2018-19 “Be Reel!” Video Contest Rules and Guidelines

(Please read in its entirety, since there are a few changes from last year.)

The Street Smarts “Be Reel” Video Contest gives San Ramon Valley middle school students (grades 6–8) the opportunity to showcase their knowledge of traffic safety by producing public service announcements (PSAs) that educate their friends, family, and community. As a component of the Street Smarts Program, the contest aims to raise awareness about traffic safety issues to both the students participating in the contest and those who see their work.

Participants, who can be individuals or a group of up to four middle school students, can win prizes by creating a 60-second (or shorter) PSA on a specific traffic safety theme.

Important dates:

Contest dates: Thursday, November 1 – December 18, 2018 by 4:00 p.m. uploaded to: BeReel! Video Contest 2018-19

Awards Ceremony:

NEW DATE & LOCATION: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center in San Ramon at 6:30 p.m.

The Theme
Videos submitted should feature middle school student demonstration and/or reflecting the theme “Let’s Ride!”

The overall message of your video should emphasize the theme of “Let’s Ride!” by conveying a positive safety message that inspires children and adults to ride a bike to school and also around the community. Some questions to consider but not limited to include:

  1. What are the advantages of riding a bike to school?
  2. How do you navigate riding a bike on the Iron Horse Trail, and other trails, safely?
  3. What are the health benefits of riding a bike?
  4. How do you ride a bike safely on the public streets?
  5. What are the appropriate procedures when riding a bike on school grounds?

Note: Use of helmets need to be properly fitted, strapped and snapped.

Have fun with different setting and scenarios!

AWARDS CEREMONY – Wednesday, March 6, 2019

All students will be invited to attend the Street Smarts “Be Reel!” Video Contest Premiere and Awards Ceremony at the Danville Village Theatre, where finalists for each “Subcategory” and “Overall” top placed videos will be announced. More details to follow.

Finalist videos will also air on cable television.

Main Category:


Each member of the video production team will receive a $50 gift card. Only one video will be awarded for this category.

More chances to win prizes!

Sub Categories:

  • “Best Use of Special Effects/Animation”
  • “Best Acting/Voice Acting”
  • “Best Plot/Storyline”
  • “Best Use of Music”
  • “Best Editing”

Each member of the video production team in each subcategory will receive a $15 gift card.

Students do not need to choose a specific category since some video entries may be considered for one or more category for initial judging.

Each video will be evaluated based on:

  1. Content (50%): Does it follow the theme and is it persuasive?
  2. Creativity (25%): Does it hold their interest?
  3. Video Production (25%): Can it be viewed and heard clearly?

Videos must be within the following guidelines:

  • Length: 45–60 seconds in length
  • Size: Exported video should not exceed 55MB
  • Quality: Standard Definition (480p) or High Definition (720p)
  • Format: MP4 or WMV format
  • Audio: Dialogue should be understandable and clear. The sound in all shots should have the same volume.
  • Title: Exported video should be saved with the TITLE that matches the “Be Reel!” Entry Form.

Your video cannot contain ANY music that you do not own or have permission to use. See the section “Trademark and Copyright Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” later in this document.


  • Any middle school student in the San Ramon Valley, which includes residing in or attending school in the San Ramon Valley
  • A group of San Ramon Valley middle school students, as part of a club, organization, or class

While there are no limitations on the number of people who can work on the development of a video, a maximum of four (4) individuals are allowed to be on record as the official video production team members. It is only these official team members who receive prizes for the video. All team members must be middle school students who reside in or attend school in the San Ramon Valley.


    1. Be sure to read the full “Rules and Guidelines”(this document!).
    2. Download and complete the Entry Form and all necessary Release Forms.
    3. Upload the completed forms and video to: BeReel! Video Contest 2018 – 19

Due to the large size of the files, please do not email the videos. Only upload to the Hightail link saved with the video name. Also attach forms in same file or attach another file.

Entries and completed forms can also be mailed or dropped off at the following address: Street Smarts, c/o City of San Ramon 2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583.

All videos are due by 4:00pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. (Postmarks are not accepted!)

Visit 2017 -18 Video Contest Top Winners to view last year’s finalists and top placed videos!



    1. Submit a 45–60 second (or shorter) video in the correct video requirements.
  • Find a Video Advisor (parent, teacher, other) who is 18 years or older, and list this person on the Entry Form.
  • Feature the Street Smarts logo prominently throughout the video (logo available online at Street Smarts Logo).
  • List the members of the video production team in a “Credits” section at the end of the video. Image(s) of the filmmakers also add interest.
  • List the Street Smarts Program public partners in the video credits:Street Smarts Program partners include:

City of San Ramon
Town of Danville
County of Contra Costa Districts 2 and 3
San Ramon Valley Unified School District
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District

    1. Cover the traffic safety information clearly, concisely, and responsibly.
  • Save your video with the name of your video that matches your Entry Form AND online submission.
  • Make sure your voices can be heard clearly and consistently. (An external microphone can help.)
  • Be creative. Being funny is good, too!
  • Have fun!


