Official Rules & Participation Agreement : How to Participate

Anyone can enter a team in Down To The Wire, as long as there is team representative (anyone from your registered team, if your specific Producer or Director is unavailable) who must attend the Producer’s Meeting & Director’s Meeting beforehand. Teams must also register and pay the flat fee. Teams must provide their own equipment, cast, and crew.  

Please read below the Official Rules of Down To The Wire as set forth herein are  made and entered into by and between the individual representing the participating filmmaking team (hereinafter, the individual and the participating team collectively referred to as the “Entrant”).

The receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged as received in full by all Entrants hereto, the parties hereto hereby further agree as follows:


The Entrant hereby agrees to take part in Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race, which will be conducted by Tallgrass Film Association and CreativeRush. These Official Rules apply to Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race; to each and every participating team of filmmakers, actors, crew members and all other players in and contributors to (collectively, “Contributor[s]”, “Contestant[s]”, “Entrant[s]”, or “Team Member[s]”) any film or other piece entered into this Contest (“Film”, “Entered Film”); and these Official Rules also apply to each and every such Contributor individually.


Any Contributor or Team that enters a film in this Race, shall be deemed to have carefully read, reviewed, and specifically agreed to all of the text of these Official Rules; and also to any prior, other, and further writings including without limitation future rules and postings relating to Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race which Tallgrass Film Association or CreativeRush may in the past, present, or future issue, distribute, post, or otherwise make available (collectively, “Communicate”) to prospective Race entrants by e-mail, by mail, by hand, by fax, via Internet posting, and/or otherwise in any other manner.


It is the responsibility of each individual Entrant to carefully review and compare these Official Rules as against any predecessor text, and make specific note of any changes and clarifications thereto. In the event of any discrepancy whatsoever between these Official Rules on the one hand, and any other communication on the other hand, then these Official Rules (as may be amended by Tallgrass Film Association or CreativeRush from time to time up to and including the date of the determination of the Winners) shall govern. No Entrant may claim to be relying upon the previously-posted text which is or may be argued to be contradictory to any provision included in these Official Rules, and any Entrant doing so may be disqualified from the Contest.


For the purposes of DTTW, Teams are considered only 1-15 (one to fifteen) people which are registered at the time of the Producer’s Meeting check in. Please see Registration Form (it must be filled out and signed by your team’s Producer). Your film may have a cast and crew of over 25 people, but DTTW only views the persons (1-15) registered as your “team.”

Registration can be found online and includes TFA/Student Discount. You can still apply registering before the Producer’s Meeting starts and bringing the non-refundable fee. If you register the day of, your team can still register as a Student Team, but there will be no discount available.

Each Entrant or Team must register and pay a non-refundable participation fee. “Day of / Walk-In” Registration starts one hour before the Producers MTG. All Producers must pay and check-in to receive a Team #.


Student teams are eligible for any award: Student Award, Judges Awards, & Audience Choice. For Down To The Wire (DTTW) purposes – there are no restrictions (age) for cast and crew who can join and form a team; however DTTW defines a “Student Team” as those Registered Team Members are made up at least 50% of current students.

The term “Student” refers to any male or female with a current valid student identification (in the case of elementary school age must have a guardian signature). Teams registering as “Student” must be prepared to prove age and/or college status upon registration.


In order for a Team to qualify as a potential “Winners” of Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race, each Team’s Entered Film must revolve around the assigned Required Elements as well as any Surprise Element(s). Failure to do so will subject the Team to disqualification.


It is of the essence of this Contest that all Entrants conduct themselves in a safe and legal manner, and any departure from this absolute and inviolate principle will result in disqualification of Entries and/or rescission of this entire Contest. You are conducting your activities under this Contest at your own risk – govern yourselves accordingly.


All production and creative work (collectively, “Production Work”) relating to any Entered Film, must take place ONLY during the (approximate) 24-hour period between the Theme Announcement and the Submission Deadline (hereafter, the “24-hour Window”).

Production Work includes, but is not limited to, writing and/or improvising the script or screenplay, shooting, editing, animation, special effects, sound, artwork, and titles and credits.

NO Production Work may commence prior to the Producer’s Meeting.


The ONLY work that may take place on any Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race Short Film PRIOR to the date and time of the event is: (A) the organizing of crew members; (B) the securing of equipment; (C) the scouting and securing of locations; (D) the preparation, execution and submission of any releases and documents to Down To The Wire.


DTTW reserves the right to: (A) determine whether any Production Work takes place or has taken place at any time other than within the required 24-hour Window; (B) require signed written certification and re-certification from any Team and Team Member with regards to compliance with the 24-hour Window; and (C) disqualify and reject any Entry which does not so comply, or has reason to believe does not so comply, in whole or in part at any time before, during, or after the film race.

