Direct a "Slither" Commercial!

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Thanks to ComingSoon.net for sharing a press release from Universal, the gist of which is this: If you're a geeky horror fan who wants to enter a contest that could net you 25 Grand and the title of TV Commerical Director ... head on over to the official "Slither" site and be prepared to start sluggin'.

Universal Pictures today announced a call for entries for its "Slug it Out!": Slither TV Spot Contest. Coinciding with the promotional launch of the new genre-bending horror film Slither, the contest offers one lucky winner a grand prize of $25,000 and the chance to have his or her advertising concept become part of the theatrical campaign for the film. Slither oozes into theaters nationwide on March 31, 2006.

Starting today, site visitors to Slithermovie.net will have 10 days to "Slug It Out!" Online users will be given hands-on exposure to the world of theatrical motion picture advertising as they assemble the ultimate TV commercial to promote the film. With a special "Slug It Out" feature available only on the Slither web site, visitors can take Universal-supplied assets including clips, music cues, sound FX and graphics to build a customized version of a Slither TV spot.

Adam Fogelson, president of marketing, Universal Pictures notes, "'Slither' is a horror film unlike most, and it has a marketing campaign that reflects that. This genre really encourages audience participation, and we know the fans are capable of some disgusting, hilarious work. We're here to reward that creativity."

Users have two options to design the spot. The first option is to "Do It Yourself," allowing aspiring filmmakers to download assets and edit using their own editing software. The second option, "Flash it Out," is available for those users who are not familiar with desktop video editing applications. This feature is a Flash-based timeline editing system that is simple enough for anyone to use.

After submissions have been collected, 25 semi-finalists will be chosen by Universal Pictures based on creative requirements set by the studio. Of these selections, five will be chosen for the final round by talent from the film. The four runners-up will each receive $1,000 and autographed Slither memorabilia, while the grand prize winner will receive $25,000 and the chance for the spot to air on television as part of the film's advertising campaign. The remaining 20 semi-finalists will receive a Slither prize pack and one of Universal Pictures' classic horror films on DVD.

Once the entry period has concluded on 3/9, users can go to the "'Slither' Theater" section of the web site to rate and react to the latest and greatest disgusting submissions from the public. At the conclusion of the contest, the winner will have his or her creation prominently displayed online. The winner(s) will be announced the week of 3/27.

Slither is an edgy blend of heart-stopping terror, wry humor and surprising humanity from genre-bending screenwriter James Gunn, whose Dawn of the Dead became one of 2004's most surprising hits.

The sleepy town of Wheelsy could be any small town in America -- somewhat quaint and gentle, peopled with friendly folks who mind their own business. But just beneath the surface charm, something unnamed and evil has arrived ... and is growing. No one seems to notice as telephone poles become clogged with missing pet flyers, or when one of the town's richest citizens, Grant Grant (Michael Rooker), begins to act strangely. But when farmers' livestock turn up horribly mutilated and a young woman goes missing, Chief of Police Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) and his team, aided by Grant's wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks), uncover the dark force laying siege to their town ... and come face-to-face with an older-than-time organism intent on absorbing and devouring all life on Earth.

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I'll leave the advertising to the professionals; I just want to see the movie already!

"Slither" makes its debut at the South By Southwest Film Festival just prior to its 3/31 release date.

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