Whistler Secondary School has placed second in the British Columbia Automobile Association's BCAA Dry Grad Video Challenge with a video made by Grade 12 student Zac Moxley with the help of — and starring — his classmates.
"We made it within 18 hours — we wrote the scripts, did the filming and acting, editing — and we didn't get much time to work on it," 17-year-old Moxley said in an interview.
"Second place is still awesome. Everyone will be happy. It will definitely help us with the fundraising for our grad."
Heads or Tails (Never gamble with your life) shows a teen party with young people getting increasingly intoxicated. Two teens leave to drive home and argue about whether they should; they are saved by a sober friend taking the keys and saying he would drive them.
An interesting twist in the video was for the blood-alcohol levels to be shown for every drink the students took.
"Our aim was to show that friends shouldn't let friends drink and drive," Moxley said. "Everyone is so close and it would bring down the town (if someone was injured or killed) and we don't want that to happen."
The video, which can be seen at www.bcaa.com/campaigns/dry-grad/view/whistler-secondary, has had almost 6,300 viewings.
Moxley has been a filmmaker for several years, most recently being sent by ESPN to the X-Games in Aspen, Colo., to interview slopestyle athletes who will be competing at the Sochi Olympics.
The aim of the BCAA competition was to create 90-second videos to encourage teens to make responsible driving decisions and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The top five videos were put on the BCAA website with public voting determining the winners. Hugh McRoberts Secondary in Richmond took first place and the $6,000 grand prize, while Abbotsford Christian School came third and won $2,000.
The competition was open to all high schools in British Columbia and the Yukon.
Whistler Secondary's principal, Bev Oakley, said the school had entered in the past but Moxley's video was far and away their best entry.
"He may be pretty casual about it but he's won awards far his work already," Oakley said. "The dry grad fundraising is separate from the school and they took it on themselves to do this."
The $4,000 is only part of the class of 2014's overall fundraising. Oakley said. Part of the funds raised will pay for the Grade 12's dry grad and dinner dance.
As well as funding their own graduation events, $1,000 raised by the grads will go to the Sea to Sky Scholarship for students wanting to go into post-secondary education who cannot afford the tuition, Oakley added.
Each graduating class has also purchased a legacy for the school. Past gifts have included tents, a photocopier and benches.
"What they are doing with their winnings is pretty cool," Oakley said. "We've got our eyes on the top spot for next year!"