YouTube, HP Sponsor Film Contest

    October 2, 2007

When “On the Lot” ended, the winning director was ushered into DreamWorks by Steven Spielberg.  YouTube’s Project Direct can’t offer quite so admirable a prize, but participants will still be able to gain some great exposure.

 YouTube, HP Sponsor Film Contest
YouTube, HP Sponsor Film Contest

Their task: to create a two-to-seven minute film in which “[a] character . . . must face a situation above his or her maturity level.”  Also, according to YouTube’s press release, “[e]ach film must include the line ‘I demand an explanation for these shenanigans.  What do you have to say?’”

Finally, “[a] character must pass a photograph to someone else.”  The first requirements may just be there to provide some flavor; the last one is likely due to Hewlett-Packard’s involvement.

Following the submissions process, Jason Reitman, the writer and director behind “Thank You For Smoking,” will review the films and (along with a panel of judges) select 20 finalists.  The YouTube community can then vote for the overall winner.

And here’s where we get to the good stuff.  YouTube states, “The winner . . . will spend nine days as a guest of Hewlett-Packard at a top international Film Festival where they will attend special events, including a meeting with Fox Searchlight production executives.  The winner will also receive a $5,000 debit card and have their video played on the YouTube homepage in seven countries.”

Project Direct doesn’t guarantee a position at a movie studio.  But interested directors have from October 7th until November 9th to get their foot in this proverbial door.