GRAND PRIZE

JESSE EISENHARDT AND ERIC L. WONG

The $20,000 Grand Prize winner is the filmmaking team of Jesse Eisenhardt and Eric L. Wong, both of San Francisco, Calif., whose video of a baby stealing and abusing his father’s glasses impressed the judges with its implied message that Zenni Optical glasses are inexpensive enough that you can afford to lose a pair. Also, you can’t go wrong with a cute baby. Extra points for the drool.

 

“The baby is my son, Alex, who is 1 year old,” said Eisenhardt. “He constantly wants to grab my sunglasses off my face, and it terrifies me every time that he is going to break them. So we figured, let's make a spot that plays off that fear.” Wong, who played the father in the video, said, “When you give a kid a pair of glasses and let him play around, things get hilarious real fast.”

 

“Jesse and Eric really nailed what we were looking for,” said Zenni Optical Marketing Manager David Varnai. “We were completely won over by the edgy humor that conveyed how you can afford to lose a pair of Zennis to a kitchen appliance, since Zenni’s eyewear is so inexpensive. And we all loved that mischievous baby.”

Grand Prize Winner

Eisenhardt said he’s going to use his share of the winnings to buy a new camera, “and a pair of Zenni glasses for my wife.”

 

Wong said that with his portion of the $20,000 grand prize, he plans “to buy every single pair of glasses Zenni makes!”

FIRST PLACE

First Place Winner

I almost didn't do it! I had a bunch of freelance projects leading up to the holidays, and was feeling burned out. Believe it or not, I finished and submitted it literally minutes before the deadline.

STEVE FLAVIN

Steve Flavin, also of San Francisco, nabbed the $10,000 First Prize with a video that showed how easy and fun it is to use the Zenni Optical website, which greatly impressed our blue-ribbon panel. When told he was one of the winners, Flavin, who confirmed that he owns five pairs of Zennis and is currently "rocking full-rim" said, "I almost didn't do it! I had a bunch of freelance projects leading up to the holidays, and was feeling burned out. Believe it or not, I finished and submitted it literally minutes before the deadline." When we asked how he will spend his winnings, he said, "I sure wouldn't put it past me to order a bunch of new glasses. I'm officially hooked."

SECOND PLACE

The two Second Place winners, of $5,000 each, are Michael Binko of Coral Gables, Fla., and Michael Darling of Valley Village, Calif.

Second Place Winner

MICHAEL BINKO Binko’s rap video was utterly compelling to the blue ribbon panel, some of whom loved its outstanding production values and stickiness so much they couldn’t stop playing it and singing and dancing along, to the annoyance of the rest of the panel. (C’mon, guys – no more fights!) Binko, who produced, directed, and edited the film, said his rapper / actor friend Devon Ferguson wrote the music and lyrics and performed the song with his actress girlfriend, Lisa Chandler. Binko said, “I just wanted everyone to have fun and really show off how saving money is such a BLAST!”

Second Place Winner

MICHAEL DARLING Darling wrote and directed a video in which his longtime friend Jay Preston played a kind of latter-day Mr. Magoo whose myopia gets him in a lot of slapstick trouble. Darling said the inspiration for his video was because his "natural vision is bad enough that I would never consider leaving the house without my glasses, but it was fun coming up with what could happen if I tried." With his winnings he's going to invest in a new camera, and "I'll probably be getting some new specs as well."

THIRD PLACE

The five Third Place winners, of $1,000 each, are Kimberley Basnight of Durham, N.C., Robb Preis of Ellicott City, Md., Andie Bottrell of Springfield, Mo., Jim Truong of City of Industry, Calif., and Andrew Campbell of North Charleston, S.C.

Third Place Winner

KIMBERLEY BASNIGHT Kimberley Basnight of Durham, N.C., created an elegant, sexy video starring local model Jena Frumes that was inspired by Zenni's affordable variety of styles. "Zenni provided a pair of glasses for literally every look," she said. "We wish we had a hilarious blooper reel to show you, but everything went swimmingly. We had techno music playing during the shoot and our actress couldn't help but dance the entire time."

Third Place Winner

ROBB PREIS Robb Preis of Ellicott City, Md., and Mark Wieland of Catonsville, Md., co-wrote and directed a video that made the panel laugh watching Mark constructing his own pair of not-ready-for-prime-time – or anytime – glasses. Mark was chosen to be the performer because, they said, “We wanted to use a relative unknown, as we felt that an A-list actor would detract from the subtleties of the story.”

Third Place Winner

ANDIE BOTTRELL Andie Bottrell of Springfield, Mo., tickled the judges with a zany video she wrote, directed, and starred in, which shows her blurry-vision point of view – until she finds a pair of round tortoiseshell Zenni glasses attached to a tree. Now with clear, crisp, corrected vision, Bottrell frolics in the snow. At the end of the day, she even puts on her glasses to go to sleep, which she confirmed she actually does. “All the better to see my dreams with,” she said.

Third Place Winner

JIM TRUONG Jim Truong of City of Industry, Calif., created an animated video that wittily and imaginatively showed how different styles of Zenni glasses are indispensable components of various put-together looks. He said he wears glasses because “I like to fall asleep at odd hours and not worry about taking off my contacts. I hate poking my eyeball.”

Third Place Winner

ANDREW CAMPBELL Andrew Campbell of North Charleston, S.C., made an animated video showing the process from ordering to receiving Zenni glasses in a warm, inviting, and entertaining 28 seconds. "From start to finish, this video took about 25 hours spread over the course of about a week. I had to motivate myself to make it the best it could possibly be, regardless of how long it took," Campbell said.

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