By Sheyla Molho
Many people would feel very lucky to break into show business,
but unfortunately the task of getting there is very difficult. The
term “it’s who you know” often applies. But, if you had the
opportunity to find a mentor and later
have your film screened in front of industry professionals, your
shot at breaking through would feel more realistic. This year,
Sotheby’s has given the chance of a life time to 20 Santa Barbara
high school and college/university students.
In conjunction with the 22nd Santa Barbara International Film
Festival Sotheby’s fourth annual International Reality 10-10-10
Student Filmmaking Competition and 10-10-10 Screenwriting
Competition, selected student filmmakers and writers have been
selected to be mentored by industry professional directors,
producers, cinematographers, and writers. This effort by Sotheby’s
has been made in part to encourage and assist the next generation
of filmmakers and writers in the movie-making business.
For the screenwriters, ten were chosen out of sixty-five
applicants from Santa Barbara’s college, university and high
schools. They were asked to write a ten-page sample of a
screenplay, stage play or short story. Later, the five best high
school and five best college writers were chosen. Now to the best
part: The ten winners were then paired up with mentors, including
Joe Scanlan, who has directed countless episodes of Star Trek:
The Next Generation, and Jeff Arch, who wrote Sleepless in
Seattle. These ten ambitious writers were then put together
with the ten winners from the 10-10-10 Filmmaking Competition and
were asked to put a ten-minute film together which will be judged
on screenwriting and filmmaking at the closing night ceremony of
the film festival on February 4 at the Arlington Theatre. A winner
from the college and high school levels will be chosen.
Hats off to all the competitors—their big break might not be too
Nominees and mentors are listed below:
Finalists of the Sotheby’s International Realty 10-10-10 Student
Filmmaking Competition sponsored by Sotheby’s International
HIGH SCHOOL – David Richardson, Santa Barbara High School – Tony
Johnson, Santa Barbara High School – Ian Wexler, Santa Barbara High
School – Ian Watson, Santa Barbara High School – Ben Lee, San
Marcos High School
COLLEGE – Tara Jean D’Antonio, Brooks Institute – Blair Madigan,
Brooks Institute – Mark Claver, Brooks Institute – Dylan Penev,
SBCC – Kevin Harman, UCSB
Finalists of the 10-10-10 Student Screenwriting Competition
sponsored by Business First National Bank and Final Draft:
HIGH SCHOOL – Ian Wexler, Santa Barbara High School – Avery
Medjuck, San Marcos High School – Alex Dunn, Dos Pueblos High
School – Levi Michaels, San Marcos High School – Kevin Tran, San
Marcos High School
COLLEGE – Ryan McCurdy, Brooks Institute – Charles Heining,
Brooks Institute – Richard Yellenberg, UCSB – Johnathan Fagundes,
UCSB – Christopher A. Deetz, SBCC The mentors for this year’s
10-10-10 Competition are:
Glenn Leopold, a three time Emmy nominee, has written hundreds
of animated episodes for such shows as Disney’s Doug,
The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Pink Panther and
Sons, Fantastic Four and many more.
Joe Scanlan has directed about a dozen television movies and a
few feature films and hundreds of prime time television dramas,
including episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation,
The Outer Limits, and La Femme Nikita.
Josh Conviser, an experienced mountaineer, gave up the mountains
for the jungles of Hollywood to pursue a career in screenwriting.
He is the Executive Consultant on Rome and published his
first novel, Echelon, in July 2006.
Jeff Arch is the Academy Award nominated writer of the
blockbuster Sleepless in Seattle. He also has written and
directed Complete Guide to Guys and penned and produced
programs for television.
Robert Lewis has worked as a film editor, director, and producer
in a lengthy career that has included work on Gomer Pyle,
USMC, The Mod Squad, Macmillan &
Wife, and Guilty or Innocent, The Sam Shepherd Murder
Mashey Bernstein teaches writing and film at UCSB. In 2004 he
instigated UCSB at Telluride, taking a class to the Film Festival
there. His screenplay Orson at the Gate is currently under
Rob Sternin and Prudence Sternin Fraser are best known for their
work in television, where they have written, produced, developed or
created over a dozen prime time series, from Who’s the
Boss? to The Nanny.
Michael Jaffe, partner of Jaffe/Braunstein Films Ltd., has
produced over 108 movies-of-the-week and mini-series, including
work with Michael Mann, Sidney Lumet, Alan Arkin, and Timothy
Roger Durling is the executive director of the Santa Barbara
International Film Festival. FILMMAKING MENTORS
Jeff Arch (see bio blurb above)
Joe Johnston has directed numerous films including Jurassic
Park III, Hidalgo, Jumanji, and Honey, I
Shrunk the Kids.
Tom Ackerman is an in-demand cinematographer whose credits
include Beetle Juice, The Benchwarmers, and
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Richard Harris has worked on 40 productions as an editor
including The Candidate, LA Story, Terminator
2: Judgment Day, and Titanic.