Making the Cut

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Making the Cut was a competition first run in 2007 for film students to create an official trailer for Supernatural, with the prize an internership at The CW.

Making the Cut in 2007

Promax/BDA and BLiNK in conjunction with The CW, the competition was open for college students until April 20, 2007, offering an internship at The CW as prize (as well as the use of their trailer in Supernatural promotional campaigns).

The CW have a video promotion for this competition on their website here.

Winner Announced! Eric Kripke introduces the winning video on The CW or on YouTube made by Stacey Young of Vancouver, Washington’s Clark College.

Making the Cut in 2008

The competition is being run again in 2008. The competition kicks off December 3, and the finalists and winner will be revealed during a special panel at the annual Promax/BDA Conference, June 17-19, New York City. This time, students will have the opportunity to submit entries for The CW’s Supernatural, Gossip Girl and Smallville. More information at the CW Source and the Promax/BDA Student Alliance where you can download clips to use

“The CW has continued to emphasize convergence, interactivity, and social networking in its branding strategy, indicating that this has been a successful way to connect with viewers and establish itself as an entertainment source for the target demographic. In February 2007, the network promoted a contest called “Making the Cut” that allowed entrants access to Supernatural footage that they could fashion into their own preview for the series. The winning advertisement aired during primetime.” (Murphy 2008: 23)

Source: Murphy, Caryn. 2008. “A Joint (Ad)Venture: The CW Network and the Youth Market.” In The Business of Entertainment: Volume III, Television, edited by Robert C. Sickels, 17-33. Praeger.

Making the Cut III in 2009

In 2009 the competition was sponsored by The CW, Gas Station Zebra, and Promax/BDA Present. Clips to make a 90sec promo vid were supplied for Gossip Girl, 90210, Smallville and of course Supernatural.

Making the Cut IV in 2010

The Shows featured in this years competition are: Supernatural, Gossip Girl, 90210 and The Vampire Diaries

Making the Cut V in 2010

The Shows featured in this years competition are: Supernatural, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries

The following is taken from the Making the Cut pages on the Promax website, documented here for archiving purposes:

Introduction to the competition

Would you like to produce a trailer for a network television program?
Well now you can. Be a part of PROMAX/BDA’s "Making the Cut!" Together with The CW and BLiNK, PROMAX is searching for college students with the drive and talent to catch the eye of electronic media marketing professionals from around the world.
The challenge is a creative contest. The goal is to create a compelling video that creates a buzz for the popular CW show, Supernatural. You’ll be provided with footage from the show and given the opportunity to dazzle us with your creative vision.
Click here to download the Creative Brief
Trailers will be judged on their ability to:
  1. Capture viewers’ attention
  2. Convey the network’s message about the show
  3. Present the material in an original and compelling manner
Return the info below and we’ll send you everything you need to download the materials, put together your entry and compete for the coveted prize. Entries must be completed and submitted by May 5.
All those completing a valid entry are invited to attend the June PROMAX conference in New York City where you could meet industry leaders from every corner of the globe. Finalists' work will be featured in a conference session and the winner will be offered an internship with The CW.
So, sign up now and show us what you’ve got.


Creative Brief

The CW, Promax/BDA and BLiNK Present MAKING THE CUT
Think you have what it takes to work in television? Prove it.
In an effort to reach out to America’s future creative talent, The CW is offering students a shot at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to create a non-traditional trailer for The CW series "Supernatural" and potentially have it air.
Making the Cut is an opportunity to create a spot that could jumpstart your creative career in the industry by winning an internship at The CW Television Network. Did we mention your spot could air on TV? That’s right— your trailer airing on one of the biggest television networks on the planet. Does it get any better than that?
With today’s ever-changing media outlets, viewers are seeking out compelling and original content. With this in mind, the traditional way of promoting a television show is changing: 30 second trailers promoting next week’s episode are no longer the standard. Viewers and fans have an overwhelming passion for their favorite programs, and are generating their own trailers, commercials, video blogs, and personal content.
This is where you come in, but first the 411 on "Supernatural:"
The CW’s "Supernatural" takes viewers on a completely new kind of thrill ride: a journey into the dark world of the unexplained, delivering the terror of films like "The Ring" and "The Grudge." The Winchester brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki, "Gilmore Girls") and his older brother Dean (Jensen Ackles, "Smallville"), have one mission; to protect the innocent from things that go bump in the night.
The creative objective of this competition (and don’t forget this is a competition) is to put together a piece of non-traditional promotion that captures the essence of the show. A piece that communicates the theme of the show and its central story of Good vs. Evil.
Register for Making the Cut and we’ll send you an email with instructions on how to download material from this season of "Supernatural". Now, even though we’ve provided this program footage from which to draw, you are encouraged to use your imagination. Feel free to use other visual tools and resources. Think outside the box, incorporate your own material and use your own creative voice.
It could be a :20 second shot with narration, a video blog, or a video postcard. It could be a graphic message against a black background. Maybe you’re a graphic designer and want to build a graphic look or visual story. Maybe you love photography and you’d like to convey a supernatural story through images, or use photography as a framework. Maybe you’re in a band and want to write a song that supports your piece. Or perhaps there is a piece of music out there that you think would work well for the show. You’re free to use anything you like.
Shoot something, record something, make a graphic, record a song. It’s really up to you. The only condition is that the piece should be no longer than :90 seconds.
Other than that, the sky is the limit! Just be original and have fun!
Good luck! Your future awaits!