From over 220 entries in the Celebrity Mii Contest, the judges have selected their favorite celebrity avatar created with the Nintendo Wii. And the winner is Dave Curry with his Zach Braff Mii:
Judge Spencer Sloan of Goldenfiddle said of this entry: “What’s beautiful about this one is the truth in this piece. Yes, Braff, you’re a nose and some lip. Bravo to the artist for taking a risk.” Judge Jen Bekman of the Jen Bekman gallery said of the Braff: “There is this eerily human quality - I mean it really looks like him, as a person, in a weird way.” The Braff Mii was not the most faithfully rendered celebrity Mii but with a few broad strokes, Curry created something more than the sum of its parts and ventured close to art. Well done. As the winner, Dave will receive the Wii game of his choice and a 3-D statuette of the Zach Braff Mii provided by Fabjectory.
Here are some other entries the judges felt strongly about (i.e. the runners-up) with commentary:
Jack Black by both Brandon Erickson and Shane Walsh
Jen: “Faithfully rendered.”
Spencer: “The artist really captured Black’s unsettling feline qualities with confidence and skill, and for that he/she must be congratulated.”
Condoleezza Rice by Alex Chang
Jen: “The Condi one looks like her and also is a caricature at the same time, embodying the devil-essence that surely corrupts her soul.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Stephanie Goins
Spencer: “This one is like the Mona Lisa. I cannot escape her glazy stare, try as I may. She’s perfect in every way.”
Woody Allen by Adam Preble
Jen: “Great, immediately recognizable, somewhat of an easy target though.”
Frida Kahlo by Adriana Tatum
Vito Corleone by Benjamin Lim
Jen: “Don Corleone came close to being my top pick before I decided that he too, was a bit too easy.”
Steve Zissou by Mark Husson
Spencer: “Nice work on the hat, I guess, but the moustache is weird. Plus, no pock marks. And Stevie definitely needs him a frown.”
Admiral Ackbar by Eric Eberhardt and Mike Boccieri
Spencer: “Admiral Ackbar is fantastic, obviously, because I immediately knew who he was, and maybe you didn’t. I’m interested to find out whether the artist went in with Ackbar in mind or saw him in some of the available features. Very well done, indeed.”
Klaus Nomi by D.J. Ross’ girlfriend
Spencer: “The Klaus Nomi is a strong work but possesses little confidence. This Klaus is all fear.
More timid mime than weirdo alien swagger.”
And here are the rest of the finalists that the judges had to choose from. You may notice a few excellent cartoon entries…the judges felt that while they were worthy finalists, they did not merit the top spots because of a lower degree of difficulty involved in their construction (i.e. making a cartoon character with what is essentially a cartoon editor).
From top to bottom, left to right: Velma from Scooby Doo, Hannibal Lecter, Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas, Dick Cheney, Tom Cruise, Hulk Hogan, Jennifer Wilbanks (aka The Runaway Bride), George Costanza, Charlie Brown, and V from V for Vendetta.
Missing from the finalists are the multiple Michael Jacksons, Hitlers, Satans, Walter Sobchaks, Beatles, and Kim Jong Ils. So many Mii versions of all these people exist online that it didn’t feel right including them in the final round because they were both too easy and too easily copied from elsewhere.
Finally, a personal favorite that didn’t make it into the final round:
David Foster Wallace by Nick Maniatis
I get the feeling that in the Maniatis household, there are a lot of Wii Tennis matches pitting Wallace and Hal Incandenza against Tracy Austin and Michael Joyce. Awesome.
Thanks to everyone who entered and to the judges for deciding amongst such a strong field of entrants.
The Celebrity Mii Contest is going swimmingly, lots of good entries so far. Three announcements to make:
1. Mike Buckbee of Fabjectory has offered to make a physical statuette of the winner’s celebrity Mii. So cool! The company currently does characters from SecondLife and SketchUp models, but they’re branching out into making Miis and the winner’s Mii statuette will be among the first that they produce.
2. I have extended the contest deadline until the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec 13. Lots have entered, but there’s room for more.
3. Spencer Sloan of the excellent celebrity gossip site, Goldenfiddle, has agreed to lend his celebrity expertise to help judge the contest. I am working on getting another judge as well…stay tuned for further information.
That is all. Enter now!
Update: The contest is over and the results are here.
The Nintendo Wii includes a nifty editor for making the avatars that you play with, which are called Miis. Here’s a video demonstrating how the editor works. The editor is suprisingly powerful for how simple it is and almost right away, people began making celebrity Miis…early efforts included Michael Jackson and Liza Minnelli. Some of the best celebrity Miis I’ve seen are Spike Lee, Borat, Steve Martin, Amy Sedaris as Jerri Blank, and Charlie Brown.
Meg and I set out to do a John Lennon Mii last nght, but as soon as we saw these eyes, we switched to Paul McCartney:
Not too shabby for a few minutes work, but I know you can do better. So, I’m having a contest to see who can make the best celebrity Mii. The rules are as follows:
1. All Miis must be made with the Nintendo Wii editor, not this Flash editor (which is cool, but not the same).
2. No cheating! Make your own Mii, don’t just copy someone else’s.
3. I love your mom, but she’s not a celebrity. Frances Bean, you can ignore this rule.
4. You retain exclusive worldwide rights to your Mii and its image, save for giving me permission to post it on kottke.org as part of the contest.
5. Judging will be done by me and possibly a panel of “celebrity” judges if I can scrounge some up. The family and friends of the judges can enter, but will be held to much higher standards than everyone else, just as in real life.
6. Only two entries per person. (And don’t enter two in your own name and then have your friend email in two more. Pick your best two, send ‘em in, and take your chances.)
Entry deadline is Monday, December 11th at 11:59 pm ET. The entry deadline has been moved to Wednesday, December 13th at 11:59 pm ET. I will announce the winner at some time shortly after that.
To enter, make your Mii, take a photo of it on the screen (make sure the Mii is clearly visible in the photo), and send a link to the photo to email@example.com with a subject line of “Celebrity Mii Contest” (no quotes). You can also send attachments but because of my spam situation, I cannot guarantee that they will get through to me…send a link to your entry to make sure. There will be some still-as-yet-unspecified prize (I’m thinking a Wii game or something like that) awarded to the winner. Good luck!
Update: More information on prizes (including a cool Mii statuette for the winner) and judges here.
Update: The contest is over and the results are here.