1/5/10 EDIT: Didn’t make the top 50, so they took the video down, but I put it back up on Vimeo and Youtube.

It’s finally up! My entry in the Nikon Festival contest, where the brief was to describe your day in only 140 seconds! I decided to go the route of a little story telling with a nostalgic memory from summer camp years back.

I hope that idea engages the audience more so than just telling a story and that people will watch it, try that little hand thing and be connected to the video in a unique way. The original 1080p HD version looks so much better than what you see here, which is 504×284.

December 22nd is when they announce who is up for the grand prize of $100k that celebrity judges pick, or for the $25k audience prize that is chosen through public votes. Can’t wait to hear about which one I’m in so I can start getting the vote out if I’m in the audience award! (I’ll need you, the reader, to help me out with that!) For now, just watch and enjoy and tune in again to see if you need to vote (check out my twitter, this blog, or send me a contact form if you want to be added to my personal mailing list where I shamelessly beg for votes).

Here’s the direct link to my video: http://www.nikonfestival.com/blog/2009/12/14/step-into-air/

This was a very fun film to make, especially the day we filmed above (and between the clouds). There is so much great footage I wish I had more time with this video. It was painful not to be able to use all this great footage, even non-flying footage stuff that I got. But to be able to get across a story that was coherent I had to cut a lot! It was a good exercise though and, as always, I learned a lot. The other footage I got will probably crop up in some other videos I make down the road too.

Eric and Scott getting ready for the shooting where we were above the clouds. Scott was the cameraman and sat in front of the tug.

Eric and Scott getting ready for the shooting where we were above the clouds. Scott was the cameraman and sat in front of the tug.

For those shots we got towed up to like 6,500′ and I got released. Then Pablo went back down to grab Eric D., who I was in radio contact. It was so cold that day, my hands were freezing up there! But it was so beautiful. The images Scott that day were incredible, but nothing is like the real thing, being up there, with the sun setting . . . What a great excuse to go fly – Thanks Nikon!

There are already some great entries in the contest, but there aren’t a ton of them, maybe 700 right now. I’m guessing they’ll be max about 1,400 entries or so by tomorrow night, which is the deadline for submitting. There are several other hang glider pilots who are entering this contest too, so hang gliding is no longer my special weapon in these contests. The more exposure for our sport the better though.

I shot all of this with the Canon 7D and the Canon HF100, but Nikon says: “Although you’re not required to use a specific camera, your video will be judged on image quality, originality and the ability to capture a day through your lens in 140 seconds.” I hope they stick to that, otherwise I’m out of luck with using my Canon gear.

A big thanks to everyone involved. As always, my beautiful wife is so encouraging about all this and helps out so much, Scott S. for all the great filming work and taking the time to do this, Eric D. for flying with me and working hard to get the shots, Eric G. and Pablo for some great tug flying, Matt with his help on the music, Eric W. for his debut in my films as the camp counselor, and the younger me, thanks everyone!

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Also in the mix is an entry I was working on concurrently for a contest on Tongal.com for the microfinance organization called Kiva.org. In this one I explain how Kiva works, and there is one cool little effect I did with pictures that I like. You’ll be able to view it on Dec. 16th at Tongal.

This is a still shot from my entry into the Tongal.com Kiva contest.

This is a still shot from my entry into the Tongal.com Kiva contest.

I think after this holiday I will begin some courses over at fxphd.com to build up my skills a bit too. So now that all these contests are done, I just have to sit back and see if I won any of them – and, of course, shamelessly beg for votes for you all!

These are the contests I’m in right now that have yet to be decided: Kiva.org, Nikon, iChapters, Mountain Dew, and the LG Film Fest (I already know I lost the pistachio one). Since winning the HP contest, I’ve entered in 7 contest, two of which I’ve lost and the other 5 yet to be decided.

Thanks for watching!

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