Recent UF alumnus Josh McLawhorn bested 400 competitors to win first place with his short film “Almost Ready” in Nikon’s nationwide Everyday Cinema video contest last week.
The theme of the contest was to spotlight ordinary moments in life and make them extraordinary in 180 seconds.
McLawhorn’s three-minute video features his girlfriend, UF alumna Gabriela Rodeiro, bathing in a river and applying wild berries as lipstick while McLawhorn anxiously waits in the car outside her apartment.
Michelle Ubben, a spokeswoman for Sachs Media Group — the company that represented McLawhorn — praised McLawhorn for earning the title at such a young age. The film will appear on Nikon’s website, and he’ll receive $18,000 worth of top-of-the-line Nikon camera equipment, she said.
After submitting the final version of the film, McLawhorn said, “We just sat back and said ‘There’s no way that could have been done any better.’”
A summer job as a camp photographer for the YMCA when he was 17 sparked his interest in the cinematic world. McLawhorn graduated from UF with a degree in biochemistry, but he still found time to hone his skills while on campus. He was the photographer for the Student Honors Organization and also for a local publication, the Rough Draft.
McLawhorn is currently a producer and photographer at Impact Visual Media in Tallahassee.
Chucha Barber, one of McLawhorn’s co-workers, said McLawhorn has an admirable work ethic, and she’s keeping him in mind for future projects.
“We have a feature film in progress and see Josh as the filmmaker and director,” she said. “My partner and I are structuring the company so one day Josh will take over, and we can sit back and take part of the profit.”
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 2/21/2014 under the headline “UF grad takes grand prize in Nikon’s short-film contest"]