Down To The Wire reserves the right to disqualify any Team, Contributor, Entrant, or Entered Film that does not comply with the Official Rules and any other Film Race requirements.


The finished Down To The Wire a 24 HR Film Race Short Film must be a MAXIMUM of six minutes (6:00) in duration (when played at its normal and viewer-discernible speed, as determined by DTTW in its sole discretion), from picture start to picture end.

Credits are considered part of 6:00 duration of the film mentioned above.

We require a 5 second (0:05) Title Card (Team # & Required Elements) plus a 5 second (0:05) of black at the beginning + 5 seconds black slate at the end for a total running time of six minutes, fifteen seconds (6:15) that will not be counted in your film.  

There is no minimum length for the films.  The determination of a particular Entered Film’s running time by DTTW is final and binding upon the submitting Team and upon all Entrants.


The content of an Entered Film shall be at the discretion of the participating Teams, DTTW expressly reserves the right not to screen and/or disqualify from the Contest any film that is deemed to be pornographic, or that otherwise depicts hardcore or graphic sexual or violent activity.

Furthermore, any Teams or Team Members foolish enough to depict individuals engaging in activities on camera which, when performed on camera, are also illegal in real-life (e.g., vandalism, robbery, drug use, assault) will be solely responsible for answering to law enforcement authorities for same and do so at their own sole risk. DTTW, Tallgrass Film Association, or CreativeRush is not liable for any injury or damage. Please be mindful when filming so that no one is hurt or arrested while making any Entered Film.


The standard and criteria (“Judging Criteria”) used by each of the Judges shall be instructed as follows:

• Story (Writing, Originality, Character, and Plot Development);

• How The Story Is Told (Directing, Editing, and Cinematography);

• Required Elements

• Production Value (Effects, Technical Ability including sound, lighting, and music design); and Acting.


Each of the Judges will share their respective rulings with DTTW in writing of the top ten (10) films, as well as the ‘Best Film’, runner-up films, and any other awards as specified by DTTW for their respective competition. The unanimity of the Judge’s decision is not required, only a simple majority. The decision of the Judges as informed to DTTW shall be final, conclusive, and binding.

All teams who turn in their films within the 24 Hour timeframe will be considered for 1st Round of Judging and will be screened. DTTW has its own anonymous panel of judges which will determine the Top 10 by anonymous critique cards based on a rubric grading system which will be given back to each team whether or not the team makes it into the Top 10. Films with the highest ten scores will be considered as the Top 10 films and will advance to the 2nd Round of VIP Judging.

All films that advance to the 2nd Round of Judging as described in the paragraph above will be judged by a new panel of VIP Judges.  DTTW reserves the right to use some of the same Judges from the 1st Round of Judging in the 2nd Round of Judging.  The 2nd Round Judges will live critique the top ten (10) films after each is screened. After all ten (10) films have shown, 2nd Round Judges will pick “Best Film” and runner-up films + any additional awards will be awarded at the Top 10 Showcase.


DTTW is not and shall not be responsible for: (A) any lost, late, misdirected, mutilated, damaged, illegible, unintelligible, or otherwise ineligible entries; (B) any electronic mistakes or other mishaps including without limitation transmission errors which may result in omission of, interruption of, deletion of, defect in, delay in delivery of, theft or destruction of, unauthorized access to, or alterations of, any Entries or other materials furnished to DTTW in connection with this Race, or any materials otherwise distributed to or intended to be distributed to or by Entrants and/or Teams in connection with this Contest; or (C) any network, telephone, electronic, computer, hardware or software, or other technical or machine-related malfunctions or limitations of any kind; or (D) any inaccurate transmissions of or failure to timely receive Entries by any Entrant or Team on account of any technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website; or (E) any combination of the foregoing in whole or in part. If for any reason the Internet or e-mail communications relating to the Contest are not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, “bugs”, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure, or any other causes beyond the control of DTTW, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, DTTW reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any Entrant and/or Team that tampers with this Contest, its Official Rules, and/or its and their procedures; and DTTW may terminate, modify or suspend the Contest as a result.


Entrant hereby acknowledges that participation in Down To The Wire a 24 Hour Film Race is without remuneration or compensation of any sort. The sole exception to this rule shall be any awards or prizes that are announced on the night of the Top 10 Screening. Any awards / prizes will be given to the Team Representative Producer. It is his/her duty to distribute the prizes accordingly.

Prizes that are unclaimed or lost cannot be reimbursed.