Monthly Archives: April 2013


This should be a community effort even though the idea sprouted in just a couple of heads. So I’m putting out the call to any and all: HELP PLEASE.

I’ve only ever run one contest before so I’m guessing there are things I’m not even aware I’m not considering. And I can’t do everything myself – don’t think that’s a good idea anyhow.

So what do I mean?

  1. Prizes are going to be cash pure and simple. Is that the right thing to do? I’ve had the idea proposed by one merchant that they should be ‘Grand Forks Bucks’ meaning that the money has to be spent in town. I have my own views on that but what are yours? Without helpers I don’t know …
  2. Prizes – that’s plural. So how many prizes? 3, 4 or as many as get votes?
  3. How to decide which ‘winning’ entry gets what portion?
    I woke up this morning with this idea in my head: At the judging event every attendee gets a vote ticket. At the end we count all the votes and split the prize money into that many portions. Then each entry gets as many of those portions as they got votes … potentially every entry could get a piece but ones with the most votes would get the biggest piece. But is that the right way to do it?
  4. Completely Original Videos vs Videos With 3rd party Content.
    Elsewhere on this site I mention that I think it would ok if entrants use material they have not themselves created as long as it is legitimately usable by them through copyright permissions. (I was talking about music primarily but his could apply to some other parts of their creations.)

    1. So how do we deal with that when it comes to voting or judging?
    2. Do they suffer a penalty in some way for not being completely original?
    3. If so: how does that work?
    4. OR should the use of 3rd party content be dis-allowed completely?
  5. What is the best date for the ‘voting’ to happen?
    I’m kind of leaning on some time in September because most of the kids will be back in school (so back from where ever their vacations or jobs took them during the summer) and there is a feeling that many of the entrants will be from that part of the community. But when in September?
  6. The contest will take place at The Gem Theatre. I’m pretty much set on this venue – they have the Big Screen, they’re in the heart of downtown, they’re a community oriented family run business and when I came to them with the idea I found out they had thought of it first.
    But should we have preview showings ‘along the way’ as entrants come in? Such as at the Fall Fair at the end of August? If we had a number of entries we could show them on a projector there one evening … And on the web … should they be viewable by anyone all the way to the contest?
  7. Sponsors.
    How best to deal with sponsors – it’s not something I’ve ever had to deal with myself.
    Initially my thought was this: you contribute to the prize money and you / your company gets a mention and a credit at the end of whatever final production(s) come out of this. Name and / or Logo. And at any ‘viewing events’ along the way. Support = Recognition.
    But am I missing something?
  8. Time Limitations. How long is too long?
    I’m tending towards a maximum length of 5 minutes. Anything longer becomes a stand alone epic that may or may not hold attention that long but might create timing issues when it comes to contest viewing and voting. But is imposing limitations wrong? Would that best be left up to the voters at judgment time?

Gee … there’s a list for now (April 26, 2013). I’ll add to it as things crop up.

Feel free to comment on this or, if you’d rather keep your suggestions private, you can send me your comments, suggestions and criticisms by email to help (at) Or stop me in the street …


We’re having a Contest!

Do you have a camera?
Do you create music?
Do you do fun and interesting things around Grand Forks? Want a chance to combine those together and maybe win some cash?

Help us Show Off Grand Forks and we’ll help you Show Off your creative talents to the world.

What do we mean?
We want to Show Off Grand Forks to people who are looking for places to visit on their travels or settle down with their families. And, if you live, work, play or go to school in Grand Forks or the valley we want your help.

Why would you do that? Because you can win cash prizes.

You have the whole summer to work on this … the contest will be in September (we haven’t hammered out the actual day yet). So think about all those things you like to do in the summer that visitors might as well. And how to best show them off in video.

It’s a contest so who is judging? At this point we’d like to make that you. And everyone in Grand Forks. That way no one can say the judges were completely biased – we expect you and your friends to be biased but with anyone who lives, works, plays or goes to school here being able to have a vote we’re hoping that the biases will even out and, as they say, the cream will rise to the top. We still have to figure out the best way to do that but we’ve got the summer to work if out.

Don’t have a camera? Don’t know how you’ll set it to music? Then you might have to lean on your friends and collaborate – community is collaboration after all. BUT if you don’t have the gear you need we might be able to help you with that: we won’t shoot it for you but we can lend you equipment and show you the rudiments of how to use it (and not break it ;). After that you’re on your own …

If you’re reading this and think it might be a good idea but can’t see yourself as a contestant … maybe you can see yourself as helping in some way. The prize money is being put up by locals (businesses and individuals) to support locals. They could always use more, wink wink. We could use help with managing this project. People who are willing to contribute their Ideas, Experience and Time would be greatly appreciated. We’re still working out the details on how the judging will happen, what we’ll do with the results and how to best market them. See yourself in one or more of those roles? Those who contribute in any way will be recognized and given credit.

The fine print:

Oh yeah, before we leave you to it, there’s a few little things to get out of the way. Like the legalities for instance.

IF you’re submitting your content we need to have a non-exclusive right to use it in our finished product. That means we don’t want to own your stuff, it still belongs to you, but we need to be able to use it with no strings attached. We won’t be selling your video or music but we’ll be using it to sell our town and area.

IF people’s faces appear in your video then we need you to get signed releases from them allowing you (and us) to use their image in your / our project. IF they are under 19 years of age then those releases need to be signed by their parent or legal guardian. No releases means your video cannot enter the contest.

IF you have music then we need written permission from the copyright holder allowing you / us to use it. If you created it then that’s your permission on paper. If you found it on the web then we need a link to it with a link to the page that states it is available for use and giving permission.

Coming Soon:
We’ll provide PDFs of release forms for you to use and links to places on the web where you can find royalty free, useable content (though we think the judges will look more kindly on stuff created here by you and your friends). Soon you will be able to look for entry packages at the Gem Theatre, Select Office Products and Grand Forks Secondary School. These will have entry forms, release forms, format guidance and contact information.

Once again: Why would you do that? Because you can win cash prizes. Well, we also hope you have a sense of community spirit that infects your creative side as well 

Now get your thinking caps on and start being creative.