Reports on the Night

Well, it seemed to go well. I rambled too long and unstructuredly in my off-the-cuff speech (and long thank-you list) at the beginning, but nobody seemed to mind so much since the films were the main focus, and people loved the program. I only got two shots of the activities worth sharing since I was occupied with being host and so forth… but there were so many reporters there, and so I expect there’ll be more showing up all over the place. There were about 140 people in attendance, I was told, which is nice to hear.

People seemed to really love the whole idea of the competition and showcase, and really to understand what I am trying to do with this whole program, so that’s heartening. I hope this also translates into lots of interest next year, with even more filmmakers joining in and making films (and faculty being supportive and helping out as matchmakers and so forth).(This is all assuming I find a sponsor to fund the thing.)

Oh! I opened envelopes Oscar-style and gave out the awards. Here are the results:

1st place (and $2500): Time (Kevin Le, Edward Saavedra)

2nd place (and $1500): It’s All in You (Maria Raykova, Andy Su, Jabril Mack, Mara Guevarra, Kayla Carlisle – a freshman team!)

3rd place (and $500): Superluminal Neutrinos in 5 Minutes (Josh Heineman, Nate Fulmer, Michael Powell)

Honourable Mention (and $500): Dance with Newton’s Laws (Linda Jules, Anna Zaferiou)

Honourable Mention (and $500): Yaddda, Yadda, Yada (Kimberly Laux, Simon Wilches Castro, Scott MacDonald, Anna Drubich, Laura Cechanowicz)

(Filmmaker’s roles and the synopses can be found here.)

Then there was a surprise extra prize from Richard Weinberg (Professor in the Division of Animation and Digital Arts). He came up and gave a limited edition print of some artwork from Avatar to Simon Wilches Castro for the best animation of the night for his work on Yaddda, Yadda, Yada. Well deserved… it was beautiful, as was the music that Anna Drubich composed specially for the film.

Thanks to the panel of judges for their work in deciding on the places.

I’ll be releasing the films that I can (the ones that don’t have rights issues) soon.

Well, there will be a special edition of one of USC’s publications on art and science coming out, and they say they will have coverage of this in there, so I will point to it then, assuming it is online. In the meantime, look around for sources yourself. The CelebritySC journalists were wonderful about the whole thing, and they’ve done several posts, video interviews, and so forth. A nice piece by Catherine Sutcliff gives their take on the films and what awards they’d have given. You can read that here. (And see here and here for (some of the) other posts from the night, based on the work of Anja Lehr and Joe Snell. Hannah Getts, who was also tweeting.) Thanks CelebritySC for being so enthusiastic and professional in your coverage!

And very special thanks to Lisa Mann (also a professor in Animation and Digital Arts) for collaboration on making the whole showcase and festival work out smoothly, right down to the last crumb of blue cheese.

I am super-tired (from teaching a long class that morning, dealing with last minute finishing touches on the event during the afternoon, giving an 80 minute presentation/discussion on particle physics and string theory to the Polymathy Academy at 5:15, and then running over to present and host the Science Film event at 7:00pm…) …but what a fun night! The delight of the students was a real lift.

-cvj

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