Tim Lorang Blog

The Changing Role of Video Contests

Posted by Timothy Lorang on Fri, Oct 01, 2010 @ 06:07 PM

I’ve been working with Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs on a scholarship called the Spirit of Service Scholars Program. One of the strategies we decided to use was to generate video content with a video competition. We teamed up with ZOOPPA.COM and you can see the results on the Spirit of Service Scholars Competition Page.

I’ve been involved in video competitions as both a participant and administrator since my ITVA days in the mid 1980s. There have been a lot of changes.

Logistically managing a video contest has drastically changed because of digital video and the internet. As an administrator I no longer have to deal with stacks of U-Matic, VHS and Beta tapes mailed to my office. Although I miss the pizza fueled judging parties we had to organize where a dozen video professionals watched 3 minutes of 30 tapes then filled out paper scoring sheets.

Videos are now uploaded online and the judges can view all the entries from their own computer.

In the past only “video professionals” could enter contests. This was mainly because you had to work someplace that had the equipment to make the videos. Consequently most video contests concerned themselves with professional themes such as “Best Corporate Informational video under 30 minutes” and “Best editing for a filed news report.”

Now that your typical High School Student video producer has better equipment then I had access to for the first half of my professional career the pool of talent has proliferated to everyone with the interest to participate. Because of that the types of contests have changed.

There are still professional competitions such as the Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences or the Telly Awards. But even the Telly Awards has greatly increased its categories and this year they are introducing the People’s Telly Award Presented by YouTube. If you go to video contest aggregation sites like Online Video Contests, Videomaker, Vidoop, and the YouTube Contest page you’ll see video contests for causes, commercial products and just for fun. These are the biggest change in the nature video of contests, who participates and why the contests are held.

In the next blog we’ll talk more about how contest can be used.

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