The 72-hour Cell Phone Film Contest
Teams of 3-5 members will have 72 hours from the beginning of the competition to create a short film. The film must be written, shot, and edited in that time frame. The films will be screened at the Strand Theater on Thursday, November 2 at 7pm, the second night of the Lake Champlain International Film Festival. The winning film(s) will be screened as well during Gala Night on Friday, November 3.
Enter your contact information for your team--a point of contact or all members.
Teams will receive an email to kick off the competition on Monday, October 30, at 4pm. This email will include: a line of dialog, a character name, and a prop that must be included in your film. Be as creative as you want with how to interpret these three things!
Prior to the kickoff, teams will also receive an informational email that includes guidelines for the competition. An instructional video with tips on how to make the most of your cell phone short film appears below.
Teams can have between 3 and 5 members.
Finished films must be no longer than 4 minutes total run time.
All footage must be shot on a mobile device within the time frame allotted.
Talent (actors) can be either team members or others. Feel free to include anyone as talent in your movie. It is perfectly fine if that is all they do (in fact, it is preferable). Talent release information will be included in the informational email.
You may use tripods or other equipment that you want to stick your phone on. Even propping a phone up on a table can help with creating a nice, steady shot.
Make sure incorporate your line of dialog and prop. Part of the fun of a 72 hour competition is seeing how other teams used the same items!
Footage can be edited on either the device itself or transferred to a computer to be edited. Windows Movie Maker is a free program and is recommended. You can add titles and credits to your film. A link to this free software will be included in the informational email.
Films must be submitted by the deadline of Thursday, November 2 at 4pm. [see below for submissions]
All Films must be submitted to Youtube (more info to follow)...
Don't shoot vertical video
Understand that you will be unable to capture the aesthetics of a Hollywood film using a cell phone. Embrace the fact that you are using a phone and go with it! Think about all the shots you can get with a small phone that a huge film camera couldn’t!
Get close to your subjects. This will help both video and audio.
Use a tripod if possible
Don’t use the zoom feature on the phone. This will result in fuzzy, pixelated images
Be aware of lighting. Shooting outside to use natural light is a great idea. If you are shooting inside, make sure you have enough illumination.
Use the exposure lock. This will keep the image consistent if you move from one lighting condition to another. You don’t want the image to constantly switch between light and dark.
Get your microphone close to the subject. Having clear dialog is a must! If you can’t get close to the subject, consider using a second phone that you can get closer and hide in the shot. Then, when editing later, you can replace the one bad audio recording with the good one.
Try to find a location with low noise.
Edit on a computer if you can. Even a simple program like Windows Movie Maker (a free download from Microsoft) is a big help. You can add titles and credits.
Be prepared and organized. A little bit of time spent planning will save you a ton of time later. And every minute counts in a 72 hour competition.
Be creative and have fun! Makin' movies, wooo!