Monday, February 16, 2009

It's all about the story....and this story is all about the doorknob...

Sometimes, it's easy to let all of the flash and sparkle of expensive equipment and sophisticated technique get in the way of what really matters when you're making a film: it's always about the story.

And even so, there's really no new story under the sun; it's just about how you tell it.

That's the premise of one of the oldest and most revered traditions in the history of the Park School. Started by beloved former Professor Skip Landen back in the 1970s, the "doorknob film" was for many (many) years an assignment given to ALL of the school's film students. It was pretty simple: Make a short (very short) film that presents the most imaginative way to kill somebody with a doorknob.

Yup, you got that right: A doorknob. And you needed to kill somebody with it.

Everybody made one, and at the end of the year, the school held a huge Doorknob Film screening, at which the very best film received the highly coveted Golden Doorknob Award.

Some of the school's most successful and accomplished alumni were Golden Doorknob Award winners -- and they will still tell you that with real pride. It was an honor and an achievement.

And so, in honor of Skip and in keeping with the school's longstanding celebration of really great stories, the Park School this year is reinstating the Golden Doorknob Award. Thanks to a donor's gift, we will this spring present three cash prizes for the best doorknob films, as well as a special prize just for work produced by first-year students.

Here are the details:

Prizes Include:

1st Place: $3,000
2nd Place: $2,000
3rd Place $1,000
The Parkie 100 Knob Award: $500.00*
Honorable Mention: Movie tickets and other prizes

* The Parkie 100 Knob Award prize is open to any Park student or team of students who have not yet enrolled in a Park production class higher than the 100 level. Please indicate your current or most recent production class completed on the entry form if you wish your entry to be considered for this prize. Your entry will automatically be entered in the overall competition as well, but will be judged only against other 100 level Park students for the $500 prize.

Golden Doorknob Rules:

1. Open to all Ithaca College Students.

2. Films must explore the ways in which one might encounter death involving a doorknob. An expansive interpretation is encouraged--the fatal moment might be delivered by knob or door directly or indirectly and could also be an open door that tells of death in the future. Let your imagination run wild! The films are narrative (tell a story) and must have a beginning, middle and end but must not exceed 5 minutes in length. There is no minimal length.

3. May be live action or animation and may be shot on film, digital or made by a software effects program such as Flash.

4. The deadline for submitting films is April 3, 2009. Winners will be announced in April, 2009. Two copies of the completed project must be submitted by DVD to Steve Gordon, Park 373, by the deadline date.

5. Films will be judged by a panel of faculty and industry members.

6. The Park School reserves the right to use films for promotional purposes, in perpetuity. Copyright of each film will belong the filmmakers. Each filmmaker must submit approved clearance forms for actors or copyrighted material appearing in the film.

You can find the entry form right here.

Winners will be announced mid-April.


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