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It’s been quite some time since our last feature on an inspirational Zoopster, so who better to kick us back into gear than MyMediaGuy? We were very happy when the creative mind behind over 20 awesome videos and the recipient of $16,800(!) agreed to be interviewed! Beyond his own videos, Jordan is passionate about advertisements and likes to critique current commercials. His hilarious reviews can be found on his personal blog – you cannot miss reading his post about the Top 5 Absolutely Worst Ads of 2012.
Check out my personal favorite video entries of his and then read on from the man himself!
Sandblasting Subtitles (3M video contest) – $8,000 in total
Faster than a Speeding Bullet (Verizon video contest) – $3,500 in total
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jordan Mederich, I’m a 25 year old filmmaker living in Branson Missouri. I’m married to Julia, an RN and the hottest girl I’ve met (guys, if you like it, better put a ring on it). No kids, but one little dog that keeps me busy enough. I’m one of five siblings, and I’ve been working with Zooppa for about 3 years or so.
Describe your filmmaking background. What got you started?
It’s the same story many of us have, I began by hogging the camera whenever I could as a kid, making short movies in our clubhouse. My mom was my only viewing audience. I didn’t take it seriously until I entered a contest to win a video camera, and got first place. Then I entered another to win a shopping spree, and won. I got the video contest bug and have been in-the-game ever since. There have been a lot of highs and lows, big wins and unexpected losses… but one thing never changes; video contests are the single greatest way to improve your craft and VERY quickly get your work seen across the globe.
Share with us your creative process. What have you found inspiring?
The most crucial step is finding good contests. I have developed a very strict criteria for choosing contests, which includes the timeline, the prize, the brief, and the competition. You can usually gauge how many people will enter versus the quality of your idea to decide if it’s a good contest to take on. Once I find an appealing contest, I’ll develop as many ideas as possible (often in the shower… try it, most of my winning ideas were thought up in the shower). I’ll pick one or two of the best ideas, find a good location, actors (if necessary), and shoot in under 3 hours. I never edit the same day, to keep the idea fresh the next day. I always try to add some kind of animation or something signature, then show the piece to several people (in fact, I’ve found friends right here on Zooppa that I send my work to for some fresh perspectives and critiques) then knock out one final edit before submission.
- Use your friends’ help, but treat them VERY well. They’re worth their weight in gold. Remember, ANYONE on earth will act for free pizza.
- Find people willing to peer review your work BEFORE submission. If you don’t have anyone, please contact me, I’d be happy to help you. (Mymediaguy.com)
- Don’t give up. I guarantee you’ll develop a love/hate relationship with video contests, but you’re always improving and practicing, and you’re bound to win something when your craft improves.
- Keep good habits. Collect good audio, use good lighting, composition, and storytelling techniques. You don’t need film school, but you DO need to invest in yourself and your equipment. YouTube for filmmaking tutorials, they’re everywhere.
- Remember, you’re not trying to impress your friends or your mom or even Zooppa, you’re impressing the BRAND. You’re selling a product, or helping spread the word, remember the mission (Armageddon style).
“Contiki: The Musical” by MyMediaGuy
Which was your favorite contest to participate in? Why?
I actually really enjoyed our latest “Contiki: the Musical” spot. We rarely do jingle spots, but had a lot of fun with it. Another favorite contest was for Zappos. Our spot “Gracie and the Grouch” is still one of my all time favorites, even though we lost. I never judge the quality of a spot by the “place” we win, sometimes the experience and final product are the shining moments, even if it’s overlooked by a brand.
How did you come up with the idea for “Contiki: The Musical” and what was the process in producing the video?
Like I said, the Contiki spot was one of our favorites. It started by writing the jingle (a newly found hidden passion of mine) and coming up with something ‘sticky’ to make the piece unfold before you… something that would cause a pass-along quality. We wanted 2 very different characters; the normal and the clown… one to be relatable, the other for a comedic effect, respectively. I found that I would probably be the only person to portray this crazy character, so I turned the camera on myself. All of the props were objects I’ve used in other videos (The Justin Bieber wig at the rap part in the end, is the same wig used in the “All for ONE” Spot for the ONE campaign). I actually taught myself to play ukelele just for this spot, now I’m a pro! The ‘rap jingle’ in the end is kind of a direct rip on rap videos, which anyone who knows me, knows I REALLY don’t like rap jingle videos… don’t be a clown, be a filmmaker. (End soapbox).
What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Video contests open CRAZY cool doors. I won a contest once, which someone saw and found me online. They became a client for over 2 years, and have now hired me full-time to produce all of their videos in perpetuity. This video contest world is nothing short of a roller coaster, but if you prove yourself, someone will take notice. My biggest goal is to help budding filmmakers to get into success with filmmaking and video contests. I know I would have loved to have a mentor at the beginning. I would like to eventually find a way to help other filmmakers on a large scale. All in all, I’d like to see this community move from us seeing each other as competitors to becoming friends with a common goal, willing to support each other, vote each other up, and help each other win. This crazy ride has made enough to buy the gear that supports my business and allowed me to remain self employed… all in my spare time. End thoughts? Stick with it. Make a name for yourself. Most importantly, make a difference.
If you want to learn more about Jordan and see his latest work, go visit his website!
Want to be a featured Zooppa member, too? Go check out the contests you can enter and impress us with your filmmaking-awesomeness and talent, and maybe we’ll feature you as Member of the Week for all to stare at in AWE!