On April 28th, I had the honour of attending the 2017 Ottawa Public Library's Teen Tech Week Video Contest's Awards Night and Video Screening, where teens and their talent were celebrated at Centrepointe Studio Theatre. I had the chance to see the top videos submitted and to talk to some of the contestants.
Before the show started, the attendees were welcomed in the lobby where there was a photobooth for pictures to be taken, a 3D printer for guests to observe and OPL's photographer walking around and capturing moments. There was also a BINGO for the teens to fill out, which required the teens to socialize and get signatures to mark off a square for a chance to win a free book.
I had the chance to interview Joshua, a Stittsville branch Teen Advisory Group (TAG) member who helped judge the videos. He told me the judges narrowed down the videos from about 30 entries to a top 11. When he was watching the videos, he was looking for creativity in the entry and how imaginative the creator was.
I also interviewed Kristal Craig, the TAG leader at Stittsville. She also judged the videos and enjoyed all the videos she got to watch. It was her first year judging the videos and she liked seeing all the teen librarians together, watching the videos. She liked the different kinds of technology used to film the videos and how they portrayed the book and looked for the videos that made her want to read the book. One of her favourite videos was for the book The Great Gatsby.
David submitted a video based upon the book, The Revenant. He picked this book because he came up with a concept for the video that he liked. His favourite part about making the video was writing the script. The video was a book trailer/parody and he told me the video was animated and had a bit of a darker theme to it. Overall, David had fun working on the video.
My final interview before the show started was with Yifan, who did a video based upon the manga Death Note, which he picked because it was the first book that came to his mind. He made his video alone with one actor and spent 2 and a ½ weeks working on it.
The show started with the MCs, Amiel and Farhiya, TAG members from Carlingwood branch, who did a fantastic job throughout the night, introducing Urban Legends Poetry Collective, who opened the night with some beautiful and inspirational poems. They performed a new poem, inspired by a teapot and being grateful. After the poetry, Ivan a dancer, from Woodroffe High School entertained the crowd with his funky moves. Following Ivan, was a hilarious video message from last year’s first place winner.
The Top 10 finalist videos were then showed. The videos were based on all kind of books, from manga to young adult contemporary to adult fiction.
During the intermission, popcorn and mocktails were served and I got to speak with last year’s MCs, Jessie and Zee. They were excited for the mocktails but also to see all the videos shown. Their favourite videos are the ones that show lots of creativity, the stop motion videos and videos with artistic content. They liked seeing people unite over books and meeting new people. Jessie and Zee didn’t enter a video, but maybe next year we’ll see a video from them!
After the intermission, the much anticipated results were announced. The judges were introduced to the audience and applauded for their work judging the videos. The videos were marked on video, audio, format, originality, creativity, relation to the book and overall presentation.
In third place was Isabella MacKay, for her inspirational and touching video about the book Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper. I had the chance to interview Isabella before the awards started and she said she chose this book because the books features her disability, cerebral palsy. Her favourite part of making the video was editing and watching the video before submitting it. She filmed it on a tripod and camera and when I asked her what she wanted me to know about the video, she simply said “I hope you like it”.
Second place was awarded to Emily McDonnell, who made a video featuring the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The video was black and white, shot in period costume and a period location, a heritage site. She chose the book because it’s her favourite and likes the time period it was set in. Her favourite part of the process was trying on the costumes used in the video. Emily spent a lot of time working on her video, many hours after school with her friend who has been in every video Emily has ever made. The video was centred around the line “Great books transport you.”
Hannah Leistle won first place for her video about the book Why We Took The Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf. The video featured an animated car, maps and all the things necessary (and unnecessary) to take on the trip with a voiceover. Hannah hoped that her video made people want to pick up the book and I can tell you that trailer definitely intrigued me!
I want to thank the OPL for hosting this amazing event and a shoutout to all the teens who submitted a video! Lots of hard work were put into the videos and it definitely paid off.
The other videos featured were based on these books:
Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
The Revenant by Michael Punke
Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Bloggers in Residence are fantastic teen volunteer writers from across the city. They blog about their favourite teen reads and authors, and get writing assignments to cover special teen events happening at the library. Their residency rotates throughout the year. Call-outs for upcoming terms are made through the Teen Blog.