If you’ve been on Tongal in the past few months, you’ve probably noticed that a new style of project that we’re calling the “Video Tournament” has emerged as a dominant force on the site. The premise behind the tournament is simple – Video producers Pitch their take on how best to accomplish a Project Objective using 500 characters of text, storyboards, screen tests, and links to their reels or other previously created content. The Project Judges select the best Pitches and those creators are given a budget to go out and produce their video. Once their video is completed, those creators are then guaranteed one of the prizes in the following video phase, with a shot at the 1st place grand prize. It’s a win-win for both sponsors and creators, because sponsors are guaranteed an array of creative interpretations with a larger degree of control or input and creators are guaranteed payment for their completed videos and have more guidance before setting out on a shoot.
When we first launched the Tournament Style Project with the Dialogue Earth “Energy” we weren’t sure what was going to emerge as a result or even what a winning Pitch looked like. This made it hard to instruct people as to how best to tackle the assignment. Then, Robert Deutsch submitted his Pitch and everything changed. Not only was it beautifully crafted but his previous Tongal videos also gave the Judges all the confidence they needed to select him as a winner. Since then, we’ve been able to reverse engineer what a winning Pitch looks like and give everyone a leg up in subsequent competitions.
BACK IT UP
It’s best to think about a Pitch as you would a court case – It’s all hearsay until you have evidence back up your claims. If you show up babbling about six-camera set-ups, 30 extras, cranes, jibs, and 10-minute track shots, but have zero evidence to back up your abilities, you’ll never convince a jury (or a panel of Project Judges) that you’re capable of pulling it off. The more evidence you have to support your case the better your chances of winning, period.
- Video: Nothing says, “I can make this happen” like a short video explaining how you plan to tackle the production of your piece. Some of the best examples come from Robert Deutsch, Sean Clark and Michael Ring. It’s both a way to personalize your take and show off your cinematic technique.
- Image / Storyboard: Another great way to convey “the look” of your video or to hit upon more specific story-telling aspects is to upload some stills or put a storyboard together.
- Links: Including links to your reel and past work is always a good idea. Even if your show reel is a year old and that music video didn’t quite turn out the way you wanted, judges want to get a sense of your capabilities. Remember, you’re trying to convince them to finance your video production, so giving them more reasons to do so is always better than less!
WIN ON TONGAL IN AN OPEN CONTEST FORMAT
This isn’t to say that if you haven’t won on Tongal, you won’t be selected. Just competing in an open video contest is enough. The whole point is having evidence to back up your Pitch, and submitting videos to previous Tongal contests is one of the best ways to build that trust. However, it’s worth noting that previous winners are more likely to land gigs. Why? Because it lets the judges know that that you
- 1) are capable of delivering superlative work
- 2) can work effectively off of a creative brief
- 3) can work within set of limitations or restrictions
- 4) will deliver on time
Basically, if you submit to or win in Tongal’s open contest format, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of most videomakers out there. Be proud.
EXECUTE WITH STYLE
It almost goes without saying, but executing what was laid out in your Pitch is only 80% of creating a successful video. With 4 – 6 other creators going after that 1st place grand prize and Pitches kept private, you never know what someone else has up their sleeve. Behave accordingly and always strive to outdo yourself. Remember, a lackluster performance can affect future selections and likewise, fussing with last minute uploads is sloppy and unprofessional. Put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression…it will pay for itself many times over.
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