1. What is the Four Points Film Project?The Four Points Film Project (4PFP) is your chance to stop talking and start filming! The premise? Filmmaking teams have just one weekend to make a short film. All creativity — writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack — must occur in a 77 hour window beginning Friday evening at 7:00pm and ending Monday at midnight.
2. How much does it cost?
The registration fee is for the entire team varies from $125 to $175 per team, as follows:
- Early Bird registration: $125USD
- Regular registration: $150USD
- Late registration: $165USD
3. When will the Four Points Film Project come to my city?The Four Points Film Project occurs world-wide from November 13 – 16, 2015.
4. What are the films about?That's up to the filmmaker; however, each team will receive two genres to select from for its movie.
In addition, teams are given a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must appear in their film.
5. Who sees the films?All of the films eligible for competition are screened by a panel of entertainment industry professionals.
Additionally, the top 15 films are placed online for the world to view and vote for their top favorite.
6. Who are the filmmakers?The Four Points Film Project is open to all filmmakers, pro and novice alike. Rules state that all team members (crew and cast) must be volunteers. Most teams consist of film and video professionals. And teams have attracted some top talent on both sides of the camera.
7. Is there a limit to the number of people on a team?No. Our smallest team was just one person—he sets up the camera then runs around to act. Our largest team to date was a team from Albuquerque with 116 people and 30 horses! The average, though, is about 15 people per team.
8. Am I allowed to be on more than one team?Yes, you're allowed. We hope you can make the scheduling work out!
9. How long are the films?
The films are short; they must be a minimum of 4 minutes and a maximum of 7 minutes long Short is good. Not only are shorter films tighter and usually more interesting, they are more marketable.
10. Where and when are they shown?The top 15 films as determined by the 4PFP organizers are placed online for public viewing shortly after the end of the filmmaking period.
11. How is the event advertised?The event is advertised by word of mouth, on the web, and via local press. Local filmmakers and organizations are our most vocal supporters and do a great job spreading the word.
12. What should I do with my film after the competition?Get it out there! Enter it into festivals, play it in public screenings, upload it to websites, get it on television, and show it to anyone you can. Be sure you abide by any restrictions in the Team Leaders's Agreement.
13. May I show a modified version of my film?
Yes, presuming that the showing adheres to the Team Leader's Agreement that you signed when entering the Four Points Film Project. If it is a modified version of a Four Points Film Project film, please include a title card and a mention in the end credits that say:
The concept for this film developed during the Four Points Film Project. [competition:website]
14. Is this a contest and will there be a "Best of" selection?Yes and yes. One film will be chosen as Best Four Points Film Project Film.
15. Will I win?Depends on what you mean by winning. Countless filmmakers over the years have told us that the Four Points Film Project weekend was fantastic. They loved getting to use their creative talents; they had fun with their friends; and they made a film, too! So if winning means having a great time, you've got a very good shot at it.
Additionally, we’re limiting the total number of entries to 200 this year, so you’ve got a 1 in 13 chance of your film making it to the online audience voting.
16. Will I get rich?Probably not. As far as we know, no one has made much money selling a Four Points Film Project film. However, some of our 4PFP filmmakers have had success with their films in other festivals and filmmakers have used recognition from their Four Points Film Project film to get paying work.
Additionally, we at the Four Points Film Project have set up an arrangement whereby if we're able to earn money by distributing your film, you will receive a portion of that money. We believe our arrangement is fair and equitable. As you may know, the market for short films is nearly non-existent. However, we do garner more interest in our films because of the concept and the fact that they are part of a bigger collection. So, while folks have lots of fun doing the Four Points Film Project, they don't make lots of money.
17. Who judges the films?We gather a group of film and video professionals to serve as our judges.
These judges generally have extensive experience within the field. We require these judges to be fair and impartial. Our judges donate their time and talent to rate the films.
No matter how careful we are in selecting our judges, judging itself is extremely subjective. So many times, two regarded critics feel markedly differently about the same film—remember the long debate between Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert about Apocalypse Now; remember Pauline Kael's ambivalent review of Star Wars. Similarly, on several occasions our favorite Four Points Film Project film of the year has not even won. When it comes to evaluating art, a lot comes down to matters of taste.
19. Does the maximum length of the film include credits?No. Your film may be 7 minutes long plus 1 minute of credits.
20. Are credits in the beginning permissible?Opening credits are allowed. They do not count against the credit time limit. However, they do count against the 7 minutes of film. Remember, the audience is here to watch, not read.
22. Can I film outside of my city?Absolutely! The only requirements are that you have a representative from your team at the Kickoff and that you deliver your film to the Dropoff. Other than that, it's up to you. We've had teams shoot hundreds of miles away from their host city. We've even had a Boston team upload footage from Panama!
24. Is animation allowed?Yes. However—while you may use still drawings created before the Project—you may not use sequences of drawings created before the Project 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 77 hour period is allowed. And, as with a live action film, you must have all rights to the animation you submit.
25. What about special effects? What's allowed?You may use special effects that involve any of the allowed elements that you have rights to: still photographs, footage shot during the 77 hours, or footage rendered during the 77 hours. You may also use stock footage if it is part of a post-production effect or on a background screen or television and the stock footage is placed over or under footage that is shot within the 77 hours. Stock footage of people or other performers is not allowed.
26. May we include our logo that was made before the filmmaking weekend?Yes, provided that it begins the film and is shorter than five seconds long. Note that the logo does count against the 7 minute running time of the film.
27. Should we shoot in HD? Should we shoot in widescreen? Should we use surround sound?Your film will be screened for the judges online in 720 High Definition in stereo or mono. So you may shoot in HD or use surround sound, but the film will generally not be screened that way.
28. Do I need to subtitle my film?Subtitling your film is not required. However, if your film is in a language other than English, it is highly recommended to add subtitles. The common judging language will be English, and if the judges cannot understand your film, they are less likely to give it awards.
29. 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 production documents page for more details.
30. What's a logline?A logline is a very short, catchy summary of the story, usually not longer than one sentence. We ask you to provide a logline for your film on the Wrap Up Form.
Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl seeks a way home to Kansas, befriending along the way a scarecrow without a brain, a tin woodsman without a heart, and a lion without courage.
31. Can we submit a faxed release form?Yes, if you are working with someone out of town, can they fax or email you the release form? Please include a paper copy of the faxed or emailed release form with the rest of your paperwork.
32. How do we document public domain or royalty-free music and photos?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.
33. Is music or materials from Creative Commons allowed?You may use Creative Commons music or materials that are Attribution Only. If the Creative Commons license is either Non-Commercial or Sharealike, it is not compatible with the Four Points Film Project's Team Leader's Agreement and therefore cannot be used.
34. 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.
35. Can the required character be heard instead of seen?No, we must actually see the required character in some way on the screen. Just being audible off screen - like on the other end of a phone conversation - does not count. Remember, he/she need not be the star of the film, just make an appearance.
36. Does the required character have to say his name or wear a name tag?As long as the audience can infer who the character is, he/she doesn't need to be further identified.