‘What’s Mime Is Yours’ at Mad Film Dash Awards

Less than two weeks after the Academy Awards, UC Irvine held its very own awards ceremony for the annual 24-Hour Mad Film Dash, celebrating student-made films, on Tuesday, March 6. UCI students participating in the event had 24 hours to conceptualize, write, rehearse, act, shoot and edit a five-minute film.
The teams could shoot at any location; some teams, such as Adios 8 and Team Research Group, traveled as far as Big Bear or Las Vegas. The only two restrictions on teams were filming in one of 24 predetermined genres and the mandatory inclusion of an ‘artifact’: an object randomly selected that had to be shown in order to prove that the film was shot after being given the prompt.
The highest scored films were shown at the ceremony hosted by the UCI Computerstore in Crystal Cove Auditorium on Thursday night.
Third-year music major Andrew Capra, marketing coordinator for the UCI Computerstore, described the event as ‘a big outlet for students to be creative. … Not a lot of people see what happens in the humanities/arts side of the campus, and a lot of other people have creative talents. This is just a great way to get everyone together to create a campus culture.’
After the three-hour screening, the long-awaited winners were announced. This year there were seven categories: concept, use of prompt, editing, acting, direction, overall film and web choice. The winners were decided by a panel of three judges, Associate Professor of Arts Ulysses Jenkins, Campus Media Producer/Director Iain Grainger and Associate Director of Broadcast Communications Kerrin Piche.
The winner of best concept was the Chicago Bears’ hilarious fake news broadcast ‘Slow News Day.’ The group used locations around campus such as In-N-Out and the bookstore, but the results are wildly entertaining. A scene featuring team member fourth-year English major Ben Ritter in a disturbingly tight cat costume had the entire auditorium in stitches.
The best use of prompt award went to Les Minorities, for their experimental film ‘Counter-Intuitive.’ In this film, the group’s required artifact, a door, plays a starring role as the main character walks through various doors to random locations.
Adios 8’s complex and beautifully shot ‘Rim of the World’ won both best editing and best direction. The short film plays like a carefully written novel, the plot being one man’s quest to follow destiny to a snow-covered door at the rim of the world. The acting is exceptionally believable, and the editing skillfully executed.
Finally, top honors for both best acting and best picture went to the Targets. Their simple silent film ‘What’s Mime Is Yours’ follows a mime through his morning routine until he unexpectedly meets someone who brings a little color into his black-and-white world.
The web choice award was not announced in order to give more students a chance to vote. Votes will continue to be taken on the Computerstore’s Web site (http://madfilmdash.computerstore.uci.edu/films), and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 20.
After the awards, the Targets, a humble group comprised of fifth-year chemistry and Spanish major Steven Ma, fifth-year political science major Ernest Kim, fifth-year physics major Steven Thompson, fifth-year dance major Ann Smith, and fifth-year literary journalism major Lia Mendez, seemed surprised that their team took home two awards, including Best Picture.
‘[Out of all the films,] I was just hoping to get shown,’ Ma said.
‘At the very beginning it was really hard because we couldn’t agree on anything,’ Thompson said. ‘We finally agreed on something, and then [in the morning] we didn’t agree on it again.’
Having no film or drama majors in the group, the Targets said that they had no professional training in creating a film, which is the beauty of an event like the Mad Film Dash.
‘I definitely like the idea that you bring out a lot of people who aren’t art majors, film majors, [etc.] just to give everyone a chance,’ Ma said.
Teammate Kim explained that you do not have to be an expert in film in order to create something good. ‘You just have to sit there and say ‘What can we do?’, focus on that and make the best of it,’ Kim said. ‘We had two locations and eight angles, tops.’
Although roughly one-third of all the films made were shown at the ceremony, Capra said that the Computerstore is looking into finding another venue and time to show all the films. If you can’t wait, all of the films can still be seen online at the Computerstore’s Web site.