Teen Stress Media Contest

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Rules and Guidelines

The purpose of this media contest is simple, yet meant to create a powerful message.  The main goal we are looking to fulfill is to send a message to all the important people who can make decisions or take action on the issue of teen stress.  While we realize this is topic which has various factors and key players, the image and video we select is meant to succinctly summarize the problem.

How to participate:

Be sure to read all rules before submitting your entry.  Any violation of these rules will disqualify a submission.

Submission information:    

  • Submit entries at https://goo.gl/forms/OBSGyzGCaVZmCsf73
  • Submit up to 1 photo and/or up to 1 video   
  • Submission of pictures and videos will begin April1, 2018. All submissions must be received by 11:59PM PT on Monday, May 20, 2018.    

*Please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change.



Submission of pictures and videos

April 1st, 2018

May 20, 2018

Voting on finalists

May 23rd


Finalists announced


Winners announced


The City of Cupertino and its representatives reserve the right to disqualify any entry at any time.

Format Information:    

  • Pictures and videos must be submitted via the online form (see above for link). Pictures must be in either .jpeg or .png format, and videos must be submitted via the submissions form/application on Google.   
  • Pictures can be in a reduced file size.  If requested, please be prepared to provide a full-quality photo.    
  • Video Submissions must be uploaded to YouTube on unlisted mode and a link must be submitted as part of the application.    
  • Video submissions must be 3 minutes or shorter in length. Any submissions over 3:00 will NOT be reviewed.    
  • Videos can be in a reduced file size.  If requested, please be prepared to provide a full-quality video.  

* Winners will be required to provide their winning submission in its full, high quality form.  

Additional Requirements:    

  • Completed Google Form Application : https://goo.gl/forms/OBSGyzGCaVZmCsf73
  • Liability and Photo Waiver – You must collect release forms for individuals featured in your photos or videos and verify that you have done so on the Google submission form.  If you are selected as a winner, you will be required to submit these forms.  Missing forms or refusal of form submission will be grounds for immediate disqualification and the runner up will be selected. By entering in this contest, you consent to your photo or video being used in any presentation or promotional materials, including websites. You release the City of Cupertino, its successors, assignees, and licensees from any liability on account of such usage.
  • All content must be originally created.    

Participant Restrictions:    

  • Any Silicon Valley youth/teen ages 13-18.         
  • Both individual and group submissions are accepted. If submitting as part of a group, prize will be submitted to the group and it will be the responsibility of the group to split the prize.    

Judging and Winner selection:    

  • First round preliminary judging will be done by the Teen Commission of Cupertino.    
  • Final round judging and winners will be selected by the Fine Arts Commission of Cupertino.    
  • Video/Photo should address the following:        
    • The issue of teen stress in a way that describes or summarizes the issue.       
    • Be appropriate for distribution to the general community.  Any inappropriate or graphic media will be automatically disqualified.       
    • Be able to be something we share with FUHSD staff, FUHSD board members, City Council members, and other policy makers.       
    • Be able to be used at community events and on the Cupertino City Channel.        

Submission tips:    

  1. Know your audience.    
    1. The audience will primarily be adults and some teens.  Teens know they are stressed out.  Our goal is communicate this fact to adults who are oblivious to teen stress.    
  2. Subtlety is key.
    • While images or videos of morose teens may seem like the best, most logical choice, it will be perceived as easy and uninspired. Subtle submissions allow audience members to make their own inferences and inspire conversation.   
  3. Capture the best quality photo that your camera will allow.
    • While we allow you to submit a lower quality photo, we encourage high quality submissions.  We expect all of our finalists to resubmit their winning pieces in the highest quality possible for distribution.
  4. Think about the environment where you are filming.
    • Try to place your subject in the set of your choosing. Don’t be afraid to ask them to move to a location that may be less busy or more interesting.    
  5. Make sure your subject(s) is/are well lit.
    • Avoid overly bright/dark situations.        
  6. Shorter is better (video).
    • Unfortunately, attention spans are decreasing.  Some people cannot go 10 seconds in class or meetings without looking at their phones and a three minute video will feel like an eternity for them.   
  7. Plan out your narrative and develop your story. (video)        
  8. If utilizing interviews, follow these guidelines (video)
    • Capture your subjects from the shoulders up.
    • Ensure they're on one side of the frame instead of in the middle.
  9. Sound matters
    Make sure the people you interview or actors you use speaks loudly and clearly. Also avoid situations where background noise becomes a problem.
  10. Shaky cam is good only if done well. Invest in a tripod if stability is an issue. If you do it, be sure to do it right.

Prize:  $300 to winners in each category

There will be one $300 prize winner in the video category and one $300 prize winner in the photo category.  If submitting as a group, the prize will be given to the lead group member (whoever turns in the form) and it will be their responsibility to divide the prize among the group members.  Cupertino staff will contact winners once contest is complete. 

In addition, winners may have an opportunity to present their winning media at a live and televised City Council meeting. More details will follow.