"The PEN your story challenge," says Michael Bourne, a representative for the company, "is about getting more consumer engagement of the PEN camera. This is about getting the camera into the hands of as many people who can get it and empowering them."
Interested consumers are asked to submit a two- to three-minute video proposal of what they would do with the camera and a $5,000 budget, whether that be chronicling an adventure or creating a photomontage of an event, at the company's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/getolympus.
Olympus has enlisted popular YouTube video director Eric Beck from IndyMogul.com. "If you want in, it's simple," Beck says in an introductory video. "There are no limits to what you can propose. Everything will be considered. Want to buy 100 kids in your neighborhood skateboards and photograph them breaking the world record for making the most tricks at once? That could get picked." Beck also suggests that people mention exactly how they'll use the camera's features -- such as interchangeable lenses and artistic filters -- in their proposals.
"Beck epitomizes the DIY spirit of the people we're looking for with this project," Bourne says. "His video gives you good information about the video project."
The list will be winnowed to 20, based on popularity (via YouTube's "like" button), with six of them selected by a panel of judges to win the camera and the funds to bring the proposal to life. Once completed (and uploaded to YouTube), one grand prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Olympus-sponsored U.S. Open to see the project displayed at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The company is promoting the contest through YouTube and its YouTube Channel, as well as through Beck's fans, Facebook and other social media, Bourne says.