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ODU Engineering Student Among Five Finalists for National Music Video-Making Contest

A music video co-created by Old Dominion University engineering student Justin Junda is one of five finalists in a national video-making contest sponsored by Pepsi, MTV and MTV Games.

The video, a slick piece using the same young woman (co-creator Scott Hansen's wife, Elisa) playing a number of different instruments, was chosen from among 650 submissions as one of the finalists.

Now it's up to the MTV audience to vote for their favorites. Voting closes at midnight Sept. 1. On Sept. 13, the winner will be in New York City to accept the first-ever "Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video" at the MTV Video Music Awards.

People can view and vote for Junda and Hansen's submission, "One (Wo)Man Band," at the contest's Web site: http://pepsi.yahoo.com/rockband/video/watch/vote.php.

"It's so exciting. I can't believe we got this far," said Junda, a junior electrical and computer engineering major at ODU.

Contest entrants were required to make their own video from a list of songs that can be played on the video game Rock Band. Junda and Hansen chose "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett. For their video concept, they had Elisa Hansen dress in different rock outfits, and shot her in front of a green screen, playing all the instruments in the band.

Junda, whose expertise is in creating visual effects on computer, did the special effects for the video.

"I didn't like the song at first, but I kind of like it now that I've heard it a million times," he said. "It's kind of embedded in my brain now. If we win the contest, I'll love this song for the rest of my life."

Besides Junda and Hansen, the other finalists include a group from New York, performing Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star"; a group from Springfield, Ill., performing Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy"; a group from Birmingham, Ala., performing "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go; and a group from Amarillo, Texas, performing "The Kill" by 30 Seconds to Mars.

Junda, 25, is combining full-time studies at ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology with a full-time job at Science Applications International Corp., working as a new media engineer.

The Virginia Beach native, a graduate of Cox High School, said his ODU experience has been rewarding.

"ODU has a great student body, supporting professors, and I've always felt like they'll help me out as best as they can," Junda said. "And it's been great that so many students here have voted for us, and are supportive of the video."

Junda started in film, and worked his way back to engineering when he began doing more technical projects with his filmmaking. He hopes his career will continue to combine his passions of artistic and technical creativity. "This video has been a great experience at combining the two," he said.

This article was posted on: August 26, 2009

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