opencut (no, not a post about Amy Winehouse)

For those aspiring to learn the craft of film editing, one of the trickiest aspects of the journey can be finding good footage to practice on. Even more rare is the opportunity to see how other, more experienced editors would treat the same footage. If you'd like to improve your cutting chops, or flex them for all to see, you could try entering the current competition at You'll get about 160GB of footage from a short film called Susannah (shot with the RED One camera), slice it and dice it however you see fit, and enter the results for judging. From the site:

OpenCut is a completely open-source film competition designed to encourage people to take professionally shot material and edit it in their own way. As there is no "one way" to tell a story, so too can stories benefit from being re-edited and re-told from many different vantage points and perspectives.

The winner of OpenCut 1.0 will receive a brand new AJA IO HD from Silverado. They will also be recognized as the "editor-of-record" at IMDB and will have their cut submitted to multiple film festivals.

Entry will cost you US$25. Grab your copy of In the Blink of an Eye (and maybe even the editing chapter of The Guide) and get to work!

UPDATE: Don't ignore (as I nearly did) the other awesome aspect of this—it's a great way to get your hands on some professionally-shot RED One footage to practice your color grading as well! From the looks of it, the contest is not strictly limited to picture cutting—your finished film will apparently be evaluated for polish and creativity in sound, music, and color as well.

UPDATE UPDATE: You'll notice a comment below from Torrey Loomis, Project Director of OpenCut, addressing many of your questions and concerns. Here's a salient snippet:

We've included an Ubernote to the resources section denoting that this project is NOT limited to Mac.

Second, we've changed the upload requirements to h.264 720p or 1080p. ProRes is not required.

This project is open to anyone--PC or Mac, period.

Thanks Torrey for chiming in! I'm sure ProLost readers appreciate your responsiveness. Read the full comment below.