By Sarah Welsh
City on a Hill Press Reporter

Aspiring student filmmakers geared up for the fifth annual Red Carpet Awards on Wednesday night, an awards show for the best student-submitted films. This year, students were encouraged to wear a unicorn-themed accessory to the event, put on by Student Cable Television (SCTV) at the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall.

“All the films are student-submitted, and SCTV hands out awards to different categories,” said Dana Burd, station manager for SCTV. There are 12 categories, including best animation, best editing, best story and best comedy.

First-year Matthew Prescott submitted three films to the Red Carpet Awards this year.

“I’m a part of SCTV’s production class, and they encouraged us to submit,” he said. “Since I made some films, I wanted to show them to students.”

Before attending UC Santa Cruz, Prescott participated in Inner-City Filmmakers, a nonprofit organization that began in 1993.

“The program is made up of different high school grads from LA County,” he said. “It was a diverse group of kids — mostly from lower-income families. The program gives these kids the opportunity to see if they’d be interested in making films.”

While attending the program, Prescott worked on his film “Reality Check.”

“‘Reality Check’ is a story with no dialogue, just music,” Prescott said. “It’s about this guy who’s running and you don’t know what he’s running from.”

It soon becomes evident that the man is running from a troubled past, Prescott added.

“It gets intense and builds up with music,” he said. “In the end, he makes the decision to change his lifestyle, but you don’t know what happens to him. It’s left open-ended.”

Prescott submitted two other films, a music video called “Identity” and an animated short called “Satisfaction.” The animated film depicts a lamp dancing to the song “Satisfaction,” by Bernie Binasse.

“It took seven hours to do the stop-motion,” Prescott said. “It’s hard work. You take a shot, move it a centimeter, take another shot, move it a centimeter. But the end product is very satisfying.”

His short film, “Reality Check,” won an award for best story. Prescott plans to major in film at UC Santa Cruz.

Merrill College Provost Lourdes Martinez-Echazabal and five students worked on a 15-minute video about Merrill College. The film is titled “Honoring the Past and Building the Future.”

“The video has three or four parts,” Martinez-Echazabal said. “We start with an overview of the college, then we go to the beginning — the actual building of the college.”

They talked to people about what it was like to join Merrill in 1968, which Martinez-Echazabal described as “a time when the world was up in flames.” The general upheaval of American life in the aftermath of the Vietnam War provided an interesting time for a new college to be founded.

Martinez-Echazabal wasn’t aware of the Red Carpet Awards until one of the students she worked with suggested they submit the video. She thought it would be a good opportunity for her and the students to showcase their efforts.

“It took two and a half months to make the film,” she said, “and overall, it was a nice effort.”
<a href="">Discuss and share this story on SlugLife.</a>