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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Can User-Gen Movies Give Microsoft's Vista a Boost?

Interesting story in today's New York Times about a contest that Microsoft is running, called the Ultimate Video Relay. The goal is to get budding filmmakers to continue a story begun by Kyle Newman, director of the forthcoming feature 'Fanboys.'

From the Times:

    [The contest] is intended to promote the higher-end version of Vista — Windows Vista Ultimate — among videophiles, early adopters of technology and filmmakers.

    The contest...has its own Web site (, a spinoff of the Windows Vista Ultimate Web site ( The relay reference comes from the invitation to computer users to complete a story titled “The Cube” in several stages. The tale, a humorous cross between “The Matrix” and “The Office” (or “Office Space”) begins with a six-minute clip that can be watched on the relay Web site. The clip is directed by Kyle Newman, the director of “Fanboys,” a coming movie about “Star Wars” aficionados.

    The online clip is labeled Act I of “The Cube” and ends abruptly. Contestants are supposed to finish the story by providing first a middle (Act II) and later an end (Act III). The entries will be judged by visitors to

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  • I seriously doubt it. From my experience, anyone -- from enthusiasts, students all the way up to pros -- who participate in these types of stunts are already editing (and well steeped) in Final Cut Pro, FCP Xpress and even iMovie (in combination with Garage Band for audio). This just feels like one of those marketing campaigns that sounded great in the brainstorm session, but more than likely won't pan out the way they hope.

    I think it would make more sense to leverage the success (and quality) of Silverlight to try to pull people into MS as any kind of content creation tool. They're just not on the map for video editing!

    By Blogger Kevin, at 2:01 PM  

  • Sounds just like Vista.

    An act I in search of a story.

    By Blogger J. Ott, at 10:46 PM  

  • @ Kevin, never under-estimate the power of user-generated content. Thats what powered a non-entity like youtube to the top of the charts, and sites like digg, propeller and stumbleupon flourish on them

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:48 AM  

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