Short Tips

Learn What You'll Need to Enter the Contest


Create a 15 to 60-second digital short that convinces teens not to drive distracted.


  • Plan your Digital Short: images, scenes, words, sound, and sequence.
  • Create a persuasive Digital Short building on research from multiple sources, designed to change the behavior of the intended audience with a clear and impactful message.


  • Storyboard template (click here to see some examples)
  • Consider using a mobile device that allows you to record and share a video
  • Music and/or sound effects (royalty free or without copyright restrictions)
  • Actors


Study examples of message-driven short videos provided in the Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses activities and others you find online or on your mobile devices. Then, consider:

  • What techniques were used to convey the message?
  • In your opinion, has the message had an impact and a lasting effect?
  • Who is the audience for each video, and how does the video target that audience?

Develop a Storyboard

A storyboard lets you visually plan a plot for a video, movie, TV show, etc. Your storyboard will depict a video designed to convince teens not to drive distracted. Click here to access a storyboard template.

  • In the boxes on the left, write the words (copy) or dialogue you want to display onscreen or have spoken aloud (if any—you may not have words for some boxes)
  • In the boxes at right, sketch and/or describe what you want to show
  • Below the two boxes, describe the audio you envision: music, sound effects, etc.
  • Tip: think of each set of two boxes with audio description as a single “scene” or “moment”—if you need more scenes or moments to create your video plan, add them—but remember to stick to a 30-second video!
  • Struggling? Take one of the persuasive short videos you’ve studied and “storyboard” it—break it down to see how it was planned. This will help you plan your own
  • Feel free to use whatever art supplies you find helpful to draft your storyboard—and make it bigger if that will help

Next Steps

After you’ve drafted your storyboard, share your ideas with friends, family, teachers, or classmates and ask for constructive criticism. If necessary, revise your storyboard. Then, get ready to create your video! Make sure your video meets the criteria on the video checklist. Also consider:

  • Who will act onscreen?
  • Which music will you use, if any? Look for royalty-free music online.
  • Will you use sound effects? If so, consider creating your own, or find them online.
  • Who will speak the words, if there are voice-overs or dialogue?
  • How will you display the words onscreen if you want to show them?
  • What setting or settings will you need for the video?

Once you’ve created your video, head over to the contest entry page to put on the finishing touches and enter your creation in the Drive Smart Digital Short contest for a chance to win $10,000!