"Owned," which won a Student Oscar, wound up placing first in its category at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences ceremony held on June 7, 2014. Thus, directors Daniel Clark and Wesley Tippetts won Gold Medals.
The Student Academy Awards are just like real Oscars, though the process is a bit different than the usual Oscars. Students that worked on 15 different projects under the categories of “alternative, animation, documentary, narrative and foreign film” are given Oscars. Three films in each category are awarded Oscars. They then are invited to attend an awards ceremony at The Directors Guild of America Theater Complex in West Hollywood.
They are all real Oscars, and everyone who attends receives one. However, at the awards ceremony, a final determination is made, and, like at the Olympics, a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal are awarded. They don't have to get on a podium and listen to the National Anthem, though.
The students who made "Owned" won the Gold medal this year in the animation category. Teng Cheng, who made "Higher Sky," won the Silver Medal. Hayley Foster won the Silver medal for "Yamashita."
"Owned" is a terrific student animated short. Unfortuately, we can't show you "Owned" yet, because it isn't online due to Academy rules about not allowing works under consideration to be distributed. So, the above video with the creators of "Owned," which includes clips of the short, will have to do (for now).
"Owned" is about Jeff, a cocky and somewhat reclusive videogame champion who is taken down a notch by an anonymous baby online opponent and then comes to realize the possibilities of life.
"Owned" is directed by two Brigham Young University Center for Animation students. It has garnered a lot of positive buzz and, more importantly, is up for a Student Academy Award. Seeing as how it already has won a College Television Award aka "Student Emmy," it is a favorite going into the 41st Student Academy Awards.
The Student Academy Awards are just that - Academy Awards from the same outfit that hands Jennifer Lawrence (who actually makes an appearance of sorts in "Owned") a statue every year. Student Academy Awards were instituted in 1972 and are just about as important an honor to receive as the regular Oscars, too, when you consider that past animation winners include folks like John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Trey Parker ("South Park"). Other past student winners in other categories include Shane Acker ("9"), Spike Lee, Bob Saget and Robert Zemeckis. Anyone who knows film knows those names. This award is a huge stepping stone for future industry titans.
How can you dislike an animation that seeks to introduce a whole new word - "NARP" (Non-Athletic Regular Person) - to the language.
Congratulations to the winners!