UCSD Student Wins Adobe Contest With His Video for All Time Low

 

Zhen was officially announced as the winner on the Adobe Students Facebook page on May 1. The band personally selected his entry out of 176 contest submissions that ranged from poster designs to homemade music videos. 

As the grand prize winner, Zhen won a free concert by All Time Low at the San Diego House of Blues, VIP treatment for himself and his friends and a chance to join the band onstage.

Contestants submitted their entries to the Adobe Students Facebook page, where users can still view and rate submissions. Many of the entries feature poster or T-shirt designs, mock-ups for backstage passes and other print materials. 

“I wanted to make a timeline of the band’s career, and I felt like in order to do that justice, I had to do that in the form of a video,” Zhen said.

As an aerospace engineering major, Zhen admitted to having limited design skills. Instead of competing against the Photoshop and InDesign submissions, he decided to make a promotional video for the band using Adobe Premiere from the Creative Cloud suite. Though he had never used the application before, he said that his previous experience with editing videos made the learning process easier. 

Zhen’s winning submission is a two-minute audio-visual timeline that chronicles All Time Low’s history, beginning with videos of the band performing in high school auditoriums in 2003 and highlighting important milestones, like their first album release, their first music video and their first single certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America.

Zhen first heard about the contest from All Time Low’s Facebook page at the beginning of March. But bogged down with engineering homework, he didn’t give the contest much thought until he came across Adobe tabling about the contest on Library Walk toward the end of winter quarter. 

“They were there with posters saying, ‘Oh, you can win a free concert with All Time Low,’” Zhen said. “So I thought, ‘Spring break is coming up; I don’t have anything going on. I should just try and see what happens.’”

Zhen completed and submitted his video quietly over spring break. Unlike those with higher-rated submissions in the Battle for the Band gallery, Zhen didn’t publicize his submission or ask for votes from his peers. In fact, his video is unlisted on YouTube and is only viewable through a direct link.

Last Monday, before the concert, Zhen had a few moments to speak with the band before he sat down with Adobe for an interview for their website. Later on, Zhen and his friends got to enjoy VIP treatment — a meet-and-greet with the band, early access to the venue and private seating by the stage. 

At the end of the night, All Time Low lead singer Alex Gaskarth pulled Zhen onstage to take a photo with him and led the crowd in chanting his name. When Zhen asked to play the band’s last song with them, Gaskarth handed over his guitar.

“I was really nervous, because I’d never played on a stage before,” Zhen said. “And of course, I’m playing with All Time Low, so I felt very honored,” Zhen said. “I’m still surprised that I won the contest, and I feel really, really lucky and honored that the band chose my submission.”

All in all, Zhen said that it was the best day of his life.

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