THE RULES

1. ALL content MUST be original and created within the 24 Hour Time Period

2. ALL films must contain all required elements including any surprise elements

3. ALL films must be six minutes (06:00) or under from the start of the film to the end of the credits. (Excludes Title Card)

4. ALL finished films must be submitted with all signed (talent/actor, music, & location releases) by the 24 HR deadline

5. Films must not contain anything pornographic, excessively vulgar, or violent for the sake of violence

6. Teams MUST send ONE Producer & ONE Director to each of the REQUIRED Meetings. (the P/D can be the same person, but must attend both meetings).

*If you or someone from your team breaks one or more rules mentioned above, your team is subject to disqualification.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

**Please note: These FAQs may be outdated for our current film race. Please bring your questions with you to the Producers & Directors Meetings.

SOUNDTRACK / MUSIC / FOLEY (SFX)

CAN I CREATE MY OWN MUSIC?

Yes. Any music in the film, including lyrics, melodies, scores, or arrangements must be original and created within the 24 hour time frame. You must sign a Music Release Form even though someone from your team may have produced it.

CAN I USE ORIGINAL (ie friend's band) RECORDED MUSIC?

Yes, but you must get written consent from the band. Check the Music Release Form. Otherwise, music must be written and produced within the 24-hour time frame.

CAN I USE SOUNDTRACK, GARAGEBAND, OR OTHER COMPUTER BASED MUSIC PROGRAMS TO PRODUCE MUSIC?

Yes. Computer-based music programs are tools. Therefore, they may be used as such to create original content.

6 of the BIGGEST Myths about Copyright, Music, and Video

  1. Nobody has contacted me, so I must not be violating their copyright.

The fact of the matter is the internet is a huge place. Copyright can be difficult to detect depending on the power behind it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being violated. The longer you benefit from somebody else’s copyright, the harsher the penalty may be when you are discovered.

  1. My work is just a fan video, so I’m covered.

Maybe. This one is a little complicated. The type of use is very important, but not the only way to determine if copyright has been violated. This type of use would fall under fair use and the four points we mentioned earlier should be considered.

The only time you have a nearly full-proof chance to monetize these works is if it’s a parody. Comedy, and specifically criticism, is heavily protected by US laws.

  1. I didn’t enable ads on/monetize my video, so it’s automatically fair use.

That’s not going to work. The original copyright holder may still be able to force a takedown of your material, even when it is used completely within that law. There are a lot more factors at play in fair use than whether or not something is monetized. Not monetizing a work is a great first step to covering your behind, but it’s not the only thing to worry about. The nice thing is that you’ll generally be safe from a major lawsuit when using something properly within fair use guidelines.

  1. I didn’t see a copyright notice, so it must not have one.

Think again. In the US and most other major countries, everything created is copyrighted and protected immediately, with no action required by the creator. A notice may increase the strength of that copyright and the damages received in the case of a violation, but it is absolutely not required.

  1. I found it on the public internet, so it must be in the public domain.

Not at all. As a matter of fact chances are more likely it is copyrighted material. Postings to the internet are not automatically in the public domain and do not grant any permissions for use just by being there.

  1. I wrote a little disclaimer in my description box crediting the artist and claiming I had no intention to violate copyright laws so I’m safe.

Nope. Somewhere, someone started the idea that this would absolve you of your copyright sins, but the fact of the matter is, if you are violating copyright laws, saying you didn’t intend to violate them doesn’t absolve you and you may still be punished to the full extent of the law. When it doubt, leave it out!

Source: Using Copyrighted Music in Videos: When is it Legal? http://www.reelseo.com/copyrighted-music-in-video/#ixzz469k1MFY1

CAN I USE STOCK OR ROYALTY-FREE MUSIC?

NO. All music must be original or have a signed music release by the composer/band leader. The easiest way to avoid copyright violations is to create 100% original content.

  1. Nobody has contacted me, so I must not be violating their copyright.

The fact of the matter is the internet is a huge place. Copyright can be difficult to detect depending on the power behind it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being violated. The longer you benefit from somebody else’s copyright, the harsher the penalty may be when you are discovered.

  1. My work is just a fan video, so I’m covered.

Maybe. This one is a little complicated. The type of use is very important, but not the only way to determine if copyright has been violated. This type of use would fall under fair use and the four points we mentioned earlier should be considered.

The only time you have a nearly full-proof chance to monetize these works is if it’s a parody. Comedy, and specifically criticism, is heavily protected by US laws.

  1. I didn’t enable ads on/monetize my video, so it’s automatically fair use.

That’s not going to work. The original copyright holder may still be able to force a takedown of your material, even when it is used completely within that law. There are a lot more factors at play in fair use than whether or not something is monetized. Not monetizing a work is a great first step to covering your behind, but it’s not the only thing to worry about. The nice thing is that you’ll generally be safe from a major lawsuit when using something properly within fair use guidelines.

  1. I didn’t see a copyright notice, so it must not have one.

Think again. In the US and most other major countries, everything created is copyrighted and protected immediately, with no action required by the creator. A notice may increase the strength of that copyright and the damages received in the case of a violation, but it is absolutely not required.

  1. I found it on the public internet, so it must be in the public domain.

Not at all. As a matter of fact chances are more likely it is copyrighted material. Postings to the internet are not automatically in the public domain and do not grant any permissions for use just by being there.

