Annual contest offers more than just a prize Annual contest offers more than just a prize

Film. Ideas. Reels. Cameras. Vision. For more than two decades, the College of Professional Studies has given students, especially TV and Film majors, an opportunity to combine these elements and cultivate their ideas to compete for a title.

They will host its 23rd annual Video and Film Competition this year. The contest, which began in 1984 and was originally hosted by the Sony Corporation, invites students to submit original work with the possibility of winning certificates and cash prizes of up to $100.

All current students are eligible to compete. Work must be completed and turned in by April 26 at 3:00 p.m.

Professor Thomas Caputi, the director of the Television and Film Studies program, said the competition is focused on bringing out the best and most creative films and videos shot by St. John’s students.

“Participation is a step in preparing students for careers in the industry,and often becomes a part of the student’s demo reel and resume,” said Caputi.

Tyler Herwick, a sophomore Mass Communications major, said competitions like this help push forward projects that might otherwise be stuck in pre-production forever.

“The competition really acts as a creative pressure cooker,” he said.

Dan Komarinetz, a Communication Arts major who graduated last year, entered his short film The Number in the contest and won last year’s Best Video award.

“I was proud of my film and wanted to see if other people thought it was any good,” he said. “That feedback encouraged me to just keep going and try to top myself.”

Participants spend the fall semester and the majority of the spring brainstorming, writing, casting, directing, producing and editing original films.

Scheduling shoots, checking weather reports and finding essential equipment and props are priorities for students.

St John’s alumni who currently work in the film and video industries are recruited to judge entries. Caputi said that technical quality, creativity and innovative ideas are among the benchmarks judges look for when reviewing films.

Students are not set to any creative limitations because there is no required theme for the contest, but Herwick said parameters help solidify ideas and turn them into tangible products.

In addition to the film and video contest sponsored by CPS, the TV and Film Club is host to a film festival at the end of the spring semester, showcasing selected student work.

Kris Fernandez, who’s film was featured in last year’s festival, said these types of events help eliminate nerves and promote student’s work.

“After putting the film in the festival, you get all kinds of fears about how it’s going to go,” said Fernandez.

“Once it’s actually played in front of an auditorium it kind of lessens those fears.”

Herwick, who plans to enter the contest
this year, said its important to have a hand in as many projects as possible to enter an industry where “it’s less about where you’re from and more about what you’ve done and, by extension, what you’re capable of doing.”