A winning warning

Three Seniors win $2,000 for PSA video entered in TxDOT competition

Assad Malik and Logan Diggs

Story by Doug Kyles, news editor

“Is a life worth your attention?” three Texas High seniors asked one afternoon while bouncing ideas off each other for a PSA video. Their videography teacher, Clint Smith, had forwarded them an email detailing everything about the Texas Department of Transportation sponsored competition that focused on combating teen driving safety, but what most caught their eye was the thousands in prize money to be had. 

But how, the boys asked, would they set themselves apart from the countless other highschools in the region that were sure to enter the contest? The inspiration of senior videographer and student media icon Assad Malik would prove to be exactly what they needed. 

“I had a lucid dream during Mrs. Bakers A3 Biology class one day, and I saw this one image,” Malik said. “It was of this little boy playing basketball, and this man drunk driving. I decided I had to put it on the screen.”

Seniors Logan Diggs, Assad Malik and Guy Johnson pose with principal Carla Dupree after winning the TxDOT Project Celebration Public Service Announcement video contest. Funds awarded to Texas High School from the contest help to fund the safe alternative after prom part Project Celebration. (Photo by Peyton Sims)

What gave the team it’s creative edge was certainly unconventional, but for Malik, not uncommon. 

“I’ve dreamt up just about everything I do,” Malik said. “Our team portfolio for an ATPI Competition started from a dream I had about a girl having anorexia. We went on to win first place.”

Malik has been a videographer for three years and part of the award winning digital media program.

“The video was a sequence of shots between a girl playing basketball and myself [acting] drunk driving my 2017 Camaro SS,” senior Videographer Logan Diggs said. “The final shot is a silhouette of the girl in Logan’s headlights, implying she will be hit.”

The powerful imagery was intended to move the audience to feel passionate about this issue and hopefully prevent scenarios like the one in the video. 

“We’re really trying to ask: is the life of others worth you drinking and driving? Is it worth you paying that risk?” Malik said. “Doug Kyles thought of the slogan we ended up using.”

The trio (Malik, Diggs, along with fellow senior Guy Johnson) placed first, beating out 12 other schools across a nine county district. They were presented with a super sized check for $2,000, which will go to the school’s 2021 Project Celebration.