YouTube is is teaming with sponsor Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze on a contest to encourage budding comics to create episodic comedies.
The YouTube "Sketchies" will feature three elimination rounds over nine weeks beginning May 24, with the winner available on YouTube and SierraMist.com. The grand prize is a production budget from Sierra Mist in order to essentially create an online ad for its Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze, which is being launched May 21.
A group described as Hollywood agents, writers, producers and other executives, will pick 20 finalists in the first round, with online voting on that group beginning June 7. Each episode must be less than three minutes. The top ten finalists will have to produce a second episode to be voted on starting June 20. Five final videos will be chosen and a third episode must be produced, with voting on that beginning July 4.
The winner will be announced July 12.