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NBC, FTT team up for ND commercial contest

Puja Parikh | Tuesday, September 11, 2007

For the first time, NBC will air a Notre Dame commercial created and directed entirely by a University student.

Students can enter the contest through the the Film, Television and Theatre department, which is working collaboratively with NBC. The proposed spots, which are 30 seconds long, are due Friday.

Three scripts will be chosen, greenlighted for production and posted on nbcsports.com – where fans will be able to vote on them and decide the final winner.

Karen Heisler, supervisor of the FTT internship program, is one of the faculty members who will review the films.

“This is a popular concept these days,” Heisler said. “Go back to the Superbowl Doritos commercial and you see a lot of organizations doing these things. Video is accessible to everyone these days, and everyone has a camera or an editing program on his or her computer.

“Everyone is into making movies and videos.”

This is the first time NBC and FTT have worked together in order to sponsor a student-made commercial.

“NBC’s idea is to target the 18-to-24 year old demographic,” Heisler said. “They are trying to drive people to their Web site … and make it more interactive to get students and other people to their web site.”

Heisler and NBC Sports decided on three finalists because they wanted to allow many students the opportunity to enter, while making the videos easily accessible online for voting.

Two submissions had been received by Monday night, but Heisler said she expects more by the due date.

“We don’t know if we will get five submissions or 50,” Heisler said. “It will be interesting to see.”

Students who wish to make their own video but do not have the necessary equipment are allowed to use FTT equipment so long as they produce the actual film themselves.

“The student is responsible for producing the entire thing … from graphics, sound, music, and editing,” Heisler said. “We’re excited to see the products.”

NBC has not yet decided if the final commercial will be aired on television or on the Internet.

“NBC will look at the quality of the video and the company will make a decision on where and when it will air,” Heisler said.

Heisler said she welcomed contact from students with questions. She can be reached at heisler.4@nd.edu or (574) 631-7486.