Archive for April, 2010

Joshua Carlson Wins Orlando Makes me Smile Contest

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Congratulations, Joshua Carlson! This teenager from Minnesota with a passion for independent film recently won a trip to Florida when he won the KIDS FIRST! Orlando Makes me Smile contest.

KIDS FIRST! teamed up with the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. and the Florida Film Festival for this short film competition with a theme focused on fostering family relationships and the joyful experiences that can be found in Orlando. Carlson won a family vacation for four in Orlando, complete with airfare, lodging, theme park tickets and all access filmmaker passes for the Florida Film Festival, April 9 through 18, 2010. In an email interview, Carlson tells us a bit more about his work and travel experience.

CP: When did you realize you had a passion for filmmaking, and what was the spark that triggered it?

JC: When I was 5 I realized I loved movies and everything that went into making them.  When I turned 12 I got my first video camera and I started making video’s with my family and I knew this was my passion. My first was a stop motion animation movie called Justice Heros.

CP: How did your family show support?

JC: They have encouraged me to pursue my dreams by getting training and learning what was really good equipment to use.

CP: When did your family start helping you with the productions, and how did they help?

JC: My sisters have acted in some of my films and they also have written most of the music. My parents have taken me to locations for shoots and helped me get equipment and have let me spend extra time working on my dreams of making films.

CP: How did you hear about the KIDS FIRST! contest, and what  made you decide to submit your work?
JC: My mom saw an article in the St. Paul paper telling about the contest. She asked me if I was interested in submitting something. Both my parents encouraged to give it a shot. I came up with my idea but had to wait until we had a big snow storm to shoot my idea. Right before Christmas we got 14 inches of snow in one snowstorm. I got up the next morning and told my family this is it; if we’re going to do this today is the day. It was still snowing when I shot the scenes.

CP: What does winning Orlando Makes me Smile and being part of the Florida Film Fest mean to you?

JC: This was a great honor to be chosen and win a prize this amazing. I’ve always thought about submitting my work and to be able to experience a large film festival like the Florida film fest so it was humbling experience to go a be a part of it.

CP: What was the best part of the trip for you?

JC: Being able to take my family on this trip with me and especially meeting George Schellenger. It was such an honor and privilege to spend time with him. He gave me so
much great advice, tips and ideas to help further my career.

CP: What are your plans for the future in regards to filmmaking?

JC: I have started my own studio called J.C. Studios, and I am in the process of putting together a good story line and producing a full length feature film. I am hoping to continue schooling after I graduate in media production and filmmaking.

Check out a short interview with Carlson on YouTube.

Peter Gundling Tours Disney Studios With Ellen Jin

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

This year, seventh grader Peter Gundling won the KIDS FIRST! Best Emerging Youth Filmmaker award. He recently returned to his home after a trip to Disneyland where he had the opportunity to meet Ellen Jin, an art director at Disney. Peter Gundling shared some his experience via email:
CP: Please tell me a bit about what this award meant to you.

PG: It means a lot to me because I have won a few awards at KIDS FIRST! and this one was in a new category for me. I think it means that I am becoming more well-known.

CP: You’ve been making films for quite a while now, and you are still young. Please tell me a bit about your filmmaking journey including key points of growth you find in yourself and your work.
PG: I have been making movies for six years. I tried to make my movies complicated with a good story, but I was just using a digital camera and taking separate pictures of my clay models and toys. I started using a stop-motion program (Boinx iStop Motion) with “Super Kitten and the Power Pets” and it improved my animation. I am now using a newer program (Dragon Stop Motion) which is easier to use. My puppets have gotten more and more complex and I just finished a movie using a silicon rubber puppet that has a metal armature instead of a clay puppet. I think my stories have gotten more complex as well.

CP: How did you feel touring around Disney with Ellen Jin?
PG: I thought it was pretty cool to tour Disney Toon Studio with Ellen Jin. She was real nice, and she showed me things around the studio, work places and behind the scenes stuff. I met some of the artists that worked on the Tinkerbell movie with her. They showed me the software that they use and they had drawing tablets and a screen that doubled as a drawing tablet. She also showed me the Burbank Studios where they have the corporate offices.
CP: What did you learn that you plan to incorporate into your next film?
PG: I learned more about storyboarding and how important it is. I also really liked the drawing tablets and I hope to get one. I knew about many of these things, but it was nice seeing them in person.
CP: What does winning numerous KIDS FIRST! awards mean to you?
PG: Winning KIDS FIRST! awards means that my movies are appreciated. This is very important to me. It’s one thing to have your family members say they like them, but it means lot more when they are liked by others. KIDS FIRST! has always been very nice to me. I even got to meet Art Clokey who made Gumby because of Ranny Levy helping me.
CP: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
PG: I really don’t know what I’ll be doing in five years, I’ll be a senior in high school. Things can change, interests can change and I may be interested in something else by then. But I do love movies, and I hope I’ll be doing something with them.
CP: What advice can you offer student filmmakers?
PG: If you are interested in movies, be good at what you do and like doing it. Just make some movies.
CP: Is there anything you would like to add?
PG: I would like to thank KIDS FIRST! for all their appreciation and support for what I am doing.
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