Time flies when you’re having fun — especially if you’re a student who loves to make films. With the February deadline fast approaching, TXU Energy and the Dallas Film Society remind aspiring high school and college filmmakers across Texas that winter break is the perfect time to start working on entries for the Third Annual TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest — because the clock is ticking!
Last year, two North Texas student filmmakers took home the grand prize awards. In all, nearly 40,000 online votes were cast for more than 50 entries competing to win $30,000 in cash and grants.
Katherine Yarbrough, director of “Queen Kill-A-Watt,” from The Art Institute of Dallas, and Kassidy Testut, director of “Looking Out for Texas,” from Richardson High School, each won the top prize in their contest divisions in the 2011 contest. According to them, it’s a good idea for film students to get ahead over the break with anything from brainstorming and scripting, to securing a crew and more, so they can shoot and edit the short films they may enter.
“Depending on your concept, the time it takes to produce and promote a short film will vary,” said Testut, who is now in film school at the University of Southern California. “You’ll want to keep in mind things like how many locations you’ll use, what kind of lighting you’ll need, who your actors will be, who will shoot, direct, edit and more. So it’s a good idea to start thinking about what you want to do before the holiday break is over. That way you can really hit the ground running after New Year’s!”
Competing students should create a three- to five-minute video relating to the future of energy and energy efficiency in any of the five following genres: music video, comedy, animation, horror/sci-fi, or drama. Students participating in this year’s competition will need to post their video entries online at txu.com/studentfilmcontest by Feb. 10, 2012. Submissions will also be accepted by mail.
“Whether your concept is broad or simple, thinking through a timeline now is a good idea,” said Yarbrough, who spent the summer interning at the Cannes Film Festival. “You don’t have to spend months and months on production if you don’t want to. But the beauty of thinking through it early is that you give yourself a lot more creative license to develop something you really feel good about. The creative time is always my favorite part.”
This year’s grand-prize winners will receive $7,500. The other prizes include $5,000 for first prize and $2,500 for second prize in the high school and college categories. High school finalists’ audio/visual departments will receive 100 percent of the prize money, and finalist university students will split cash winnings with their universities’ A/V departments. Runners-up and all finalists will also receive free video editing software valued at approximately $400.
The 2012 finalists will walk the red carpet and be recognized at the Dallas Film Society Honors and Awards Presentation on April 21, where the high school and university finalists will find out who receives the grand, first and second prizes. Finalist films will also be screened during the 2012 DALLAS International Film Festival.
The 2011 winning videos and other finalist entries can be seen on the TXU Energy YouTube Channel.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.
About the Dallas Film Society
The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit dallasfilm.org.