2020 Video Challenge 4-1-1

We know it’s a lot to review, but please read all the rules and guidelines. It will help you meet deadlines and avoid frustration in formatting and submitting your creation.  There’s also information to keep you on the right side of music and content copyright laws – this is a Youth Court program, after all!

The 2020 Youth Court Video Challenge theme is Staying Safe as Teen.  Use your video to show ways that you and your friends can be safe on campus and out in the world.  Keep it PG and suitable for all audiences. That means no profanity or inappropriate content.  Follow the guidelines below and the information in all the sections and your video will be a masterpiece!

60 Second Videos

Videos can be up to one minute long. Watch the clock! The judges will stop watching after 60 seconds.


  1. This is a student challenge; only original videos produced by students are eligible.
  2. To participate, you must attend one of the following Fresno County Fresno County high schools that have Youth Courts (YC) programs: Buchanan, Bullard, Central High, Clovis, Clovis East, Clovis North, Clovis West, Duncan, Edison, Fresno, Hoover, McLane,  Roosevelt, Sanger OR Sunnyside
  3. Each video team must have at least one YC juror.
  4. The Team Registration form requires names, email addresses and T-shirt sizes for all team members and their adult adviser.
  5. You can be on more than one team as long as you are registered for each team. If you are registered on multiple winning teams, you will get prizes for each winning video. For example, if you work on two videos and they win 1st and 3rd place, you will get a $100 prize and a $50 prize.
  6. Students from different YC schools can form a team. But the campus of the adult adviser and team leader will get the school cash prize if their video places 1st.
  7. There is no limit to the number of video submissions from each school.
  8. Video entries must be the original work of the students listed on the registration form.
  9. The video submission deadline is 4:30 p.m. on March 11, 2020.
  10. You must provide a signed image release form for each person that worked on and/or acted in your video.
  11. You can shoot your video as part of a school or after-school activity. But remember that you have to submit an image release for every person who can be clearly seen or heard.


Please register your team by 3/2/20 to help us plan for the swag – OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Registering your team does not obligate you to submit a video.  You may register up to five team members. Only the team members on the entry form will be eligible to receive prizes.

Click here for the Team Registration Form. The form asks for:

  • Names, email addresses and T-shirt sizes for all team members.
  • Identify a team leader in case we need to communicate with your group.
  • The name of the YC juror on your team. You must have at least one juror on your team.
  • The name of your video adviser.
  • T-shirt sizes for the team members, video adviser, and video actors.

If you have any changes to your team after you register, just let us know. 

What the judges want to see:

  • Issues that apply to teens
  • Positive, realistic, and specific ways to stay safe, include resources!
  • Creativity in getting your point across
  • Clear picture and sound
  • Spellchecked words and titles

What the judges don’t want:

  • On-screen portrayals of suicide, drug use, violence or illegal activities
  • Profanity
  • Hopeless or negative messages

Image releases

Why do we need image releases for everyone on your team and that acted in your video? Because we will post videos on the Youth Court Video Challenge channel on YouTube and show winning videos at court and community events.

If we don’t receive a signed image release form for everyone associated with your video by 4:30 p.m. on March 11, 2020, the judges may not review your video. Students who will be younger than 18 when their videos are submitted must have parents/guardians sign their image releases; students who will be 18 or older may sign for themselves.  Click here for the Image Release form.


All good movies have technical advisers.  So get one for your video. This can be a teacher, school counselor, or even the YC judge at your school. Check in with your adviser on your video concept and on content as you develop your video (before it’s finished).  That will help your team stay on the right track.  We’ll reward your video adviser with swag — a 2020 Video Challenge T-shirt.


