Saturday, July 14, 2007

Do you have video of an Illinois Vacation you've taken this summer (any time after April 16, 2007), or are you planning on taking a vacation to the "Prairie State" by August 31st of this year? If so, show your stuff with a video of your time in the state. The video must feature an Illinois attraction, whilst demonstrating your video prowess.

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism is sponsoring a skill contest until August 31, 2007 offering four Grand Prizes of a $2,500 Shell Gas Card, each one representing a year's worth of free gas (they actually used a specific formula from a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with that amount... though it was done two years ago, so these figures may no longer quite apply). This contest is void in AK, AZ, CT, HI, MD, ND, NJ, VA, VT, and where prohibited by law. This is an amateur contest and is not open to those who have been paid for their artwork, videos, or written work in the past year. There is a limit of one entry per person, per household.

Contestants must supply proof of a two-night stay at any Illinois motel or hotel along with their entry, as well as a video release form and model release forms for any recognizable individuals that are in the video.

Videos must be original work with the contestant holding all rights, and must not have been previously published or entered in any other competitions. Entrants must submit full name and address with the video. Required length is at a minimum of thirty seconds, with a maximum of three minutes. Formats allowed are MPEG, AVI, and MOV, with a maximum file size of 20 MB.

Entries can be fully themed ("Family Fun", "Sports", "Road Trip", etc.), in documentary form, or in the creative venue of the entrant's choice, as long as it complies with the contest rules (no profanity, etc.) Some things that one might also choose to feature in the video could include:

State Flower: Native violet

State Tree: White oak

State Bird: Cardinal

State Mineral: Fluorite

State Animal: White-tailed deer

State Insect: Monarch butterfly

State Fish: Bluegill

State Motto: "State sovereignty, national union"

State Song: "Illinois"

Videos will be judged on the following criteria:

Creativity - 25%

Originality -25%

Ability to Inspire and Inform Others about Illinois as a travel destination -25%

Depicting the Magnificence of Illinois - 25%

The four highest scoring videos will win the contest. In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest score in "Depicting the Magnificence of Illinois" will win.

Enter by mail, or online HERE

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Olay Body" is sponsoring a contest open to female residents of the fifty United States, and the District of Columbia, who are twenty-one years of age or older. They are looking for a video, two minutes in length or less, telling them "Who is your shining light? Is it your best friend or someone you have a special friendship with?" They then ask you to "Describe why and how she lights up your life". The light may be a relative or friend.

Grand Prize winner walks away with a trip to New York City, accompanied by the subject of her video. Round-trip airfare and ground transportation are included, along with a spa visit and a $1,000 shopping spree for the winner! (Apparently, not for the video star... maybe she'll have to wait in the hotel for a while... oh, but, wait... it will be awarded in the form of a check! Nevermind, maybe she'll never have to know about it). Both ladies will also receive a makeover and professional photo shoot with a picture package to be soley determined by the sponsor. Total prize package is valued at approximately $5,350.

Ten first prizes are also to be awarded of an Olay gift basket and a $150 spa certificate. Total first prize package is valued at $165.

To enter, submit an unpublished, original video creation that has not previously won any prizes or awards, with the entrant holding all rights. Participants in the video may include ONLY the video originator and/or the friend/subject of the video. Submissions may be done in either color or black and white using QuickTime or Windows Media formats ONLY, and be 2MB or smaller. Anything seen or heard in the video (music, props, etc.) must be the entrant's original creation. Professional or student videos will not be accepted.

Preliminary judging will be done to determine the top forty videos based upon the following criteria:

Originality & Creativity of video — 35%

Appropriateness of video to theme — 35%

Sincerity of video — 15%

Exuberance of entrant as demonstrated on the video — 15%

The submission with the highest score in Originality & Creativity will win entry into the top forty in the event of a tie.

Once the top forty are chosen, a panel of judges will then choose one Grand Prize Winner and ten first place winners from the group. Judging is based on the same criteria as the first round, with tiebreaking also done in the same manner.

Entries must be recieved by 5:00 pm Eastern time on August 31, 2007. One entry per person, certain restrictions apply, so be sure to read the Official Rules.

Enter HERE.

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