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Lights, Camera, Save…for a Car

Ask a teenager about an important goal to save for, and a lot of them will mention a car. The two winners in our Lights, Camera, Save! video contest both used this example to create great videos, and one is now a finalist in the national contest run by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.

Grand Prize

Cast and crew of the grand prize video (from left): Jude VanHanxleden, Zach Blank, Mitch Blank and Elijah VanHanxleden.

What’s the risk of not saving money? Zachary Blank and a few friends provided the answer in a video that won Susquehanna Bank’s Lights, Camera, Save! contest. In the competition, students age 13 to 18 submitted 90-second videos about the importance of saving money.

Zach’s video, “Saving Matters,” shows a boy considering buying a toy tractor, until he imagines what his future may hold if he doesn’t learn to save. The video uses humor to make a serious point: if you don’t start saving for the future now, there could be consequences…like not being able to afford a car.

Sixteen-year-old Zach made the video with his brother Mitch, as well as Elijah and Jude VanHanxleden. Zach and Mitch live in Lancaster, PA, and Elijah and Jude live in Manheim, PA. All are homeschooled students. Together, they formed Zebrafilm Studios, and they’ve been making videos regularly since the middle of 2011.

“We usually like to plan out some absurd storyline, shoot it together, and then relax and edit it afterwards. Once we’re done, we put it up on our website, Youtube, and Facebook,” Zach said. “We believe that videos can be funny, entertaining, and clever without being crude, inappropriate, or violent.”

Susquehanna Bank’s judges selected “Saving Matters” as the Grand Prize winner in its contest and forwarded it to the ABA Education Foundation. There, it was selected as one of 12 finalists out of submissions by 175 banks that are participating in the national video contest. National winners will be announced in March 2012, and we hope Zach will be one of them!

First Runner-Up

First Runner-Up Lamar Brubaker

At age 16, aspiring filmmaker Lamar Brubaker has launched his own company and gained experience filming music videos, as well as testimonials and highlight videos for his church. Now, he’s been honored as 1st runner-up in Susquehanna Bank’s Lights, Camera, Save! competition.

His video “Saving Is Worth It!” features a fellow student explaining tips about how small purchases can add up, and how money can be saved instead. It also illustrates how savings can be used for a goal such as a down payment for a car, which reduces the amount of money spent on a car loan over the long term.

Lamar’s interest in video and film production blossomed about a year ago. He said his original artistic inspiration came from his mother, Luann Brubaker, who passed away in October 2010. She was a painter, and he grew up with her works decorating the house. Lamar’s father Don, his family, and Elizabethtown, PA filmmaker Steve Strickler have encouraged his interest in film.

“Making this video was a great learning experience, and it taught me a lot about the importance of pre-production, scriptwriting, and timing,” Lamar said. A junior at Elizabethtown High School, he has created Innovative Motion Films. “I have learned how to work with real-world clients, including the business aspects of video production from advertisement through budgeting the video projects.”

The winning videos can both be seen on Susquehanna Bank’s YouTube channel at These videos can help to educate children and teens about financial issues so they can become better consumers, savers and investors.

The Lights, Camera, Save! video contest is one of several components of the ABA Education Foundation’s Teach Children to Save program, a national campaign that organizes banker volunteers to educate young people about the importance of developing a lifelong savings habit.

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Posted in Banking Basics, In the Community.

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