by Karen Gill-Pennington
Wow! What a year! As we close out 2012, I wanted to take a look at the past year and highlight some of our successes and who made each one possible. I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but it’s just too exciting not to share some of the great things (and some of the not so great things) that happened this year.
To begin, we were very excited to find we had won two of the prestigious Telly Awards. For the Public Relations category we entered our PSA “Rockin’ The Rage,” and won a silver, which is actually the top prize, not a gold! For our animation, “Fundamentals of Solidworks EPDM,” we won a bronze, the first of many awards for this project. (See the section on the TIVA Peer Awards below for more on this.)
Our indie film side of things, Star Wipe Films, participated in the DC 48 Hour Film Project, in which we got to work with two amazing new actors, Doug Powell and Allie Heidel. Unfortunately, due to some perfectionist issues, we were about 25 seconds late turning in the final product which left us ineligible to win anything besides the Audience Favorite Award. Our holiday film, “Last Friday in April,” did indeed win the coveted Audience Favorite Award and land a spot in the Best of DC screening, largely due to excellent writing by Eric Nolle, a show stealing performance by Doug Powell and a very dedicated crew.
After the excitement and disappointment of not making it in on time, we decided to redeem ourselves by participating in the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project just a few weeks later. And redeem ourselves, we did! After working with another great crew and stellar cast, including Doug Powell and Allie Heidel again, as well as a favorite from years past, Claire Bowerman, the night of the awards ceremony we took home many awards. With our comedy, “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” we won Best Use of Character, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Writing, Runner-Up Best Directing, Audience Favorite and Best Film which also won us $1000 worth of gear from CPM Camera Rigs!
Just a month later we decided to try out a fairly new film race in town called The 29 Days Later Film Project. Our director/DP, Brian Pennington, wanted to try out some different filmmaking techniques with this one, including relying heavily on GoPro HD cameras. After some glitches in casting, our stunt coordinator, Jason Krznarich, helped us find some awesome female stunt actors to fill the roles of the attacked runners. Hannah Scott, Jenna Hellmuth and Jason as the attacker really brought some great performances on two miserably hot days. The final film, a thriller called“Yellow Jacket,” landed us third place and many other awards including Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Acting, and Best Cinematography.
Rounding out the year was the TIVA-DC Peer Awards Gala, where hundreds of DC’s best video professionals gathered at the National Press Club for an evening of awards, delicious food and knee-slapping jokes served up by local movie reviewer and celebrity, Arch Campbell. DUO Media Productions accepted five awards that evening, all voted on by the best judges anyone could ask for, our fellow peers. A Silver Award for “Fundamentals of SolidWorks EPDM” in the category Public Relations/Marketing (under $25K). Another Silver in the Independent Short category for“Rare Finds.” In the category Motion Graphics – 2D/3D Animation (under $10K), we took home a Silver (thanks in part to Chris Pennington) for “SOPA/PIPA Saving Innovation” and a Bronze for“Fundamentals of SolidWorks EPDM.” Finally, we were glad to accept a well deserved Gold Award on behalf of Doug Powell for his exceptional performance in our 48 Hour Film Project, “Last Friday in April.”
As we move on to 2013, we can look behind and say, “That was our best year yet!” but we are also looking forward with anticipation of the things yet to come.
Happy New Year!