Excerpt: As the “I Heart Tap Water” student video contest submission deadline neared, students pulled all-nighters to get their YouTube videos in shape and uploaded. In the closing days, the entries poured in. On the receiving end, Food & Water Watch staff watched an array of live action, animation, love story triangles, PSA’s and music videos. Just prior to Earth Day, our celebrity judges including Alec Baldwin reviewed the finalists and an animation major named Elizabeth Klein from Cincinnati got the nod as the winner. Announcing the winner on Earth Day was exciting for the Food & Water Watch staff and the contestant about to get the big news.
Eager to speak with the winner of the “I Heart Tap Water” student video contest, Food & Water Watch staff gathered around a conference room speaker phone on Earth Day morning and placed the call to the producer/director of the stop-action animation video, Elizabeth Klein. Elizabeth, known as Lizzy, a student at the University of Cincinnati was in class. Drats. We’d had to wait to tell Lizzy she was the winner.
We left a message for Lizzy with her proud father that we wanted to talk with her and soon enough the staff gathered again for Lizzy’s return call. Lizzy got an enthusiastic ovation from her Food & Water Watch fans and we got to know more about how the winning YouTube video came to be.
F&WW: How did the contest affect your relationship to tap water?
Lizzy: Through the research and work I did on my video I have completely changed my view on bottled water. I used to think it might be alright if I bought a bottle of water as long as I re-used it, but now I know that even that is harmful. I have come to realize that people waste way too much money on a product with almost no benefits.
F&WW: With all you’ve learned, will you be inviting your friends to Take Back the Tap?
Lizzy: I’ve shared my video with a lot of my friends and I am proud to say that it has changed a lot of their minds. Most of the time they are completely surprised to learn about the differences between bottled and tap water, especially about the testing regulations. I encourage everyone to drink tap water as much as I can.
F&WW: Tell us about your production process and how you came to animate your video:
Lizzy: I animated my video because I think it is easier for people to listen to a message if it is simple and fun to watch. I have a lot of fun doing stop-motion and I am always inspired by other artists like PES Jan Svankmajer. For this animation I collected water bottles from recycling bins and rescued them from the trash as well. As with any stop-motion I do, I made a small set and photographed each frame of the video. The song is something I created from a friends voice that I thought fit well with the video.
F&WW: Is there anything you want to share with other college students?
Lizzy: I think it is so important to do every little thing that we can to work toward a clean and safe environment. Even if that means making a little extra effort to remember to bring a re-usable water bottle with you. There really are a lot of myths surrounding bottled water and it’s time we dispel them. Thank you so much again for choosing my video.
Actually, Lizzy, the thanks go to you for creating your engaging and inspiring video. Be sure to check it out on YouTube. Don’t forget to leave Lizzy 5 stars and a comment appreciating her for her excellent work.