iOscars honor student creativity


    By Nathan Walch

    In the first annual iOscars event hosted by the BYU Mac Users Group, BYU students competed for Apple products by submitting three-minute films centered around the theme ?Life at BYU.?

    Filmmakers were required to use iMovie exclusively, Apple?s movie editing software.

    ?The thing we really want people to know is how easy it is to make your own movie,? said Andrew Jacobs, BYU Mac Users Group president. ?I think there are a lot of people out there who have great ideas for making short films but don”t think they can do it. The winning entry this year was put together by a few freshman living in the dorms.?

    Dan Barnes, Brad Eustice and Mark Wagner, directors of ?The Findings of Steve Physioc,? took home the first place prize, a new Mac Mini.

    Barnes and Eustice said they would probably sell it on e-Bay and split the money.

    ?I?m probably going to keep it for myself, so I can have an Apple,? said Wagner, from Modesto, Calif., a biology major, going into pre-medicine. ?I?m stronger than them, so it doesn?t matter what they think.?

    ?The Findings of Steve Physioc? analyzed two roommates, one whose focus in life was on women, and the other who concentrated on computer games and his alchemist guild. The moral of the movie was, although BYU students are different, they can still get along.

    Barnes said he first decided to enter the competition because his girlfriend saw a poster for the iOscars and told him to enter.

    ?Weeks before, we started discussing, storyboarded ideas, talked and this is what came up,? Wagner said. ?We saw what we saw and heard what we heard around campus and put it together.?

    Some audience members were quick to point out their favorite movies of the evening.

    ?My favorite one was ?President Samuelson?s Daughter,?? said David Hansen, from Boise, Idaho, majoring in civil engineering. ?It was very well done.?

    Will Pettit, director of ?President Samuelson?s Daughter,? received the second-place prize, a new iPod Mini.

    ?I?m going into business, and I hope to go into film production,? said Pettit, from La Grande, Ore., majoring in business. ?I hope one day to work for the church, but until then, I?m looking at being an independent film producer.?

    For those interested in making movies, Matt Willden, director of ?Crocodile Hunter at Breed?em Young,? had some suggestions.

    ?The best advice I would give is to come up with a compelling story,? said Willden, from Centerville and a first year MBA student. ?Unless you have a good story to tell, your movie?s going to flop, and no amount of special effects, creative ability or experience with movie editing will make up for a bad story.?

    While competitors made movies for fun, others wished it could be more than just a hobby.

    ?If I were to vacate the business world and go to my dream job, I would be a movie director, but it is just a hobby,? Willden said. ?In fact, I used to be a scoutmaster, and I think my boys earned the cinematography merit badge four times over.?

    The BYU Mac Users Group wanted to level the playing field by requiring competitors to edit their movies entirely in iMovie.

    ?I love Mac software,? Willden said. ?It?s easy to use, straightforward and the stuff is where it feels like it should be.?

    However, some students may not want to switch over to using Macs exclusively.

    ?I don?t know if I would want to use a Mac, unless I was doing a video,? Hansen said. ?They are better done than I thought they would be, and I?d consider it if I was doing graphics.?

    Those who want to join the BYU Mac Users Group can visit Anyone who donates $10 will receive a DVD of all the iOscars movies.

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