The following is a list of resources covering various components of film production. Many of these resources have been adapted from other media festival websites.
Step One: Get an idea
Review the two submission categories and guidelines for content. To get inspired you can also check out some examples of existing PSAs. Some of these examples have been produced by professional advertising agencies, and some are winners from other student film contests. Be aware that although the following films may be well made, the content and criteria may not be applicable to the “Directing Change: Student Video Contest”.
Student Examples (topic related):
“Peel Back the Label” Stigma Reduction PSA developed by students from Health Sciences High in San Diego
“In Full View” Stigma Reduction PSA developed by students from Health Sciences High in San Diego
Step Two: Script and Storyboard
Once you have your idea you will need to write a script and storyboard for your video. The script gives you a roadmap to your production and all the content that you will cover. In addition to a script, the storyboard allows you to visually plan your video on paper.
StoryBoard Pro Software
Storyboard Pro is a free program that offers tools to help you plan ahead when creating your video. The software is available for free and is intended for use by students, and teachers.
Step Three: Permissions and Releases
Before filming your video, be sure you have all appropriate forms and releases signed. For more information and useful links, visit the Forms and Copyright section.
- Image and Voice Release Form: In addition all individuals who appear (visually or voice) need to sign the Image and Voice Release Form.
- Location Contract: The location contract protects both the property owner and the video production team. Getting permission is also a courtesy that can prevent you from being ejected from a location.
- Copyrights: When creating a video students should be aware of intellectual property and copyright rules especially if they plan on using elements that someone else has created. See Songs and Sounds Effects Resources for link to free music and sounds.
Step Four: Shooting your Video
Before you start filming you will want to plan each of the shots. If possible, you may want to use two cameras to provide different angles for the same scene when editing. Take time to look at the area you in which you will be filming, paying attention to the background. Also, it is very important to make sure you keep your video tapes or video files in a safe place so it doesn’t get lost. The following sections offer links to the various aspects of video production.
- This link contains information about the basics of “shot types” and offers insight to consider when filming.
- This article explains “the rule of thirds”, an important principle in photography.
- This site offers various information sheets about lighting in film production.
- This video features a lecture by a high school teacher focusing on many aspects of integrating sound into your video. (36 min)
- This tutorial offers information about the use of microphones.
Songs and Sound Effects Resources
Unfortunately you can’t just go to iTunes and download your favorite song. The following resources offer free music and sound effects you can use in your video!. Although some sites offer “free” music, note that you may still have to request licensing for permission to use it in your film. You can also create all the music and sounds yourself, or obtain written permission from the copyright holder for copyrighted songs and materials you would like to use in your video. For more information about how to obtain permission, visit the Forms and Copyright section.
- Offers free ‘film music’, and is intended for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.
- A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want
- A collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.
Step 5: Editing your Video
Editing is important to the film making process. You may spend more time editing than filming. These links will help guide you in editing your video. There are various programs for editing that you may have on your computer at home, or ones that may be available through your school, or local library. Tutorials specific to the program you use should also be available online. Remember, entries are limited to 60 seconds in length.
- This side offers tutorials on various aspects of editing.
- This article offers tips to consider when editing your film.
Step 6: Compressing and Submitting Your Video
Once you have completed your video you will need to submit it to the contest. Vimeo is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. We accept all resolutions in the following file types: asf, asx, avi, divx, dv, dvx, m4v, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, qt, wmv, 3g2, 3gp, 3ivx and 3vx. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file.
Many video editing programs (such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro) and encoding software (such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder) may include a preset for encoding H.264 files that match the Vimeo format requirements. If yours does, we recommend using that preset when encoding your finished video. For more information on exporting your video to meet these requirements, please click on this link and view a tutorial on your particular editing software – http://vimeo.com/help/compression
Other Helpful Resources
Other Film Festivals
Entries can be submitted to other film festivals after the March 8, 2013 submission deadline. Special note to students in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties Directing Change is partnering with the SlickRock Film Festival. We strongly encourage you to also submit to this festival if your entry is in the suicide prevention category. The entry description and judging guidelines for both contests are aligned. If you are in San Diego County we also encourage you to submit your entry to the iVIE film festival. Students throughout the state of California are encouraged to also submit their videos to Art With Impact, and enter into their monthly video contest.
Much of the information found on this page was adapted from the Student Educational Video Awards video and many of the resources and links were adapted from the other film festival websites listed here.