Can I upload my film instead of mailing it?
Yes! Doc Challenge is thrilled to be partnering with the upload service Panda Stream for digital submissions! Instructions for uploading are located on the team site which you will get access to once registered.
Can we shoot in HD? Can we shoot in widescreen?
You can shoot and submit in either SD or HD, 4:3 or 16:9. If you submit an HD Quicktime it must be compressed with the formats listed on the Filmmaking Rules Page. No HD tapes are allowed. You must include your format and aspect ratio in the slate and on the disc/tape.
Does the maximum length of the film include credits?
No. Your film may be 7 minutes long plus 1 minute of credits.
Are credits in the beginning permissible and do they count against the credit time limit?
Opening credits are allowed and do not count against the credit time limit. However, they do count against the seven minutes of film.
Do the opening slates (with team name, title, genre etc. and "This film was made for "2013 Doc Challenge") count against the film time limit or credit time limit?
No, the two required slates do not count against either your film running time or credit time.
Are we allowed to have footage under our closing credits?
Yes, however, the narrative must end before the closing credits begin. So outtakes or bonus scenes are allowed. But if we removed the credits, the movie should still feel complete.
We're limited to using three cameras. Does a still camera count? And what about having a back-up camera?
A still camera does not count against the three camera limit. And you may have a third camera on standby in the event that one of your cameras goes down. However, you may not have more than three cameras. DLSRs used for video count as part of the three camera limit.
Does every team member have to sign the Team Leader's Agreement?
No, only the team leader needs to sign it. However, everyone who works on the film must sign the Liability Waiver form. See the documents in the special Team Area for more details.
I was looking at the Wrap Up Form, and I'm still not sure what a logline is. Can you tell me more?
It's a very short, catchy summary of the story, usually not longer than one sentence. Some examples:
"Wu Tang Gran grew up with the party - the Communist Party - and has lived through some pretty tough times, but will this 70 year old and her crew be able to meet their greatest challenge yet - a break-dance battle against Beijing's finest hip-hop crew?"
"An antique clock enthusiast expounds on the problems of an increasingly rationalized society, and mourns the loss of human heart and touch involved in daily communication."
"An intimate look at one man's struggle with fear and anxiety, and the beautiful reasons that he has to resist them."
If we are working with someone out of state, can they fax or email us the release form?
Yes, have them send you the form and include it with your paperwork.
We want to use public domain or royalty-free music or photographs. What do we do about the Music Release Form or the Materials Release Form?
Have the person who has the rights to the music or materials sign the release form. In the case of royalty-free materials, this is the person who purchased them. In the case of public domain materials, this could be anyone on the team. Please also include documentation that shows your rights to the music or materials, such as a license, a purchase receipt, or a statement by the author. Note: You may only use materials if the license granted to you allows for all forms of distribution.
Can I animate my film?
Yes, just like the 48 Hour Film Project, you may animate your film, "...however—while you may use still drawings created before the Challenge—you may not use sequences of drawings created before the Challenge to create the illusion of motion. Using existing images and 3D objects is permissible, provided that you have full and permanent rights to them. Again, only animation created during the five day period is allowed. And, as with a live action film, you must have all rights to the animation you submit."
Do I need a Location Release to shoot on public property?
No, but you may need a permit. We do not require you to prove to us that you received a permit, but you may be stopped from shooting or even fined if you do not have one. Please check with your local film commissioner.
Can I get a copy of the release forms that I turned in with my completed film or of the completed film itself?
Yes, we can mail them to you. To request a copy, please send an email with the team name, the film name, the city, the year, and a check made out to KDHX (to cover our costs). The check should be for $25 if you want just the paperwork, $50 if you want just the film, or $75 if you want both the film and the paperwork. Contact Kat Touschner with your request at