Optimus Assistant Editor Aaron Porzel has won the Grand Prize for Editing at the 2014 AICE Camp Kuleshov Chicago trailer editing contest.  His winning entry, “Space Cops,” is a 1980s-inspired comedy mashup of three classic films from that decade: “E.T.,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Sixteen Candles.”

Porzel was presented with his Camp Kuleshov Chicago trophy at an awards show and presentation held this evening at The Attic @ American Junkie in Chicago. “Space Cops” revolves around an extra-terrestrial law enforcement officer and his comic exploits.  In Porzel’s edit, schlocky, ‘80s style graphics and bad video quality, along with colorized actors and other odd bits of visual nostalgia, add to the aura of a film trailer from an earlier era.

Camp Kuleshov is the annual contest for assistant editors, assistant audio engineers and assistant or junior designers. It challenges entrants to create unique trailers for what are essentially original new films, which can be either mash-ups or new genres.  To view all the winners and honorable mentions, click here:


The theme for the 2014 competition was “80’s Mixtape.” Brian Sepanik, Partner and Editor at The Colonie, says the idea for the theme came from the fact that all of the source films are early to mid 1980s releases and have come to serve as shorthand for the decade of perms and shoulder pads. He was one of the organizers of this year’s Camp Kuleshov, along with Craig Lewandowski, Partner and Editor at Utopic; Jon Desir, EP at Optimus; and Lauren Connelly, former Senior Assoc. Producer at Optimus.

In the Editing category, the 1st Runner up went to Optimus Assistant Max Mooney for “Bug,” a film noir thriller about a surveillance expert who gets pulled into intrigue and mystery.  2nd Runner Up went to Assistant Jimmy Helm of The Colonie for “Sweet Sixteen,” in which “Sixteen Candles” was re-cast as a thriller about a creepy teenage serial killer.  Honorable Mentions went to “Oh No They Di-int” from Assistant Dustin Kaufman of Cutters and “Lil’ Bandits” from Assistant Max Holste of Optimus.

Assistant Audio Engineers were asked to create an original soundtrack for a 58-second video collage of footage from the three source films.  The Grand Prize went to Assistant Jordan Stalling of Particle for “E.T.’s Garbage Brigade,” a pop-infused, spoken-word ballad centered around the party scene in “Sixteen Candles.”  1st Runner Up went to Mike Regan of Another Country for “Hu-Mon Parties are the Best!

”, also a spoken word entry but told from the alien’s point of view. Earning an Honorable Mention was Ricardo Mondragon of Earhole for “Illegal Alien.”

In the Design category, entrants were tasked with creating an original title sequence between 15 and 30 seconds in length that was used to introduce the awards presentation and screening.  The designers could use the source films as inspiration in creating their entries, and that’s what they did. The Grand Prize went to Designer Mack Neaton at Cutters/Flavor for “Tape Titles,” in which a camera panned across a tableau set with 80s items where the titles of the source films were spelled out in strands of audio tape.  1st Runner Up went to Designer SunMin Park of Optimus for “Fantastical ‘80s,” which used stylized, cut-out animation to string the film titles together. An Honorable Mention went to Designer Brad Cannady, also of Optimus, for “Now Available on VHS.”

In the Tent City category – which is open to entries from staffers of AICE-member companies who are not assistants – the Grand Prize for Editing went to Emily Hayes, a runner at Beast, for “Elliott,” in which she transforms “E.T.” into a horror film about a menacing young boy.  1st Runner Up went to David Rubin, an intern at Cutters, for “L’ombre Dans Les Étoiles” (“Shadow in the Stars”), a French art film about three characters whose lives are impacted by an alien stranger. An Honorable Mention was presented to Natalie Phillips, an intern at The Colonie, for “The Road to Eternal Tranquility.”

Overall, entries from Optimus, The Colonie and Cutters (also represented by Flavor, its design boutique, and Another Country, its audio studio) were recognized with multiple winners.  Other companies represented on the winners list included Beast, Particle and Earhole Studios.

Returning as sponsor for the 2014 Camp Kuleshov awards presentation, and providing many of the prizes, was Key Code Media (www.keycodemedia.com). Among the prizes awarded at the event were an Avid Media Composer and a G Technology G-DRIVE, which went to Aaron Porzel of Optimus for his Grand Prize entry in Editing; a 4K Blu-Ray disc player, which went to Emily Hayes of Beast for her Grand Prize entry in the Tent City Editing category; Avid Pro Tools, which went to Jordan Stalling of Particle for his Grand Prize entry in Audio; and a 16GB iPad Air, which went to Mack Neaton of Cutters for his Grand Prize entry in Design.