ALPENA - Local companies Dark Minds Productions and Infinity Graphic Design were declared the winner of the Womadz Worldwide Commercial Contest, in which commercial companies submit a commercial, based on a product or company they created. The winning submittal was titled ID Lockdown for a fictional identity theft company and on Friday Womadz announced Dark Minds and Infinity Graphics had won the $10,000 first prize.
Stacy VanOrman said his companies have won contests in the past and each time it does it helps build connections with companies to shoot commercials for. VanOrman said commercials for Jack Daniels, Build-a-Bear and Coors Light already have been made and he expects more companies to call after winning the Womadz contest.
"Since we won we have already been hired to do three national commercials," VanOrman said. "They are for start up, chain companies which are creating a name for themselves and beginning to advertise nationwide. We will film two of them at the end of the month and the other one shortly after."
This is the fifth worldwide contest the local companies have won in the last three years and many of them are decided by people who vote for them on a website. VanOrmam said area residents are used in all of the commercials and he hopes to increase the amount of people who will act in upcoming spots.
"We always use local people and we're always trying to expand our portfolio of actors and actresses," VanOrman said. "This last one required some pretty descript characters, so by having a larger portfolio it allows us to find the perfect fit for a spot and be more creative with our production."
Dark Minds Productions has been creating the haunted house in Alpena for years and continues to expand on it to make it larger and add more complicated and creative productions. VanOrmer said it is popular not just locally, but from all over the country, and even outside of it. He said the money won in the contest will be used to increase the size and quality of the haunted house.
"We want to add a couple new sections and add some new props," VanOrman said. "We also want to expand our advertising. Right now we have charts that show more than 75 percent of the people who come to the haunted house are from outside Alpena County and we have people from as far away as Canada visit."
VanOrman said it is his goal to have to create a haunted house that will be larger than anything else in the world. He said there is plenty of space available at the old armory in Alpena, but funds are needed for it to continue to expand.
"The main goal is to have the largest haunted attraction in the world. Right now we are behind by about 300 square feet, but we are close and we are planning to continue to expand and hopefully get the world record."
People who want to see the ID Lockdown video can visit www.womadz.com
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.