Business student makes finals in video contest

John TanJohn Tan is heading straight for a career as a chartered accountant. His fallback, however, could be filmmaker.

This fall, the third-year business student’s two-minute John’s Reel was one of six finalists in a video contest sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO). Not bad for someone who’d never created a video before.

Left: John Tan

Sixty-four Ontario university and high school students competed in the first Rule the Tube CA video competition. The theme was “Why being a chartered accountant rocks” and contestants were judged largely on how well they promoted their videos, particularly on how many likes and positive ratings they got on YouTube. Winners won $1,500 and finalists, $200.

Tan first heard about the contest in an e-mail from ICAO on Sept. 22. “I decided to do it because I got a new camcorder,” said the accounting major specializing in finance. Here was a chance to play around with his new equipment and learn how to use video editing software, he thought.

The deadline was Nov. 19. He wrote the script, enlisted his sister and spent three intense 12-hour days during October Reading Week shooting and editing his video. It was the first time he had used video footage instead of still images, and added flash, music and voice-overs. Then he promoted it on YouTube, Facebook and online sites. “I’ll probably do it again next year,” says the amateur filmmaker, deeply satisfied at being able to put something together so quickly. “This is the first time I’ve made a video and I became a finalist. That’s motivating enough to do it again.”