Camp Kuleshov, AICP’s annual trailer competition for all assistants in postproduction, has returned for 2021 with a new slate of films for assistants to reimagine as they show off their creative and craft skills across the categories of Editorial, Graphics and Sound Design.
Named after Lev Kuleshov, the Russian film theorist whose writings on the power of editing came to be known as The Kuleshov Effect, Camp Kuleshov is open to assistants, junior creatives, admin and entry-level employees at AICP member postproduction and production companies, as well as freelancer assistants and support staff sponsored by member companies.
Students and interns who are sponsored by a member company may also enter Camp K. The competition is also open to assistants and junior-level employees at music companies that are members of the Association of Music Producers (AMP).
For Editorial, entrants must choose a film and re-imagine it, via a 90-second trailer, as something from a different genre or directed by a filmmaker with a distinctive visual or narrative style–i.e. a political thriller is transformed into a comedy. They can also choose two films from the source list and, via mashup, create a trailer for a completely new film of a different genre.
The Editorial source films are an eclectic collection, designed to heighten the challenge and expose the assistants to a wide range of films and filmmakers while ensuring there are selections for a variety of tastes. The list ranges from the dystopian stoner comedy This Is The End to the action thriller I Am Legend to the kitschy, 1950s sci-fi classic, Attack of the 50 ft Woman.
In the Graphics category, entrants are required to create an original opening title sequence that conveys their impression or interpretation of the film they’ve selected and which functions as a device to prepare and position the audience for the film. Among this year’s Graphics source films are such classics as Fantasia and A Clockwork Orange, and more recent films like The Dark Knight Rises.
In the Sound Design category, the task is to create a new sound design for a 90-second excerpt from one of the source films with a different intention than the original. Among the films for this category are Drive, Soylent Green and 12 Angry Men.
Chris Franklin, editor and owner of Big Sky Edit and a Camp K committee member, said the choice of source films for 2021 gives a nod to the cancelled event from last year. “I had the last 16 months in mind when selecting these titles,” he notes, pointing out the subtle theme of cataclysm, stress or upheaval seen in such films as the virus-run-amok thriller The Andromeda Strain, the black comedy After Hours or the psychological drama Swimming with Sharks, all of which await entrants in the Editing category. “I just wanted to give all the assistants a bit of catnip to run with.”
Camp K Trailer
The Camp K site also includes a trailer created to capture the angst of losing a full year of the competition to the pandemic and to spur interest in taking part in this year’s event. Titled Get Ready to Enter, it uses a mix of news footage and scenes from classic and memorable films to drive home the reality of working under lockdown for editors, visual effects artists, mixers and sound designers.
It was created by assistant editor Tony LaRocca at Cosmo Street in Los Angeles, whose goal was to connect with assistants in a way they’d find authentic and credible. A former Camp K entrant himself, LaRocca was briefed on the assignment by the company’s managing partner and EP, Yvette Cobarrubias, who tasked him with doing something clever that would generate excitement while letting the industry know Camp K was back.
“I viewed this as a love letter to all the people who are used to working alone,” LaRocca said about the often-solitary nature of the editing, effects and audio post disciplines. “For them, the pandemic has been in some ways business as usual–being somewhere on their own, focusing on their craft. I wanted to show people getting back out there, while the assistants are still locked away in their dark rooms.”
Camp K Committee
The Camp Kuleshov competition this year is being led by an expanded committee. In addition to Franklin, it includes Laurie Adrianopoli of Carbon, LaRue Anderson of Apache, Adam Barone of Sonic Union, Yvette Cobarrubias of Cosmo Street, Tom Duff of Optimus, Lauren Hertzberg of Cut+Run, Robby Hurd of Musicbed | Filmsupply, Gloria Pitagorsky of Heard City and Ron Rendon of Beast.
In addition to helping promote the competition, the committee is helping assemble the judges for the competition, as well as a list of senior editors, artists and mixers to serve as “Camp K Coaches” who will be available to help guide entrants through their creative processes, offering advice and mentoring, but not solutions.
Franklin noted that for many of Camp K’s winners, particularly those who’ve gone on to successful careers as editors, effects artists or mixers, “they look back at this experience as being seminal to what they’ve been able to accomplish as artists. That underscores the important role this competition plays in the post community.
“And this is about more than just giving assistants their significant moment in the sun,” Franklin continued. “There’s a sense of urgency; two years is a long time for them to not be actively engaged the way they are via Camp K. That can feel like a lifetime for them, and it can impact their careers, their growth and their opportunities. It’s a long time to not get the kind of recognition you need.”
The 2021 Camp Kuleshov entries will be judged chapter by chapter. First-place winners in each chapter will receive a trophy and move on to the “Lev” round, which is the competition’s Grand Prize; it will be presented at the 2022 AICP Post Awards. Supporting all Camp K competitions is Musicbed, an AICP supporting partner, which is making selections from its production music library available to entrants for use on their trailers and will present a $1,000 prize to each Lev winner.
Fees for single Camp Kuleshov entries $65; three or more entries are $55 each; five or more entries are $45 each, with the discounts applying to either companies or individuals. Any questions entrants may have regarding rules, eligibility or anything else can be directed to email@example.com, and a “Camp Counselor” will reply promptly. A full rundown on rules, eligibility, source films and fees can be found here.
Deadline for submitting entries is Thursday, September 30.