A 2-minute movie about Ypsi could win you $150

I had a chance this evening to chat online with Teresa Gillotti, one of the coordinators of a local DIY video challenge. Here’s what was said:

Mark: So, what’s all this I hear about a local video competition?

Teresa: There is an “I love Ypsi” video contest going on RIGHT NOW! It’s open to anyone who hearts Ypsilanti and wants to tell and show their love story in 2 minutes or less.

Mark: And it’s related to some bigger initiative, isn’t it?

Teresa: It is – in a couple of different ways. The first is related to continued discussions of how Ypsilanti is perceived. The video contest lets folks with a relationship to Ypsilanti speak to their feelings about Ypsi, as easy or complicated as they might be.

The second connection is to the city-wide open house. Realtors with listings in Ypsi show the houses on the same day, at the same time, so that house hunters (and interested neighbors) can check out lots of different types of houses, and get a feel for different neighborhoods. In addition, we’re having a “home base” at SPARK East where house hunters can grab a cup of coffee and talk to residents and reps from the school district and police department to get their questions about Ypsi answered by folks who live in Ypsi. We’re shooting to have 20 houses open on Saturday, Oct. 31st from 10 to 2 p.m.

Oh, and there’s a third. EMU is holding Explore Eastern on the same day at the same time. This is where several hundred juniors, seniors, transfer students and their families come to EMU to meet with academic and admissions advisers, take campus tours and apply to EMU. We’ll be encouraging them to hop on a shuttle to Downtown and Depot Town so they can check out their future community.

Mark: And all of this is on Halloween?

Teresa Gillotti: It’s true (costumes not required). It wasn’t our first choice, but the connection with EMU’s Explore Eastern – and their marketing power (a mention of the Ypsi Open House event was sent to somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000-70,000 households) was a compelling argument for choosing the date.

Mark: In addition to this link to the Open House site, is there a website where people can find out more about the film competition, or the events taking place at EMU that day?

Teresa: Indeed. Details on the video contest which ends next week (Mon. Oct. 19th) can be found at the emYOU magazine site. I also forgot to mention the top three winners of the contest will pocket some cash!

1st place – $150
2nd place – $100
3rd place – $50

For Explore Eastern, details can be found here.

Mark Maynard: Have you received any entries yet?

Teresa: The guys from emYOU the Magazine put together a teaser video, as did the Ypsilanti Citizen crew. A handful of folks have promised to enter, but nothing yet. Hopefully this will encourage a few folks to pull out their cell phones, or check out a video camera from the EMU library (can you do that?) and have fun with this over the weekend.

Mark Maynard: And how will a winner be selected? Is there a panel of some kind, or will all of the entries be online, where people can vote for their favorite?

Teresa: People will get to vote for their favorites starting on Tues, Oct. 20th, and ending on Tues, Oct. 27th, at the emYOU magazine site. Winners will be posted there, as well as at Concentrate, and the Ypsi Citizen.

Mark: And, this is going to sound strange, but in order to win the prize do you have to live in Ypsi? Or, for that matter, even know where Ypsi is? Let’s say, for instance, that someone in my audience just wants to win $150 and puts something together using photographs available online, and the occasional fact from Wikipedia? Can that person win?

Teresa: It’s a fair question. I’d say that while there are very talented people out there, I would hope that piecing together fun facts and photos from the web wouldn’t outdo local talent. That being said – there’s no restrictions on having to live or work or own a business in Ypsi. I’m hoping the contest taps into the Ypsi diaspora, if you will. At least one person who has recently moved away is promising a video and it would be great to see movies from folks who have moved away, but still hold a torch for our fair city.

[Those with questions are encouraged to contact: gillottit@ewashtenaw.org.]

OK, so how’s this for a video Idea… I’d start by saying, “Hello, my name is Mark Maynard, and I love Ypsi because it’s the kind of place where someone who wins $150 would turn around and share it with his neighbors. I guess you could say, it’s a neighborly place.” Then, I’d explain how I’d buy a dozen pizzas and a few cases of root beer if I won the prize, and point to the place where they’d be disbursed the day of my victory. I know I’m not explaining it well, but it could be really good. And, more importantly, I think it could win.

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  1. Stan
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I think it’s a great idea, but I can’t help but think of all the possibilities. Like opening with me saying, “I love Ypsi because I don’t live on the street where an unarmed man was shot three times in the back by cops and killed.”

  2. Tim
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    This is a great opportunity for anyone that loves Ypsi…I was so excited to be a part of this project simply because I know that the people who live here are extremely proud of it. The “active” Ypsi community gets involved, especially when it comes to telling others (who don’t live here and have their own connotations about this city) how great it is, to them personally.

