OMAHA, Neb., July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrity judges from the fields of filmmaking, comedy, and television today helped Union Pacific award the $15,000 Grand Prize to Brock and Nellie Boyts for their Great Big Rollin' Railroad remake video following a ceremony at the company's headquarters building. The contest was part of Union Pacific's year-long 150 th anniversary celebration.
Contestants were invited to re-create Union Pacific's classic 1970s television commercial, "We Can Handle It," and add a contemporary spin using music genres such as blues, pop, and rock among several others. The contest brought in 180 entries.
Grand Prize recipients Brock and Nellie Boyts, of Los Angeles, Calif., also were June contest winners. In their remake, they used Brock's 3D animation skills and Nellie's musical talents to bring Union Pacific's story to life."The wooden toy style came from my childhood memories of playing wooden blocks at my grandparents' house," Brock said. "Nellie and I both have fond memories of playing with the little Weeble toys as kids. Nellie chose her favorite people from the original ad and sketched out caricature Weeble versions of them." Brock has eight years of motion design experience and works as a freelance motion designer in Los Angeles. He recently started taking classes at Animation Mentor to pursue his dream of becoming a character animator. The contest awarded more than $35,000 in prizes. Six semi-finalists received $1,000. Monthly prizes of $1,000 also were given to contestants who received the most "likes" on up150.com the previous month. Three finalists competed for the Grand Prize and were flown to Omaha for the awards ceremony. The other two finalists received $5,000. Myk Friedman, first runner-up and May contest winner, adds his fun spin to the original commercial, giving tribute to Union Pacific's history and employees in his remake titled "The Choo-Choos." "As soon as I heard the song, I knew I could have fun with it," Friedman said. "I always try to make something that is visually dynamic and include hidden things in the background to keep viewers engaged."
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