Calls-to-action should be something fun or stir people to react to your videos, to become involved. When you allow your fans to interact with you in some way, you give them a challenge or a question to tackle, and you provide your own input into those fan interactions, you begin to develop a relationship with your fans. Your fans care and spread the word, and you get valuable feedback. For awhile, Film Riot did this by having the occasional, now weekly, "Mail Sack" video, where host Ryan Connolly would answer questions presented by viewers. But now, they've taken it to another level through engaging with their audience and issuing a call-to-action, interactive challenge.
Film Riot's Monday Challenge: Interactive Audience Engagment
Film Riot kicked off their Monday Challenge with this episode on April 23. Ryan called for people to send in a video depicting a "head shot." If you want to go straight to the call-to-action, it's at 7:11:
Notice that the rules for the challenge are explicitly stated. How long the video needs to be, the goals of the video, where to send it, the deadline. What's great about a call-to-action such as this is that it calls for people to do things that the show Film Riot has been doing for years, and I think this is the telling comment from Connolly:
Basically the idea behind this is, since the beginning of Film Riot, we have been motivated by you guys to constantly be producing something new, doing all these little sketches and short films and it is really refined and honed our skills over time. So, we thought we could do the same for you guys, offer out these Monday Challenges so you guys could possibly have a chance to get on the show, have your work shown, and motivate you to start bettering your craft.
So it's a challenge that is not only fun, but could possibly get your work shown, and gives you practice all at once. Here's what made the show on the following Monday (at 5:27):
Film Riot makes this a self-perpetuating machine by announcing the next challenge right after showing all the winners. The other thing that is really cool, and this is something that Connolly brings up, is that this challenge, with people uploading videos to YouTube, has created a nice little community of people who critique and comment on all the videos submitted. So even the ones that don't get chosen end up getting feedback.
Here are the winners of the push-pull challenge, or the Vertigo Shot (at 5:29):
And then winners of the cloning effect (at 4:30):
The next one is three-point lighting, following a script written by Connolly. You see how it goes. These are all special techniques that get people out and experimenting with the camera or special effects program in some way. And what a great way to build a rabid audience. Those looking for unique calls-to-action should look for inspiration here.