Last year, Paul produced one of the ten finalist films in Coca-Cola’s Refreshing Young Filmmakers Award. (It was called “The Kiss,” and you can see it here.) This year he has dreams of going all the way.
The contest, which began in 1998, is open to college film students only. The winning film garners a cash prize, possible contacts in the industry, and the exposure of being shown during previews on commercial theatre screens across America.
For several years after the Award’s debut, the theme for the films, as set out in the guidelines, was of the “magic of the movies” variety. No product placement was required, but you could not have a competitor’s product in the film. In the 2005 winning film, the youth who camps out in a tent for an upcoming movie, and the box office girl, do just happen to share a magical movie moment at the end, that includes a Coca-Cola. Ka-chink.
The rules for 2006 marked a change. The theme was now “how Coca-cola enhances the movie-going experience.” Ka-chink.
This year’s rules have eliminated movies as required subject matter at all, instead:
“This year’s screenplay should present a story that illustrates how Diet Coke is an ally for survival in a hectic everyday life… picking people up and calming them down… making their busy lives seem effortless.”
Note the following line: - "This is not a Diet Coke commercial but Diet Coke should play a central role in the story." Ka-chink.
My predictions for next year?
“Okay, it is a commercial. Here’s our new product: Make people want to by it.” Ka-chink.
Look—Connect Four—diagonally! Pretty sneaky Coca-Cola. We didn’t even see that one coming.