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: email@example.com.]
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.