Click this logo to go to the Tori News Page posts another article about the Taxivision Contest and contestant Lee McCaulla
July 17, 2003

Updated Thu, Jul 17, 2003 - 4:43pm ET

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One thing to keep in mind when reading the article is the fact that the contest announced from the very beginning that the fan vote was not going to determine the actual winner, which was decided by Tori. I think some people did not realize that!

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1 Amos vote beats 11,000 for McCaulla

By John Beifuss
July 17, 2003

Memphis filmmaker Lee McCaulla scored an impressive come-from-behind victory in fan voting in the online Tori Amos music video contest that ended this week.

But the scarlet-tressed pop diva had another winner in mind. Using the popular vote as merely one factor in her decision, Amos placed McCaulla in third when she picked the "Top 3 most innovative video submissions" in the Epic Records "Taxivision" contest.

"Now I kind of know how Al Gore feels," joked McCaulla, 34. Gore garnered the most votes in the 2000 election, but George W. Bush was declared winner by the Electoral College.

McCaulla's stylized animated video for the song Taxi Ride from Amos's most recent album, "Scarlet's Walk," was the favorite of more than 11,000 of the 53,500-plus voting fans who visited Amos's Web site.

"To even have made the top three is awesome - it's enough for me," said McCaulla, who created the only animated video among the nine finalists posted on the site, out of hundreds of submissions. "She saw my video and liked it, so I'm happy with the results."

Said Amos, in a statement on her Web site announcing the winners late Monday night: "People who have been on the art-directing side of my career fell in love with Lee's video (some thought it could be first)."

McCaulla, a Disney-trained animator who returned to Memphis to found his production company, Creative Forces Inc., received only a few hundred votes for his video during the first several days of the contest, which began July 1.

But after an article about McCaulla's boldly colorful cartoon interpretation of Taxi Ride appeared Thursday in The Commercial Appeal, the video received more than 10,000 votes from online viewers, vaulting McCaulla from seventh to first place among the nine contestants by the time voting ended Friday night.

In addition to appearing in the newspaper, the article was linked on Internet sites devoted to Amos, whose confessional piano ballads and social activism have attracted a zealous fan following since the release of the "Little Earthquakes" album in 1992. Among the sites devoted to Amos are "A Dent in the Tori Amos Net Universe," "The Tori Amos Mothership" and "Little Fascist Panties."

McCaulla also was interviewed Thursday morning on The Memphis Pig (WMPS-FM 107.5).

Ultimately, McCaulla received more than 11,000 votes out of some 53,600 cast in the contest. Amos's choice for second place, Barclay Deveau of Los Angeles, finished second in the voting. But Amos's first-place winner, Susan Hebert of Los Angeles, ranked fifth, with about 5,000 votes.

In the contest, dubbed "Taxivision" by Epic Records, filmmakers were asked to interpret the same song, Taxi Ride.

"In the end I felt that on every level this one delivered," wrote Amos, who called the decision "a difficult one. I've been playing the videos over and over again hoping the easy answer would come to me."

McCaulla was philosophical Tuesday about winning yet not winning. "I just love making films and love making videos," he said. "And there's really no such thing as 'the best' in the art world. It's really just for fun and creativity."

To read Amos's statement on the contest and see the winning video, visit To see McCaulla's video, go to the "QuickTime" link at

Posted by: Mikewhy

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