iOscars Give Student Filmmakers an Outlet


    By Carolyn Haynie

    It would be a dream come true for first-time filmmakers to have their films up for an Oscar.

    This dream can be a reality at BYU.

    The Mac Users Group will host its fourth annual iOscars on March 28 in the JSB Auditorium, but the film submission deadline is March 17.

    This year”s theme is “Y?” The iOscar”s founder and event manager Jason Miller said, in contrast to previous years, he decided to keep this year”s theme broad. With past themes including “Life at BYU,” implementing a can of SPAM, and “Three is the magic number,” Miller said this year”s “Y?” theme can include a myriad of approaches.

    The films must be three minutes long. Miller said, “[Filmmakers] feel overwhelmed if they”re too long. We want them to get a message across.”

    The iOscars came about as a creative outlet for aspiring filmmakers. With the Final Cut as an exhibition option for film students, Miller said he wanted to create an opportunity for other aspiring filmmakers and even first-time filmmakers.

    “We created this event for kids who aren”t film majors,” Miller said. “The winners are those whose films have really good plots.”

    Films range from names like “Basackwards,” to documenting how one deals with depression. The range is wide as is the talent.

    Winners are determined by the audience. Mac computers are set up at the event, and after viewing all of the films, the audience votes for its favorites using a tally program created by BYU graduate student Quinn Taylor.

    As the name denotes, the iOscars has to do with Mac computers, and as an entry requirement, all films must be made and edited on iMovie.

    Joe Allred is a BYU Bookstore computer department hardware buyer and adviser to BYU campus” Mac Users Group.

    Allred said he is pleased with the student participation that has occurred in past years, and said the success of the iOscars continues to grow.

    “We want it to be such that even a novice can feel comfortable making a video,” Allred said. “Anybody in the student body or new to computing can do it.”

    As an Apple campus rep, Miller said he organized the iOscars for those who have always thought about making a movie, but have never had the training or resources.

    Lacking a computer, camera or iMovie know-how has been eliminated because of iMovie training and help available, as well as opportunities to check out camcorders.

    “It”s really cool when you organize an event and get a thousand people to come,” Miller said. “There”s a satisfaction that comes with that.”

    For official rules, prizes, past iOscars films, available iMovie help and submission criteria, visit

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