U students participate in Insomnia Festival

By By Jonathan Ng

By Jonathan Ng

U students had 24 hours to create a three-minute film during the second annual Insomnia Film Festival hosted by Apple, Inc., and had no idea what they were filming.

Until the minute the competition started, the list of film elements they were allowed to use, from props to dialogue, was kept secret.

On Oct. 13 at 9 a.m., teams of up to five students had exactly 24 hours to write, cast, shoot, edit, score and upload their three-minute films. The films had to be created on a Macintosh computer and had to include at least three of the secret elements on the list provided by Apple, Inc.

The public participated as judges by watching the videos and rating them. The 25 top-rated videos will be viewed by a panel of film makers who were part of the production of “Men in Black,” “Hotel Rwanda” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

Among the hundreds of videos uploaded were several submitted by U film students. Although many of the students entered the competition in hopes of winning great prizes, other motives were behind their entries.

“Mainly what I’m interested in is the recognition and getting our work shown to people in the industry and community,” said Michael Stone, a junior in film studies and captain of Team Clairinski.

Stone worked as the writer and director of “It’s Mine!,” a short comedic movie about two friends who like to compete with each other.

“We’re a bunch of friends who are all interested in filmmaking,” Stone said. “The whole day (of filming) was a blast. People were really cooperative, and we all wanted to work.”

The teams with the movies either with the top rating from the general public or from the professional judges will receive a grand prize package for each team member, which includes a Macbook Pro notebook computer, Final Cut Studio 2, Shake and Logic Studio. Apple, Inc., will announce contest finalists during the week of Nov. 19.

“(Winning) would be great publicity for our production company, and it would be great recognition for Salt Lake City and the University of Utah,” said Heber Cannon, a junior in film studies and English. “We just wanted to have a good time and make a short movie.”

Cannon led the team High 5 Productions as the director, writer, editor and producer of “The Decision,” a story about a young boy who must make a difficult choice concerning a love interest.

All of the videos, including films submitted by students from the U, can be viewed online at edcommunity.apple.com/insomnia_fall07/contest.php.

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