ENCINITAS — Gabriel Gaurano and Navin Bose have a message for all drivers inclined to pick up a phone call, send out a tweet or respond to a text when on the road:
“Glove Box it.”
This message has placed the 11th grade aspiring filmmakers at Canyon Crest Academy in the running for a $15,000 prize and a televised public service announcement as part of the Teen Drive 365 Video Challenge.
Gabriel and Navin’s video is one of 10 finalists up for the grand prize of the contest, which is organized by Toyota and Discovery Education.
“I was absolutely speechless when I found out we were finalists,” Gabriel said. “Everything felt too surreal, we were too lucky.”
Gabriel and Navin’s 30-second video features students driving behind the wheel while using their mobile devices, while also flashing information that details how distracted driving has become the No. 1 killer of teens in America.
Then, the video flashes the “Glove Box it” slogan, and shows the teen actors putting their mobile devices in the glove compartments of their respective vehicles.
Both teens said their video was inspired by older siblings who had been involved in car accidents due to distracted driving, and added that the message of the video was to get people to put their devices out of sight and out of mind.
“Even if you don’t have it in your hand, if it is in reaching distance, there is still the temptation to pick up a call or respond to a notification, because phones are so good at distracting you,” Navin said. “If you really need to respond, you have the ability to pull over and get your phone out of your glove box. But we felt that this really aids the philosophy of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’”
Gabriel said they learned about the Toyota contest from their after-school cinema teacher, who assigned it as a class project.
“We were really excited about the project because it allowed us to tell this story in a rather free and very un-tethered way,” Gabriel said.
The duo will learn next week whether they’ve won the grand prize of $15,000 and the PSA spot, or one of several other prizes, which range from $1,000 to $10,000.
If they do win the grand prize, Gabriel and Navin said they plan on putting some of the money aside for college — both list the University of Southern California’s renowned film school as their “dream school” — but will use a lot of the prize earnings to get some of their current film projects off the ground, including purchasing new cameras and a computer with the latest film editing software.
“It will really open up our ability to pursue what we want to pursue in film,” Gabriel said.