Fall 2011

Student Filmmaker Wins YouTube Contest

$35,000 the latest prize for oft-awarded Zach King (’12)

By Brett McCracken

Biola senior Zach King made his first films at age 7, when he picked up the home video camera andpointed it at his three younger sisters. At 14, he used money in his “car fund” to buy video equipment instead, purchasing his first Mac computer, camera and tripod. Seven years later, video technology has changed drastically, but King is still making movies. In May he was named by YouTube as one of the 25 most promising young filmmakers in America, an accolade which landed him in the pages of the Los Angeles Times.

As part of its “NextUp Creators contest,” YouTube awarded King and 24 other up-and-coming amateur filmmakers $35,000 each, as well as a trip to New York City for a four-day YouTube Creator Camp.

King, a senior film major from Portland, Ore., has already amassed quite the trophy case. In 2009, he won a $2,500 scholarship from Bridgestone Tires when his video received the Critic’s Choice award in the Safety Scholars Teen Driver Video Contest. In 2010, he won first place in a Hewlett-Packard commercial contest, which earned him a trip to walk the red carpet at the London Film Festival.

With his $35,000 prize money from YouTube, King said he plans to create a 45 minute Web series and make more short films for his YouTube channel (FinalCutKing) and website.

King started his website, www.FinalCutKing.com in 2008, to offer training and tips on how to use the editing software Final Cut Pro. He quickly amassed thousands of followers and began selling training seminars, which are helping pay his way through college.

“I had no idea what I was really getting myself into,” said King. “When people ask me if I have a job, they are always surprised to hear that I work out of my dorm room full time.”

As for the future, King — who loves action-adventure films and incorporates impressive special effects in his own work — dreams of one day directing feature films, “the summer blockbuster kind.”

Like many young filmmakers who grew up on Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, King aspires to be the next Steven Spielberg. Judging by his success thus far, that doesn’t seem like an unreasonable ambition.

Online Extra:

Critic's Choice in 2010 Safety Scholars Teen Driver Video Contest:

Jedi Kittens Strike Back:

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