May 10, 2013

Bridgestone offers $25K for Teens who 'Drive Smart'

Amateur videographers or students with a creative side and access to a camera are invited to enter the seventh annual Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. The grand prizewinner will take home a cool $25,000 scholarship and have his or her video shown on air across the country as a public service announcement for Bridgestone Americas.

The point of the contest is driver safety, and the requirements aren’t too tough. Simply put together a 25- OR 55-second video on some aspect of automobile or driving safety. For example
  • Seat belt usage,
  • Tire inflation,
  • Avoiding distractions while driving (like cell phones and texting), or
  • Driving defensively
Local drivers can take a few cues from the Fairfax County Police “Youthful Driver Program” or the resources provided on the Montgomery County Teen Driving Safety website. You can even check out last year’s winning videos for ideas or a recent Inside Dateline segment on teen drinking and driving (you and your parents should probably look at this anyway).

Once you’ve hit on a topic, think about the most effective way to present it—say as a story from experience or a music video or a demonstration. Then shoot—a video of course!

You’ll need to complete a very simple registration form and then upload your video to the Bridgestone site by no later than June 20, 2013.  Judges will narrow down the entries, and the top 10 videos will be posted for viewer voting from July 14 to 28.

All of the top 10 filmmakers will at least win a set of new tires, with $25,000 going to the Grand Prize winner.  Second and third place winners will receive $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.  This is serious money and greatly increased from previous years. 

The contest is open to legal permanent residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia or Canada, ages 16 through 21. Entrants must possess a valid driver’s license and be enrolled as full time students in an accredited secondary, college level, or trade school.

You can’t crib someone else’s work, and don’t bother to include anything inappropriate. And pay VERY close attention to the time specifications because videos that don’t conform will be automatically disqualified.

For more information on registration and the complete set of rules, check out the Teens Drive Smart webpage

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