A team of graphic artists tap furiously at their laptops. All of a sudden, a giant elephant, a toy dinosaur and David Bowie take over the video screens in New York City, London and Tokyo. This is the concept behind Tisch alumnus Matt Lincoln’s short film “Liberators.”
Lincoln, who graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts in 2010, created “Liberators” for Campus MovieFest’s international “Seize the Night” Alternate Ending Challenge, for which he is one of 15 finalists.
Campus MovieFest, produced by Ideas United, LLC, launched the competition in June in conjunction with Lenovo, the second-highest selling PC maker in the world. The launch was timed to promote Lenovo’s new IdeaPad Ultrabook PC laptop.
According to Ideas United representative Jessica Reynoso, a team from Ideas United watched “Seize the Night,” the original commercial for Ultrabook, and described it as “unique and beautiful.” The competition aims to give young filmmakers the opportunity to recreate the ending of the advertisement.
“We created the ‘Seize the Night’ competition … to encourage these inspired [filmmakers] by giving them the technology tools to create something incredible,” David Roman, Lenovo’s chief marketing officer, said in a press release.
After submitting detailed outlines of their ideas, 15 talented finalists from around the world — including Lincoln — were chosen.
Each finalist was given a minimal budget and only three weeks to shoot and produce their short film. Lincoln, who won Best Director in Campus MovieFest’s International Grande Finale in 2010 for his 3D animation short, “The Price of Silence,” was no stranger to this fast-paced production process.
“[Things] actually went pretty smoothly,” Lincoln said. “The visual effects, while sometimes tedious, were pretty simple conceptually, so I didn’t run into [many] problems.”
Lincoln’s alternate ending features real-life artists, including photographers and graphic designers, using the Ultrabook — dubbed “The Book of Do” — to display their work around the world in remarkable and innovative ways.
“Finding artists that were excited to contribute was easy,” Lincoln said. “The backbone of the concept here was to use real artists, not actors, [so that] Lenovo’s ‘For Those Who Do’ tagline [is] supported a bit more strongly than if the artists were represented by actors.”
Photographer Samantha Zucker, who is featured in Lincoln’s film, said her part was all shot in one night. Zucker also said it was an exciting project to be a part of and she enjoyed seeing the final product.
“[Lincoln] was really excited about my work,” Zucker said.
“Liberators” features Zucker’s photographs and a small toy dinosaur she has used in her work. The dinosaur’s fantasy of world domination becomes a reality in the film when a hacker with an Ultrabook projects him on big LED screens in Tokyo, London and NYC.
The online voting for the competition began on Aug. 13 and will end on Sept. 9. The video with the highest number of views will win a grand prize of $15,000 in cash grants, and $5,000 will be rewarded to runners-up.
See Lincoln’s video and check out the original “Seize the Night” ad before the competition ends.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 6 print edition. Hanna Rioseco is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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