Rooftop Films and WNYC’sThe Brian Lehrer show are proud to share a similar ethos: we love New York, baseball, arts, bicycling, and political issues explored through personal stories. We both value populist media, made by, reported on and respecting the views of everyday people and experts alike. Here at Rooftop, we have a tremendous respect for Brian Lehrer’s journalism, and are thrilled to be collaborating with his show on a new crowdsourcing-style reporting contest. 


The contest asks people to tell us your story, or report on what you see, for an online project that includes your local stories of economic activity in the New York City area–jobs lost or found, stores opening or closing, good deals on rent, whatever you find. The Brian Lehrer Show (and now Rooftop Films) want to tell this complex story with the help of your calls, photographs, video and writing. What matters is that we get YOUR stories about the economy from the places you are familiar with.

We will choose submissions to air on the show each week so our listeners can hear what you have noticed as well. Videos will be online, and finalists will receive a WNYC gift bag and an appearance before a live audience to screen the winning video with Brian Lehrer in the new Jerome L. Greene performance space.

The grand prize winner will receive a screening at Rooftop Films.

As you plan your video, consider our Uncommon Economic Indicator categories: housing, employment, behavior, commerce, swindlers or bright spots. On the submission form, enter your name and email (in case we need to contact you), assign a category and add a title. Because your submission can appear on our map, make a note of where you shoot and enter the address. After you upload your video to YouTube (never did that? get help here) an icon will appear on our map. Click there to see your video, or you may also view it as an entry in our Your Uncommon Economic Indicators 2009 Video Contest.

Contest PeriodThe Brian Lehrer Show’s Uncommon Economic Indicators video contest begins at 10:00:01 a.m. Eastern Time on May 26, 2009 and ends at 11:59:59 a.m. ET on June 21, 2009.

Prize: The winning video will be screened this summer by Rooftop Films. Finalists will receive a WNYC gift bag and an appearance before a live audience to screen the winning video with Brian Lehrer in the new Jerome L. Greene performance space.

Requirements: Add your YouTube video to the WNYC Group, complete the contact information form and enter the video URL on Your Uncommon Economic Indicators.

Your video should be no longer than one-minute and should show your take on an Uncommon Economic Indicator. You get extra points during the judging if one of these 6 category icons from our project appears somewhere in your shot:

+ Behavior–Piggy Bank
+ Bright Spots–Sunshine
+ Commerce–Bank
+ Employment–Handshake
+ Housing–A white house
+ Swindlers–Skull & Crossbones

Tips: What Makes a Better Video?

+ A steady hand. If you don’t have a tri-pod, do all you can to support your arm (keep it close to your body, support with other hand, short takes).
+ Lighting matters! If you don’t have good light, find some or shoot at a different time.
+ Sound matters! Be aware of the mic on your camera and be sure to get close if you conduct an interview.
+ Have fun!

Please keep your video under one minute. Don’t forget a title!