  1. I wrote a little disclaimer in my description box crediting the artist and claiming I had no intention to violate copyright laws so I’m safe.

Nope. Somewhere, someone started the idea that this would absolve you of your copyright sins, but the fact of the matter is, if you are violating copyright laws, saying you didn’t intend to violate them doesn’t absolve you and you may still be punished to the full extent of the law. When it doubt, leave it out!

Source: Using Copyrighted Music in Videos: When is it Legal? http://www.reelseo.com/copyrighted-music-in-video/#ixzz469k1MFY1
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WHAT ABOUT PRE-RECORDED SOUND EFFECTS?

Again, to avoid copyright laws, we ask that everything you produce from music to foley (sound effects) are 100% original.

EXISTING CONTENT VS ORIGINAL CONTENT

MAY I USE OR ADAPT AN ORIGINAL SCRIPT THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN?

No. All scripts, dialogue, scenes, story lines, characters, ideas, or anything else that would be included in a screenplay must be original and created within the 24 Hour timeframe.

CAN I USE PRE-EXISTING ORIGINAL MATERIAL W/ PERMISSION?

NO!

This includes movie quotes, books, material based on characters, speeches, or printed material. All dialogue, story, and/or titles must be original and created within the 24 Hour time frame.

CAN I SECURE LOCATIONS BEFORE THE 24 HR TIMELINE?

Yes. We understand finding and securing locations with the owner’s signatures can take time. Download the PDF of the LOCATION RELEASE FORM.

CAN I USE EXISTING PHOTOGRAPHS, PROPS OR ARTWORK IN MY FILM?

Existing photographs, artwork, or any prop may be used for set-design only.

Existing photographs, artwork, or props may NOT be used as part of storyline or character development (with the exception of required prop). Any photograph, artwork or video used in the storyline must be original and created within the 24 Hour timeframe.

EQUIPMENT / FILM SUBMISSION / JUDGING

DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO FILL OUT A MODEL RELEASE FORM?

YES. Anyone who is recognizable in your film or has a speaking part – This includes someone from your team. Otherwise, the person must be blurred out.

WHAT VIDEO EQUIPMENT SHOULD I USE?

Use anything to your heart’s content. Any great filmmaker knows that it’s the story that counts not the gearhead game of equipment usage. -BUT- You and your team are responsible for all equipment used from lighting, camera to editing software during the film race.

MY TIME SAID I SUBMITTED BEFORE 7P - I THINK YOUR TIME IS WRONG.

We don’t know what you do to your clocks at home, but we are using the World Clock. This will be up on a big screen TV at our secret headquarters like we’re secret agents. Um… Yeahno. It will probably be on the screen of MacBook…

HOW & WHAT WILL MY FILM BE JUDGED ON?

The preliminary judging will be done by the Down To The Wire advisory board who looks for the following: The use of the Required Elements in your storyline, adherence to the rules, story, picture, acting, editing and sound.  The DTTW Board will select the top 10 films for the screening.  At the festival screening, the judges will preview the films, and rank them to award prizes.  They will be judging on; story, picture, acting, editing. sound, and how the required elements are creatively woven into the story.

Adherence to the rules
The use of the Required Elements in your storyline
Originality
Storytelling
Cinematography
Acting
Editing / Sequencing
Sound Design

Judging is based on a rubric scoring system.  The VIP Judges will preview the films, and rank them to award prizes at the Top 10 Showcase.

TEAM DETAILS

I AM THE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR FOR MY FILM, DO I HAVE TO BE AT BOTH MEETINGS?

Yes, you are required to be at both.

The Producers Meeting is when team registration closes and we go over all the red tape documents. The Directors Meeting is when you find out the surprise elements and other details for your film.

AM I QUALIFIED TO WIN THE STUDENT FILM AWARD?

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 a team – whose crew is made up 50% of students. The team must have a current valid student identification. (Producers – Please bring a copy of IDs to confirm)

The crew on teams registering as “Student Team” must be prepared to prove age and/or college status upon registering and submitting film projects.

**Emerging Student Award is for student teams containing half or more of elementary, middle, high school students only.

CAN I PARTICIPATE ON MORE THAN ONE TEAM DURING THE FESTIVAL?

No.  Each person participating in the festival can only work with one team.  Teams may not assist, aid, help or contribute in any way to another team’s film.

CAN MY TEAM ENTER MORE THAN ONE FILM?

Yes. If you pay an entry fee for each film your team enters and abides by all the terms and rules. This is a ridiculous task, we wouldn’t recommend it…maybe next year.

WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF MY FILM MADE THE TOP 10?

At the Top 10 Showcase on Sunday night at The Orpheum Theatre.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE DISQUALIFIED?

Your film can be disqualified at any point during or after the competition.

Disqualification can happen to a team’s film for not following the rules of the competition. Examples of disqualification if misuse of any existing works, scripts, footage, music, lyrics, media, photography, ideas. Your film must be 100% original content and must be created within the 24 hr film race timeframe.
If your film is excessive in violence or mature themes, or if your film breaks any of the rules on the registration sheet.

CAN DISQUALIFICATION HAPPEN AFTER JUDGING?

Yes. If the judges and/or the DTTW Board within one week of the festival screening discover that the film fits the criteria for disqualification, the producer will immediately be notified and the film removed from the competition. If an award has been given, the award will be returned and the film will be stripped of any titles awarded.