Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today the first photography-inspired film festival in history, aligning with five influential celebrities from five diverse disciplines who will direct short films under the tutelage of two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard. Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Biz Stone, Georgina Chapman and James Murphy have signed on for year two of Canon's "Long Live Imagination" campaign and the next endeavor, Project Imaginat10n, where consumer photographs will inspire Hollywood films.
In 2011, Ron Howard and Canon U.S.A. invited photographers of all levels to submit their most imaginative photographs based on eight elements of storytelling for an unprecedented user-generated contest, Project Imagin8ion. The project set out to prove that photography could be used as a creative vehicle, even inspiring a Ron Howard production. Nearly 100,000 photos later, eight photos were selected and influenced an award-winning short film, When You Find Me, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard.
A new exploration of the creative exercise, Project Imaginat10n, kicks off today at Imagination.USA.Canon.com, where consumers will have the chance to submit photos to be narrowed down by Canon, Ron Howard and community voting. The "10" in "Imaginat10n," represents ten storytelling elements and ten films that will ultimately be produced, five of which will be directed by our creative icons to be showcased at a special Canon Project Imaginat10n Film Festival in 2013. The other five film directors will be announced at a later date.
"Last year's campaign reinforced the endless possibilities of photography, engaging the masses who entered photos at a record shattering pace to inspire a film legend, Ron Howard," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "An award-winning film shot on the new Cinema EOS System was proof that creative collaboration matched with the power of Canon products can achieve great things."
He added, "This time around we're setting out to prove Ron Howard's very own words, that 'we're all creative,' aligning with a diverse group of leaders from different fields including TV, film, fashion, music, technology and business who will each use photography to inspire the screenplay of the short film they direct."
"Project Imaginat10n is a genius and organic partnership - linking together people I personally admire and the limitless untapped creativity in everyone," said Eva Longoria, film and TV actress. "I'm extremely passionate about this opportunity and looking forward to stepping behind the camera."
"When I saw what Ron Howard was doing last year with Canon, I knew the project had integrity," said Jamie Foxx, Academy Award winner. "Ron is a film icon and after he made a cameo in one of my music videos, it was only appropriate that we team up a second time for something truly outstanding."
"This project is scratching a creative itch I've had for a long time - and the chance to work with Ron Howard and Canon is the icing on the cake," said Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter. "Whether it's a tweet or a photo, consumers want to share and I'm excited to jump right in."
"As a fashion designer, I'm constantly inspired by visual elements such as textures, lighting, and colors," said Georgina Chapman, designer and co-founder of Marchesa. "Photography has always been linked with the fashion industry, so I am looking forward to working with this medium in my first-ever directing endeavor."
"I like to make things, it doesn't matter what, so this project makes me really happy," said James Murphy, founder of LCD Soundsystem. "My first camera was a Canon AE1-P that I saved up and bought myself in the 80s and I've been a Canon guy ever since. I now have about eight or nine Canon cameras, including a mint 1014XL-S super 8 sound camera that I've had modified for crystal sync! I'm excited to direct something narrative, and really looking forward to working with Ron Howard, learning as much as I can."
"The concept behind Project Imaginat10n showcases the power still images can have on narrative storytelling, but more importantly, it demonstrates there are no limits with creativity and sources of inspiration can come from anyone or anything," said Ron Howard. "It has been a pleasure to partner with Canon on this experiment and I'm thrilled to work with this talented group of new directors - Eva, Jamie, Biz, Georgina and James - to help them on this creative journey."
Project Imaginat10n showcases Canon's commitment to still and video as well as the amateur and pro. Last year's film "when you find me" was shot using Canon cameras including the new Cinema EOS System and DSLR cameras and EF lenses. The films directed by Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Biz Stone, Georgina Chapman and James Murphy will also be produced on the Cinema EOS System.
Grey New York, Canon's agency partner for over thirty years, is developing the creative and digital elements of the multi-phase campaign. Alliance, the activation and public relations division of Grey, is managing the talent partnerships as well as the promotional, event and public relations efforts.
Project Imaginat10n Rules
The contest entry period runs from Tuesday, August 14 - Monday, September 24, 2012. To enter, visit Imagination.USA.Canon.com and follow the on-screen entry instructions. The Project Imaginat10n contest will feature ten storytelling themes in which consumers can submit their photos: Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Backstory, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle, The Unknown, and a surprise 10th theme, which will be revealed at a later date. There will be a public vote on the finalists from Tuesday, September 4 - Monday, October 1. With input from the online community, Canon and Ron Howard, the entries will be narrowed down to 91 winners and the five celebrity directors will select ten photos, one per theme, to inspire their films. The films will then be showcased at a special Canon Project Imaginat10n Film Festival in 2013.