Firefox to take centre stage

Mozilla is searching for new film-making talent as it launches a competition to come up with the best adverts for Firefox

Get the cameras ready to roll. Firefox is heading for Tinseltown as Mozilla prepares to give its open source browser the star treatment and calls for budding, enlightened filmmakers to start working on a screen treatment.

After announcing last month that it was embarking on its biggest-ever marketing drive, aimed at getting "thousands or tens of thousands" of videos out promoting Firefox 1.5, the company said on Thursday that it was launching a campaign to get the best emerging filmmakers working on the open source trail.

The Firefox Flicks Ad Contest calls upon "professional, student and aspiring filmmakers" to create "innovative, broadcast-quality 30-second commercials" for Firefox.

The ads will be judged by "a star-studded panel of luminaries drawn from the film, television and advertising industries", and Mozilla is offering prizes including the opportunity for the winning ads to be considered for inclusion in global Firefox marketing campaigns.

Mozilla said it is hoping to attract entrants from "the tens of thousands of volunteer supporters [who] congregate regularly at Mozilla's community marketing Web site".

The judging panel for the prizes includes Jim Denault, the cinematographer on Six Feet Under; McG, the director and producer of Charlie's Angels; Freddy Rodriguez, an actor in Six Feet Under; and Warren Zide, a producer on American Pie and Final Destination.

Those entering the competition have something to shoot at. The IT industry has a history of staging innovative set-piece advertising, usually during a slot in the US' Superbowl TV coverage. Anyone who witnessed the one and only nationally televised showing of the Apple "Why 1984 won't be 1984" ad 21 years ago will still remember the impact that can be made by a brief clip.

More recently, an Accenture campaign featuring the problems of a group of cowboys trying to herd domestic cats drew lavish praise.

People interested in taking part in the competition should visit http://video.spreadfirefox.com

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