Amsterdam Music Video Official Rules

In the United States, the project is intended for play by legal residents and legal visitors of the United States.
Residency requirements may vary in other countries.
Void where prohibited.

Rules that have been added or updated in 2014 are highlighted.

These rules are for the Amsterdam 48 Hour Music Video Project. To view the rules for the 48 Hour Film Project, please click here.

1. Eligibility

In the United States, the Project is open only to individual legal residents and legal visitors of the United States and the District of Columbia. The following are not eligible: employees, contractors, directors and officers of 48 Hour Film Project, Inc. (the "Project"), its parent, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, distributors, web design, advertising, fulfillment, judging and Project agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment and execution of this Project (collectively, "Project Parties"), and the immediate family members of each (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, and spouse or "step" of each) and those living in their same households (those persons whether related or not who live in the same residence for at least three months during the twelve-month period preceding the start date of the Project). Outside of the United States, residency requirements may vary. Void where prohibited.

2. To Enter

To register for the Project in the United States, follow the instructions found on www.48hourfilm.com. Registration is based on a first-come first-served basis and space is limited. US registration fees for the bands is $190 early bird/$220 regular and for the Film Teams it is $95 early bird/$125 regular. The number of film teams or bands which can participate is dictated by the number who enter. In the case that a band or film team drops out before the event, film teams or bands on the waiting list will be contacted to fill the spaces. If there are no bands/teams on the list, existing teams/bands may be dropped, last teams/bands to enter first. In this case a full refund will be issued.

3. Project Timeline

In the United States, the Project will commence on a Friday and end on the following Sunday as announced on the Project website. Days of the week may vary in other countries. Click here for the current schedule.

4. Refunds

If a team or ("Entrant") must withdraw from the Project, refunds will be paid on the following schedule: When you notify 48 Hour Film Project, Inc. of withdrawal more than 30 days before competition, you will be refunded 90% of your entry fee. If you withdraw between 15 and 29 days before the event you will be refunded 50% of your entry fee. If you withdraw from 14 to 8 days before the event you will receive 30% of your entry fee. There is no refund for withdrawal for 7 or fewer days before competition.

See Also: To Enter

5. Age Restrictions

Some of the events (e.g., Kickoff, Drop Off) may be held in "21 years of age or older" locations. Every effort will be made to ensure that any under 21 teams will not be affected adversely. Entrants may wish to consider having at least one member of its team be 21 years or older.

6. Project Leader's Agreement

Entrants will be required to sign the standard Music Video Project Leader's Agreement. If under the legal age of majority in your state of residence, your parent or legal guardian must sign it on your behalf. A copy of this agreement is available at www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp.

7. Productions Costs

All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrants.

8. Judging

Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.

See Also: Selection of Winners

9. Event Participation

Entrants must be present at the designated times at the designated Event to participate.

10. Basic Requirement of the Project

At the Kickoff time, Entrants will receive an assignment and be given exactly 48 hours to make a video (an "Entry"). See www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp for details.

11. Project Terms of Submission

By submitting an Entry into this Project, each Entrant warrants and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Project, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by the Project for use by Entrants in connection with this Project. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Project Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Project Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold the Project, Project Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the "Project Indemnitees"), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Project Indemnitees due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Project, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this Project, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Project and the Project Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of the Project or the Project Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.

12. Condition of Entry

As a condition of entry, participants must agree to the Leader's Agreement, which sets forth the rights of Entrant and the Project with respect to the use of Entries by the Project. Entries that do not include all required information and adhere to the foregoing and following requirements will be considered void and will not be considered in this Project.

13. Multiple Cities

Entrants may compete in more than one city and are eligible to be the City Winner in each city.

14. Band and Film Team Leader

If any group of individuals elects to collaborate on an Entry, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the film team and one (1) person as the agent of the band to enter the Project, agree to these Official Rules, sign the Project Leader's Agreement and accept the prize on behalf of the groups. Neither the Project nor any of the Project Parties are liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the Project.

15. Selection of Winners

Grand Prize: Entries will be judged by a process in which qualified panels of judges will evaluate the eligible entries based on the following judging criteria:

  • Creativity (60%)
  • Technical Merit (40%)

The Top Entry in each city will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken based on the highest score in the first Judging Criteria, continuing thereafter to each Judging Criteria in order, as needed to break the tie. Entrants agree that the Project has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this Project and that all decisions of the Project are final and binding.

16. General Conditions

By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. The Project is governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, USA, and all claims must be resolved in the District of Columbia courts or the Federal courts located in the District of Columbia.

