2023 Camp K Winners Celebrated in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York

New York, NY – Nov. 9, 2023 – The Camp Kuleshov trailer competition for emerging creative artists in post production – a.k.a. Camp K – recognized its winning and honorable mention entries at live events in Chicago and New York, as well as a hybrid in-person and virtual event in Los Angeles over the two  weeks. Trophies were bestowed in recognition of outstanding achievement in the categories of Editing, Sound Design and Graphics, as well as the newly introduced Music Score category. 

Designed to give emerging talent a chance to heighten their creative and craft problem-solving skills while also gaining access to invaluable mentorship opportunities, Camp K challenges entrants to take existing films and re-imagine trailers for them as something new and different. A full listing of this year’s source films for each category, as well as competition rules and objectives, can be found on the Camp K website at www.campkuleshov.org. The  2023 Camp K winners from each region can be found here.

Camp K Midwest highlights

The Midwest Camp Kuleshov awards presentation and party took place on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Tunnel in Chicago. It was emceed by Craig Duncan, President of Cutters Studios, and Cutters Editor Kathryn Hempel, a founder of Camp Kuleshov. 

In Editing, entries from young artists at Cutters swept First, Second and Third Place. Isabella Paulitz won First Place for her recasting of the Tom Hardy horror flick “Venom” as a Timeless Tragic Love Story. Second Place went to Matthew Fink for his mashup of the hip-hop comedy “House Party” and the 2017 spine-tingler “mother!” as an Absurd Horror feature. Third Place went to Jack Taylor for reworking the 1985 James Bond adventure “A View to a Kill” as an example of Parasitical Anger Management.

Honorable Mentions in Editing went to Matt Bonte of Whitehouse Post for his reworking of Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” as a Timeless Tragic Love Story, and to Nicole Russell, also of Whitehouse Post, for turning the live-action “Josie & The Pussycats” into an ominous  film as Directed by Christopher Nolan.

In Graphics, Marly Koven of Flavor won for her opening title sequence featuring animated, geometric shapes for the Lars von Trier cosmic mystery “Melancholia,” while in Music Score, Maddie Strong of Cutters won First Place for her suspenseful buildup to a scary scene in “No Country For Old Men.”

In Sound Design, First Place went to Harrison Gill of Optimus for his sound design on a climactic scene in Francis Coppola’s iconic thriller “The Conversation.” Honorable Mention in Sound Design went to Cliff Fitch of Cutters for his comic take on the 1963 thriller “The Haunting.”

AICP’s Midwest Chapter has a special connection to Camp K, as the competition started there over 20 years ago, initially known as Trailer Park. “It’s one of our favorite industry events,” explains Laurie Adrianopoli, an independent executive producer. “It’s a time to gather as a community and support the next generation of storytellers. Seeing our younger talents excited to show off their work and cheer for each other is pure magic. A special shout out goes to Tom Duff of Optimus, Craig Duncan of Cutters, Editor Kathryn Hempel of Cutters (who co-founded Trailer Park), Lisa Masseur of Tessa, Mark Androw of STORY, our Midwest judges and AICP, too, as well as to the winners for their accomplishments and to all the assistants who took part. Shine on, lovelies!”

Adds Duff, “We’re all proud to see how Camp K has grown over the years, and to see the assistants get their moment in the limelight. Seeing their enthusiasm is pure entertainment, since we all know how much work they put into this. They fully deserve all the credit.”

Camp K West/Southwest Winners

The combined West and Southwest Camp K winners were presented at a celebration held at Vaudeville Sound in Culver City, and simultaneously via Zoom, on Wednesday, November 1. The event was emceed by Jay Nelson, an editor at Cut + Run who also served as a Camp K Coach this year. 

In Editing, First Place went to Ellen Culver of Nomad Edit in Austin, TX for her Absurd Horror reworking of “House Party.” Second Place went to Noah Leggett, also of Nomad Edit in Austin, for his mashup of the 1978 Clint Eastwood comedy “Every Which Way But Loose” and the 2018 version of “A Star is Born” into an Absurd Horror picture. Third Place went to Edward Schroer of Cosmo Street in L.A. for his mashup of the 2001 live action teen comedy “Josie & The Pussycats” and the 1994 thriller “Clear and Present Danger” into a film Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Also awarded at the Vaudeville Sound event was an Honorable Mention in Music Score to Alex Doty of Swell Music + Sound in San Francisco, for his original score for a suspenseful scene in “No Country For Old Men.”

