Decades Old “Ithaca College” Filmmaking Tradition Spawns Promising New Web Series in “The Murder Trial of the Golden Doorknob”
Kurt Van Ristell
Dec 4, 2013

Legends state it all began in the 1970′s…

Gustav “Skip” Landen, then professor of Cinema and Photography at New York State’s distinguished Ithaca College began an unusual, longstanding and extremely popular tradition when he dreamed up the “Golden Doorknob Awards” – a yearly filmmaking challenge in which the venerable professor tasked his students with one simple objective – “Make a very short film that presents the most imaginative way to kill someone with a doorknob”

“Here’s the gist: somebody or something experiences death by doorknob”

This year, a creative team made up of the College’s Film and Television majors banded together to subvert the popular tradition whilst also honouring it in a playful and certainly promising way. Re-purposing the short films produced by past entrants, the team under direction from Ithaca Graduate and three times Golden Doorknob Winner Josh Rimmey will be bringing the legend to the web with “The Murder Trial of the Golden Doorknob” – an eight part comedy web series in which the eponymous doorknob is finally taken to task and put on trial for his alleged and heinous crimes.


With an inventive pitch casting a strong foundation to work from, further layers are added to the mix as past entrants’ short films take on the role of evidence in the ongoing trial, and are thus used to paint a picture of the Doorknob as the cold-blooded killer that the prosecution believes him to be.

Bringing a diverse array of collaborative talent on board to honour such a longstanding tradition whilst also aiming to entertain an audience unfamiliar with the concept is no light task. Hopefully the creative team behind the project can strike the right balance and pull off the central “gimmick” of the promising webshow, whilst skillfully sidestepping the inevitable clash born of inter-cutting short-film footage with episodic courtroom antics.

From the trailer below, it certainly all looks like a lot of fun, but the jury is still out on whether it can live up to such daunting promise.

In a move I’d like to see more of in the web series world, all eight episodes of the short one-shot student series will be available to watch on the 5th of December on their Official site and at YouTube.

Production Stills

Courtesy of KnobOnTrial.com