Cardboard etc – By @dj_sbex
By Sophie Becker
Two minutes can transform your life. That’s why every prospective SCA student should be applying to both the SCA scholarship competitions this year.
Every day I’m grateful that a two minute video changed my life. Without the scholarship, I don’t know how I’d have gone to SCA. This time last year I’d managed to secure a place at the school, but had absolutely no idea how I was planning to support myself financially. Desperate to save any money I could I’d taken a job on a fruit and veg stand in Borough Market – 12 hour days, 6 days a week. For someone as pathetically short and weak as me, it was physically intense.
Needless to say, I was terrible and after knocking over and breaking one of the tills as well as several crates of fruit, I was asked to leave.
When Borough Market was no more, my only hope became the scholarship competition so I put every waking minute and ounce of energy into my project. For two months, it was all I thought about and all I spoke about. I became completely obsessed. I was possessed.
In my opinion, last year’s brief—to change the stock price of a large corporation—was particularly tricky. I agonised and agonised over perhaps twenty odd ideas, panicking all the while that if I was finding this so difficult, was I really cut out for SCA at all?
I spent hours on end watching every past wining or shortlisted entry I could find, over and over, dissecting exactly what made each one great. I worked out that the common denominator for most was that they got out there and made shit happen for real. Whatever I did, I was determined for it to exist in the real world. And I was determined for it to get noticed. The only exception were those that were incredibly lateral and simple, and seemed to take a risk by doing so.
I finally settled on the idea of taking down a cardboard manufacturer that had no women on its executive board by creating a project called Women On Board. I made an Instagram gallery with drawings that people submitted of women on cardboard, went around London transport sticking cardboard signs up, interviewed men in the street asking them “how do you like your boards?” whilst dressed in cardboard (a weird and maybe unnecessary day), and for the grand finale covered a car entirely in cardboard and drove around London honking at people. I documented everything, made press releases with all the material attached and sent it to as many publications as I could find. Unbelievably, the Indy100 published a story about it. Some other online news platforms followed.
I taught myself to use Premiere Pro, put my Women On Board into a two minute video and two weeks later was insanely grateful and ecstatic to win the scholarship. I finally knew how I was going to get to SCA.
While I’m proud of my efforts, I actually think this was an unrealistic amount of “stuff” to try and fit into a two minute video, and I find a lot of fault with it. So here’s some advice for anyone attempting the scholarship. A lot of it is what I learnt from other winners, and the things I wish I’d do if I could do it all over again.
Make stuff for real. Go out and make an impact on someone else.
Show your impact. Whether it’s a bartender’s reaction to your naked body on your credit card or press coverage, show us how what you’ve done has made someone external care.
Put your personality into it. Don’t focus on what’s right, focus on what’s right for you and what you can do best.
Think outside the two minutes. Make it bigger than that. It’s not just a video.
Keep it simple. Simple. It should be impactful, not filled to the brim.
Just choose something. If you suffer from crippling indecision like I did, know that once you start to run with an idea and put energy into it, it will morph and hopefully become quite a good idea. Don’t waste too much energy deciding.
Get obsessed. Keep pushing and pushing until you get to something scholarship-worthy. Never stop analysing what was great about past entries.
Ask for help. Sometimes ideas seem good to you, but when you communicate them to others they fall down. Constantly keep feedback in mind whilst remembering it’s still your scholarship entry and no one else’s.
Submit two! Marc doesn’t know this but I actually submitted two (both were shortlisted). There are two competitions, so there’s no excuse.