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Winner announced in San Francisco Travel video contest for “49 Seconds of San Francisco”

When the San Francisco Travel Association announced a contest asking, “How would you show what you love about San Francisco in 49 seconds of video?” the answers came in 19 short videos showing both the beloved and the lesser known aspects of the city.

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When the San Francisco Travel Association announced a contest asking, “How would you show what you love about San Francisco in 49 seconds of video?” the answers came in 19 short videos showing both the beloved and the lesser known aspects of the city. Through an extensive internal review process, San Francisco Travel staff evaluated all 19 videos, and whittled the list down to five.

The winning video, determined by 627 online voters, was created by Dan Bakst, an English major at University of South Florida in Tampa. His playful animated romp through the city, made with friend Dan Nguyen, features an original song and drawings of icons such as the cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid and the sea lions of PIER 39 mixed with live action shots of the two Dans.

When asked why he entered the contest, Bakst said, “I've been to San Francisco once as a kid, and I loved it. I'd love to experience the city again at an age where I can maybe enjoy more and different parts. Plus, I had just started learning how to do effects/animation, and really wanted to put it to use. After the song came together, I couldn't wait to get started. I really, really like the way it came out.”

Bakst will get his wish to return to San Francisco. As the grand prize winner, he will receive:

  • Roundtrip for two on Virgin America
  • Two nights at Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel
  • Prize pack to the San Francisco Symphony
  • $100 dining certificate to Sam’s Chowder
  • Two tickets to Beach Blanket Babylon
  • Two CityPASS booklets
  • Two tickets to RocketBoat
  • Two tickets to the Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Two tickets for drinks and happy hour buffet at the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel
  • $50 American Express® Gift Card

Each of the other four finalists will also receive prize packages.

Second place winners Jules and Effin Older of San Francisco said that winning a prize wasn’t their main motivation in entering their video, titled “Lion Hunting in San Francisco.”

“I entered because I’m a writer who’s increasingly obsessed with making videos, a lot of them about San Francisco. The wild diversity — foods, ethnicities, genders, vistas - makes it irresistible, Jules said. The Older’s video reflects this diversity — and their sense of humor — as they explore the many faces and forms of lions throughout the city.

The “49 Seconds of SF” contest is part of San Francisco Travel’s “49 Hours of SF: Arts & Culture” program.

“The average weekend is 48 hours, but in San Francisco, there’s no such thing as an average weekend.” said Matt Stiker, San Francisco Travel executive vice president/chief marketing officer. “It takes at least 49 hours — or an extra day — to explore new neighborhoods, experience new ideas in art and culture and indulge in some of the best food in America.”

The number 49 has long had special significance for San Francisco. The city’s population exploded with the Gold Rush of 1849. The city itself measures 49 square miles (or “49 square miles surrounded by reality,” as one luminary once said). Motorists can tour the city on the 49 Mile Scenic Drive. And don’t forget that famous football team with 49 in the name.

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