Music video created by iMedia graduates wins award at Urban Mediamakers Film Festival

Trey Caldwell G’18 collaborated with Gardy Swengbe G’18 and Assistant Professor Doug Kass on separate video projects and both were screened at the metro Atlanta festival in October.

Two Elon University collaborations involving Interactive Media graduates were selected for the 2018 Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, an international consortium of content creators held Oct. 11-17 in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Elon selections didn’t leave empty-handed.

Gardy Swengbe G’18 (left) and Trey Caldwell G’18 share a moment together at the 2018 Urban Mediamakers Film Festival held in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Photo courtesy of Caldwell. 
You Didn’t Know,” a music video shot, directed and edited by iMedia graduates Trey Caldwell G’18 and Gardy Swengbe G’18, won an award for Best College Student Music Video. The 3-minute film produced for artist Mr. Yuck raises awareness for the estimated 550,000 homeless individuals in the United States. As part of the festival, the video was screened Oct. 14 on Georgia State University’s campus.

Additionally, a public service announcement created by Caldwell and Assistant Professor Doug Kass was selected for the festival and shown alongside other advertising and marketing campaigns on Oct. 14. The duo created the animated piece “It Goes By Many Names …” for the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) outreach program. The PSA was one of three such projects Kass wrote, directed and produced this summer.

The three UNAIDS commercials, made in collaboration with numerous Elon faculty, students and staff, were created to bring awareness to the continuing worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as promote the organization’s policy of “zero tolerance” of discrimination.

According to Kass, Clay Stevenson, senior lecturer, and Mitch Herndon ’17, video producer in the School of Communications, were “both instrumental” in creating the PSAs. Stevenson composed music for two of the commercials, and handled sound design and mixing. Herndon served as director of photography and editor.

The “It Goes By Many Names …” spot recently won a Best Advertising Award at the Greater Message Film Festival in Pune, India. The two other UNAIDS spots were also screened at the international festival.

“It was a great experience and gave me a lot of insight on how to operate in the industry and work with a real client,” said Caldwell of working on the UNAIDS commercial. “I was the one that took Kass’ vision and – with his help – made it visual.”

While at Elon, Caldwell, who specialized in graphic design, learned the value of the artist-client relationship.

“The biggest thing about being an artist is figuring out how to solve the problem the client has – which is how they want it to look – and make it make sense and also be appealing,” he said.

Following graduation, Caldwell moved back to his hometown of Atlanta, where he serves as a motion graphic artists and animator intern at Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

The Urban Mediamakers Film Festival bills itself as a celebration of “artists, filmmakers, writers, actors and digital content creators who are using new technology and distribution models to create a multitude of interactive projects.” It provides opportunities for minority communities, including African American, Latinx and Asian storytellers, to promote change and showcase their work in the film and multimedia industries.

Sophia Ortiz ’21 contributed to this news release.