MU student wins scholarship for public service video

The video emphasizes the effects of drunk driving.

An MU sophomore was awarded a $5,000 scholarship last week for designing a public service announcement condemning drunk driving.

Sophomore Taylor Deeds also received a set of new Bridgestone tires when the company announced its 2010 Safety Scholars winners last week.

Her video, titled “I’m a Killer,” outlined the impact three people had when they got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

“I came up with like eight different ideas,” Deeds said. “You see all those videos on TV where they finish each others’ sentences.”

Deeds decided to focus her video on drinking and driving. In the video, the three people featured repeat the phrase “I’m perfectly fine,” something Deeds said is common to people she has seen in real life.

“Everyone says it,” she said.

Bridgestone digital media coordinator Angela Patterson said the characters in Deeds’ video made a big impact.

“You immediately identify with the people in the video,” she said. “It really hit home.”

With more than 1,300 videos submitted for the contest, Deeds said she was ecstatic when she found out her video made it into the top 10.

“I almost fainted,” she said.

Bridgestone picked the top 10 who won free tires, and visitors to the company’s site chose the top three videos.

Deeds’ said she and her mother sent upwards of 100 emails a day trying to earn the votes of family and friends.

“All of my teachers in my high school saw it and voted, I sent it around KOMU to vote, my advisor sent it around,” she said. “They said I had close to 2,600 votes. That was hard to get, let me tell you.”

The hard work paid off when Deeds found out her video earned second place in the overall competition, earning her the scholarship.

Patterson said there were very strong contenders this year. She also said she noticed a change in mood with the videos submitted.

“We were really impressed with the level of talent,” she said. “A lot of them were more serious in nature. It’s a big accomplishment to be named as one of these winners.”

Sally Trtan, a friend of Deeds and an actor in the video, said she was excited when she heard the news of Deeds’ success.

“I was so happy for her,” she said. “I know it’s something she really enjoys.”

Although Deeds completed the video in one day, she said she waited an entire week to send it in.

“I wanted to make sure it was perfect,” she said.

Deeds said she wanted to include multiple points of view in the PSA.

“I wanted diversity,” she said. “There is one girl, one white male and one black male in the video to expand past the normal stereotypes.”

Overall, Deeds said she hopes the video made an impact. She said the most common response she received was the video was “powerful,” and Patterson agreed.

“She definitely had a message that teens or older people could relate to,” Patterson said.

She said the tone of Deeds’ video was the reason it stood out.

“I think just because of the way she chose to portray this message,” she said.

Trtan said she thought the most effective line was: “I’m a killer.”

“It made people realize that it’s not just drunk driving,” she said. “A lot of people don’t think about that.”

The next part of the competition lies in the hands of Bridgestone. They will work with another agency to have the videos turned into nationally broadcasted PSAs.

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