How It Works For Contestants

Overview

  • Do you enjoy producing videos ?
  • Could you use some additional income ?
  • Would you like to get some recognition for your work ?

If the answer is yes-yes-yes, then maybe you should put your talents to good use and enter a Bizzler contest.

You can create a new video or, in some cases, pull an existing video from your stock pile of video clips. Either way, your objective is to submit a video which is funny, entertaining, novel, original and in good taste. You want to motivate viewers to watch and share your ad with others through social media. The more viewers you get, the better your chances of winning a cash award or selling your rights for a cash payment. Also, as you continue to compete and improve, you will gain recognition and build a fan base.

  • There’s no fee required, you just need to register to become a member of the Bizzler community
  • As a member you can submit entries, vote, enter comments and interact with other members of the community

The following describes how a typical contest works;

  • A “Brief” is developed by Bizzler and clients to define contest details (e.g. schedule, objectives, rules, prizes)
  • The Brief is posted on the Bizzler website and the contest is launched
  • Contestants review the Brief, create content, and submit their entries to Bizzler
  • The entries are reviewed and posted if accepted
  • Rejected entries are sent back to contestants for rework
  • Anyone can view the ads, community members can also vote and submit comments
  • Votes are tallied at the end of the contest, winners are picked based on vote count
  • Award ceremonies are held, prizes are distributed
  • Prizes come in the form of trophies, cash, products, services, or combinations
  • All entries are considered for use in ads and other promotional projects. Contestants can receive payment for ownership rights even if they did not win the contest.

The remainder of this document will give you a detailed description of the contest process, along with some tips to help make it an efficient and enjoyable experience. Good Luck !

Getting Started

To get started, go to the Bizzler website and check out the following sections to get a better feel for the process:

  • FAQ’s
  • Terms of Use Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Contest Gallery

– Select a Contest

– Select an Entry (play the video, check out the stats and comments)

The most important thing to do before becoming a member is to review Bizzler’s policies regarding use of the website. The details can be found under Terms of Use and Privacy. Some of the key points are summarized below.

Terms of Use

  • You must not submit material that does not belong to you (e.g. copyrighted material), unless you have  written permission from the owner to do so.
  • You must be at least 14 years old to use the website. If you are a minor (e.g. between 14 and 17 years old), you need to have written permission from at least one of your parents or legal guardians in order to become a member of the Bizzler community.
  • You must refrain from submitting entries or comments that contain inappropriate language or material.
  • You must act in a professional and appropriate manner when using the Bizzler website.

Privacy Policy

  • Bizzler won’t sell or disclose your name, home address, phone number, email address or any other private information to anyone.
  • Bizzler uses state-of-the-art security measures to protect your information from unauthorized users.

Become a Member

You can become a member by first clicking the Join Bizzler link to display the Join screen.

To signup;

  • enter your username and email address and choose a password
  • read Terms of Use and Privacy and if you agree, check the agreement box
  • click the Complete Sign Up button
  • an email verification letter will be sent to you
  • check your email for the verification letter, follow the instructions to complete verification and return to the Bizzler website

You are now registered as a member of the Bizzler community.

Login

Once registered, you can Login to Bizzler at anytime by clicking the Log In link (located on the right side of the top menu bar) to display the Log In page. Enter your email address and password and click the Log In button. If the login process fails after several tries or if you forgot your password, click Lost Your Password? and your password will be sent to you by email.

The Log In link changes to Log Out while you are logged in.

Manage Your Account

While logged in, you can click Account to access your personal information and controls.

This section is comprised of the following subsections;

Activity

This section is used to record your recent activities, favorite things and friendships.

Profile

This section is used to enter/edit your name and upload your profile photo and cover image.

Notifications

This section is used to display notifications from Bizzler.

Messages

This section is used to compose/send messages to, and receive messages from, other members of the Bizzler community.

Friends

This section is used to submit and acknowledge friend requests with other members of the Bizzler community.

Settings

This section is used to; 1) view/edit your email and password information, 2) manage reminder email settings, 3) manage profile visibility and 4) delete account.

Review Contest Opportunities

Here’s a few things you can do to help in deciding which contest to enter;

  • Take a look at all of the open contests on display in the Contest Gallery.
  • Find the ones that you can relate to, click View to display the contest details.
  • Read the Brief, check the schedule and determine if you will have time to create and submit your entry.
  • Take a look at the sample ads provided by Bizzler and the contestant entries that have already been submitted for the contest. Can you create something like this ?
  • Better yet, do you already have something in your stockpile of video clips that fits with the contest theme and guidelines ? Maybe you can submit your files “as is” or add a few edits to make it a better fit. Just make sure that it is your own material or that you have written permission to use the material.

