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Trent Hilborn and Mark Mazur

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UW Oshkosh film students Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn are no strangers to film making. Their third short film, CYCLE, showcases a culmination of their many talents.

Mark and Trent header Photo composite by Shawn McAfee/UW Oshkosh Learning Technologies


by Bradley Beck
COLS Special Reports Intern


Mark and Trent Surface
Trent Hilborn (l) and Mark Mazur (r) look over the script during filming of their new short film CYCLE. Photo by Tah Hoffmann.

World Premiere
What: Cycle, a short film
written, directed and produced by Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn. The film stars Matthew Scales, Jessica Westlund and Alden Gaskins. Original music composed and performed by Andre Gaskins.
When: 7:30 p.m. April 7, 2011
Where: Reeve Union Theatre, 3rd fl, Reeve Union, UW Oshkosh
Cost: Free

UW Oshkosh student filmmakers Trent Hilborn and Mark Mazur are no strangers to world of film making. Between them, they have worked on more than 60 films, three of which they co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced.

On April 7, they will host the premiere of their latest collaboration, CYCLE, at UW Oshkosh's Reeve Memorial Union Theatre.

In CYCLE, Hilborn and Mazur tell a story of a scientist, trapped in perpetual grief, who is pushed  to the edge by his eternal need for redemption. Abandoning moral uncertainty, the scientist attempts to be the first to create life without reproduction.

Award Winners

Hilborn and Mazur achieved significant achievement for their previous short film SURFACE that looked at the world without an ozone layer.  After its release, the film won “Best Student Film: Gold Level,” at the Oregon Film Awards.  SURFACE was also featured as on official selection of nine other film festivals.

Mark and Trent medium shot
 Trent Hilborn and Mark Mazur on the Cycle set. Photo by Tah Hoffman.

SURFACE also caught the attention of Academy Award Winning Filmmaker Michael Moore.  Moore personally selected the film to screen at his 2010 Traverse City Film Festival. The trip to Traverse City served as inspiration for the duo. “When Mark and I were driving to Traverse City, we brainstormed for 4 or 5 hours before we finally found the key element of the story. Then we expanded it from there," Hilborn said. The film-making duo also enlisted the help of music professor Andre Gaskins, a professional cellist and the Director of Orchestral Activities and Cello at UW Oshkosh.


Gaskins composed and performed original music in the 20-minute film, which stars UW Oshkosh students Matthew Scales, Jessica Westlund and Gaskins' 7-year-old son, Alden.

"Having worked and collaborated extensively with Mark and Trent as the composer for this film, I would like to emphasize how talented I believe these students are and how exciting it is to know that this is their second film to premiere on campus, prior to their upcoming graduation in May," Gaskins says.

Mazur is equally laudatory of Gaskin's work on the film. "Going in we knew that Andre would be able to make a solid score that can add to the story Trent and I were trying to tell, but he absolutely knocked it out of the park," Mazur says. "He took the film to a whole new level. After watching Cycle with Andre's music, it just brings life to the film, and I couldn't imagine the movie without it."

Mark and Trent tunnel
 Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn. Photo by Shawn McAfee/UW Oshkosh Learning Technologies.

Cycle marks the second time that Gaskins, Hilborn and Mazur joined efforts on a project. The first was Airboat Rescue 1: When the Ice Breaks, a short documentary by journalism instructor Grace Lim. That film was shot and edited by Hilborn and Mazur and scored by Gaskins., who also performed on the soundtrack.


CYCLE is the third short film from team Mazur and Hilborn, who describe their relationship as symbiotic, a lot of give and take. Mazur said their creative process allows them to “weed out a lot of bad ideas and come out with a much better final product.”  Their collaborative effort, along with a few dozen student crew members and local actors, help tell the tale of a disturbed brilliant scientist.

Hilborn says the process of getting a film from idea to premiere can be a long and arduous one. However, the one of the payoffs come when the audience sees  his and Mazur's vision on the big screen.

 “I want the audience to be able to see the film as enjoyable and entertaining," Hilborn says. "But I also want them to dissect the film afterward to see all of the elements and themes that we interspersed throughout the narrative.”

 For more information of CYCLE, visit



In this short video interview, Trent Hilborn and Mark Mazur, co-directors of the short film Cycle, talk about the collaboration process in making films. The interview was conducted by Bradley Beck and Grace Lim. The B-roll of the Cycle film shoot was provided by Hilborn and Mazur.



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