    I just posted the FREE t-shirt you get for entering the video contest on emYOU! The Magazine’s website: http://www.emyouthemagazine.com/index.php/i-love-ypsi-video-contest/

    **I think it’s rad. Mark, it could make a great piece for the upcoming Winter SAF! Just throwing it out there…

  3. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    What if I spliced together a video of the party I was at Saturday that had no live or amplified music outside of the house other than a small boom box, had only a mid-size stereo in the house, a 12 foot tall black curtain around the entire back yard where the party was taking place, were not selling booze, and was thrown and attended by folks well over legal drinking age (read: closer to 31 than 21) , and still got a ticket. I don’t know yet if the ticket they got was for a noise violation or what, but I think that footage of the Ypsi PD spotlighting residents clad in zombie make-up and fake blood as they walked out and headed home (almost all on foot or bicycle, mind you) would be priceless. Also, if we could have a cut away to all the actual crimes happening in the city at around that time…

    Ok, maybe that’s not the video that I would shoot to show all of the reasons I love living in this city, but it sure would illustrate something about us….

  4. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Add a local strip club / biker montage, and Mike Ambs has got this in the bag.

  5. Fred
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Someone’s got to get Iggy Pop to enter this?

  6. Woody Lefurge
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    How about starting with “I love living in Ypsilanti where you have to buy a $250 permit to win a $150 contest.”

    From Ypsilanti Citizen:

    Robb asked Barr if the film contest run by emYOU! The Magazine would require a permit. The contest asks residents to create a film promoting the city and post it on YouTube. The contest offers a cash prize. “The safe answer is, go apply for one,” Barr said … There is a permit application fee of $250 for filming on public property and $100 for filming on private property … The motion … was approved unanimously by City Council.


  7. Oliva
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, WL.

    Reading the Ypsi Citizen piece, it sounds like the idea began from reasonable intentions but got carried away. The city attorney couldn’t say for sure [“the safe answer’] if the fee applies in the case of the emYOU! contest.

    Wouldn’t the video contest, sponsored by emYOU! count as a school project?

  8. BrianR
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Allow me to set the record straight.

    There is no permit required to film in the City if the proposed project meets one of the following criteria:

    (1) Filming current news.
    (2) Filming for private or family use.
    (3) Filming for use in a school project.
    (4) Filming conducted by the City’s public, education and government access organizations, or by or at the direction of the City.
    (5) Filming for the transmission of live entertainment to large-screen
    monitors within a live entertainment venue.
    (6) Filming within a legally established commercial motion picture, television, radio or photography studio, so long as city resources are not required for such filming.
    (7) Video or multimedia broadcast on the Internet so long as city resources are not required for such filming.

    The EMYou contest doesn’t require a permit per (7).

    I proposed these amendments back in September and we adopted them on October 6th. I apologize if the Ypsilanti Citizen article misled you as to what Council actually passed.

  9. Oliva
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Brian, very helpful and clear this way.

  10. Woody Lefurge
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Number seven does make it sound more sane. Why was the city attorney confused?

  11. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the city attorney seemed very confused during the entire discussion of this ordinance. His idea seemed to be “let’s err on the side of caution, redtape, needless paperwork, extra expense to the taxpayers, and work that the city clerk really has no need to do..”

  12. Teresa
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    There’s a new entry up in the contest. Check it out:


    Last weekend to shoot your video!

  13. Brooks
    Posted October 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Exemption number seven originally read:

    “Filming for home-based internet broadcasting of opinions and other
    protected speech for non-commercial purposes so long as city resources are
    not required for such filming.”

    Was it edited to the above at the meeting?

    In any case, the EMyou contest won’t be affected because the ordinance doesn’t take effect until thirty days after the vote.

  14. Brooks
    Posted October 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Since I am getting ZERO response from the city let me clarify. I have a modest internet entertainment Web and DVD production company. It employs local talent and films at a variety of privately owned locations in and around Ypsilanti. It is a commercial production but has never required the assistance of “city resources.” However, most of our filming is done at a variety of locations and not at a “studio.” The ordinance is vague enough that I cannot get a definitive answer from any lawyer I’ve consulted. Here is my question:

    If the Girls Gone Wild bus comes back to town and only films within the confines of the Girls Gone Wild tour bus, collecting material without use of local government resources that is intended for Internet and/or DVD distribution, would they need a permit?

    Under this ordinance, is it possible for someone to film something that requires absolutely no investment of government resources but, by law, requires payment?!

  15. Brooks
    Posted October 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    And according to BrianR’s version of numero siete, I can film it as long as I broadcast it on the Internet but if I record exactly the same thing but don’t broadcast it on the Internet I have to pay a fine … excuse me … “fee”? WTF?

    I think I’m starting to see why five out of five attorney’s are confused…

  16. Teresa
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    The polls are open for the “I Love Ypsi” Video Contest.


    Thanks to all those who submitted to the contest!

  17. Oliva
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Well, I was going to write a last-minute plea to ask any interested readers to consider going to YouTube in order to see the little photo video “My Ypsilanti,” given that it never did appear on the voting page (I tried to get the emYOU folks to fix it so it would). But I just looked, and the polls are already closed. Some videos got hundreds of votes (one in the thousands), others a handful. They were all fun to see. (I admit I cajoled some nice people to vote for mine even though it was missing from the page–there was a title and a button to click on anyway. Thank you, nice people!)

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  1. […] when, in a fit of late night inspiration, I dashed off several questions to Ypsi City Planner, Teresa Gillotti. Well, I just got her answers, and I was sitting here, thinking about how to introduce the subject […]

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