Three Media Design School short films won a remarkable ten awards at the recent LA Movie Awards, a US-based online independent film festival. The Los Angeles Movie Awards mission is to celebrate Independent Motion Picture and Literary Arts by providing a platform for filmmakers and writers to have an opportunity to be awarded for their work. The films won outside the student category, competing with features and shorts made by professionals.
The success continues a stellar year in worldwide festivals, awards and competitions for short films from the School's 3D department, headed by James Cunningham. Successes for 2011 so far have included finalist nominations in the Student Category of the Visual Effects Society Awards, and Laurels at the Aspen Shortsfest, Honolulu Film Awards, LA International Underground Film Fest and Talking Pictures Festival.
- Time for Change, a full CGI animated short about feuding spouses, who happen to also be wooden clock puppets, picked up first place in the Animation category of the Los Angeles Movie Awards, as well as Best Animated Characters, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
- Rotting Hill, a CGI-Live Action integrated short about two Zombies falling in love amongst a blood bath of gore was awarded first place in the International category, as well as Best Production Design, Best Supporting Actor (Bruce Hopkins), Best Special Effects and Best Director (James Cunningham).
- Das Tub, a CGI-Live Action integrated short about a German U-Boat in troubled waters, of the soapy variety, achieved an Award of Excellence in the International category.
All three shorts films were produced by teams of students from Media Design School's Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions. The films feature a winning collaboration of strong scripts by celebrated New Zealand screenwriters, assistance from experienced Kiwi industry experts in sound design and cinematography, great acting and high quality 3D modelling, animation, dynamics and compositing. The average turnaround for a Media Design School short film project is around 10 weeks.
James Cunningham, Course Leader for 3D at Media Design School, had this to say of the success: "I was quite surprised by the news we had picked up 10 awards - I thought it must have been a typo. This is a fantastic recognition of not only the great student work but also all the professionals who have volunteered their time to give back to the next generation of visual effects artists."