Education

Lights, camera, awards: Centennial students take top prize in national video competition

Centennial students pitch a vacation hotel in top video

Students used a fictional name for a Florida hotel in their commercial. Their work won them top honors in a national competition.
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Students used a fictional name for a Florida hotel in their commercial. Their work won them top honors in a national competition.

Here’s the challenge. A fictional hotel in Florida is struggling. You have three hours to create a one-minute commercial that will entice people to book a room for several nights.

Three Centennial High School student took on that challenge in Florida this month and walked away with a national championship from the Business Professionals of America, a 50-year-old organization that advocates for careers in business management and information technology.

The students are senior Tanner Baisden and juniors Katie Hansen and Claire Vaage, all 17.

The trio from the West Ada school beat out 11 other finalist teams from other states to take home the top prize. Their video was shot at a real hotel, but with a fictional name. It shows swimming pools, classy dining, a workout gym, and boats that transport people to nearby amusement parks. To create the video, Vagge and Hansen wrote the script, then notified Baisden what they were doing. He would scamper to parts of the hotel to shoot the video.

“It was a really fun challenge,” Vaage said.

Simply getting to compete at the national level, however, required the team to produce a three- to five-minute video on tire safety. Their video focused on tire inflation and depth of tread. The video features a mock car crash that Baisden said took several shots to get right. Early attempts looked “bad and fake and really cheesy,” he said.

Award winning Centennial High School video production team mixes emotions and facts in a video on tire safety that earned them the opportunity to enter video finals..

Nonetheless, the tire-safety video was good enough to earn them a shot at the national finals.

Baisden, who graduates this year, intends to move immediately into a career in video production. He’s competed in contests where he makes short movies in two days. He’s drawn to the field because it fuels his creativity, he said.

The winning students received plaques from Business Professionals of America.

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