Now THIS is an interesting contest! Still photos, Ron Howard, a movie and Canon

We see photo contests all of the time, and are asked to help spread the word to keep up the entries.
Happy to do so, as we always feel it is a win-win situation between a photographer getting exposure (ouch) and perhaps some prizes, and the contest folks raising some funds.
Heck, we did it last year to help support Food Banks, and will do it again soon.

When this contest, Project Imagin8ion, came across the transom, it was time for a pause.
With a ton of thought, an open brief, connection to a great director, and a solid brand behind it all, this is a way different way to do a contest.

Check out the video opener:

And the Canon official word:

Canon U.S.A. Inc., has launched a new multi-dimensional marketing campaign, “Long Live Imagination,” which centers on a unique collaboration with one of Hollywood’s most influential directors, Ron Howard. On May 22nd, Ron Howard and Canon U.S.A. invited photographers of all levels to submit their most imaginative photographs based on a series of movie themes for “Project Imagin8ion,” the first user-generated photo contest in history to ultimately inspire a Hollywood short film. The “Long Live Imagination” site, designed as an interactive and engaging community for Canon users and photography enthusiasts, launched on May 22nd at www.youtube.com/imagination.

“I’m known as a narrative storyteller, so when Canon approached me to partner on the ‘Long Live Imagination’ campaign, I was moved by the opportunity to collaborate with the masses, tapping into consumers’ creativity and using their photos as building blocks to produce a film,” said Howard. “I hope the project stimulates people’s imaginations whether they are an amateur photographer, a world traveler or a proud parent, and I hope what we create is meaningful.”

“This project embodies everything the Canon brand represents in innovation, technology and the arts,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technology and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., “Launching a user-generated photo contest to inspire a film would not be possible without a visionary filmmaker to conceptualize and oversee it all. Ron Howard was the perfect choice, someone who constantly inspires moviegoers and turns the unbelievable into reality.”

A visually stunning television commercial that takes place within Ron Howard’s mind’s eye will begin airing May 23rd. The spot will promote the “Project Imagin8ion” contest and online community. Consumers can visit www.youtube.com/imagination from May 22nd through June 14th and submit photos to inspire eight movie themes: Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle and the Unknown. Throughout the promotion, Ron Howard, with the help of Canon experts and the Project Imagin8ion community, will narrow down the submissions and select eight photos – one from each category. These eight winning photos will become the basis and inspiration for a short film shot with Canon DSLR products that will premiere later this year in New York City with the winners in town for a red carpet event where they will have the opportunity to meet Ron Howard.

As part of the overall “Long Live Imagination” campaign, Canon will be curating the most inspiring photography out there, championing the imagination of the masses while demonstrating the infinite possibilities of Canon digital imaging. The customized Long Live Imagination brand channel on YouTube will serve as a meeting place and sharing community for Canon users and photography enthusiasts alike throughout 2011. The Imagination Gallery will be linked to other social media platforms including Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, so that users can easily share their photos, pose questions to the community and participate in real-time discussions. Though the gallery will launch as the home of Canon’s “Project Imagin8ion” initiative, the community page will live-on and continue to grow.”

OK, start going through your Archives. Or perhaps the subject you were looking for to do a shoot, just happened to fall into your lap.

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