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ODU Student's Video Doesn't Win, But Turns Heads at Pepsi, MTV

An Old Dominion University student's music video submission didn't win a national video-making contest sponsored by Pepsi, MTV and MTV Games, but he received some good news nonetheless.

After finishing second in the contest, Justin Junda, a junior electrical and computer engineering major at ODU, and collaborators Scott and Elisa Hansen were contacted by Pepsi about future video marketing opportunities.

Their entry "One (Wo)Man Band" - based on the Joan Jett song "Bad Reputation" -finished second among the five finalists in the contest, held in conjunction with the MTV Music Video Awards program broadcast on Sept. 13. The winner was a group from Springfield, Ill., that performed a version of "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit.

Junda confided that contest officials informed his team that its submission was the best, but that they were bound to accept the online voting results, which placed the team from Illinois first.

"Pepsi contacted Elisa, Scott and me A), notifying us that we came in second, and B), saying they will have someone contact us post-VMAs to talk about potential future opportunities," Junda said. "They felt we had the strongest video with the most marketable aspects."

The video, a slick piece featuring Elisa Hansen playing a number of different instruments, was chosen from among 650 submissions as one of the finalists. It can be viewed at: http://pepsi.yahoo.com/rockband/video/watch/vote.php#5HRzFflwH.

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."

The winning video was announced during the VMA broadcast from New York City.

Contest entrants were required to make their own video from a list of songs that can be played on the video game Rock Band.

Besides Junda and Hansen, and the winners from Illinois, the other finalists included a group from New York, performing Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star"; 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: September 17, 2009

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