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QuickFlix teen video contest: Have camera, will dazzle

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Corey Wittig is very happy with kids' plans for the QuickFlix video contest this year:

"I've already heard a few teens talk about their filmmaking aspirations, including a teen who wants to be a director so he can make a CGI film starring crayons trapped in a hot car who are trying to escape before they melt.

"Brilliant."

Fledgling filmmakers ages 12-18 can submit a 1- to 3-minute video on any subject, although this year's contest -- which Wittig coordinates -- offers the library's Summer Reading theme, "You are here," and the collection of local stories at Hear Me as inspiration.

Also inspiring are the prizes: A Flip UltraHD Video Camera and $100 Best Buy gift card for the top individual entry and a $200 Best Buy gift card and $100 iTunes gift card for the best group effort. Second prize is an MP3 Player and $50 iTunes gift card; third place earns an MP3 Player and $25 iTunes gift card.

The deadline for entry is Aug. 1. Teens without a camera may be able to borrow one from the teen library specialist at their local branch.

Wittig, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's digital learning librarian in the Teen Services department, says QuickFlix aims to encourage cinematic creativity and just plain fun in the storytelling. For the first time, Filmmakers at the Center (a youth media program collaboration between Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts) has offered video workshops to help contestants prepare to shoot.

"Whether teens take the stop-motion animation class, or the digital filmmaking class," Wittig says, "they're learning some pretty fantastic skills, from the composition of a shot, and working with the cameras (as well as the editing software), to something as simple as successfully collaborating with their peers, working to create something unique." And they learn more readily because they're volunteering to learn, he adds.

Winners will be announced on Aug. 20, 2011 at a screening and reception.

Do Good:

Act quickly for a QuickFlix workshop; there are just a few left on July 13, 14 and 15.

Check out contest rules and workshop locations here, or call 412.578.2599 or email here.

Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Corey Wittig, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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