Financial Literacy: Video Essay Department of Finance at the University of Illinois
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Frequently Asked Questions

student with video camera



Question:

Can groups of people submit a video essay?

Answer:

Groups are just fine; we recognize that it's very difficult to star in your own video while holding the camera. You'll notice that the submission form has room for multiple partners. Keep in mind that any prize is divided equally among the partners on the submission form. If there are two of you and the prize is $500 then the prize is $250 each, etc. We have set no legal limit, so if someone sends in a submission with ten partners then we would distribute $50 to each of the ten partners, but we expect the groups will be smaller than that.



Question:

Who is the target audience?

Answer:

The target audience is your peers. High school videos should speak to other high school students.



Question:

Does it have to be a documentary?

Answer:

No. It can be anything you think will effectively communicate the message. Think of an info-mercial. It can be an enactment, a dramatization, a sequence of stills with a voice-over, cartoons, or a combination of any of these. Whatever effectively communicates the message.



Question:

We don't have access to very good equipment. Will this count against us?

Answer:

No. The judges know that some schools have access to better equipment than others. Video and sound quality do not determine winners; message and how the message is communicated is key. The question the judges frequently ask is - would I be willing to show this in class, and then show it in class again. If the video has no clear message, if it is monotonous or boring to watch, if it infinitely forgetable, if it runs over 5 minutes, then the answer is no - regardless of the production quality of the video itself. However, if the production quality is so poor that the words spoken can not be clearly understood, then this counts heavily against the video. It won't win.

My personal favorite is still " The Power of Plastic "submitted in 2010. The message is clear, the action and dialog connects directly to the viewer, the personalities are engaging, and the information is relevent to the target audience.



Question:

I have a question you haven't thought of. Who do I talk to?

Answer:

The best thing is to send us an email.


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