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Filming the future
Film students become semi-finalists in MTV film competition

Nov. 4, 2004

By Emily Mullins

When opportunity comes knocking, the best thing to do is answer it. And that is exactly what juniors Spencer Houck and Devin Doyle did when they submitted their original films to MTV's "Best Film on Campus" competition. However, the rarity of this situation comes from the fact that of the thousands of films entered in the contest, both of their films were chosen.

"The film we actually created for the competition got eliminated in the first round," Doyle said. But as chance would have it, the two films he and his roommate Houck created for other reasons, "Fade Away" and "Detonate," were chosen as semi-finalists.

The competition includes films by students from prestigious colleges all over the country such as New York University, San Francisco University, the University of Miami (Florida) and the University of Iowa. With only 11 films chosen for the semi-finals, having two Ohio University students represented is quite impressive.

Since sixth grade, Doyle and Houck have had an interest in film. In high school, they furthered their interests by creating skating videos, and came to Ohio University to major in video production. Although "Fade Away" and "Detonate" are not the students' first projects, they are the most recognizable.

Doyle's "Fade Away" was created last year for an introduction to video course. The premise was to capture the universal emotion of loss with a storytelling element. The "visually challenging short-piece" did just that, qualifying it for the semi-finalist round.

Houck's "Detonate" was also created last year for Ohio University's annual film competition "Shoot Out." The contest is held every winter quarter and requires film students to create a video in 48 hours. "Detonate" won the regional award.

Voting for MTV's "Best Film on Campus" ends this weekend. However, if chosen in the top three, voting will continue, giving Houck and Doyle a chance at the grand prize. The prize includes a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, an internship with MTV films as well as the opportunity to pitch a film idea to MTV.

"We already have our next project in the works, and who better to foot the bill than MTV?" Doyle said.

Voters can view each film and vote on their favorite one by visiting www.mtvu.com.  Voting multiple times is acceptable, if not encouraged, Doyle said.

Emily Mullins is a student writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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