Vote for alumnus short film in national competition

For the rest of August, you can vote for a short film produced by Dean Coots '13 for the Sprite Films program.

By Alana Romans ’14

(Voting opened Aug. 1, and you can vote as often as you’d like until the end of the month. Remember to select “Break the Night.”)

When Elon University media arts & entertainment major Dean Coots ’13 was selected as a finalist for the Sprite Films Program in March, he, along with a crew of fellow School of Communication students, began to shoot, produce and edit his short film “Break the Night.” Now, nearly five months later, “Break the Night” and the other Sprite Films Program finalists will be released Aug. 1 on Sprite’s website, where the public will be allowed to vote for its favorite film.

The short films will be available at during the entire month of August, and voting will conclude Aug. 31.

Coots’ film is competing against work produced by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Columbia College of Chicago and UCLA for the competition’s two awards—the Fan Favorite award, determined by the public vote, and the Green Ribbon Panel, decided on by industry professionals.

As an added incentive for the people to cast their vote, Sprite will enter voters into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Universal Orlando Resort for four guests. Viewers can vote up to five times a day.

Students from across the country were asked to write 60-second short films for the competition, and Coots was selected as one of four finalists during the spring semester. He received $15,000 from The Coca-Cola Company to make “Break the Night.” The winner of the competition will receive a $30,000 contract job for Sprite and The Coca-Cola Company.

Coots’ film involves a group of break-dancers, multiple buckets of paint and a spray-painted canvas. While dancing remains the focus of the film, the importance rests upon the progression of a blank canvas to an intricate mural.

“The concept came from process art, which is when the process behind creating an image is more important than the art itself,” Coots said.

The Sprite Films program was formerly the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Award, which was presented annually by Coca-Cola beginning in 1998. The program has continued through the Sprite brand for the past three years.

Last year, Jay Light ’12 wrote and directed “Rocketeer,” which won the Consumer’s Choice Award.