Joshua Carlson Wins Orlando Makes me Smile Contest

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.

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