An aspiring director from Sylvan Lake is taking part in a nationwide filmmaking competition, and wants to use it to help him make his mark on the North American film industry.
Scott Sikma, a third-year New Media student of the University of Lethbridge, recently teamed up with two of his filmmaking peers to create a trailer for The CineCoup Film Accelerator — a competition that will present its winners with $1 million in funding for a feature film, as well as distribution in Cineplex theatres across Canada.
“We’ve just been working on different projects together the past year, and we wanted to put this all together and just see what we can do and see if we can actually make it out there in this industry,” said Sikma.
Sikma, along with a fellow student and a U of L alumnus, was encouraged by one of his professors to enter the competition, and the trio quickly got to work to film a two-minute trailer for a movie that they had written entitled Rosalind Revenge.
Its plot follows the story of a female detective who, upon arriving at a murder scene, realizes that the victim is her lover.
“We just finished filming the trailer about a month ago, and then put it right into this contest,” said Sikma. “We’ve been pushing it on Facebook and Twitter, and just getting as much support as we can.”
Voting for the competition opened on Mar. 19, allowing viewers to vote for their favourite trailers until Apr. 28, when winners are announced.
At press time, Rosalind Revenge was sitting in ninth place in rank of popularity, based on ratings submitted by viewers. “We want to keep within the top 10,” said Sikma, adding that some of the other 90 videos against which they are competing were made by filmmakers of Academy Award success.
“It’s just fluctuating every day. It’s been amazing watching it.”
Plans are in place, he said, to move forward with filming of the movie, regardless of how it fares in competition.
“It’s been a great experience and either way we want to film this movie. It’s our dream to do this.
“If we don’t end up winning this contest, we’re going to start getting supporters and sponsors and then film the movie ourselves if it comes down to it.
“Being in the project right now and sitting where we are, we’re getting the exposure, we’re getting the experience, and we’re seeing what people think.”
As the trailer’s producer and first assistant director, 24-year-old Sikma has obtained filmmaking skills and knowledge through his education at the U of L, and through the many experienced instructors, actors and directors he’s worked with over the past several years.
Along with his Rosalind Revenge colleagues, he is planning to relocate next year to California to further his career in the film industry.
“We want to continue and start picking up bigger project bases, especially with all the media we’re getting now, and the attention,” he said. “We want to start building on that and getting big projects out there and getting our name all over it.”
Voting for Rosalind Revenge in the CineCoup competition is open online at http://cinecoup.com/rosalindrevenge