Last month, YouTube announced “The Cut,” a contest that asks its participants to create music videos for three of Elton John’s most famous songs: “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man,” and “Tiny Dancer.” Now, with the submission deadline 13 days away, the world’s top video site has revealed the judges who will band together to choose the winner. They are DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, music video director Melina Matsoukas, and Barry Jenkins, the man behind the Golden Globe-winning film Moonlight.
All three judges have notable digital media experience. Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation has made a splash on YouTube with channels like DreamWorksTV, the Matsoukas-directed video for Beyonce’s “Formation” became a viral hit upon its release, and Jenkins, in a press release, noted he used the “DIY tools of digital cinema” to make his first movie. “I love how the democratization of the filmmaking process and platforms like YouTube enables people to tell stories that in previous generations simply could not be told,” he added. “I hope to see ideas for this competition that push boundaries and defy expectations.”
Competitors must adhere to specific guidelines for each individual song. The winning “Bennie and the Jets” video must feature choreography, each “Tiny Dancer” submission must be live action, and “Tiny Dancer” entries must be animated. Here is an example in the third of those categories, courtesy of noted stop-motion filmmaker PES:
Submissions for The Cut are due on January 23rd. The official rules of the contest can be read here.