Making the cut: Outsider’s Madalinski wins top prize at Trailer Park assistant editor contest

Assistant editors showed they’re a cut above the ordinary at AICE’s 6th annual Trailer Park contest Aug. 9 at the Horseshoe bar to an enthusiastic crowd of about 200.

Grand prize winner of an HD TV set was Outsider assistant editor Laura Madalinski for her 90-second trailer selling the action movie “Hero.”

First and second runners up Ruben Vela of Optimus and Brian Hepner, also of Outsider, each scored a $100 gift certificate from the Apple Store.

Hepner’s trailer was a Spoof of the 1985 brat pack movie “St. Elmo’s Fire,” and Vela’s was a Sell trailer for “The Departed,” the 2006 Oscar winner for editing.

This year, employees of Chicago’s AICE member companies submitted 33 entries, slightly more than last year.

Entries were fairly evenly divided between the Trailer Park open to assistant directors, and a category for others, such as interns, librarians, graphic assistants, receptionists, called Tent City, says Michelle Orzechowski, an organizer and a judge for a second year “because it’s so much fun.”

“We chose that name,” says contest founder Kathryn Hempel of Cutters, “because we figured Tent City sounded like a good neighbor of Trailer Park.”

In order to give competitors ample source material with which to work, the committee selected the three very different movies.

From these, the competitors could cut either a Sell trailer, one that would make the audience go see the movie, or a edit a Spoof of the movie into a genre different from the original film, such as a romantic comedy, film noir, horror, western, etc.

AICE picked up the tab for the DVDs given on June 19 to the entrants, who had one month in which to finish their 90-second trailers.

Outsider’s Christophere Mines called the finished work “a surprising variety of trailers from the movies we (the organizing committee) picked.”

First Trailer Park runner-up was Optimus’ Ruben Vela, who turned “The Departed” into a Sell. Second runner-up, Outsider’s Brian Hepner, Spoofed “St. Elmo’s Fire.”

Honorable mentions went to Gene Gemperline of Daily Planet and Kirsten Sloan Casey of Optimus for their Spoofs of “The Departed” and “Hero,” respectively.

Winners often win rewards other than prizes, as Optimus’ Logan Hall happily learned. He had been a core trainee at the time of his entry, and was promoted to assistant editor after his submission. His Spoof of “Hero” made him the Tent City champ.

Red Car intern Brad Graham scored an honorable mention for his Tent City Spoof of “The Departed.”

Midwest Media Group contributed the HDTV set won by Madalinski, who also took home a Smoky Joe barbeque grill and a $200 certificate to the Apple Store.

Madalinski will have the honor of having her name placed on the Trailer Park trophy that travels among post houses, and she personally has a smaller version for her own bookshelf.

Trailer Park runners up and the Tent City winner received a $100 Apple Store gift certificate; $50 certificates awarded to Tent City honorable mentions. All winners received a framed certificate.

All entrants received a T-shirt, cleverly designed by Cutters’ Betty Jo Moore, depicting stars from the three movies set amid a trailer park. Sol DesignFX Sarah Cortese contributed the promotional poster.

Contest judges, editors all, were Avenue’s Eric Fey, Cutters’ Christophere Gotschall; Daily Planet ?s Matthew Hane; Foundation’s Devin Bousquet; Machete’s Michelle Orzechowski; Outsider’s Tom Brassil; Optimus’ Deb Schimmel, Red Car’s Phillip Marinari and The Whitehouse’s Matt Walsh.

This year’s organizing committee consisted of Cutters’ Kathryn Hempel, Steve Stein and Carrie Hunter; Optimus’ Amy Marinari and Nora Carney; Machete’s Michelle Orzechowski and Outsider’s Christopher Mines.

Since 2001, Chicago-originated Trailer Park contests have spread to AICE chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Toronto and Dallas.

Kathryn Hempel’s phone is 312/644-2500.