Performers, graphic designers, and other artists work hard on their creations and protect them through copyrights. That means that you can’t use their work without written permission or you are breaking the law. Your video must meet all copyright standards and you must get artist approval in advance to use protected music and materials. This includes copyrighted images,  and audiovisual materials. It also extends to music purchased from iTunes, downloaded from services or on CD. Be careful about showing logos, slogans, or even some stores or companies without written permission.  When obtaining copyright permission, you have to get approval for submitting your video in the challenge as well as showing it online and at events. Teams that use copyrighted materials in their videos must submit written approvals from artists when they submit their videos or they will be disqualified

We suggest that you avoid the time and effort of getting copyright approval.  Search online for free music that is not copyright protected.  Usually, you can download it for free to use in noncommercial videos.  Dress your actors in clothing without branding. Turn or cover up copyrighted logos and slogans. Frame your shots so that recognizable corporate locations are not visible.


Teens stay safe every day using many different strategies. Thinking about the risks that teens face can be an emotional process. There are many resources that exist to help teens stay safe. Films submitted this year must include resources or actions that teens can take to help keep themselves and others safe.

Languages other than English in your video are totally welcome. Just use captions to provide English translation.  After all, you want the judges and audience to understand your video.

Keep Each Other Safe!

It goes without saying that in a video challenge about safety, the first ones we want to protect are the student videographers.  Please avoid potentially dangerous production situations that could put your team, video actors or the public at risk. This is a fun project but we have to communicate two serious messages.

  • The Fresno Superior Court and other organizations that work on Youth Court take no responsibility and assume no liability for any acts or damages that may result from preparing the materials to submit to this challenge.
  • Please be sensitive for the messages in your video could impact those involved in the project. If at any time you or someone working on the project experiences distress or an emotional crisis, let your video adviser or another adult know immediately and find other help. The national Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free 24-hour hotline.


Not to be a real buzz kill, but we also have to review the things that will get your video disqualified:

  • Providing false/inaccurate information.
  • Not meeting the video submission deadline.
  • Not submitting image release forms for all your team members and actors in your video.
  • Using copyrighted materials without obtaining and submitting signed release forms.
  • Violating any of the contest rules.
  • Inappropriate content including profanity or on-screen illegal activities.

The Video Challenge administrators and judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that they believe to break the challenge rules, are not determined appropriate for all audiences, harm a third party or violate applicable U.S., state or local law.


After you register, the team leader will receive a link in their email for a file transfer request.  Use this link to add your video file to the Video Challenge drop box folder. If you do not receive a link, please contact us at videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov as soon as possible.

Troubleshooting tips

  • If you have uploading problems try a different browser. For example, if you are using Google Chrome, try Internet Explorer.
  • Try uploading the video from a different computer. Instead of your school’s computer, try your home computer.
  • Email videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov right away and we can try to help you. We have never disqualified a video due to a technical problems if the team tried to upload on time.


All videos will be judged by representatives from organizations that work on Youth Court. These include Central, Clovis, Fresno, and Sanger Unified School Districts; Fresno County District Attorney’s Office; Probation Department; Public Defender’s Office; and Fresno County Superior Court.  The judges will score videos in a number of categories including creativity, effectiveness in getting the message across, and quality. Their scores will be added and the top scoring videos will be designated as finalists. The finalists will be announced on this website and on the Youth Court Video Challenge channel on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvpt8oAu52RUgcd58pk0GVg. The top teams will be invited to attend the free Youth Court Recognition Ceremony on May 2nd at B. F. Sisk Courthouse, 1130 O Street in Fresno. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place videos will be announced at the ceremony and we’ll award the team and school prizes.


  • 1st place team: $100 to each member of the video team.
  • 2nd place team: $75 to each member of the video team.
  • 3rd place team: $50 to each member of the video team.
  • School of the 1st place team: $500 in cash.
  • Finalists: Gift Cards
  • All members of teams that submit videos, their actors, and video advisers: 2020 Video Challenge T-shirt.
  • Participants in the Youth Court Recognition Ceremony: Drawings for prizes.


Register your team by Wednesday, March 2nd, 2020 – OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Submit image release forms and finished videos by 4:30 pm, March 11, 2020

Check out these other video competitions: