Catdance Open for Cat Video Entries!

Submit your original cat video by Sep. 3 for a chance to win $50,000 and a trip to the Sundance Film Festival. Watch last year's finalists here for inspiration.

Lights, cameras … catsion! Remember getting your first computer with video editing software and thinking, “I’ll have to see how that works?” Maybe you tested the movie-making waters by taking a short video of your cat zipping around the corner on catnip overload, and that was that.

Find the Top 10 tips to a great cat video from a feature filmmaker >>

Well you’ll be kicking yourself to hear about the Fresh Step Catdance Film Festival. Picture this — some creative cat parent is going to win $50,000 and the one-of-kind Golden Scoop award for writing an original, scripted short film that captures the “smart, quirky and independent nature of cats.”

See all of last year’s Catdance cat video finalists >>

But wait! There’s still time … until Sep. 3, to be exact. If there’s ever a reason to ditch your book-of-the-month-club meeting, call in sick to work, or cancel that vacation (the one you’ve had a guilt trip about because you were leaving your kitty in the care of the new neighbor kid), it is now. After all, when are you ever going to have the chance to win big money by making a movie starring your cat?

Watch cat exercise videos made by CAT FANCY readers >>

Fair warning though, I checked out some of last year’s Catdance Film Festival selections, and these aren’t your “America’s Funniest Home Videos” fare. No, these film shorts are funny, creative, crafty in their editing (unlike you and I, these people obviously took the time to read through the iMovie guide. On second thought, they likely used more sophisticated video-editing software like Final Edit Pro, but I digress).

Put together a runner’s-up-quality short film, and you and up to five finalists and a guest will win a trip to the Catdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, come January 2014, as well as a one year’s supply of Fresh Step cat litter.

One running theme that should give you a glimmer of hope: Your cat doesn’t have to act much … or at all. This should not come as a surprise. Have you ever seen a cat on the big screen show off its acting chops/perform a task when cued? No, if a cat could talk, it would likely go all Bartleby on a film director, as in “I’d prefer not to.”

Why is this lack of acting aspiration a positive? Because that will make your job easier; you can shoot around the cat. Instead of trying in vain to get your cat to do anything scripted, film your cat doing what it does best — lying around the house, eating, licking its paws, lying around the house some more — and piece together a story that turns these real-life vignettes into a captivating story. That’s what this awesome cat video did, from last year’s Catdance does. You’re already well-versed in feline … grab your video camera, catch your cat in the act of being a cat, and if you are so like your cat that can’t act either, go the voice-over cat video route.

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