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Scientific American has an awesome contest going on right now. They're challenging you to make a video explaining some part, process, or system in the human body using eight objects: Yourself, a writing surface, a writing implement, rubber bands, paper clips, string, cups , and balls. You have to use all eight items. You can't use anything else.
You can read the full instructions and rules online. And check out the sample video, made by Scientific American interns Isha Soni and Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato.
Bonus: The first 100 qualified entries all get a free digital subscription to Sci Am.
Via Bora Zivkovik
In case there are any artistically-inclined fans of A&E's upcoming Bates Motel interested in creating a piece of the show, executive producer Carlton Cuse has put out a call for an opening title sequence. Through January 3, fans can submit videos, graphics, and other ideas to the show's Facebook page. Cuse, who will ultimately choose the winner, says, "We want to give fans the chance to participate in the show. We're looking for an awesome 15-second title sequence that captures the feel of Bates Motel -- not as a slasher/horror show, but as a complex, character-based thriller." Considering the prevalence of fan art, plus the current Hitchcock fever we've been experiencing, this seems like a really great opportunity to rouse a fan base that might have its doubts about a Psycho prequel series by making them feel like a significant part of the production. Bates Motel is set to premiere on A&E in March. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
Backyard Blockbusters (Thanks, John!)
Did you ever see that movie where Batman fought a Predator? Or where kids remade "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? What about the fourth season of classic "Star Trek"? If none of these are familiar to you, that's because they're not studio projects, but fan films - and I've just finished and started touring film festivals with a documentary about these kinds of projects called "Backyard Blockbusters" - it looks at the history, influence, and copyright problems these types of projects face, and includes nearly everyone from the most famous, popular, and/or notable fan films, as well as notables from the original properties and production companies.
There's a very cool screening opportunity coming up, but I need public help to get the film into it - the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood is holding a documentary film festival in November, and the selection process is being done online through public voting - and "Backyard Blockbusters" is one of the contenders.
They will be counting both the amount of views the competing trailers for the various films get on YouTube pages, as well as the amount of votes the films receive on a special Facebook page.
BIG CATURDAY NEWS YOU GUYS. John Flansburgh of They Might be Giants is a Boing Boing reader, and he sends word that the band are launching a fan-made video contest for their song "Can't Keep Johnny Down".
"The promo clip here features my cat Symphony Sid," says John. "He is usually camera shy but he hangs in there!
From the announcement:
TMBG is inviting creative visual people to make a stylish, smart rock video for the song. It can be live action, motion graphics, animation, stop motion. It can be people jumping around in capes, but they should be very stylish people in very stylish capes or you will not win the contest.
Videos are to be uploaded to YouTube and posted on the official TMBG Facebook page. All videos linked there will be voted on by the Facebook friends of TMBG, but the winner will be judged by Judge John Hodgman and Hodgman alone. Submission deadline is July 15th.
Winner will receive $1000 bucks and a pizza from the pizzeria of their choice. The video will be posted on tmbg's you tube channel as well as posted on TMBG's podcast -- so lots of people will celebrate your efforts.