The Price Of Success

I just won SIX W3 Awards. I wasn’t 100% sure what these awards were when I entered two of my videos but as an independent artist whose only distribution outlet is the Internet I felt I should take any and all shots to kick up some dust. Here’s what I won:

“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – Editing Is Cool” – Gold – Music category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – Editing Is Cool” – Silver – Animation category
“Allee Willis – http://www.alleewillis.com” – Silver – Personal Website category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang” – Silver – Innovative/Experimental category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang”– Silver – Music category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang”– Silver – Animation category

I won in every category I entered. I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth – I’m always happy to win! – but it seems I’ve stumbled onto something more significant than snagging the prize – an Internet business that’s guaranteed to bring in more cash than the records, videos and other web delights I’m chained to my desks creating, remuneration for which is zero or just above it in this day and age where such creations are viewed as public domain.

Check out this racket, um, strategy of the W3′s. Charge a hefty entrance fee. Create enough categories so it’s confusing which one your work should be entered in. If a music video has animation and you put it up on YouTube is it in the Music, Animation or Viral category? And don’t forget the Innovative/ Experimental category if your work is anything above average. Better enter all four categories to cover your ass. The triple digit entry fee multiplies faster than the number of times McCain spits out “my friends”.

A couple of months later I receive an email saying the deadline for the Awards has been extended. This means that either these are puny Awards and not enough people entered or these are greedy Awards and not enough people entered. But the email dangles that award carrot so I enter alleewillis.com in the personal website category, resisting the urge to cover my ass again and enter it in all the categories it qualifies for.

I forget about everything until the letters start arriving. “Congratulations, you have won…” (see above). I’m happy for a millisecond until I see that proof of winning each of my six awards will cost $175 a pop plus shipping and handling for a certificate and a statue. I check the W3 website. Nowhere, not even in 1 point type, is there mention of the fact that if you win it will cost you more than what it cost to enter.

This is SO offensive to me. At the very least how about the piece of paper for free and then a nominal fee to cover the price of stamping out the statues? I still think the latter is tacky but it’s better than nothing, which is what you get when you win a W3 and maybe want to buy food before an ugly paperweight.

I’ve thankfully won many awards. No one else ever charged me to be honored. Oh wait, I used to have to pay for my gold records when certain artists forgot that had it not been for the songwriter they would have had no song to sing.

I’ve spent days trying to decide which W3′s to fork out the dough for and which to ignore, but it sickens me to pick a favorite among my babies. So as soon as I finish this I will reluctantly write a check and tell my After Effects artist not to come in for a few days so I can afford to be honored. I’m also thinking I should cancel all the records and videos I’m currently working on and just dream up some Internet Awards so I can live off the entry and awards fees. How about the “Most Unoriginal Website Awards? I could make a fortune.


Categories: Art, Awards, Press, Technology, video

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One Comment

  • Steve says:

    yeah, welcome to the web awards scam. we noticed this a while back. oh well.

    by the way, your works is awesome and I’m amazed. I just hope you find a way to make lots o money off of all of this. if money followed talent automatically, then you’d be queen of gold. but alas sometime talent is run over by the money theives.

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