Attendees at the Vaudeville Sound event not only got a chance to laud the winning work, they also heard from several post production pros who spoke about the importance of mentorship and how it can impact your career development. In addition to Nelson, speakers included Editor Taylor Walsh from Cabin Editorial and Colorist Jennifer Gaida from Apache.

“It was great to be in person to celebrate the entries with such a large and enthusiastic audience,” says Nelson of the turnout. “It was very inspiring for everyone, and a resounding reminder about the importance of getting back to community and mentorship and working in person, between an artist and their assistant. We got great feedback on why we do this every year – it’s to inspire the next generation and discover new talent. Being at Vaudeville and being able to engage with them afterwards made it that much better. The energy was truly amazing.”

Yvette Cobarrubias, Managing Partner of Cosmo Street and AICP West Chapter President, was impressed by the insights shared by the evening’s speakers. “The takeaway was find your mentor, be in the room, learn your craft, be a community, and show up,” she said. “For everyone who participated, even if you didn’t win, you showed up and you were in it – and that’s a victory in and of itself.”

Many AICP West member companies joined in to sponsor the event at Vaudeville Sound. In addition to the host company, the list included Apache; Cosmo Street, Cut+Run, Republic and Versatile Studios.

Camp K East/Southeast winners

Winners were presented at an awards celebration held at The Mill, where Big Sky Edit’s Chris Franklin, who leads the Camp K committee, and Big Sky Editor Val Lasser, presided over the festivities. 

In Editing, First Place went to Spencer King of Northern Lights for his three-way mashup of the 1948 screwball comedy “Unfaithfully Yours,” the 1977 sci-fi horror flick “Demon Seed” and 1990’s “House Party” as a thriller Directed by Christopher Nolan. Second Place went to Santiago Figueira Wilson, also of Northern Lights, for a comic combo of the Tom Clancy whodunit “Clear and Present Danger” with the 2005 documentary hit “March of the Penguins,” recast as an Unsolved Mystery. Third Place went to Setareh Jalali of Cut + Run for her take on the 2006 period thriller “The Prestige” as a Buddy Comedy. 

Two Editing entries were awarded Honorable Mention: they went to Abby Doherty of Cut + Run for her Absurd Horror take on “House Party,” and Lauren Hughes of Uppercut for her Evil Artificial Intelligence recasting of “Josie & the Pussycats.”

In Sound Design, First Place went to Carly Morgan of Sonic Union for a hilarious twist on a frightening scene in “The Conversation.” Second Place went to Zoltan Monori of Heard City for a jarring new take on the 2010 crime thriller “The American.”

In Graphics, First Place went to Irving Zarate of Northern Lights for his animated, distressed type opening for the 2001 cocaine caper film “Blow,” while in Music Score, Alex Thiel of Sonic Union earned an Honorable Mention for a taut score on a murderous scene in “No Country For Old Men.”

“Our East/Southeast entries really hit it out of the park this year, with stellar work that was clearly taken very seriously by each and every entrant,” says Franklin. “We were impressed with the fact that all the work was very polished to look and sound great, regardless of which category, and many embraced the challenge of mash ups in editorial.”

“I think coaching had a lot to do with the quality of work this year,” says Lasser. “We really pushed this on social media with our @campkuleshov IG feed, and got a great response. We had a record number of coaching requests, which underscores our focus on mentoring and using the competitions to push assistants out of their comfort zone. It matters not if you win, but what you learn along the way are lifelong lessons towards your craft. The end of season viewing party is pretty wonderful, when we get to watch all the work together and celebrate all the assistants who participated. I can't thank them enough for the inspiration.”

Sponsoring the Camp K celebration in New York were Big Sky Edit, Heard City, The Mill and Uppercut. 

All First Place winners from each competition, each of whom received a license for Media Composer or Pro Tools, sponsored by Avid, now move on to compete for The Lev, Camp K’s national Grand Prize, awarded to the top winner in each category. The Lev winners will take home $1,000, provided by Camp K sponsor Musicbed + Filmsupply. An AICP Supporting Partner, Musicbed also made selections from its production music library available to entrants free of charge.