Create Your Entry

So you’ve decided on a contest and now it’s time to get to work and create your entry.

The following describes some typical steps;

Step 1 – Understand the Mission

Most ads contain two sections, 1) entertainment and 2) message.

The entertainment section is primarily used to draw and entertain the audience and might not even mention the brand or product. If this is done well, viewers will want to watch the ad again and share it with their friends. This is the part that will turn a normal ad into a viral ad.

The message section is used to give viewers some information about the brand and the product/service which is being advertised. This could range anywhere from a quick shot of the brand’s logo to a detailed presentation of the company, product and service.

In some contests you will need to furnish the complete ad, showing the entertainment and message sections blended together. In other cases, you might only need to provide the entertainment section of the ad, which will be combined with the message to create a complete ad. The Brief will fully define the type of content that you should provide.

Step 2 – Nail Down The Storyline

Now that you fully understand the mission, it’s time to define the storyline for your entry. Here’s where you need to search for an idea that will make your entry unique, entertaining, and better than the others. The contest brief will provide guidelines on the type of stories to use. In some cases, detailed storylines will be provided as suggestions. You can base your story on a suggested storyline or use them as a reference to create a similar storyline. Keep in mind that the suggested storylines are provided to create content that match with advertising requirements, so if you stray to far from the suggested storylines you’ll reduce your chances of winning or having your entry selected for use in an ad.

Once you have the basic storyline put together, you’ll need to take a quick look at the big picture to determine if you’re on the right track. Use the following as a check list and adjust your planning as necessary;

  • casting call (do I have the actors to star in this story)
  • stage (do I have the stage, background, lights, sound system to film this story)
  • could I use existing video clips for part or all of the entertainment section
  • humor (is this going to be funny or boring)
  • potential (does this have the potential to become a viral ad)

Step 3 – Develop The Story

Now that you have defined the storyline, its time to put on your producer’s hat and start developing the story. You can use some of the same techniques used by professional film makers. The pros create a number of documents to define the film during the development and preproduction stages. The following provides a list of these documents shown in the order in which they are normally created;

  1. storyline (brief description of the story and underlying theme)
  2. step outline (one paragraph description for each key scene)
  3. treatment (description of the story, mood, characters)
  4. script/screenplay (description of movements, actions, expressions, and dialog)
  5. storyboard (pictures of key scenes with captions)

You can do the same thing, but on a smaller scale. For a feature film, you would need lots of time, effort, and paper to create these documents. For a 30 sec video clip, you can probably put the whole thing together in a few hours.

To generate items A-D, you just need your imagination and a computer. However, item E is more tricky, since it could be very time consuming and difficult for you to create pictures that will accurately capture the images that you are trying to convey. For this step, you can use a common graphic or presentation software product (e.g. Power Point) if the clip is short and simple. If you need some expert guidance on storyboard creation, check out Storyboarding: Turning Script to Motion (Digital Filmmaker Series) This is a book/DVD package that can be purchased for about $25 and used as a  tutorial while getting started and as a reference source for the future.

For more complex stories, you may want to consider getting a software package that will lead you through the creative process and keep your scenes organized. For this we recommend Write Brothers Movie Magic Screenwriter, which can be purchased for less than $100 and can be used with a PC or Mac.

The storyboard software will help you to create a series of pictures, with each picture representing a key scene in the story. In addition, you can add a caption under each picture to help further convey the dialog, actions and mood of the scene. The completed storyboard can be a powerful tool used throughout the project to remind you of how your story flows and quickly convey the essence of your story to your director, cast, and support team.

Step 4 – Pre-production

Now with your script and storyboard in hand, its time to start preparing for production.

Here’s a check list of things to put in place before setting up the cameras;

A) Find a Director

This could be you, your friend or a professional director. Either way, someone needs to be in charge when the camera starts rolling.

B) Casting Call

Depending on your budget, your actors could be; you, your friends, members of your family, members of the local drama club, or professional actors. You may have to take whatever you can get, but do your best to match the look and actual personality of the actor to that of the character you’re trying to portray.

C) Scout for Locations

You may have lots of locations to choose from for creating your video. Here’s some examples; house, garage, yard, park, high school gym, camp grounds, public buildings, and city streets. Just make sure you have permission from the owner (if it’s a private location) and be sure to take into account possible problems you could have with stray people, lighting, and background noise.

D) Support Team

Professional producers typically use a team of people to take care of all the details relating to setup and film production, including; set design, makeup, costumes, camera movement (grip), camera operation, sound, lights and special effects. You may need some help in covering some of these same details. Be sure to define the type of support you will need and who will provide it as part of the pre-production process.

