OT: "THE TRAILER" (Project Imagination Contest)

Soniclight wrote on 3/30/2015, 8:01 PM

=== LATER EDIT ===

Contrary to my initial intent, I will NOT enter this contest.


As their banner what-it-is puts it:
"Imagine if a movie trailer
Created by you could inspire
A Hollywood Film."

Perhaps old news for some here, but just discovered this Imagination Entertainment/Ron Howard & Canon sponsored contest. Started in late Feb. 2015, deadline is April 29, 6 p.m. Eastern U.S. Standard Time. They even have the options for those with little or no video/film-making experience to edit uploaded footage or use their rather simple online NLE-ish editor. Or as most of us would do, do one's own NLE editing and submit as finished product.

I don't know if I have the time to do this, but I bet some of you would do a great job.

THE TRAILER - Project Imagination


Soniclight wrote on 3/31/2015, 4:39 PM
No takers?
C'mon, there are some video/film-making veterans and geniuses here who could pull one off in their sleep. :)

So allow me to rephrase or re-keyframe the point of this FYI about the contest:

--- IF you were to consider making and submitting a trailer, what would be your subject-story and film category be?
ushere wrote on 4/1/2015, 7:17 AM
i'd be expecting to be paid to do it ;-)

(seems like a easy trawl for fresh ideas).
wwjd wrote on 4/1/2015, 9:10 AM
I'm editing a trailer for a "great" idea right now... just didn't post up about it. But, I'm entering.

It's an action/drama/sci-fi about the changes in a society that becomes stranded on the moon after the Earth's oxygen is destroyed via cosmic event.

Or maybe a drama/mystery/romance/action, it will be about a single, jet setting salesmen who flies through an electrical disturbance, to discover he suddenly has a wife.

I have yet to finish feature writings, but the outlines are completed and coherent.
Soniclight wrote on 4/1/2015, 5:57 PM

Nice job though as you know, the total length has to be 60 seconds or less -- this sketch runs 1:17 min. :) As you said, you haven't finished it so though one can't even tell what the "main event" is yet, you're probably working on that.

BTW, at the end here is pretty good article on making good trailers. Some of it is moot since it deals with already cut film, distribution, etc. But since I did study (self-study with books) screenwriting back 15 or so years ago, one important point this article brings up is the use of the classic Act 1-Act 2 - Act-3 dynamic into the trailer. As it points out, not all films go by that, but it's a framework that literature and film has used for a long time that works.

Since the whole trailer thing is new to me, I also looked up various Top Trailer of All Time type stuff. A few seem to be always among the top no matter where. I've bookmarked a handful to study and perhaps steal/adapt some of their unique visual styles.

Oh, and just out of curiosity -- is that you playing "the lead"? :)
I'm going to have to in some way due to no-budget -- and having only an old DV tape Canon HV30, I'm going to have to get creative in post - lol.

The Art of First Impressions: How to Cut a Movie Trailer
Soniclight wrote on 4/1/2015, 7:07 PM
PS: One thing that is bugging or confusing me about this contest is that the Terms specify that "The Website" somewhere defines format, file size etc. When I go to the upload page, I see no specifications of any kind. Maybe they show up once one is uploading, but I don't want to do a test upload of something, i.e. a 15 sec. test render of a misc. title just to go find out what happens. And have it automatically entered in the contest... Though one can probably delete one's upload/s.

I'm planning on calling Canon to see if I can talk to someone in the department that is spearheading this joint project, but that may not bear any fruit. If you have explored or found out what the format/codec/file size specs are, let me know. Thanks.
johnmeyer wrote on 4/1/2015, 9:56 PM
The only trailer I ever did was for a student film some friends of mine did in high school back in the 1960s (a horror film, of course). I recently transferred the film for them, and couldn't resist creating a schlock trailer. Unfortunately, it is too long for this contest.

wwjd wrote on 4/1/2015, 9:58 PM
yeah that is me as the "lead". I'm not really an actor, but when I'm the only one doing everything, I'm always convenient to work with. hahahahaha! I've got two actors for the next one.
I'll have to strip it down, speed it up, which is good. I'm making these trailers for me really - sort of proof of concept: film scene 1, testing looks etc, so submittting is just a fun aside for me. Not to worried about winning.... many other way more skilled people out there deserve to win.

