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Death By Doorknob: An IC Film Major Tradition

Written by Kristin Leffler

Image courtesy of Ben Ratner '14

In the 1970s, IC professor Gustav “Skip” Landen began assigning a film project that went on to launch a decades-long tradition at the college: create a short film that included someone being killed by a doorknob. Whether through comedy or drama, the films entertain and allow students to explore the filmmaking process. Each year the best films are screened at the Golden Doorknob Awards on campus.

This year, a special edition of the Golden Doorknob Awards was held for the 40th anniversary of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. The first-place winner was Happy Birthday, a film depicting the emotional journey of a young man remembering his father who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

"The connection to a doorknob was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” said James Majeau ’15, who applied techniques and lessons he had learned in his video production classes to film his winning entry. “If the father in my film never left through the door on that tragic day, he wouldn’t have died. The Golden Doorknob Awards give students an opportunity to work outside of class on a film that evokes creativity and problem solving."



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