Q. Can I participate if I don't live in the United States?
A. Yes, filmmakers may participate from anywhere in the world. Keep in mind that the competition begins at 10PM EDT in the Eastern Time Zone on Friday, June 24th. If you live in Los Angeles, CA or Vancouver, Canada for example, you will receive the theme assignment at 7PM local time on Friday, June 24th. If you live in London, UK, you will receive the theme assignment at 3AM local time on Saturday, June 25th. Make sure to check what time zone you are located in and how many hours off from the Eastern Time Zone to see when you will receive the theme assignment!
Q. I would like to participate but I don't have a team. How can I join a team?
A. Teams are always looking to fill cast and crew positions. Post your information on the various options listed under 'How to Join a Team or Fill a Position' on the registration page.
Q. Do I have to finalize my list of team members (cast/crew) when I register or can I submit that later?
A. You will not need to submit a full list of cast and crew until 9:59PM EDT on Saturday, June 25th after the completion of your film. In other words, you may register without having a finalized list of cast and crew.
Q. How do we receive the Theme, Action, and Prop Assignment?
A. All teams that register for the competition will receive an e-mail at 10PM EDT on Friday, June 24th with the assigned Theme, Action, and Prop Assignment. In addition, the assignments will be posted here on filmracing.com.
Q. Does everyone receive a Theme, Action, and Prop?
A. Every team will be assigned a theme, action, and prop which must be included in the film. The theme will be the same for every team in the competition, but teams may receive different actions and props. Examples of previous themes have been Time Travel, Identity Theft, and Spare Change. The actions ranged from looking through a peephole to sealing an envelope. The props have included a deck of cards, noodles, and a can opener.
Q. How closely do we have to follow the Theme assignment in our film?
A. The plot of your film must revolve around the Theme. It's ok to get creative with the theme, but it still needs to be central to the plot of your film in order to be eligible.
Q. How do we incorporate the Action and Prop?
A. The Surprise Elements include a Prop (ex. A toothbrush, chopsticks, a balloon, etc...) and an Action (ex. A slap, a kiss, tying a knot, etc...) that must be incorporated into your film. The Surprise Elements must be included in your film, but do not have to be central to the plot of your film.
Q. What is the maximum length of the films?
A. The maximum length of the films is four minutes and thirty seconds (4:30) in duration, from picture start to picture end. The maximum length of credits is thirty seconds (0:30). Credits are not considered part of 4:30 duration of the film mentioned above. So, a film can be four minutes and thirty seconds long (4:30) with an additional thirty seconds (0:30) of credits, for a total running time of five minutes (5:00). There is no minimum length.
Q. Do the films have to be in English? What about subtitles?
A. No, but we highly recommend including subtitles since English speaking judges will be viewing the films. We allow teams to submit separate caption or transcript files for their film up to 72 hours after the submission deadline. Filmmakers will not be allowed to resubmit their films with subtitles after the deadline, ONLY caption or transcript files.
Q. How do we create caption or transcript files for subtitles in our film?
A. There are several very helpful links regarding creating your English subtitles as a caption or transcript file. Click here for helpful information on how to create the files yourself or with software.
Q. What aspect ratio is required for the films?
A. The films should be 16:9 aspect ratio. You may shoot in other aspect ratios, but we highly recommend letterboxing / pillarboxing the film to 16:9 so your film won't appear distorted at screenings or online.
Q. What are the submission requirements for our uploaded film?
A. We use the same requirements as YouTube. Click here to see the specifications for your finished film.
Q. Can we use stock footage in the films?
A. You may use stock footage in your film, as long as you have the rights to the stock footage and it is composited in the footage that was shot during the 24 Hour Film Race "Creative Window" from 10PM EDT on Friday, June 24th to 10PM EDT on Saturday, June 25th. For example, you may use stock footage of an explosion or flames composited in the footage you shot during the 24 hour creative window, but you may NOT use a 3 second clip showing an explosion that contains no footage that you shot during the competition (even if you own the rights).
Q. What are the rules about animation?
A. Previously created artwork, characters, objects, sets, etc.. can be used in the film as long as you have the rights. But, animating those images or characters must be done during the 24 Hour Creative Window. For example, you may use a previously created 3D Model of a Cat and animate it during the 24 Hour Creative Window to show it running. But, you may NOT use a previously animated clip of the 3D Model Cat running in your film (unless it is composited with footage that was shot during the competition).
Q. What music can we use in the films?
A. Any music used in the film must have express written consent in the form of a music release from the owner / composer of the music. If you have someone composing an original soundtrack for the film, you need their release. If you have song from a friend’s band, you need their release. If you have a song from a royalty free program or website, you need to provide paperwork that shows that it is royalty free. Music releases can be downloaded here.
Q. Do I need to provide talent releases for extras? What about people walking by in the background?
A. You will need to provide talent releases for any person in your film that is recognizable or has a speaking role. Regarding background shots in public places with many people, use your best judgment but it is usually not required to get a talent release if the person is not recognizable. Sample talent releases can be downloaded here.
Q. Can we use still images in our films that were taken before the competition?
A. Yes, but you must have the rights to the images you are using. If you are using an old picture, you will need a talent release for any of the people depicted in the picture.
Q. Do I need to provide a location release if I am shooting in my own apartment?
A. We require location releases from the owner for all of your interior shots. If you own the location, then you should sign the location release. If your landlord owns the building, then he should sign the release. If you are shooting inside a recognizable location, such as a McDonalds or a restaurant, you will also need the release from the owner. Sample location releases can be downloaded here.
Q. Do I need to provide releases for exterior locations (i.e. city streets, public parks, etc.)?
A. We don’t require paperwork for exterior locations, but we strongly recommend you research what is legal and illegal by going to your city's governing film office. For example, you will definitely need a permit if you want to shoot in the middle of a busy street at 3PM. If you want to shoot handheld footage in a public park, you will probably not need a permit. Make sure to research everything through your city's film office.
Q. What happens if I submit my film a few minutes past the deadline? How late can I submit my film?
A. The official submission time for the films will be when you start uploading, not when you finish uploading. So, as long as the film begins the upload process before the submission deadline, you will still be considered on time. If a film begins uploading after the deadline, it will be considered "late". Whether it's 2 minutes or 20 minutes after the deadline, it will still be considered late. Confirmation e-mails will be sent within 72 hours after the submission deadline regarding your film status.
Q. Can we submit revised films after the deadline? What if it's only minor color and sound corrections?
A. All films submitted after the deadline, even if it's only making minor changes to sound or in the credits, will be considered "Late".