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1. What is the 48 Hour Global Film Challenge?

The 48 Hour Global Film Challenge (GFC) 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 48 hour window beginning [project:filming-starts-date] evening at [project:filming-starts-time] and ending [project:filming-stops-date] at [project:filming-starts-time].

2. How much does it cost?

The registration fee is for the entire team and the cost is $70 USD for early bird, $85 USD for regular and $95 USD for late entries.

3. If I have to drop out, can I get a refund?

Yes, you will receive a full refund minus a $20 processing fee. Please send refund requests to:

4. When will the 48 Hour Global Film Challenge come to my city?

The 48 Hour Global Film Challenge occurs world-wide [project:label-weekend].

5. 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.

6. Who sees the films?

In each city, all on-time films are reviewed by a panel of industry professionals and a city winner is announced.  Then, the selected films go online where a worldwide audience can view and vote on their favorite films.

7. Who are the filmmakers?

The 48 Hour Global Film Challenge 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.

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8. 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.

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.

11. 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.

12. 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 48 Hour Global Film Challenge. If it is a modified version of a 48 Hour Global Film Challenge film, please include a title card and a mention in the end credits that say:

The concept for this film developed during the 48 Hour Global Film Challenge.

13. Is this a contest and will there be a "Best of" selection?

Yes and yes. One film will be chosen as Best 48 Hour Global Film Challenge Film.

14. Will I win?

Depends on what you mean by winning. Countless filmmakers over the years have told us that their filmmaking weekend was a fantastic experience. 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.

15. 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 48 Hour Global Film Challenge film of the year has not even won. When it comes to evaluating art, a lot comes down to matters of taste.

17. Does the maximum length of the film include credits?

No. Your film may be 7 minutes long plus 1 minute of credits.

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18. 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.

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19. Are we allowed to have footage under our closing credits?

Yes, however, the narrative must end before the closing credits begin. So outtakes, Ferris-Bueller-like antics, or bonus scenes are allowed. But if we removed the credits, the movie should still feel complete.

20. Are stock footage and photos allowed?

Stock film and video footage is prohibited, except as part of a special effects filter. However, if you have the rights to them, then stock photos are permitted. In other words, you may use photos not taken during the 48 hour time period. Note that photos cannot be used in sequence to create the illusion of motion.
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21. 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 48 hour period is allowed. And, as with a live action film, you must have all rights to the animation you submit.
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22. 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 48 hours, or footage rendered during the 48 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 48 hours. Stock footage of people or other performers is not allowed.
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24. 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.

25. Do I need to subtitle my film?

Subtitling your film is not required during the competition weekend. However, if your film is in a language other than English, it is highly recommended to add subtitles--especially because the top films will stream online to a worldwide audience. For the local judging, if your film is in a non-local language, if the judges cannot understand your film, they are less likely to give it awards.

26. 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.
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27. 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. EXAMPLE: 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.
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28. 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 information that shows your rights to the music or materials, such as a license, a purchase receipt, or a statement by the author.

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29. 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 48 Hour Global Film Challenge's Team Leader's Agreement and therefore cannot be used.
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30. 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.
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31. 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.
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32. 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.
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