It was a bit of a long shot, but 12-year old James Newhook of Placentia decided to give it a try anyways.
James said he was at school when he first saw the poster seeking entries in the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) 2012 SAFE Work Video and Radio Ad Contest.
James said a teacher at school, Ms. White, encouraged him to try out for the competition, knowing his interest in film and all things artistic.
James got to work right away, and ended up going with a stop-motion film narrated by he and his little brother Charles, using Lego pieces, to warn boaters about safety on the water.
His film, “Life Jackets Save Lives” tied for first place in the video category with students from Lewisporte, and each winning entry received $1,000.
James said the Lego pieces he had helped make the decision on what the film would be about.
“Some of the pieces that would have worked for other safety films were missing from my collection, but we had the life jackets and the boat in Lego pieces, so it was pretty easy to decide,” said James.
The film took about two weeks to make. He had to model the Lego pieces where he wanted with just the right background, take snapshots of each movement, and the stitch them all together to make the film.
The short film, one minute and 30 seconds long, can be viewed on YouTube by searching “Life Jackets Save Lives James Newhook.”
The Commission first launched the radio ad contest in 2006, and added the video contest in 2010. Every year, students in schools across the province submit entries, according to WHSCC press release on the contest.
The popularity and competitiveness of the contest is increasing, they say, as evidenced by the fact that some schools have won the contest more than once. Laval students were recipients of the radio ad contest in 2007 and students at St. Kevin’s High school won the video ad contest in 2010.
“These students and many others across the province have created persuasive, compelling videos that clearly demonstrate an understanding of safe work practices,” said the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Leslie Galway. “I’m pleased to see young people getting involved in building a culture of safety in this province and helping reduce the number of workplace accidents.”
The winning entries from the SAFE Work Video and Radio Ad Contest are also available to view on the Commission’s website at www.whscc.nl.ca.
The contest was open to students in Grades 7 to 12 across the province. A total of 55 entries were received – 30 safety videos and 25 radio ads.
James said he sent his entry to their website a mere 30 minutes before the end of the competition. He wasn’t expecting a win, but now that he has it, with check in hand, this budding filmmaker plans to purchase a new computer that will have better filmmaking capabilities, so he can continue to film and develop his skills.
Asked whether he would be the next Martin Scorsese, James smiled and responded, “Maybe Steven Spielberg.”