Horror Film 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.
These rules are for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project. To view the rules for the 48 Hour Film Project, please click here.
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.
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 Film Teams is $150 early bird/$175 regular.
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.
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
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.
Entrants will be required to sign the standard Horror Film 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/horror.
All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrants.
Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.
See Also: Selection of Winners
Entrants must be present at the designated times at the designated Event to participate.
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/horror for details.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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:
- Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value) (45%)
- Technical Merit (30%)
- Adherence to the Assignment (25%)
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.
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.
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.
Winners will be posted online at www.48hourfilm.com/horror.
The following rules apply to each participating group/production team:
- The 48 Hour Film Horror Project (Horror Film Project) will occur in cities around the world on different weekends throughout the year.
- The 48 Hour Film Horror 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 film 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 films received on Sunday (on-time and late) will be screened.
All creativity in the development and creation of the film 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
- Costume/Set Design
- Sound Design
- Outputting to Media
The only work to begin prior to the "Official Time Period" is:
- Organizing Crew
- Organizing Cast
- Securing Equipment
- Scouting/Securing Locations
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.
Each participating film team must have a representative at the official Kickoff Event of the Horror Film Project.
- At the event, each Team Leader must submit a complete Horror Film Project Leader's Agreement, signed by its leader. (This form can be found on the 48 Hour Film Horror Project website.) A team may not participate without submitting this agreement.
- Each group will choose the genre of its film in a random drawing.
- Teams will be given the option of relinquishing the genre selected in the drawing for a Wild Card genre. If opting for the Wild Card, teams may not go back to their original genre.
Each participating group will be assigned required elements that must appear in its film, such as a genre, a character, prop and line of dialogue.
- 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 Film", each group's film must be in the genre it selects and must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.
Participating groups are encouraged to work with a local composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film 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.
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.
The finished film must be a minimum of 4 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 7 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 required slates and the end credits do not count towards the minimum time of 4 minutes. The film story may not be longer than 7 minutes.
See Also: Credits
Before the finished film begins, the media should have...
- 5 seconds of black
- A title card with: team name, title, genre, city, and date
- A title card with: "This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project 2015. www.48hourfilm.com/horror"
- 2 seconds of black
Your film follows this. This is where the 7 minute time limit begins.
See Also: Credits
After the 2 seconds of black, some films 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 7 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 Film Horror Project"
- the text "a 48 Hour Film Horror Project" immediately following the title of your film
Note: "a 48 Hour Film Horror Project" should not be in quotes and may be entirely lowercase (i.e., "a 48 hour film horror project").
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 film, as stated in Rule K. (That is, a film may be 7 minutes long, with an additional 60 seconds of credits, for a total running time of 8 minutes.)
The end credits must include the words:
"This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project. www.48hourfilm.com/horror"
Slates & Credits After Horror
After the competition, films screening online should retain the pre-film title card that says: "This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project 2015. www.48hourfilm.com/horror". 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
For the United States, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, South Korea, and Taiwan, the finished film 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.
- 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 films received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be screened, presuming they are eligible.
See Also: Eligibility
Each team must secure releases for talent, crew, music and locations (and any other applicable releases) for the film team, which must be turned in to the project organizers with the finished film. (The release forms can be found on the 48 Hour Film Horror Project website.) The film will not be screened before the 48 Hour Film Horror Project Organizers receive the signed releases.
The Team Leader must submit a Certification Statement with his/her completed Entry, certifying adherence to all Official Rules.
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.
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. The Entrant is encouraged to make a trailer of their film and distribute that instead. This trailer should be no longer than 48 seconds.
To be certified as an "Official 48 Hour Horror Film", each participating group's film production must follow all rules herein. The 48 Hour Film Horror Project Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified "Official 48 Hour Horror Films."
48HFP and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.
All certified "Official 48 Hour Horror Films" are eligible to compete for the title of "Best 48 Hour Horror Film" in its city.