amateur filmmaker. Entrants can participate on an individual basis, as a solo entrant, or as a team of two people, as a team entrant.

“Breaking the Video” has already offered college students a chance to produce films for big-time bands, including Cartel’s “Say Anything Else,” O.A.R.’s “Lay Down” and Damone’s “Out Here All Night” music videos.

The last film created through “Breaking the Video” was the Shins’ “Sleeping Lessons,” created entirely by NYU senior Antonio Campos.

Motion City Soundtrack is an emerging pop-punk/indie band from Minneapolis, Minn. Since 1997, they have released a number of EPs and grew in popularity before releasing their first full-length album “I Am The Movie” through Epitaph Records. “Commit This To Memory” followed in 2005 and features vocals by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182.

Their singles include “The Future Freaks Me Out,” “My Favorite Accident” and “Everything Is Alright.”

The current members of the band are: Joshua Cain on guitars and backing vocals; Jesse Johnson on synthesizer; Justin Pierre on vocals and guitars; Matthew Taylor on bass, backing vocals and piano; and Tony Thaxton on drums, percussion and backing vocals.

They are currently finishing up a tour on the East Coast and will fly to Europe by the end of the month to play with Straylight Run and Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer.

To view the rules and submit your video, go to mtvU’s online film hub for top student filmmakers, www.bestfilmoncampus.com/contests/motioncity. Good luck brainstorming.

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