Contest provides opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to visit London

It has been said that everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame. Senior Isaac Gillespie and his friend Mark Tebben got theirs in about five seconds by winning a Cadillac film contest.

“You hear about contests and winning trips to England, but that never really happens. Now I’m one of those guys who won,” Gillespie said.

Earlier this year, Cadillac sponsored a contest promoting its new cars that go from zero to sixty in under five seconds. The object of the contest was to make a film five seconds long.

When Gillespie’s mother saw the commercial aired during the Superbowl, she immediately thought of her son and his roommate Mark Tebben. It was from her that the two heard about the contest, according to Gillespie. Tebben, a former student at Eastern, won an Eastern short film contest last year. He recently graduated from the New York Film Academy’s intensive, one-year filmmaking program. Gillespie is a senior philosophy major and plans to attend film school after graduation.

The two collaborated and came up with a plot. Tebben directed and produced, while Gillespie and another friend, Tim Rezendes, starred in the film.

A few days after submitting the film, they were notified that their film, What Goes Around…, was a finalist, according to Gillespie.

The Monday before spring break, they learned they had won first place in the category of comedy, he said.

Their prize was a four-day trip to London, including a stay in a fancy hotel, meals in trendy restaurants, and $300 each in travelers checks, according to Tebben and Gillespie.

They also spent a great deal of time sightseeing and visited the National Gallery several times, according to Gillespie.

On March 4, they attended the world premiere of Be Cool. “The low point of the trip was the hour or so we spent watching the movie,” Tebben said.

Tebben’s favorite moment was shaking hands with F. Gary Gray, the director of Be Cool.

Gillespie’s favorite moment occurred on the red carpet when he exchanged a wave with actress Uma Thurman.

The entire experience was a surreal one for Gillespie and Tebben.

“I’m 21, just getting out of college, and I already have something,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie and Tebben both said they look forward with more excitement to futures in film after seeing the benefits of their hard work.

“It was good motivation to see the potential fruits of my labor,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said all the students he has talked have enjoyed the film.

“It’s pretty gratifying to know that everyone enjoyed it,” he said.

A viewing of Gillespie and Tebben’s film, What Goes Around…, can be seen at

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