Digital Video Student Takes First Prize in Local Film Festival
“Would you want to drink this stuff?” WCC digital video student John Inwood posed this question viscerally with his winning entry at the 2nd Annual Millers Creek Film Festival. His video, a short public service announcement, puts a humorous spin on the serious effects of dumping motor oil in city drains.
Sponsored by the Huron River Watershed Council, “The Festival offers filmmakers of all ages a chance to inspire people to enjoy and protect the Huron, one of the area’s most beautiful natural feature,” says Joan Martin, spokesperson for HRWC.
The competition held March 13 at the Michigan Theater drew film submissions from 17 participants and over 350 viewers attended the event. Inwood received a “Millie” for his video in the short film division and a $500 prize. His video “60-second PSA” and the other winning videos can be viewed at The Millers Creek Film Festival on YouTube. The judges for this year’s event were filmmaker Chris Cook, Michigan State Senator Liz Brater, and aquatic ecologist Steve Francoeur.
Inwood, 20, who’s working toward an associate’s degree in digital video at WCC, found out about the competition from digital video instructor Matt Zacharias. “I struggled to come up with an idea at first,” says Inwood. “When I started researching I discovered that oil in the watershed is big problem in Michigan. Everything that ends up in the river, we end up drinking, so I decided to create a funny way of showing that.” That method included a pan full of used motor oil (played convincingly by chocolate syrup) chugged on camera.
Inwood was surprised to be selected for the award. “There were 10 other films in my category and all of them were great,” he says.
Zacharias, however, says Inwood’s award is well-deserved, “John is the real deal: one of our top students and a nice person on top of it. His talent coupled with his diligence is the key to his success.”