Young filmmakers get the chance to shine at Little Hollywood Shootout


Most 10-year-old boys watching YouTube videos get nothing more than a few laughs. When Trevor Black started watching YouTube, he began having dreams of being a filmmaker. The Little Hollywood Shootout set him on his way.

The Little Hollywood Shootout, a short film competition in Kanab, gives participants 49.5 hours to develop a short film to be judged. The competition is designed for aspiring filmmakers, from elementary school age through college, to allow them the opportunity to shoot footage in what was once known as Little Hollywood.

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Krista Black, Trevor’s mother, had no idea how to help with Trevor’s newly developed aspirations.

“Trevor had been saying, ‘I want to make a film, I want to make a film,’ and I didn’t know where to start,” Krista Black said.

But when Krista Black heard about the competition, she knew it was exactly what her son needed. Trevor entered the competition with lower quality equipment, but ultimately won the Audience Choice Award, given to the film most enjoyed by viewers. Trevor was modest when asked about his accomplishment.

“This time I don’t expect to get first place overall because I just think that the first time was beginner’s luck,” Trevor said.

The event is scheduled during spring break for most universities in order to attract more college students. While the event attracted 50 Utah residents last year, Kelly Stowell, the event’s director, believes it will soon attract participants from all over the nation.

“Someday I think it will evolve into something that’s very large. I think we will see 200 filmmakers throughout town competing in this competition,” Stowell said. “It could become one of the premier quick-turnaround competitions in the nation.”

Nathan Riddle, an employee for Independent Adventure Productions and native of Kanab, said the history of the area provides an amazing practice ground.

“The biggest thing in my mind is just the opportunity to walk in Hollywood’s path,” Riddle said.

The films are only two to five minutes in length, and Riddle believes 49.5 hours offers enough time to make a quality film. While some people might be intimidated fabout entering because they lack equipment, Riddle said a young filmmaker can even show up and use a smartphone to make a film.

“You can film with anything,” Riddle said.

Kanab received the name Little Hollywood after Hollywood filmmakers repeatedly utilized the area for films, particularly westerns.  The area offers a variety of  scenery, including desert and mountain landscapes. The inaugural Little Hollywood Shootout was a success, and the second event is scheduled to take place March 14. The winner of the highest division of competition will receive a $1,000  prize, and the film will air on television during the Saturday night program “At Your Leisure.”

Marshall Moore, of the Utah Film Commission, served as a judge for the event last year. Moore commented on the fun nature of the films and the creativity demonstrated by filmmakers. He believes this event serves as a motivator to get aspiring directors out and working.

“They get to take their ideas and bring them to life,” Moore said. “This is just providing the medium in which they can do that.”

More information about the event and entry requirements can be found at

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