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October 13, 2008
By Scott Gayer
Who knew that a whimsical short film could ever attempt to typify the ongoing football rivalry between the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas? University videography students Winter Carrera and Sean Wilkes achieved just that after winning the Associated Students of the University of Nevada bookstore’s first 48-hour film festival competition. The festival spanned between Sept. 26 and 27.
Contestants were challenged to document and express the essence of the Nevada-UNLV rivalry anyway they saw fit. Carrera and Wilkes took a wide-ranging approach to expressing the festival theme. Their film attempts everything from comical music recording session to staging a tackling stunt between the Nevada mascot and a UNLV film student.
Both Carrera and Wilkes agreed that the motivation for their film content simply came from what they know and love — producing movies.
“It was a reflection of us,” Wilkes said.
The students used the prompt for the competition as the central premise in their movie. Carrera and Wilkes portrayed themselves producing a movie for the film festival. The characters aspired to create a piece that stood out from traditional rivalry clichés.
Hoping humor would do the trick, the students looked at the rivalry from a musical angle. In 20 minutes, Wilkes penned a rhyming script and took to filming with his partner.
After their first attempt, Carrera and Wilkes decide that the musical concept didn’t work and proceed to compile a sports montage with a war-like instrumental score.
Carrera and Wilkes entered the contest together to see what kind of work they could produce as a team. Carrera comes from a documentary film background while Wilkes’ passion lies in the narrative genre.
Carrera and Wilkes possessed different motivations for pursuing film. Carrera’s inspiration comes from a short documentary film that she chose to complete for a Basque anthropology class she took two years ago. After completing her film and hearing others’ reactions to it, Carrera decided the change her major from biology to art.
In the future, Carrera hopes to do documentary work for National Geographic, while traveling and documenting all kinds of people ranging anywhere from New Yorkers to indigenous peoples. Currently, she plans to apply to the University of California, Berkeley for graduate studies in documentary videography.
“Film is kind of like clay,” Carrera said in summing up her attraction to film as an evolutionary creative medium and process. “You come up with an idea and you get to see it evolve.”
Wilkes said he credits his father as his original inspiration for pursuing a career in film.
“It [film] was pretty much the bond that me and my father had,” Wilkes said.
He is now applying for film school at both the University of Southern California and California Institute of the Arts. Additionally he is also producing, directing and editing a short 30-minute film that he describes as a cross between Fight Club and Goodfellas.
Wilkes said that his passion for storytelling is what keeps driving him into the realm of filmmaking.
“I’m the oldest of seven kids,” Wilkes said. “I’m used to telling stories. Every person has a story to tell.”
Winning video links: