a) because the clue was probably the most intricate one we’ve had so far, spread on several hours and several websites, and
b) because I am the one who found the prize, so I’ll just merged everything in the same article. (And don’t believe I am not excited about it. I am so excited about it that I am having a hard time regrouping and thinking straight!)
Here we go:
Against all predictions today’s clue wasn’t in Chicago, Miami, or even Europe, but in Los Angeles again. I was the first surprised when I saw the first tweet revealing Los Angeles was hit by the hunt but clearly I am in no position to complain. (Although I still find it odd)
Like many of you I am sure, I had received the MTS texts on my cell retweeting theHighRoller5 article, which is why I decided it meant something.
Now in all fairness, and before I get yelled at by the get-your-facts-straight-police, the first person who spotted something was going on was Ian McAllistair aka @therealianmca who tweeted last night at 9h30pm PST
TheHighRoll5 tweet was two hours later , at 11h15pm, and MTS retweeted it at 1am PST.
From 7am to 11am, I just stayed on the loop with the usual group of Happy Helpers, trying to figure out what it meant. To no avail, evidentemente.
We all agreed that this was just the first clue of a series and that we had to wait for more of them to understand what was going on. Of course, hours were passing, and nothing was happening, and hope was deserting. The video that was on Youtube was unlisted, which meant you could only find it through the ad banner or when you knew the url, but it also meant that there might have been more videos like this one with other pictures.
At 11h35 PST, Mouth Taped Shut finally posted a new picture:
with the word TIMES tagged under it.
Few minutes later, @mbatzler posted in the MTS comment section the link to What Is Hidden In Snow with /suspect at the end, revealing the Los Angeles location.
The interesting part here is that @mbatzler found out suspect ‘too early’. He superposed the two layers of flowers, saw ‘spect’ and tried several combination, which lead him to/suspect.
But how did he get suspect with so many missing pieces?
It was still unclear why TIMES was tagged under the picture. The answer came later, way after the prize was found actually.
So there’s still one missing piece, that we haven’t find yet, a snapshot of flowers completing the whole picture. If you find it, let us know!
I thought it was very clever of MTS to use official promotional adds to feed the treasure hunt. It’s a great way to create hits and the Youtube already got 40,000+ clicks in less than 24h, and that’s without counting the ripple effects on all their official videos. (I watched all the videos several time, to check nothing if nothing had appeared, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.)
REAL TIME UPDATE: MTS just tweeted the fourth picture, that happened to be on the NY Times book section ad.
@mbatzler sent me a polished version. Get ready for the big reveal (drums):
So this is it, a four parts clue split between three of the main venues to advertise a movie and MTS tumblr. Things are scaling up, to our delight I should say. It was nice to have to spend time on the first picture, wait and try and speculate. Some of the previous ciphers were solved in matter of minutes, ending the fun too quickly I think.
And what was I doing after I saw MTS picture?
Well, I was not looking at the comments on MTS, nor on my twitter. I was on Photoshop, candidly trying to understand what was going on with the flowers. For some reason, I glanced at my twitter feed and saw:
My first reflex was to retweet it, and it took me a second to process that there was another clue in Los Angeles.
For a few seconds I considered not going, because I had already tried my luck when nobody knew about it, and thought this time it would probably be crazy and it was 11h50am and I was expecting someone at 12pm so obviously I couldn’t live now.
But see the thing is, I know where Vermont Avenue is, and if you’d knew me, you’d know that me knowing where a street is is a miracle. I have no sense of direction whatsoever (alas, I’m not remotely exaggerating, ask anyone), and for once I could go by myself (when I went for the Downtown flower, I had to pick-up @djakazran first so he would drive me there) and it was only 15/20 minutes away from my place.
So I just took off. Took my keys, my cell, called @djakazran on the way to tell him there was another clue in L.A. if he wanted his revenge on fate. When he asked me where it was, I told him to check my tweeter, I had just retweeted the location. (In other words, I didn’t even know where it was, but that it was on Vermont)
The only problem was that I forgot to look at the WIHIS picture, so I didn’t know what to look for. The second problem was that I have a blackberry, and not to bitch about brands here, but I hate my phone and it hates me back. Opening a web page on it takes slightly less time than reading War and Peace in Russian and twitter freezes every 3 minutes, so I couldn’t follow anything.