17. Limitations of Liability and Release

No liability or responsibility is assumed by 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT, INC or Project Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Project or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT, INC or Project Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Project: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Web Site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Project, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Project, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Project. 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT, INC and Project Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site. Use of Web Site is at user's own risk. 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT, INC and the Project Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Project, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Project, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT, INC and Project Parties harmless from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Project.

18. Winners

Winners will be posted online at www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp.

19. Project Organizer

The 48 Hour Film Project, Inc., P.O. Box 40008, Washington, DC 20016.

20. Filmmaking Rules:

The following rules apply to each participating group/production team:

A. Definitions

  • The 48 Hour Music Video Project ("Music Video Project") is a film competition where bands and film teams are paired in order to make a music video in only 48 hours.
  • "Band" refers to any musical band or solo artist.
  • "Film Team" refers to any filmmaker or filmmaking team.
  • "Kickoff" refers to the start of the competiton where parameters are announced for the project. A representative from each film team and band must be present.

B. Film Team & Band Pairings

NOTE: Other cities may have different methods for team pairings.

C. Times

  • The Amsterdam 48 Hour Music Video Project (Music Video Project) will occur in cities around the world on different weekends throughout the year.
  • The 48 Hour Music Video Project will occur between a Friday 7pm local time and the following Sunday 7pm local time. This is the "Official Time Period". (Days of competition may vary in some countries.)
  • The participating group/team must complete its work on the music video in time to deliver it to a location to be announced, on Sunday by 7:30pm.
  • Only works that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition. All music videos received on Sunday (on-time and late) will be screened.

D. Creative Process

Except for the writing and recording of the song, all creativity in the development and creation of the music video must take place during the "Official Time Period". Any creativity work in advance of the competition weekend is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Writing the script
  • Rehearsing
  • Costume/Set Design
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Sound Design
  • Rendering
  • Outputting to Media

E. Preparation

The only work to begin prior to the "Official Time Period" is:

  • Organizing Crew
  • Organizing Cast
  • Securing Equipment
  • Scouting/Securing Locations

See Also: FootageMusic Rights

F. The Song

Bands must provide a recorded version of at least one song for use in the music video, ready for use at the time of the Kickoff. After being paired at the Kickoff, bands and film teams may select a different song, if the band would like to present multiple choices. The Band will have the ultimate decision-making power in what song is selected.

G. Footage

All footage must be shot within the "Official Time Period" of the project.

  • No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used.
  • Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the "Official Time Period". (Note: Stock footage as part of a special effect in a third party special effects program is permissible.)
  • Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not need to be created during the "Official Time Period"; however, stills created outside of the official "Official Time Period" may not be used in sequence to create the illusion of motion.

H. Kickoff Event

Each participating film team and band must have a representative at the official Kickoff Event of the Music Video Project.

At the event, each Team Leader and Band Producer must submit a complete Music Video Project Leader's Agreement, signed by its leader. (This form can be found on the 48 Hour Music Video Project website.) A team or band may not participate without submitting this agreement.

I. Required Elements

Each participating group will be assigned required elements that must appear in its film, such as photo inspirations and two elements.

  • The required Character and Prop must be seen on-screen.
  • The required Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung and/or written. It may be in any language, though if it is unclear that it is the required Line, there must be a translation.
  • To qualify as an "Official 48 Hour Music Video", each group's film must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.

J. Volunteers

All cast and crew must be volunteers.

K. Cameras

Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras.

L. Music Rights

The song to be used in the music video must be an original song with full rights to the music, lyrics and performance owned by the band.

A participating band is expected to use pre-recorded music; however the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its video and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them.

M. Song Parodies

Song parodies (i.e., use of identifiable pre-existing compositions with new or altered lyrics or music) may not be included in the video without a signed release from the composition's rights holder.

This rule applies without regard to whether the song parody arguably constitutes "fair use" under US or international copyright law.

N. Total Running Time

The finished film must be a maximum of 5 minutes in duration—not including end credits. In other words, the official running time begins after the required 48HFP slates and ends prior to the end credits. The film story may not be longer than 5 minutes.

See Also: Credits

O. Film Structure

Before the finished film begins, the media should have...

  • 5 seconds of black
  • A title card with: team name, title, city, and date
  • A title card with: "This film was made for the 48 Hour Music Video Project 2013. www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp"
  • 2 seconds of black

Your music video follows this. This is where the 5 minute time limit begins.

See Also: Credits

P. Credits

Opening Credits
After the 2 seconds of black, some music videos start with opening credits. These are not encouraged, but if you use them, opening credits are considered to be part of the film, and therefore count against the 5 minute maximum. Additionally, if your film has opening credits other than simply the film's title (for example, the names of directors, actors, etc.), you must include one of the following:

  • the text "[your team name] presents" immediately followed by "a 48 Hour Music Video Project"

    Note: "a 48 Hour Music Video Project" should not be in quotes and may be entirely lowercase (i.e., "a 48 hour music video project").

