Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

8-1-08

Contacts:

Joe Kutilek, graphic design student, (402) 319-0713, jo3k@iastate.edu

Troy Abel, art and design, (515) 294-6724 or (773) 220-2845, tabel@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

Iowa State design student wins CW Network internship with 'Gossip Girl' promo

Gossip Girl screen

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University graphic design student's winning competition entry has earned him a place in the Hollywood spotlight.

Joe Kutilek's 25-second, digital motion-graphics promotional spot for The CW TV Network hit, "Gossip Girl," took first place in a national college competition, "Making the Cut."

Kutilek, a junior from Omaha, Neb., won an internship in the promotions department at The CW. His winning spot will air this fall in a new episode of "Gossip Girl," and online at CWTV.com. He even got a few job offers at the awards presentation during broadcast TV's biggest conference, held in New York City in June.

"Making the Cut" attracted 370 original trailers and promo spots. The competition was sponsored by The CW; Promax/BDA, an international association for television industry marketing, promotion and design professionals; and Blink, a creative services firm.

"We were looking for a spot that promoted the show, told a good story and was technically proficient," said Anthony Armenise, CW Network senior creative executive for on-air promotion. "Joe totally went above and beyond. He created a whole graphic look. It was great quality, a solid piece of work."

Although CW provided contestants with footage from their shows, "Supernatural," "Gossip Girl" and "Smallville," the network encouraged them to use their imagination and incorporate other visual tools available.

That's exactly what Kutilek did. He discarded the clips. Instead, his promotion for the "Gossip Girl" second season integrated a stock New York City image and a studio shot of the cast with motion graphics of the words drama, glamour, wealth and youth. A U 2 song, "I Fall Down," substitutes for narration. Kutilek created the piece using four software programs.

Kutilek learned the digital graphics software in Troy Abel's class, Motion and Broadcast Graphics. Abel, an MFA and Ph.D. student, is a teaching assistant in the art and design department. He incorporated the competition into his syllabus as a way to connect student work to industry. By March 1, Kutilek and several of his classmates submitted entries to the "Making the Cut" competition.

"And here's an interesting fact that is very profound," Armenise said. "Six entries in the top 15, and three of the nine finalists were from Troy Abel's class. Hats off to him!"

The other top finalists from Iowa State were Greg Ervanian, a senior in graphic design from Des Moines, and Andy DeVries, who graduated in May.

The entries were judged by a team from The CW's marketing department, including the network's vice president for marketing, Armenise said.

"A lot of eyeballs looked at these," he said.

Armenise said the network participates in the contest because it's a "perfect, organic way to engage fans with their favorite shows, and a way to reach out to young, creative minds."

Kutilek, who is participating in the College of Design's Rome program this fall, plans to pursue a career in film.

"Creating film titles interests me," Kutilek said. "I'm not sure what I'm aiming for right now, but I know I can work in the industry in Hollywood."

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Joe Kutilek

Quick look

Iowa State graphic design student Joe Kutilek won an internship at the CW TV Network when his 25-second, digital motion-graphics promotional spot for "Gossip Girl" took first place in a national college competition, "Making the Cut." His winning promo, selected from 370 entries, will air this fall in a new episode of "Gossip Girl," and online at CWTV.com.

Quote

"Joe totally went above and beyond. He created a whole graphic look. It was great quality, a solid piece of work."

Anthony Armenise, CW Network senior creative executive for on-air promotion.