Thanks for the links, I'll check it out and try and improve the product.
Let me know if you get anymore info.
I'm a big fan of Ron Howard and have been excited to see his company sort of testing talent waters like this, and the previous efforts they did.
Soniclight wrote on 4/2/2015, 1:38 AM

My, my... what a silly-taking-itself-kinda-sorta-maybe-maybe-not-seriously (and must have been fun to make) trailer.
Definitely high-school boys-will-be-boys ethos and, uh, punchline/title humor. :)
Soniclight wrote on 4/2/2015, 1:47 AM

It's late, so no long pontifications, but just wanted to say that you do/did pull of the acting part. :)

Same here, BTW, the male "lead" is moi, and I'm scrambling to find someone to play what few seconds-scenes of my younger female counterpart. If I can't find someone who fits the bill, I'll improvise with stills or purchased stock footage and one-liner "dialogue" voice-overs with a friend of mine (she has a great voice and dabbles in music with poem voice-overs).

As to contacting Canon and getting more info on the aforementioned, it may go nowhere, but I'll try. (Better make a Post-It right now for I keep remembering to call too late past their business bed time -- I'm in California/PST, they are on the East Coast/EST.)
PixelStuff wrote on 4/2/2015, 8:41 AM
Regarding the "top trailers" of all time kind of thing, I think my favorite is probably the original (2002) Spider-man trailer.

This one:
Soniclight wrote on 4/2/2015, 3:25 PM

Update on my attempt to contact Canon:

Called their corporate HQ and was referred to the project's home page where a "Contact Us" in a site menu was IMO rather cryptically hidden, hence I didn't see it; it's the three horizontal white lines in black square at the upper left corner of the site. At least, that's how it appears on a computer. So if you or anyone else has questions to send via their online form, that's where it can be found.

Below is what I sent them (bold added here, not in text-only version sent to them), and I decided to touch upon a couple of other issues while I was at it.
Hopefully they will respond with clear answers/clarifications.
wwjd wrote on 4/2/2015, 11:07 PM
I was easily able to trim down my JET LAGGED scene, making it flow a lil better and adding some words to explain just a LITTLE more.

Now, I will see if I can find the missing upload specs....

Nope... can't find that info on the site either. Sent them a HELP message asking for the details. Kind of a REALLY IMPORTANT oversite.
Soniclight wrote on 4/4/2015, 1:34 AM
HMMMMM.... Ushere is/was right this IS a troll for ideas.
Not only that, drilling down into the Contest Rules, check this out:

"No entrant will have any right, title or interest of any kind in or to the Film or any right to any credit, approval or compensation of any kind in connection with the Film, and each entrant waives any claim of any right, title or interest of any kind in or to the Film and any claim for any credit, approval or compensation of any kind in connection with the Film. Each entrant and Contributor must execute such releases, licenses and other documentation as Sponsor requires with respect to the entrant’s Trailer."

In other words, take a hike. We can steal you blind, not give you a penny or credit whatsoever. Talk about lack of even an modicum of graciousness.
I thought Ron Howard was a good man and Canon a company known for its corporate integrity, social responsibility, etc.

Methinks I may have to pass... :(


I decided to send Ron Howard a respectful yet direct, candid letter via his legit/verified FB page voicing the above in more life-personal, detailed and applicable-to-all entrants terms.

It probably will be a complete waste of time, but I wanted him to see it from the perspective of many -- those looking-from-the-outside-in with regards to big Hollywood business and those with an entire life of commendable success and wealth.

They may lose sight of the aspirations and dreams of many thousands of "the little people" who enter his Canon-sponsored "Imagination Project" contests.

