Kansas City Wins 48-Hour Gigabit Filmmaking Throwdown Vs. Chattanooga | KCUR

Kansas City Wins 48-Hour Gigabit Filmmaking Throwdown Vs. Chattanooga

Sep 24, 2015

Results are in for the recent 48-hour filmmaking contest between gigabit-fueled Kansas City and Chattanooga: Kansas City won.

The project was called Capture. At 5 p.m. on Friday, filmmakers gathered at Union Station, where they were given a theme. They had 24 hours to upload five 30-second video clips based on that theme, and then teams of editors and musicians downloaded whatever footage they wanted to use and turned it into short films.

It was both cities' super-fast Internet services that made all of the uploading, downloading, editing and collaborating possible in such a short amount of time.

Forty-eight hours later, early Sunday evening, independent film director Mark Covino, serving as the celebrity juror, awarded Best in Show. It went to the Kansas City-based team of film editor Kyle Hamrick and musician Mark Buergler.

The theme was "origins." Filmmakers ranging from professionals to smartphone hobbyists in both cities had submitted 350 video clips. From those, Hamrick (working from his home near 43rd and Rainbow in Kansas City, Kansas) and Buergler (working from his home in Independence), who had never met each other, pieced together and soundtracked a 1:37 film that, fitting with theme of origins, feels dreamy and nostalgic.

Their film and three others are now posted online, and voting for the People's Choice award is open through Oct. 5.

"I went into it thinking it would be a cool challenge and fun, and it was both of those things," says Hamrick. "I mostly do more commercial work, so it was good to get back to doing something a little more artistic."

Hamrick chose clips that had been submitted by filmmakers in both cities. He met some of the Kansas City filmmakers whose clips he'd used at the screening on Sunday night. But he ended up making connections in Chattanooga, too.

"A talk-radio station in Chattanooga interviewed me a couple of days ago," Hamrick says, "and that DJ was the person who submitted the first clip I used."

Kansas City film commissioner Stephane Scupham said she was proud of Kansas City's participation, noting that the youngest filmmaker was 12 and City Councilman Scott Taylor also submitted footage. Though turnout for Sunday's watch party felt small (Scupham estimated about 30 people at Union Station's Extreme Screen theater, which seats 440), Scupham was encouraged by the fact that so many creative people were meeting each other for the first time.

"Chattanooga had warned us that when they started this three years ago, it started out small," Scupham said. "But now they have an outdoor festival-type crowd, and their mayor talks to their crowd."

Capture started in Chattanooga three years ago as a way to bring artists together using that city's first-in-the-nation, publicly funded  high-speed Internet service. Having pulled off two successful events, members of that city's Association for Visual Arts contacted the community-tech boosters at KC Digital Drive with an invitation for Google Fiber-fueled Kansas City to play along.

"It's a feat of creativity and process," said Scupham, who said she was proud of Kansas City's participation. The Kansas City film office would sponsor the event again next year, Scupham said, "if Chattanooga will have us."

And if Kansas City does go up against Chattanooga again next year, Hamrick has an implied challenge of his own for Kansas City filmmakers.

"Obviously they’d done it for a couple years before us so they had an awareness advantage," Hamrick notes. "But Chattanooga, despite being 8 percent of our population, submitted about 75 percent of the clips." (He's using poetic license: Metro Chattanooga is about a quarter of the size of metro Kansas City.)

But for Kansas Citians who need more bragging tools, the event also resulted in a Kansas City exhibition video Scupham says is free for anyone to use: