The Sidewalk Scramble is a timed filmmaking competition fueled by caffeine and competition in which teams are challenged to create a short film — from concept to completion – within a 48-hour time frame, based on themes and inspirational items provided by the creative folks at Sidewalk. Participants range from amateurs to professionals, so the results are always unexpected, inspiring, and spectacular!
Creature Feature Scramble – September 24-26, 2021
For the Fall 2020 Nightmare Scramble, filmmaking teams were tasked with making a short film about a nightmare.
Participants were encouraged to make a short film at home during quarantine over the course of five days. Juried by the Sidewalk programming team.
AUDIENCE AWARD: “Break Out” – Another Voice Films
- Best Direction — “Visitant”
- Best Performance — Allison Moy Hayhurst in “Evie’s Elements: Lifestyle Tips for the Modern Stepmom”
- Best Supporting Performance by a Dog — “Infection: Negative, Outlook: Pawsitive”
- Best Supporting Performance by a Cat — “The Playwright”
- Most Ambitious Film — “Virus Quest”
- Best Cinematography — “I Can’t Stop Go BOOM”
- Best Sound Design — “Through it All”
- Best Editing — “Queen”
- Best Special Effects — “The Russians”
- Best Original Song — “My Imagination”
- Jury’s Special Recognition for Documentary Filmmaking — “Like It Is Now”
Participants were encouraged to make a short comedy in 48 hours. Due to the pandemic we could not have an in-person screening for this scramble.
JURY AWARD: “A String of Deaths” by Nuthouse Media
For the Fall 2019 Cinema PSA Scramble, filmmaking teams were tasked to create a no-talking, no-texting PSA for the Sidewalk Cinema within one 48-hour period. All finished PSAs were screened at the cinema.
For the Spring 2019 Music Video Scramble, 20 filmmaking teams were randomly paired up with 20 local musicians to create a music video from scratch within one 48-hour period. All finished music videos were screened at Saturn on March 4th to a sold out crowd.
JURY AWARD FOR BEST MUSIC VIDEO: “Heavy Rubber Gloves” by The Hollywood Horses, directed by Team Sparkle Pony (pictured)
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST MUSIC VIDEO: “Visionland” by C1ub:AM, directed by Nuthouse Media
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Green Lights” by Thyme Randle, directed by Morgan Grace Films
BEST KIND OF WEIRDNESS AWARD: “The Cigarette” by Qualifier, directed by GBFS
Special thanks to the music video jury!
Stephanie Bergara of Austin Music Video Festival
Dan Brawley of Cucalorus Film Festival
Alan Hunter – original MTV VJ, co-founder of Sidewalk and Workplay
Watch all the music videos here
For the Fall 2018 Spooky Scramble, each competing team received a random horror subgenre, a spooky prop to incorporate (in this case, a small bendable skeleton), and a line of dialogue (The Shining’s famous line, “Here’s Johnny”).
JURY AWARD FOR BEST FILM: “Two of Swords” by L’Goons (Monster Horror)
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FILM: “Missing Person” by Over Fork Over (Silent Horror)
SPECIAL AWARDS FROM THE JURY:
Sickest Riffs Award – “Bug & Knife Fight Religion” by Badmouth Films (Religious Horror)
Best Use of Space – “Stay Away” by Team Haunted House (Haunted House)
Best Use of Skeleton – “Johnny Bones” by Line B (B-Movie Horror)
Best Special Effects – “Johnny Bones” by Line B
Best Use of Comedy – “Hang In There” by Vacant Manifesto (Torture Porn)
Best Performance – Michael Greene, Vacant Manifesto
Best Puke Award – “Killer Party” by Whale Wolves (Teen Horror)
Best Score – “Killer Party” by Whale Wolves
Best Use of Fake Blood – “Hang In There” by Vacant Manifesto
Best Cinematography – “Two of Swords” by L’goons
For the Time Warp Scramble, each team was randomly assigned one genre and one time period to combine. Each team also had to incorporate a sparkly, light-up bow tie along with the phrase “It’s about time.”
JURY AWARD FOR BEST FILM: “Spoils” by Whale Wolves (Prehistoric + Horror)
JURY AWARD RUNNER-UP: “Bootleg Betties” by Time Bandits (1920s + Gangster)
AUDIENCE AWARD: “Spoils” by Whale Wolves
SPECIAL AWARDS FROM THE JURY:
Best Post Production – “Folklore” by Team Blüprint (Old West + Sci-fi)
Best Practical Effects – “Autophagia” by Broken Millennials
Best Intentionally Bad Special Effects – Tie – “Moonshine” by Vacant Manifesto (1920s + Sci-fi), “Revenge of the Mind Bear” by Kevin Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich (1970s + B-Movie)
Most Hateable Faux-Reality Personality – Katrina from “Katrina” by Ghost Crew (2000s + Mockumentary)
Best Kitten In a Bow Tie – Titan from “Spoils” by Whale Wolves
Best Use of Terrence Malick as Inspiration: “Psalm to Psalm” by Over Fork Over (Religious + Art Film)
Special thanks to our jurors: Cameron McAllister of the Atlanta Film Society, Keith McDaniel, Knoxville Film Festival Executive Director; and Melodie Sisk, filmmaker.
Additional thanks to our tie-breaking juror: Zach Clark
For the Spring 2017 Scramble, each team was given not just one, but TWO genres to combine to create their short film masterpiece. Additionally, teams were required to include the phrase “Two heads are better than one” along with a mandatory prop- a salt shaker.
Jury Award For Best Film – “Double Jump” by Diabetic Hummingbirds (Genres: Romance + Coming of Age)
Audience Choice For Best Film – “Hunted” by Troop 5 (Genres: Sci-fi + Sports)
Special thanks to the jury: Charles Judson, veteran film festival organizer and programmer; Natalie Lentz, Senior Programming Associate for Cucalorus Film Festival; and Liz Manashil, filmmaker and film critic.
Date night at the movies – it’s a tradition as old as cinema itself. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, teams were randomly assigned a subgenre of romantic film and one random word to appear in dialogue, along with a rose to use as a mandatory prop. Congratulations to the award winners of the Sidewalk Date Night Scramble presented by Magic City Mingle!
Jury Award for Best Film – “Ignacio & Rosita” by Over Fork Over
Best Cinematography – “306” by Palace Prune
Best Writing – “Love: A Parable of Modern Anxiety” by Burned Toast Studios
Social Media Award – The AK-47s
Sponsored by Iron City, Birmingham Mountain Radio, and Mason Music
For the Sidewalk Scrambled Jam in Spring 2015, 15 filmmaking teams were randomly paired up with a local musicians to create a music video from scratch over the course of one 72-hour period.
All completed films screened at Iron City along with featured performances by Steel City Jug Slammers, Winston Ramble, and Nerves Baddington.
Special thanks to our jury: Sarah Orr (BMR), Brad Lyons (Mason Music), Alan Hunter (MTV, Sidewalk) and Kyle McKinnon (Filmmaker, Sidewalk Features Programmer)
In collaboration with Vulcan Park and Museum, the 2014 Sidewalk Scramble tasked teams with creating a short film showcasing different aspects of Birmingham’s iconic Vulcan statue. Film topics included Vulcan & Kiwanis; Memorabilia throughout the years; Vulcan’s Torch; Vulcan at the fairgrounds; and the artist Lonnie Holley.
Select films were included as part of the Vulcan Park summer-long exhibition “Vulcan Keepsakes: Iron Man Memorabilia from the Birmingham Community”.
For the 2013 Scramble, filmmaking teams were each tasked with adapting a randomly-assigned story from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Classic tales such as “The Golden Bird”, “The Traveling Musicians”, “The Straw, The Coal, and The Bean”, “The Blue Light”, and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” were adapted into 5-minute or less short films over the course of one 48-hour weekend.
A special, evil Scramble centered around some of the most iconic movie villains.
The Unusual Scramble assigned each filmmaking team with one genre that you typically don’t see in the zero-budget indie filmmaking sphere. Genres were: Soap Opera; Holiday; High School Movie; Supernatural; Musical; Sports; Noir; and Kids.
Judges Pick 1st Place: “The Canary” by Appy Polly Loggies
Judges Pick 2nd Place: “We Never Talk Anymore” by Yay Us!
Each team participating in the Famous Last Words Scramble was assigned a sub-genre with associated props (Romance + jewelry and flowers, Mystery + camera, candles, and caution tape) as well as the famous last words of a dying character. From Oscar Wilde’s “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do!” to William Wallace’s “Freeeeedom!!!”, teams had to incorporate all these elements into a 4-minute film in one weekend.
Judges Pick 1st Place: “Traces” by BooGaLoo
Judges Pick 2nd Place: “Enough’s Enough” by Kool Kats
Early Bird Award: “Traces” by BooGaLoo
Best Use of Assigned Sub-Genre: “Wisp” by Our Vanilla World
Best Use of Assigned Line: “Bloody Bayonet” by NGC2264
Best Use of Assigned Item: “New Arrivals” by Outlaw
Best Cinematography: “Enough’s Enough” by Kool Kats
Scrambling into the spirit of Halloween, teams were randomly given an inspiration item (duct tape, spatula, a bust of Napoleon, etc) along with a recently released horror movie and a sub-genre to base it on.
Overall: “One of Us” by Outlaw
Funniest Film: “One of Us” by Outlaw
Best Cinematography: “Bait” by Silver Shamrock
Best Special Effects: “Our Daily Bread” by Our Vanilla World
Tommy Lee Jones of Birmingham Award: Sonny Backus
(3rd Place) J.F.W
(2nd Place) American Wizards
(1st Place) Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Directing: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Acting: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Editing: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Script: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Originality: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Creative Use of Item/Line: American Wizards
Special Award for Experimental Storytelling: Hi, We’re the Alabamians
The very first music video scramble! 25 filmmaking teams + 25 local musicians = 25 music videos, all shot over the course of one 48-hour weekend.
Jurors: Alan Hunter (Sirius, Sidewalk, Workplay); Hurricane Shane (106.9 The Eagle); Mary Kay (95.7 Jamz); Sam George (Birmingham Weekly); & Jeh Jeh Pruitt (Fox 6).
Best Directing: “Theme For an Imaginary Revenge” by Frames Per Second, directed by Sledjester
Best Editing: “Theme For an Imaginary Revenge” by Frames Per Second, directed by Sledjester
Best Cinematography: “Theme For an Imaginary Revenge” by Frames Per Second, directed by Sledjester
Best Song: “Glue, Glitter, Glove” by Hustling Backwards
Best Video: “Glue, Glitter, Glove” by Hustling Backwards, directed by American Wizards
This special Student Scramble was only open to high school, and college students within the state of Alabama. Students were given 48 hours and a handful of inspiration items to craft their short film. Filmmaking critique was provided from the jurors.
1st Place: Last Minute
2nd Place: Sprankle
3rd Place: Outlaw
4th Place: Jeff State
Summer Scramble Assigned Themes: Armageddon, Failed Relationships, Poverty, War, Health Issues, Sports, Darwinism, Thievery, Addiction, Horror.
Summer Scramble Assigned Items: Measuring tape, ruler, duct tape, paperclip, ballpoint pen, rubber band, tweezers, gum, shoelaces, etc.
1st Place: “Natural Selection” by Blue Mug
2nd Place: “Girls Will Be Girls” by Heinous Elite
3rd Place: “One, Two, Three” by Death by Flypaper
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Natural Selection” by Blue Mug
Best Directing: “Girls Will Be Girls” by Heinous Elite
Best Cinematography: “War Room” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Editing: “One, Two, Three” Death by Flypaper
Pick between: Comedy or Drama
Pick between ending: Happy or Sad
Randomly assigned sub-genre: action, sci-fi, horror, buddy movie, romance, silent, suspense, or mystery
Number of characters determined by rolling dice
Pair of dice had to be incorporated in the film
Jury: Brad Thomason, Alex Orr, Kyle McKinnon, & Rachel Morgan
Best Use of Inspiration Package: “Rigor Mortis” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Directing: “Rigor Mortis” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Cinematography: “Rigor Mortis” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Editing: “Rigor Mortis” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Use of Inspiration Package: “Subject” by Fancy Hearing Cake
Best Directing: “Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber” by Reining Nails
Best Cinematography: “Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber” Reining Nails
Best Editing: “Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber” Reining Nails
Special Jury Awards:
Best Bernie Impression: “Rigor Mortis” by Thomas Brothers Productions
Best Credit Sequence: “Board to Death” by Screaming Child
Best/Dumbest Use of the Dice: “Summer Holiday” by Heinous Elite
Most Ambitious Content: “Shadowing” by Sprankle Studios
Biggest Waste of Two Hot Lesbians Alone in the House: “She’s Driving Me Crazy” by Team Shout
The 2nd Annual Harmony Korine Award for Excellence: “Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber” by Reining Nails
Most Improved Scramblers: “Film: The Movie” by Outlaw
Breaking the mold of previous 48-hour competitions, the Summer 2008 Scramble gave participants 10 full days to craft their project.
Each team randomly drew from 5 different camera angles that had to be used for at least one scene of their film. Options were: High, Low, Dutch, POV, and Bird’s Eye View. Teams also had to use a mixed cassette tape, a character named “Serena ‘The Ox’ Sarducci”, and a dream sequence.
1st Place: “Endless Empire” by Sprankle Studios
2nd Place: “Hard Justice” by Costly Sunglasses
3rd Place: “No Return” by Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Crème de la Femme Award: “Next!” by The Worthy Adversaries
Best Use of a Line from Star Wars: “Hard Justice” by Costly Sunglasses
Best Homage to Dr. Strangelove: “Hell is for Bastards” by Plainview Oil Company
Best Bible Beat-Down & Evil Priest Laser Eye Attack: “I, Woman” by Ponies, Shovels, & Darkness
Achievement in Directing: “Hard Justice” by Costly Sunglasses
Achievement in Cinematography: “Endless Empire” by Sprankle Studios
Achievement in Editing: “Hard Justice” by Costly Sunglasses
Best Use of Inspiration Package: “Endless Empire” by Sprankle Studios
This Scramble did away with the usual “bring an item” schtick. Instead, each team drew, at random, a location and a TV channel. The location was to be used in at least one scene, and the TV channel was to be the big inspiration behind their film. Channels included: Lifetime, Spike TV, Court TV, Comedy Central, and SciFi. Teams were also required to use the phrase “We’ll sleep when we’re dead” along with the number 10, in honor of Sidewalk’s 10th year anniversary.
Jurors: Alex Orr, Mark Stolaroff, and Bill Schweikert.
Best Directing: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Best Cinematography: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Best Editing: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Best of Division 1: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Best Directing: “A Commotion of Dogs” by Reining Nails
Best Cinematography: “Wagner’s Score” by Space Camp
Best Editing: “Spyke’s Super Awesome Lineup” by Heinous Elite
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Spyke’s Super Awesome Lineup” by Heinous Elite
Best of Division 2: “Spyke’s Super Awesome Lineup” by Heinous Elite
Division 1: “The Preacher’s Daughter” by Sprankle Studios
Division 2: “A Perfect 10 Suicide” by Plainview Oil Company
For the first time ever, we implemented directing styles as a requirement. There were 9 bins set up like a tic-tac-toe board and each team had to toss a golf ball to see which director they had to emulate. Each team also had a phrase and an “unlikely weapon” brought in by another team and given out at random.
Jurors: Skizz Cyzyk, Michael Grady, and Heidi Van Lier
Best Directing: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best Cinematography: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best Editing: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best Use of Inspiration Items: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best in Division 1: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best Directing: Space Camp
Best Cinematography: Sledjester
Best Editing: Space Camp
Best Use of Inspiration Items: Space Camp
Best in Division 2: Space Camp
Special Jury Awards:
Best Corporate Hell Prize: Bolt Action Sleeper Ray
Best Stunt Clothes Pin: Team Mayhem
Best Puppetry: Heinous Elite
Best Team Logo: Ponies, Shovels, & Darkness
Best Gardening Outfit: Roaring Creek Productions
Best Hooka: Team A
Something new this time – each team turned in a script during registration, which was then randomly assigned to another team at the kick-off. We allowed teams roughly 25% leeway with their assigned scripts. Where else can you see your favorite teams tackle the brainchildren of their rival Scramblers? You’ll see Surrealists take on comedy, Morbid take on Kitschy, and all sorts of crazy shenanigans.
Jurors: JL Aronson, Adam Anderson, and Josh Cadwell
Best Script Interpretation: “38mm” by Suction Horse
Best Directing: “38mm” by Suction Horse
Best Cinematography: “38mm” by Suction Horse
Best Editing: “Quarantine” by Moth Flavored Carousel
Best Script: “Happily Breaking” by The Script Killers
Best in Scramble – Producer: “38mm” by Suction Horse
Best in Scramble – Script: “Happily Breaking” by The Script Killers
Each team was assigned a tone (funny, ironic, romantic, surreal, dark, or uplifting) along with a required object (lego piece, bell, creepy doll, tin can, pregnancy pillow, clothing rack, license plate, beach umbrella, ash tray, headlight, hammer, propellor hat, poncho, easter basket, etc.) and a musical instrument to incorporate into one short film.
Best in Scramble: “Continuity” by Unicorn Slayers
Best Inspiration: “Continuity” by Unicorn Slayers
Best Directing: “Continuity” by Unicorn Slayers
Best Editing: “And the Bell Rings On” by Consortium Films
Best Cinematography: “And the Bell Rings On” by Consortium Films
Best in Scramble: Reining Nails
Best Inspiration: Devalued Counterpart
Best Directing: “All Angels Have Rat Tails” by Reining Nails
Best Editing: “All Angels Have Rat Tails” by Reining Nails
Best Cinematography: “All Angels Have Rat Tails” by Reining Nails
Special Music Awards:
Best Original Score: “In Statum Damni” by Knowles! Funnel! Boom!
Best Usage of Music & Sound: “Scatterbrain” by Ponies, Shovels & Darkness
Most Imaginative Usage of Music: Staplegun Films
This Scramble was the first to be split into two separate divisions:
Division 2: The “ProScram” Division will consist of any teams that have previously won Best In Show during a Sidewalk Scramble, or have one or more professionals (someone who works in the industry for a living) serving as director, editor, or cinematographer.
Division 1: The “AmScram” Division will consist of all other teams. Anyone who considers their team a beginner or intermediate filmmaking team should register in this division.
Best of Division 1: “Round Midnight” by Workshed Productions
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Round Midnight” by Workshed Productions
Best Directing: “Round Midnight” by Workshed Productions
Best Editing: “Round Midnight” by Workshed Productions
Best Cinematography: “Round Midnight” by Workshed Productions
Best Wes Anderson Comedy: “The Whore That Wouldn’t Die” by Ponies, Shovels & Darkness
Special Jury Award for Innovative Filmmaking: “Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber” by Reining Nails
Best of Division 2: “Don’t Worry” by Team Bloodjet!
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Channel X” by Danger Ranger
Best Directing: “Don’t Worry” by Team Bloodjet!
Best Editing: “Don’t Worry” by Team Bloodjet!
Best Cinematography: “Don’t Worry” by Team Bloodjet!
Teams were assigned an overall theme (celebration) and had to include a prop gourd, a horror cliché, and two randomly assigned nouns.
Sponsored by: AL.com, Starbucks, Birmingham Weekly, Bottle Rocket Post, & N House Digital Media
Jurors: Peter Gilbert, Gorman Bechard, & Michael Grady
The Keep At It Award: Dream Weaver Kidz – frog / frog – a character falls while running
Best Extended Urination Scene: 33 Films – donkey / water – a character falls while running
Best Ben Affleck Impersonation: Outlaw – monkey / squeegee – phone lines don’t work
Most Likely to Make a Film for Dimension Films and Bob Weinstein: Death by Flypaper – lizard / skydiver – character forgets about threat
Funniest Film: Flying McDavid Brothers – mucus / corruption – power is out
Best Use of Alternative Fuel: Twelve Twenty Twenty Twelve – alien / dog – cat crosses path
Best Script: Flying McDavid Brothers – mucus / corruption – power is out
Best Performance: Kayla Parker (Zabumba Pictures)
Best Music: Flying McDavid Brothers – mucus / corruption – power is out
Best Cinematography (tie): Death by Flypaper & Los Muchachos
Best Use of Inspiration Items: Flying McDavid Brothers – mucus / corruption – power is out
Best In Show: Zabumba Pictures – xylophone / freezer – a mysterious old artifact is found
The Scramblers this time around have an additional reason to be fast and furious. The University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio will be documenting the drama behind the scenes. The documentary will center around three teams participating in the competition. It will be directed by Max Shores, a producer and director on staff at the CPT&R.
Inspiration items: Object, either Sunrise or Sunset, a body of water (pool, river, creek, ocean, etc.), a genre, and one style element from that genre.
Sponsors: AL.com, Starbucks, Birmingham Weekly, Bottle Rocket Post, & N House Digital Media
Jurors: Gabe Wardell, J. R. Fritsch, & Skizz Cyzyk
Best Use of the Word “Stouche”: “Quest for the Orb” by Flying McDavid Bros
Best Acting: “Drive” by The Stickmen
Best Editing: “Chlorofun” by Team Bloodjet!
Best Cinematography: “Swedish Title” by Insomniactive
Best Directing: “Brax to the Max” by Team Soppy Suit
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Quest for the Orb” by Flying McDavid Bros
Best in Show: “Quest for the Orb” by Flying McDavid Bros
This special iScramble, sponsored by Starbucks and Apple, was open to college students only. All movies made during the iScramble must have been edited on iMovie. There were 15 iBooks available on a first come first-served basis to be loaned for the weekend to teams who do not have their own access to iMovie. Each team represented one school.
Activity: Camping (same for each team)
Character: Babyface (same for each team)
Object: different for each team- i.e. a blue piggy bank
Plot Point: different for each team- i.e. man recovers suitcase
Best Use of Inspiration Items: iLife ’05 (Garageband, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, & iTunes) plus 2 Garageband expansion packs
Audience choice: Final Cut Express HD
Best in Show: Apple Production Suite (Final Cut Pro HD, Motion, DVD Studio Pro)
Jurors: Tommy Davis, Chance Shirley, & Robert Rugan
Prop: Fresh Fruit
Three dialogue lines: “Make a Wish.” “I already did.” “Make another One.” (must be the first 3 lines of the film, in order)
One Color (must be significantly used in production design)
Production Requirement: 30 continuous seconds of no dialogue
Best in Show: “Ripples” by The Stickmen
Audience Choice: “Birthday Wish” by HFI
Best Use of Inspiration Items: “Ren” by Team Trittico
Best Directing: “Chrysalis” by Happy Nowhere
Best Cinematography (tie): “Chrysalis” by Happy Nowhere & “Ripples” by The Stickmen
Best Story: “No Bad Ideas” by Two Heads Aren’t Necessarily Better Productions
Best Actor: Kyle Holman, from “Chrysalis”
Best Actress: Shannon Neil Hodson, from “Chrysalis”
Most Fun & Unique Soundtrack: “Rent Romp” by Team Trittico
Jurors: Curtis Hannum, Andrew Bujalski, Amber Benson, & Hanelle Culpepper
Best Comedy Award: “Happy Nowhere”
Best Directing Award: Piddle Productions
Audience Choice: Bloodjet