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Oct 06th
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Behold the Camera Olympics

cameraolympicsCinematic Syndicate hosts the first ever Santa Cruz Camera Olympics

Most of the time, commercials just annoy us. But sometimes, they just might inspire us.

Commercial-induced inspiration is exactly what brought Jesse Clark, 24, to create the 2011 Santa Cruz Camera Olympics, which took place on Saturday, July 23. Clark is the founder of Cinematic Syndicate, a company created in December of 2010 by Clark and a loose group of local freelance photographers and filmmakers who create story-telling videos to advertise other companies. Clark describes story-telling videos as “videos that are really talking about the story of a business and how it came to be the way that it is.” He also explains the difference between push and pull-marketing within businesses: with push-marketing, a company forces its product onto the consumer, while pull-marketing is more interactive and invites the customer to learn more about the product through something such as an intriguing advertisement.

Opting for a pull-marketing technique for his company, Clark created the Camera Olympics based on a commercial he had seen for the camera company Canon. The commercial exhibited a group of people playing freeze tag where, when they were caught, they had their photo image actually frozen on the screen while the game continued and others still move animatedly around.

“This commercial is Canon helping photographers to have a fun time,” says Clark. “Instead of throwing some promotional event [for Cinematic Syndicate], we really wanted to get the community together and have fun.”

The event included several photography-centered games, including: freeze tag downtown where two teams had the objective to catch the most photographs of the other, all while avoiding being photographed themselves; a scavenger hunt downtown where participants tried to capture as many photographs of the items on a list as they could; and an instant short/photo film contest, which could take place anywhere in Santa Cruz, where competitors created a one minute film or sequence of photographs, without cuts, to be shown immediately after completion. There were three sponsored prizes for each event: a bag of sustainable organic meats from Niman Ranch, a head-set from Plantronics and a $50 gift certificate to Bay Photo Lab, respectively.

This was the first interactive community event held by Cinematic Syndicate and was free of charge. A total of 12 people participated, and winners will be announced on the Cinematic Syndicate website ( soon.

“Our goal with the event is to generate enough social interest so that people not only want to come back and play,” says Clark, “but so that we have enough momentum to actually leverage this as something that could benefit the community. Eventually there could be a small entry fee that would go to a community organization or cause- then we'd really be making an impact.”


Photo by Jesse Clark.


Comments (1)Add Comment
written by CommunityInvolvement, August 02, 2011
What a cool idea! How does someone get to hear about the event/get involved? I happened to see it on facebook but do these guys advertise for the event or have a mailing list or something?

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