E) Scenery and Props

Every film needs background scenery to visually set the mood for the story and props that can be used as a part of the activity on stage. Your scenery might be as simple as the back wall of your bedroom and your props might be something that you can find in the garage. Regardless of how simple they are and where you get them, you should define what they are and put them in place as a part of the preproduction process. In cases where Bizzler expects you to film a blended ad (e.g. the product is used in the ad), you should borrow or buy the product and use it as one of the props. Typically, blended ads are used only for low cost consumer goods that can be easily found and purchased at the local grocery store.

Step 5 -Production

Now the stage is set, the actors have memorized their lines, and its time to roll the cameras.

This part should be fun, quick and easy to accomplish. But keep in mind, just because your final clip will only be 30-60 seconds long, it may take a few hours and several takes of each scene in order to get the results that you want. You’ve put lots of effort into bringing this all together and video memory is cheap, make sure that you get plenty of footage while the stage is hot. The excess content can be easily removed during the editing phase.

If you need some guidelines on the filming process (camera angles, lighting, sound, etc.) check out Vimeo.com. This is a great website, with lots of free and low cost information, tutorials, and advice on how to make videos.

Step 6 -Editing

Now that the film “is in the can”, the wrap party is over, the keg is empty, and the actors and crew have finally gone home, it’s time to start the editing process. The editing could take several weeks for a feature film, but probably just a few hours for a 60-90 second clip.

To start you will need to find an editing service or buy your own video editing software and do it yourself. If you’re going to do it yourself, here’s some recommended products that can be purchased for less than $100:

If you plan to use a PC and Mac, then take a look at Adobe Premiere Elements 12 This product supports both computer types.

Now that you’ve loaded your computer with editing software and learned how to use it, the real fun begins. This is where you take your raw footage and clip, modify and add content in order to create your final masterpiece. Here’s a list of the key steps involved;

  • upload the raw footage to your editing system
  • clip out unwanted segments
  • re-arrange remaining segments so they appear in the proper sequence
  • add segment transitions and special effects
  • use imaging technology to improve quality
  • add one or more sound tracks (background audio, music, voice over, etc.)
  • add captions

Submit Your Entry

Prior to submitting your entry to Bizzler, you will need to upload your video file to a hosting site, such as; Vimeo or YouTube and copy the URL they assign to your file.

Next log in to Bizzler, click on Contest Gallery, click on the selected contest name to display the contest page and select the Add Video tab to display the Add Video page.

On the Add Video page;  add the entry title, a brief description of your entry and the URL from the hosting site. Click the Add Video button to submit the entry.

Entries are reviewed by Bizzler administrators and typically posted within 24 hours after submittal. If the administrators find inappropriate material during the review, you will receive an email that identifies the problem. If you can remove the objectionable material, the entry can be re-submitted. Normally, Contestants can submit more than one entry per contest. The contest Brief will define the number of entries allowed from each Contestant.

Promote Your Entry

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Tell your friends and family about what you have accomplished. Send emails, texts, tweets, Facebook alerts, voicemails and whatever else you can do to encourage others to watch your video.

Attend the Award Ceremony

At the end of each contest, Bizzler will hold an awards ceremony to announce the winning entries and contestants. The links, date and time for the ceremony will be posted on the Bizzler website and sent to contestants by email. Here’s an example agenda;

Reap the Benefits

If you win, then you will receive your prize soon after the award ceremony. The exact method and date of prize distribution will be defined in the contest Brief. You can promote your success and put the experience to good use by participating in another contest. Bizzler will continue to introduce new contests every month, providing you with many more opportunities to refine your skills and compete for prizes.

Learn From the Experience

If you didn’t win an award, it doesn’t mean that you did a lousy job and that your days of making videos are over. You gained a great deal of experience by creating your own ad, which could really be considered a “mini movie”. Now it’s time to put that experience to good use and enter another Bizzler contest. The next entry should be faster and easier to create since now you’re further down the learning curve. Also, you can draw on this past experience to produce better results in the future. Be sure to read comments from the community and use this as feedback for fine tuning your next entry.

In addition, just because you didn’t win an award it doesn’t mean that the income opportunity is lost. During many of the contests (as defined in the Brief), Bizzler will attempt to sell or use your entry for other ads or projects. If successful, Bizzler will exercise its right to purchase the rights to your entry. If not successful, the rights to your entry will typically be returned to you within 6 months after you submit the entry.

The contest Briefs will provide a price range for purchasing rights to non-winning ads. Your payment will be within that range, with exact price based on a number of factors, including; entry value, contract value and editing expense.

It’s a Wrap

If you have any questions that are not covered, check the FAQs

If you don’t find your answers there, please feel free to send questions to Bizzler at support@bizzler.com

You are important to us, we wish you the very best and hope you will continue to provide the world with lots of entertaining videos.