So I did the only smart thing to do, I sent an email to @star_nubalo asking her to email me the picture, which she did, with the map, and she also informed me that the picture was just the F of the Griffith Park sign. Good thing she thought about writing it in the text because I never got to see the picture on my phone. (feel the bitterness)
Djak and I were each racing in our own car to the Griffith Park sign while I was sending an email to my 12pm appointment apologizing for not being at home (everything ended well on that side of the story, so no need to worry) and trying not to miss a curve and die. (Not to be dramatic)
I reached the Griffith Sign, passed it, turned my head and I swear I saw the envelope from my car (I’m half-blind, so here, here for another Christmas miracle). It was a one way street without sideways to park so I just stopped, put the warnings on, managed not to lock myself outside of my car (another of my specialties) and got the clue that was simply put in evidence behind the letter ‘F’ under a wood-stick.
Now you would think that after having spent a month writing about this hunt I would be the right person to keep my cool and take anthropological pictures of the whole process.
Alas, I am not, and I didn’t.
I had a pen in my mouth (don’t ask) I was running like an animal that tries to run (don’t know its name but it must exist), I took the envelope and left life a thief. Zero class whatsoever.
Good thing that Djak thought about taking pictures afterwards. So here is what clue #2 said:
The Observatory is minutes away from Griffith Park AND there are signs showing how to go there, so I was in luck. It’s also at the top of a mountain and there are a lot of trees on the way there.
Now that you got that I’m not really a female version of Indiana Jones, you would probably be right to think that I almost stopped at every tree on my way. (I did it once, because there were a lot of trees and one of them could have been a cypress tree, ok!)
That’s when I saw Djak passing by me at full speed, so I jumped back in my car, we met at the top of the mountain, and found the Cypress Tree.
The box was on the ground, but well hidden. We took it out and then I remembered we should take pictures, so I asked Djak to take a picture of everything and as he obliged, I saw a guy with a Canon 7D coming toward us and taking pictures of us. (I’m pretty sure he has a picture of me looking at him as if he was a communist and I was McCarthy)
We discovered it was the jacket, and obviously, I was in the seventh circle of heaven at that point. When Lisbeth’s helmet was found in SF I remember thinking that her jacket would have been cooler. Bingo.
Meanwhile the guy kept taking pictures of us taking picture of the prize. And then he said ‘hi’ and asked for my info.
Because we’ve seen tweets sent from MTS few months earlier asking who was free on Thursday and Friday in specific cities, I thought maybe Guy (that’s the guy’s name) was a random dude who got $50 to wait next to the flower. Turns out he works for them and was also the San Diego observer!
(say hi! to the guy named Guy)
Apparently he waited hours in San Diego, so I guess a long time passed between the moment the timer went on and the moment WIHIS was unlocked.
That’s when I told him that Chicago hunters were starving for a prize and that he should tell his ‘boss’ so, otherwise it’s going to turn into a pre-reenactment of The Hunger Games, and we wouldn’t want that. (I’m not sure he realized how serious I was.)
We left, and took some more pictures of the jacket. Then Djak told me to look in the pockets, and that’s where I found Lisbeth I.D. and Fincher’s signed card.
My phone wasn’t working so I couldn’t tweet anything and just emailed Star to let her know. When I came home, I discovered that I had dozens of tweets, emails and DM congratulating me!
I want to thank you all for your reaction and the waves of good vibes you sent my way, that was definitely one of the highlight of the day and showed me how strong of a community we have created during this past month. I guess I am a lucky gal after all but I also have to thank one more time Star and Djak because without them I wouldn’t have tried not once, but twice to win a prize.
And that’s it. (I think)
As for this report, sorry for the length, the mistakes in English and everything else. I did as fast as I could, and as well as could in my state. (it took forever, I agree)
So where is it going to be next? San Diego?!
To be continued…
**To read a recap of everything written about TGWTDT marketing campaign, click here**
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