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The Semantics of Making a Winning Scholarship Video

The Semantics of Making a Winning Scholarship Video

By Kathryn Knight

May 18, 2009

Remember the Blair Witch Project? The student-filmed production, found a year after the “disappearance” of the three students who shot the haunting footage, won 11 film awards. Pretty good for amateurs.

While you may not win any Oscars, a great video can win you money for school in video contests. FastWeb’s Why I Deserve a Scholarship video contest is a great example.



Not camera savvy? It’s OK — we’ve got you covered. Just follow these simple steps and let the voters know why you deserve a scholarship.

  • Don’t whitewash yourself with a bland or busy scene. A white wall and a hectic, city street are two ends of the spectrum. Steer clear of both — your backdrop should be interesting but not too distracting. Also avoid lampposts or statues coming out of your head.
  • Tell it to us straight. Audio is just as important as the video — especially if you’re explaining why you deserve a hefty scholarship. If your film has any action, your best bet for good sound quality is to remove or turn off the microphone. Otherwise, the voters will be more concerned with the shifting volume than with the content.
  • Light up the stage. Chances are you don’t have access to specialized lighting equipment. But you do have a resource that is free and au naturale — the sun.
  • Get ready for your close up. If you’re filming yourself, make sure you’re in focus. Videomaker.com has useful tips on “staying focused.”
  • Try not to shake it up too much. Bigger camcorders keep from creating a shaky picture, but they’re not easy to hold. If you’re filming with a smaller camera, use a tripod or a level surface.
  • Finally, color your creation with a great idea. Make your video shout — not literally. But get people to notice your uniqueness. Express yourself through an art medium. Take advantage of your talent — the more eccentric, the better. Make a silent film. Interview your pet. There are no limitations or boundaries to this project — use that to your advantage!


Maybe you won’t receive accolades from the film credits, but using these helpful hints can bring you one frame closer to proving that you deserve a scholarship. Find out how to brainstorm for great video ideas and promote your video.


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