How to Prepare Your Small/Cool Contest Video Submission

published Feb 18, 2022
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This year, as part of your Small/Cool Contest submission, we’re asking for something new: a phone-recorded video of one room in your home showing your best and coolest small-space tip in action! Voters will be able to watch these videos for every entrant who makes it to Round 2 of public voting

Here’s some more guidance on how to put together this video for your submission.

Step 1: Shoot your video pan.

Once you’ve decided which room to showcase, get set up by opening up your mobile phone camera app and holding your phone vertically (9:16), like you’re on FaceTime. 

Now start filming. (Make sure you’re recording a video, not taking a panoramic photo.) Stand in place and keep your camera as steady as possible, or use a tripod if you own one. Slowly (emphasis on slowly!) shoot from left to right or right to left. The full room pan should last no more than 15 seconds. No need to speak while you do this — we’ll edit out any audio. 

These are examples of a room pan video:

Step 2: Upload your video.

In order to submit your video in our Small/Cool Contest submission form (available here on March 1), you’ll need to provide a link to a downloadable video file. You might use Dropbox, Google Drive, or We Transfer for this. 

If you want to use Dropbox, first you’ll need to add the video file to your Dropbox account. Make sure you set your Dropbox file to public (scroll halfway down this page for instructions on how to do that), and then follow these how-tos for what to use as your shareable link

If WeTransfer is more your speed, you can find instructions here for uploading a file, and here for grabbing your shareable link

Step 3: Write your caption.

In addition to your video, our submission form will ask you for a caption. Please put together a one-sentence caption (no more than 140 characters) that answers this question: What is your best and coolest small-space tip in this room? If you earn enough votes to move on to Round 2, we’ll add this to your video for you; all you need to do is write it!

For example, Sarah wrote this caption for the example video below: “My biggest tip is to make use of vertical space! And don’t be afraid to get creative — I have a bathroom vanity cabinet on my bedroom wall!”

Step 4: Share all of this on your submission form.

Our form will ask you for your downloadable video file link and your caption, so have them both handy when you put together your submission! Reminder: Submissions will be open from March 1 at 9 a.m. ET to March 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Any questions? Reach us at