~ PSK a.k.a. Another Don Quixote (in this instance)
wwjd wrote on 4/4/2015, 1:59 PM
yes, I may not bother as well. I plan to MAKE my Jet Lagged movie with or without corporate assistance, and have no intention of signing away any of my creative rights. Unless there is 7 digits behind it :D

This one really looks like it is an advertising thing more than a skillset thing: upload a bunch of photos or clips FROM YOUR REAL LIFE, press a button and make a trailer out of it, inspire us to make a SHORT FILM... maybe win a lens cap.
Soniclight wrote on 4/4/2015, 3:38 PM
The only copyrights one retains is to the trailer itself -- which is moot considering that anything written and produced using it as the keystone idea, "take a hike" still stands. I pouted for a while, but like you, I may still continue with the making my own trailer, and then using it conjuction with a treatment and contact a director I know.

The trailer is actually a good exercise in filing down the the core essence, ethos and feel of the overall story--while of course still keeping a sense of mystery to make the audience go and see the film. Or in my case, as a kind of Powerpoint presentation of the vision of the film.

So after I stop licking my wounds (more or less there, though I'm still disappointed in both Howard and Canon), I may just dive in, take my time and make something I would feel proud of.

In short, make some champagne out of of this particular non-opportunity lemon. :D
wwjd wrote on 4/4/2015, 5:16 PM
if nothing else, this forced me to re-evaulate the CURRENT "trailer" I'm working on, to see if I can tighten it up. So, that is great.
Soniclight wrote on 4/4/2015, 7:23 PM
wwjd -- Do you have a treatment and/or in-progress or finished screenplay for your story?
wwjd wrote on 4/5/2015, 12:20 AM
Nothing finished, just the outlines. I plan to go with the basic 3 act layout, and, for example, the Jet Lagged teaser is a very condensed version of the 1st act - missing all the introductions, character other actions, the whole setup. I shot it guerilla with a go-pro and a shot list "script", and it worked like I wanted: showed what I wanted to entice, and I didn't have to rent a jet plane! hahahhaha The budget was set at $0.00
It's a bit of a Twilight Zoney, drama, romance with some airplane action that directly affects the plot. But I have yet to fill in ALL the scenes, and WRITE it out in Final Draft. It has to be intriguing, entertaining, touching, exciting and sellable, and if it doesn't nail all that, it will be shelved until it can. :) It does some things I haven't seen in movies before, so I can not share at them at this time. I filmed the teaser/trailer as a proof of concept for myself, testing the look (somewhat glowing, soft, angelic) and it worked for me within my limited skillset. :)

Currently working on "The Moon People" teaser/trailer, again, zero budget, condensed intro scene explaining the setup for the rest of the story. Also just an outline and am having trouble building a crescendo for the ending. The ending "does something", but it is more matter of course, than exciting... but I think I can put that onto the antagonist's sholders and get something expected, yet not predicted going.

I've been making Teen Cop to learn to edit, use a camera, but those are not good writing practice... probably more damaging than helpful. :D Ready to move on to better, REAL stuff!!!

The Moon People (teaser/trailer?)

(old edit pics)

What are you working on?

Soniclight wrote on 4/5/2015, 2:35 AM
To answer your question, I'm not working on anything for a while. The story idea has gone through various incarnations and frankly, due to my anxiety condition that sometimes hits me really hard, I have to drop everything and deal with essentials. Meaning I got all excited about resurrecting my film idea, but reality sets in and I can only do so much.

Wrote a 5-6 hour TV format mini-series that was kind of a fusion of action-adventure/hi-tech/sci-fi metaphysical thriller between 1999 and 2000 or so and I got stuck in the end of Act III, lost confidence. And then 9/11 happened and the story kind of died as out-of-date. The possible revamp as film would include the essential trajectory but be more woven around what I also can't divulge (we are so protective of our babies, eh?). :)

So it will all remain a maybe dream for now. Hence bowing out.
Whatever the case, I wish you well in your endeavors.

~ Philip
wwjd wrote on 4/5/2015, 9:51 AM
yeah, you too, man! Never give up on your dreams, but maybe it is just not tripping your trigger at this time. Maybe it will ignite again, or maybe you'll move on to new, cool things. Just do whatever you love in this little life. :)