Sunday, June 6, 2010

MTA - L.A. County Video Contest - Transit Flicks

Yes, there is mass transit in Los Angeles. Yes, there are people who voluntarily take the bus, train and other forms of public transportation. I have a lot of say about the MTA but I'm going to try to focus on this specific video contest.

LA County Transit Operators with MTA taking the lead is having a video contest. I know folks have issues with the MTA. Those of you who ride the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Foothill Transit, Commuters Express, LA Dash riders, those in Gardena, Long Beach, Montebello, Norwalk, Torrance can also give a video shout out about their transit system.

MTA Los Angeles Video Contest

I found out about it a few days ago and have been trying to read the fine print. Let me tell you, I don't care how good your eyesight is 3 point type sucks.

Enough stalling; these are the details from the MTA Website:

  • Create a brief video. Show us why you like riding buses and trains, and why others would benefit by doing the same. (If you’re filming on a bus, train, at a station or transit center, please use hand-held cameras only – no tripods – and be courteous to other riders.) Maximum length: 2 minutes.
  • Submit an entry form. Fill out the official entry form with your contact information and video title. After submitting the form, you’ll receive upload instructions by e-mail for your video.
  • Upload your video. Follow the upload instructions to present your video for judging.
  • Contest deadline: July 15, 2010. See complete contest rules for further details.
What I could not find was the required video format? Is cell/mobile phone video ok? Should it be posted or not posted to a video web host site? The size of the video such as 640x480 or can it be in high def?

I don't know. I can't find anything other the the entry form. My understanding is that you fill out the entry form, the MTA will email you the delivery instructions.

Yeah, What Is In It For Me?

The prizes are a transit pass. Hold on, it ain't as cheezy as it sounds. MTA is raising the fare in July. No fooling.
  • Five Honorable Mentions get an EZ Pass for one month. An EZ Pass allows you to hop on all of the mass transit systems, not just Metro. This is an $84 value.
  • 2nd Runner up gets an EZ Pass for three months which amps up to $252 in value.
  • 1st Runner up gets an EZ Pass for six months which in cash money is $504
  • Grand Prize, A Free EZ Transit Pass for one year is $1008
So for two minutes of video pontification you can take the sting out of getting fair increases.

What Is the Catch?

Eh, yeah. Well really you should read the rules for yourself but the headline version is:
  • You have to be 18 years of age or older.
  • Immediate family members of participating transit systems are not eligible. The extra-marital girlfriends of certain MTA drivers seem to be exempt from that restriction but I wouldn't chance it.
  • LACMTA aka Los Angeles County Mass Transit Authority will own the video. You don't get it back. You don't own it anymore. It will be used for publicity and promotion; in perpetuity also known as forever and a day.
  • There is something about how they set the rules and the rules are not negotiable.
  • You will be disqualified if your video disrupts or interferes with service, does not present LACMTA in a favorable light and, you know, the morality thing. So no, you shouldn't aim the camera at the driver without permission, point out the flapping window or ride naked.
One more thing. Don't record certain entrepreneurial activities on the Blue Line. Really that more personal safety than anything else. Just saying.

There you have it. Go forth and promote Los Angeles Mass Transit. Deadline for entry is July 11, 2010 at midnight. Get busy.

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