    1. Don’t include matter that is subject to copyright in the video, except where it can be demonstrated to comply with applicable laws. This includes music created and owned by others. (See the upcoming section “What types of music can I use?” for more information.)
  • Don’t include children under 18 in the video unless they have completed a Release Form.
  • Don’t film on private property unless you receive permission from the property owner(s).
  • Don’t place any member of the production team, or any member of the public, in imminent danger, while making the video.
  • Don’t include any obscene or indecent matter in the video.
  • Don’t include libelous or slanderous matter in the video.
  • Don’t violate any of the applicable operating policies or procedures of Contra Costa Television (CCTV), Tri-Valley Community Television (TV30), or Comcast Cable. These operating policies and procedures are available upon request.
  • If this video is produced within the structure of an organization or a class, do not violate any additional rules, operating policies or procedures (which may be more stringent than the limitations described above) so long as these rules, operating policies or procedures are in compliance with applicable law.

Videos that incorporate any of the “Don’ts” are automatically disqualified. Street Smarts reserves the right to determine if the rules and guidelines are followed.

More Questions?

Visit www.street-smarts.com or contact the Street Smarts Coordinator at (925) 973-2581 or dpita@sanramon.ca.gov.


Choose a genre

The genres of videos you can film are endless, since there are many different ways to portray your message.

Here are some options:

      1. Action & Adventure
      2. Comedy
      3. Drama
      4. Animation
      5. Mystery/Thrillers
      6. Documentary
      7. Musical

Tips when shooting a video

      1. Allow an extra couple of seconds before and after your footage clips. This ensures that speech does not begin or end too abruptly. If too long, it can be trimmed in editing.
      2. Keep the light between you and the actors. Don’t shoot from a bright area indoors. Never shoot into bright sky or from a window outside (unless you are very near the glass).
      3. If your camera has an input jack, a microphone will do a better job of picking up sound than the microphone on the camera.
      4. Varied shots add drama. For example, a high shot (looking down) followed by a low shot (looking up) can add interest. A tight shot often adds sincerity or emphasis.

 Trademark and Copyright Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does Copyright mean?

It means the right to copy. Only the owner or creator of the work is allowed to produce or reproduce the work or permit anyone else to do so. Copyright is restricted to the expression of an idea, such as a video, but does not extend to the idea itself.

Copyright includes such things as: books, pamphlets, magazine articles, posters, poems, films, videos, plays, screenplays, scripts, music only, words and music, paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, and sculptures.

Not covered by copyright are such things as: names or slogans, short phrases and most titles, such as song titles, and factual information. However, some may be covered by trademark, such as a Giants t-shirt or a logo.

What is a Trademark?

Trademarks are used to identify the difference between products of one person or company from those of another. You cannot use things like slogans, names of products, distinctive packages or unique product shapes, such as the Nike symbol, or a t-shirt or cap with the symbol on it, a 7 Eleven sign in the background, a cigarette package showing a brand name, a Giants shirt, a specific car make or model, or a government sign about selling tobacco to minors, that you see in stores.

What types of music can I use?

      1. Original music, lyrics or score, created by you
      2. Generic music that is included as part of your video production software
      3. Music from a composer or writer with approval, including by email
      4. The use of downloaded music from an online music store such as iTunes is NOT allowed

Keep in mind that you might like the words to a song and want to use them, using a different tune, but that is NOT allowed. Or, you might want to use the melody of a song and put your own music to it — that is also NOT allowed.

What pictures can I use?

      1. Original photos taken by you are okay, provided they do not contain trademarked or copyrighted material that you would need permission to use. Also, you need consent from the people in photos you have taken. Using a photo taken by someone else also requires permission from the photographer, as well as any trademarked or copyrighted product permission.
      2. Purchased or free photos from a stock house or graphic house can be used. For more information, go to Google and search for “free stock photos.”
      3. Pictures in print publications, like those in a magazine or on a poster, require permission from the originator, because they are copyrighted. For example, using pictures from magazines (e.g., Newsweek, The New Republic) is not allowed as those pictures are copyrighted and were purchased to use just in that magazine. Using a poster or sign produced by a company or government is NOT allowed, unless you obtain permission from the originator.

What is Public Domain?

A public domain work is a creative work not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone. This is because:

(1) the term of copyright for the work has expired

(2) it is something produced by the government

In the case of government materials, it is still best to check with the originator. Material available on the Internet is NOT considered to be in the public domain. Facts from the Internet can be used, but pictures, music, etc., are restricted.

What is the Release Form?

This form is necessary to allow the Street Smarts Program, and its partnering agencies such as CTV and CCTV, to obtain the rights to the use of the video for other purposes, such as producing a compilation video of the winning entries.

Do I need to fill out a Release Form and who should sign it?

A completed Release Form is required for:

      • Each student under 18 who is involved in the production of the submitted video
      • Other children under 18 who appear in the submitted video

A parent signature is required on all Release Forms or the video submission will not be considered for contest.

When I get the Release Form signed, am I signing away my right to own the video?

Yes, the Street Smarts Program, and its participating public agencies, will then own the copyright and can use the video in any manner whatsoever. However, you can use it for a resume or personal use, but NOT commercial use.


      1. All videos will be reviewed by the Street Smarts Program Advisory Committee in order to select the top qualifying videos, who will advance to the next round of judging by video production professionals.
      2. The “Overall” and “Subcategory” award winners will be selected by a group of independent video production professionals.
      3. Gift card prizes to award winners will be awarded on the evening of the video contest awards ceremony.
      4. Any middle school student (grades 6-8) attending a public or private middle school within the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) boundaries or who is a resident within the SRVUSD boundaries can enter the contest. It should be noted that a video contest participant is not required to attend a SRVUSD school to be eligible to enter.

PDF copy: Street Smarts 14th Annual “Be Reel!” Video Contest Rules & Guidelines 2018-19 

Thank you for participating and supporting San Ramon Valley Street Smarts Programs!