AICE Announces 2016 Winners of the 2016 Camp Kuleshov ‘Lev’ Awards
The 2016 International Camp Kuleshov Grand Prize jury has spoken, and the 2016 ‘Levs’ have been awarded to assistants Lisa Roberts of Territory in Detroit, Thom Reimerink at jumP in Los Angeles and Jordan Stalling at Particle in Chicago. They won for their entries in the Editorial, Graphic Design and Sound Design categories, respectively.
Roberts won for her chilling take on “Back to the Future III,” which she transformed from a time-travel comedy to a serial killer tale of a murderous stranger.
Reimerink won for his subtle and cleverly integrated title design sequence for the 2011 film “Contagion,” a drama about a viral epidemic.
Stalling won in for his layered and complex sound design for a segment of the 1967 Jacques Tati farce “Playtime,” a film lampooning the antiseptic feel of modern society that’s largely devoid of dialogue.
In addition to being presented with The Lev Award (named for Lev Kuleshov, the Russian film theorist and the patron saint of Camp Kuleshov), Roberts, Reimerink and Stalling will also receive a $1,000 gift card courtesy of Camp Kuleshov sponsor Key Code Media. Their winning entries will be saluted at the 2017 AICE Awards, coming up in May of next year in New York.
The 2016 CK Grand Prize jury reviewed all the winners in the Editorial, Graphic Design and Sound Design categories from the competitions that took place in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Texas in October and early November. Comprised of editors from all of the participating chapters, it included Lauren Piche of School Editing in Toronto; Chris Franklin of Big Sky in New York; Brian Sepanik of The Colonie in Chicago; Zach DuFresne of Hudson Edit in Detroit; John Bradley of Cosmo Street in Los Angeles; Connor McDonald of Beast in San Francisco; and Chris Gipson of Republic Edit in Dallas.
For Roberts, the second time is the charm: she won the Detroit Camp Kuleshov Editing competition last year for her take on “Office Space,” Mike Judge’s 1999 workplace comedy, which she transformed into a white-knuckle thriller.
Under the new Camp Kuleshov format adopted by AICE last year, all assistants in each participating chapter worked from the same set of source films and creative briefs. With a call for entries issued late this summer, assistants at dozens of AICE member companies set to work creating new trailers that presented existing films as of another genre or from a specific director, or changed them up entirely to create new films that never existed for the editing category. In the design category, the task was to create an opening title sequence for a film that didn’t have one, reflecting the entrant’s interpretation of the film. And in the Sound Design category, the challenge was to sound design a segment of a film that gave it a different tone or meaning than the original sound design. In an effort to promote creative thinking across disciplines, any assistant, regardless of what craft they worked in, could enter any of the categories.
Key Code Media generously donated the $1,000 cash prizes presented to the “Lev” Grand Prize winners in Editing, Graphic Design and Sound Design. To view all of the 2016 Camp Kuleshov chapter winners, including runners up and Chicago Tent City winners, click here.
Commenting on what made the Lev winners stand out, Hudson Edit’s DuFresne says Roberts’ entry impressed the jury by “hitting all the points it needed to hit. It took an established film and really swung it around into something new. Every time we looked at it we kept seeing more and more nuances; the cut just kept getting stronger.”
The jury deliberations were spirited and thorough, adds The Colonie’s Sepanik. What he liked about the Editing winner was that “instead of relying on an existing subplot to the film she chose, Lisa created a storyline that was non-existent, and made something entirely new and fresh. It had great suspense and lots of tension; it was a really unexpected take.”
Commenting on the Design winner, Sepanik says it was so good it felt like it was actually created for the film’s release, and not the work of an assistant. And both he and DuFresne say the Sound Design entries, particularly Stalling’s winning entry, were impressive. “All of them really blew us away,” adds DuFresne. “If the work of these assistants represents the future of sound design, I think it’s very bright.”
Sepanik believes the shift to an international format for CK has increased the stakes for the assistants who take part, particularly those who win. “It’s really raised the level of the competition, and heightened the awareness of what winning can do for their careers,” he remarks. “This is their opportunity to shine, and from what I’ve seen of the awards events it’s a great opportunity for them to see how their peers respond to their work. For the Lev winners, having their work saluted at the AICE Awards, in front of the best of the best in our industry, is quite an honour.”
Camp Kuleshov’s organisers thanked the local and international sponsors and volunteers who helped make the events possible. In addition to Key Code Media, this list included Avid, which donated a Media Composer for the First Place winners in Editing and a ProTools system for the First Place winners in Sound Design in each chapter.