MTV misses with new talent competition

Bah. The news held so much promise: MTV and Onedotzero joined forces to hold a competition challenging young talent to make a series of one minute films. ODZ was one of the first organizations to champion innovation and experimentation within the then-fledgling genre of motion graphics, so I was hopeful that the winners would display a burst of dazzling creativity, show me something I’d never seen before or perhaps even demonstrate that despite the demise of the 30- or 60-second ad, short films can nonetheless provide a really compelling narrative (the creative brief: “explore ideas of country and community” which in this day and age should surely be a home run.)

Turns out? Not so much.

Some of the films have nice moments, but on the whole they were visually ho hum, none of them had a narrative thread of any coherence and even the abstract ones managed to drag (not a good sign when the total run time is 60 seconds.) As a result, I'm sorry to report that the collection of films adds up to not very much at all. But my real problem is that this is the kind of project that executives from other companies see, are flummoxed by and as a result shy away from ever commissioning anything that might be similarly "creative", for fear of ending up with something equally incoherent. So in fact, this is not only bad for MTV and Onedotzero, it's bad for anyone trying to get commissions to produce thoughtful creative work. As I say: Bah. (Although I will say, the fluttering bird accompanying my cursor around the Web interface presentation of the films was a really nice touch.)

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