A video competition has placed North Hall High School sophomore Seth Watkins in the state spotlight.
“It originally started out as a school project that we had to do in my video production class,” Watkins, 16, said. “I ended up being the only person who did mine, so I pretty much represented the school.”
The Stop the Drop video contest, sponsored by Georgia Public Broadcasting, asked high school students to develop 30-second public service announcements aimed at preventing their peers from dropping out of school.
Enlisting his older brother’s help as the actor, Watkins’ commercial begins with a person accidentally knocking over a vase.
“And it says, ‘Don’t you ever wish you could rewind time?’” Watkins said. “And eventually everything starts rewinding (and) the vase gets rebuilt.”
The commercial then cuts to a person walking out of North Hall High School. He has just dropped out, and throws his book bag on the ground. The screen shows information that reads 8,100 students drop out every day.
“The idea was I wanted to compare something like a vase to something larger like a high school education,” Watkins said. “If you wanted to rewind time and fix your problems, you can’t actually do that. You make one mistake and it can ruin your life forever.”
The field of around 140 entries was narrowed to 10, with Watkins being one. The winner, determined by the number of people who liked the video on YouTube, received $1,000.
Though Watkins did not win, his commercial has been airing on Georgia Public Broadcasting, including during the airing of the state football championships. He even got to travel to the Georgia Dome and be interviewed on live television.
“It was crazy,” he said. “It was really cool seeing it on TV.”
His video production teacher, David Bishop, said he can see this as being a career for Watkins.
“Some kids have an artistic side, some kids have the technical side,” Bishop said. “Seth has a real good mixture of both, which makes him, in my opinion, very successful.”
Watkins does plan to either go into video or audio production. For now, he wants to enter — and hopefully win — a few more contests to get his name out there.
“Start out small and try to figure out what you like,” he said. “Just try new things and if you really like it, keep pursuing it. Keep going on to bigger and bigger projects, and you can make it. I’m in the process of doing that.”