End Credits
Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. The 60 seconds is considered additional to the length of the music video, as stated in Rule K. (That is, a film may be 5 minutes long, with an additional 60 seconds of credits, for a total running time of 6 minutes.)

The end credits must include the words:
"This film was made for the 48 Hour Music Video Project. www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp"

Slates & Credits After 48HFP
After the competition, music videos screening online should retain the pre-film title card that says: "This film was made for the 48 Hour Music Video Project 2013. www.48hourfilm.com/48mvp". Information on where you can post and screen your film after the official screenings can be found here: What should I do with my film?

See Also: Film Structure

Q. Required Media Formats

For the United States, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, South Korea, and Taiwan, the finished music video must be in NTSC. For all other countries, it must be in PAL.

Unless otherwise instructed on your City webpage of the 48 Hour Film Project website, your film must be submitted on one of the following media:

  • (preferred) a self-contained SD Quicktime file with no proprietary codecs on either:
    - a data DVD, or
    - a USB flash drive
  • playable DVD

Please check your city page for complete submission requirements the week of your filmmaking. If your film does not conform to the submission requirements in your city, it may be disqualified. Also, if your film cannot be viewed on 48HFP equipment, it may be disqualified.

R. Submission Notes

  • We recommend that each team submit two copies of the final video.
  • We recommend that you make sound levels relatively even throughout your video. (If your video has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)
  • Projection specs vary from theater to theater and are beyond the control of the 48HFP. If your video is very dark, it may be difficult to see in the theater.
  • All music videos received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be screened, presuming they are eligible.

    See Also: Eligibility

S. Production Documents

Each team must secure releases for talent, crew, music and locations (and any other applicable releases) for the film team and the band, which must be turned in to the project organizers with the finished music video. (The release forms can be found on the 48 Hour Music Video Project website.) The music video will not be screened before the 48 Hour Music Video Project Organizers receive the signed releases.

T. Certification Statement

The Team Leader must submit a Certification Statement with his/her completed Entry, certifying adherence to all Official Rules.

U. Decision Making Authority

It is hoped that band and film teams will work collaboratively to produce a video that meets the needs of both parties. However, the film team leader will have the final decision making authority in all matters pertaining to the creation of the video, except the choice of song, which will be selected by the band member who signed the team leader agreement (Band Producer).

V. Ownership of the Films

In the case of the 48 Hour Music Video Project, the Team Leader owns the music video and the Band Producer owns the rights to the song. Both parties have the right to post the video to webpages and to use it on a demo reel, or a band webpage.

The video may screen at Film Festivals or local film events as long as this is agreed to by both the Film Team Leader and Band Leader. Other uses of the 48 Hour Music Video follows the rules of the 48 Hour Film Project films, as stated on this webpage.

In the very unlikely event that the video is sold, the proceeds should be divided 50% to the Team Leader and 50% to the Band Producer. Should the 48HFP sell the film on behalf of the parties, the proceeds will be split as follows: 10% to 48HFP; 45% to Band Leader; 45% to Film Team Leader.

W. Video Must Be Completed

Because the band has committed time and resources to the project, all film teams are required to finish the video, even if it is turned in late. Late videos will screen but are not eligible for judging.

X. Band Appearance

The Band must appear in the video at least one time. The only exception is if the Band does not want to appear in the video. To do this the band must call the Music Video Project Producers to receive approval (IN ADVANCE) not to appear in the video.

Y. Eligibility

To be eligible for the Project, Entries must be the original work of the Entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations; and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant and/or 48HFP).

Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the 48HFP, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. 48HFP reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. 48HFP also reserves the right to refuse to screen a video or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the video.

Z. No Distribution Before Screening

The Entrant should not distribute their video in any way before the premiere screenings. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team.

AA. Official 48 Hour Music Video

To be certified as an "Official 48 Hour Music Video", each participating group's music video production must follow all rules herein. The 48 Hour Music Video Project Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified "Official 48 Hour Music Videos."

AB. No Returns

No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.

AC. Disqualification

48HFP and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.

AD. Best 48 Hour Music Video

All certified "Official 48 Hour Music Videos" are eligible to compete for the title of "Best 48 Hour Music Video" in its city.

AE. Ammendments

The 48 Hour Music Video Project Organizers may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the "Official Time Period".

Every second counts...
...when you have 48 hours to make a music video!