The stage was set when the July 2003 issue of Videomaker landed on newsstands and in mailboxes. When the contest closed, we had received ninety-one entries. We proceeded to fire up our VCRs, DVD players, camcorders and Web browsers. As always, we enjoyed watching the fruits of our readers’ labor. When the smoke cleared, our winners stood out from the crowd, with some of the most interesting video we’ve seen to date. With this, we welcome the latest members to the elite group of Videomaker Panasonic Short Video Contest winners.

DVD-Video Bonus

Title: Malignant Night

Prize: ADS Pyro A/V Link Analog-to-FireWire Converter ($279)

Producers: Josh Murdy, Andover, MN

Camcorder: Sony CCD-TRV67

Editor: Adobe Premiere 6.5

View this video: 1.6mb wmv, 5.8mb wmv

Malignant Night was a notable DVD submission, adding some features that are most commonly associated with Hollywood DVDs. The disc was authored with Pinnacle Impression and includes some interactive functions, including a simple game. Hats off to Josh for pushing the limits of his DVD authoring software.

Other Finalists

Be Careful What You Wish For-Russel Heimlich, Laurel, MD

Life’s Angst (Funny)-Peter Williams, Sitka, AK

Best Documentary

Title: Christmas in Shanghai

Prize: Roadwired Photo/Video Pro Bag, Cable Stable and @ttache Laptop Bag ($350)

Producer: David Ozmun, Arkadelphia, AR

Camcorder: Canon GL2

Editor: Avid Xpress DV

View this video: 3.0mb wmv, 12.5mb wmv

David Ozmun, mass communications faculty member at Ouachita Baptist University, chronicles a trip made with a University singing group to observe the remarkably Western Christmas festivities in Shanghai. We also found it striking that Ozmun reported having no problems traveling with video equipment or shooting in China.

Other Finalists

Midnight Mantas-Lynn French, Hughson, CA

Beyond the Untold Story-Ron Bullock, Oshkosh, WI

Best Streaming Video

Title: The Breakup Film

Prize: Bogen 700RC2, 756BK Video Kit ($404)

Producer: Bobby Miller, Newfield, NJ

Camcorder: Sony DCR-VX2000

Editor: Adobe Premiere 6.0

View this video: 1.4mb wmv, 7.2mb wmv

The Breakup Film is a parody of 1950s-era instructional film on “Losing the One You Love”. The use of black and white really helps to set off this very funny video, which includes such disparate things as a rabbit with surgical bandages, a floating clock, and self-deprecating voice-over talent.

Best Music Video

Title: Tears in the Rain

Prize: Trilab Digital Hotcakes Grand Slam ($579)

Producer: Rob Roy, Hudson, NH

Camcorder: Sony DCR-TRV330

Editor: Adobe Premiere 6.5

View this video: 2.0mb wmv, 11.4mb wmv

DVD authored with Ulead DVD Movie Factory

Here’s a case for the use of video as therapy: Rob Roy is a singer-songwriter who wrote Tears in the Rain to express his feelings after his father passed away. A chromakey effect was utilized for some shots to enhance the appropriately dark, yet sometimes dreamlike video.

Other Finalists

Three Hearts-Edward Peirce, Reedsville, WV

Terminus Est-Per Malm, Cedar Rapids, IA

Best Comedy

Title: A Fistful of Diapers

Prize: Pinnacle Edition ($699)

Producer: Dale Whiting, Colorado Springs, CO

Camcorder: Panasonic PV-DV52

Editor: Adobe Premiere 6.0

View this video: 0.8mb wmv, 3.6mb wmv

A great choice of music that conjures images of the Old West sets off A Fistful of Diapers. Dale Whiting worked with Michael Fleming on last year’s Second Prize winner, Acron7m. It’s a very funny tale of two dueling dads who find themselves at opposite ends of a changing table, tending to their respective infants’ needs while competing with each other.


Other Finalist

The Neighbor’ Garbage Day-Jeff Wallace and Kevin McDonald, Rochester Mills, MI

Best Drama/Action Video

Title: Critical Mass

Prize: Varizoom StealthZoom and Studio Style Kit ($699)

Producer: Keith Kooiman, Chaska, MN

Camcorder: Sony DCR-TRV25

Editor: Adobe Premiere

View this video: 2.7mb wmv, 10.8mb wmv

The first of two warfare-related winners this year, Critical Mass depicts two acquaintances who find themselves on different sides of a small nuclear device. A last-minute surprise seals the victory. The project was submitted as DivX, and audio was edited with GoldWave.

Second Prize

Title: The Road Kill Grill

Prize: Azden 500LT Wireless Microphone System ($825)

Producer: Mike Konstan, Ron Yarosh and Kathy Yarosh, Apopka, FL

Camcorder: Sony DCR-TRV900

Editor: Apple Final Cut Pro 3.0

View this video: 1.9mb wmv, 11.0mb wmv

A great cross between a Videomaker Workshop video project and a classic MAD TV skit, The Road Kill Grill marries a novel product idea and some smoothly-rendered graphics into a winning video. While the utility of a Road Kill Grill may be limited depending on whether one was in an urban, suburban or rural area, the video does a great job of ‘selling’ the product.

First Prize

Title: The Ending

Prize: Ulead MediaStudio Pro 7 and DVD Workshop ($990)

Producer: Steve Murphy, Choudrant, LA

Camcorder: Canon XL1s

Editor: Adobe Premiere 6.0

View this video: 2.0mb wmv, 12.1mb wmv

How do you know it’s time to panic? When the video that you just rented from the corner store features video of you, on the couch, witnessing some very strange goings on. The Ending depicts such a video. A second camcorder, mounted above the television, is the secret to the surreal submission.

Grand Prize

Title: The Order

Prize: Panasonic PV-GS70 Mini DV Camcorder ($999)

Producers: Andrew Watson and Josh Camerota, West Chester, PA

Camcorders: Sony DCR-VX1000, Canon GL1

Editor: Adobe Premiere

View this video: 3.1mb wmv, 12.5mb wmv

The basis of a class project depicting a war short, The Order was shot in wintertime on Super 8 film and Mini DV. The well-executed video includes split screen editing for the climax scene, which was composited to allow one person to play the part of two brothers who are fighting on opposite sides in a combat situation. We congratulate Watson and Camerota on an outstanding and poignant video submission.

‘Til Next Year…

We extend a hearty congratulations to our finalists and winners and look forward to seeing what next year’s contest brings. Don’t forget to look for the next Call for Entries in the July and August 2004 issues of Videomaker.

Charles Fulton is an Associate Editor for Videomaker Magazine.

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