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Short Film Competition Rules

Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 3:18pm

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Riese

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Hey guys.

I am a teacher for a high school in Las Vegas, Nevada here in the states. I have gotton together with our student council and we have come up with doing a short film compition for the school. We have around 4 thousand students and feel that this would be a great opportunity for students to show off their creative side of themselves. We are also going to do a award night that is going to be ran like the Oscars, having the kids come up and except awards. Awards will be given out for traditional catagories and also for untraditional catagories. The awards show will be open to the public, our goal is to have each short film recieve some type of an award so everyones film gets some type of play at the awards show. The kids will dress up and give speeches for winning the award. Plus the top 5 movies will be shown in full for the Best movie award at the show.

Anyways we are trying to come up with rules on the video's. We already have a few. These are:

1: 5 minutes in lenght

2: Students in film must currently attend Centennial High School

3: NO bodily or physical harm can be afflicted upon any person or
animal in the movie.

4: NO nudity, sexuality, drug or alcohol use, or profanity

5: Any actions cosidered illegal are not permitted.

I realize these rules limit in the creation of the movies but we are at a public school and have to have rules. Any more rules that we could put on the production side of the film would be appricitated. Oh and tell me what you think of the idea.



Riese
Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 9:05pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Well, if you're gonna have those rules you might as well have

6: No creativity.

Last edited Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 1:14pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 9:13pm

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Bob Page

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Come on...
No murder confused
No gun confused
No physical harm neutral
not even on animals wink

It's only gonna be educationnal videos...Zzz...Zzz..

let them make some action films biggrin
Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 9:19pm

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Kram1563

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i think looking at those rules there may not be much creativity of course there are some types of things people could make but it limits it and some films may end up being very similar, whats the age range of the students?
I would thing more carefully about some of the rules if you want to make this work, i respect the fact that you are a public school and some people may find things offensive but if that is the case then they shouldnt enter the competition, although i do think its a very good idea:)
Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 10:14pm

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sidewinder

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Rating: +2

An interesting movie will involve physical or mental harm in some way or another. I mean, even a lightsaber fight would be banned from this competition.

You couldn't even show The Lion King or Toy Story at this festival.

Instead of having the rule of "No bodily harm whatsoever", change it to "No graphic violence". This allows the situations where someone might have a bully in their movie, or a dogfight with jets. It bans the disturbing stuff that you don't want shown.

Remember, violence isn't bad. violence is nuetral. It can be used for good OR bad. if a movie has violence in it, don't shun it. Just make sure the violence is used appropriately.
Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 11:26pm

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Ice_Man

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excellent points, sidewinder
Posted: Thu, 6th Feb 2003, 11:49pm

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er-no

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With rules like that maybe you should have:

'The films should be filmed without the use of any cameras'

!!!
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 12:10am

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Mellifluous

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I agree with other posters that creativity would be quashed by imposing such stringent rules...I understand that in your position you cannot be seen to encourage anything that could be possibly interpreted as inciting deviant behaviour, but hey man the film industry produces violent films all the time and drama with complex issues, that your students feel they would like to explore but can't because of your rules!

It's a high school, you say, so you should be encouraging people to be thinking maturely about these things anyway, and I also recommend you have as few rules as possible; only practical ones such as length. Filmmaking is all about breaking rules and creating new boundaries, and studying people's behaviour and interactions. The kind of rules you're wanting to legislate will prevent this and (for me anyway) defeat the purpose of making a film, and will result in your students making Mickey Mouse films based on nursery rhymes such as Jack & Jill and Pussy down the Well. Oops, no, nursery rhymes would be too risque - Jack & Jill would be too violent and the other one could be too risque... rolleyes
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 12:59am

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Kid

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Erm, was he actually talking about content or the process of filming. I mean did he mean no lightsabre fights and so on or did he actually mean no doing anything dangerous or harming people irl?
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 1:19am

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MechaForce

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Hmm . .

You guys probably aren't used to these kinda rules, but this is how it goes in public schools. They don't want to be 'liable' - which is an excuse for many things (I'd know).

neutral
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 1:30am

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anonymous

Its kinda sick that you people think a movie has to have violence in it to make it good. Oh yeah i forgot, killing/hurting people is amazing. Now while it can add a ton to a movie, i find it hard to believe a movie has to have violence in it for it to be any good. Wow, our society has gone down the tubes.[/u][/b]
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 1:33am

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MechaForce

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No one ever said that.

It's a matter of having an array of movies, not just G rated family friendly movies.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 2:28am

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Cypher

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Rating: +2

moviefan wrote:

Wow, our society has gone down the tubes
Do you not know where Drama (ie, performances) comes from? It used to be ALOT worse, and it had ONLY to do with Violence/Tragedy/Death. It's how plays came about...and hopefully you know that movies are technilogical descendents of plays.

I'm not sure who said it, but I believe it was Aristotle that it is the human need to address problems...and more often than not, these problems have a certain degree of violence in them (be it physical, mental, emotional).

Regardless, think about it this way: How many movies can you name that are not Fantasy that do not have guns in them (ie, LOTR doesn't because guns don't exist), but nevertheless, there is weaponry. Weaponry is generally a sign of aggression (though some people may argue crap like safety) and violence. I personally, cannot think of any film that does not have a gun in it. I mean, at all...no cops with guns...no mentioning or hinting to one etc.


Back to the rules: They are too strict, and I agree completely with Sidewinder. +2
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 3:54am

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sidewinder

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Also very nicely said, Cypher. +2 for you as well.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 4:11am

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MidnightJester

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Not to be getting in your face on the issue, because I think that violence in movies can be a good thing if done right, but I have come up with a movie neither shows any guns nor mentions them:

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest

It was a great movie, however, even THAT had violence in it. In fact, rather bloody violence, but you were talking about guns.

As for one that has no mention of violence whatsoever, I have come up with nothing. It is very hard to make a good movie with no harm to any individual, especially in a comical way. This does not mean that our society has plunged down into some barbaric bunch of gladiators. The entire point of telling a story, which is what a movie is doing, some sort of conflict is essential. In order for a conflict to be interesting enough, it will have to be a conflict that stands out and actually affects people. How do you get rid of the conflict? Well, if negotiations work, then the conflict usually isn't that conflicting, but just a small everyday problem, such as having to buy groceries. Somewhere along the line, someone is going to have to either do something illegal or harm-inducing, whether that be the villain or hero.

I thought that it was an excellent point to look back at the dramas which are our classics. Look at classic Greek plays like Antigone. That had a war in it. How many Shakespearian plays do you know that have no one die, get hurt, or do something evil? Plays and movies, as art, are expressing the world that we live in through certain perspectives. Violence just is part of that world, and thus has a role in them. It doesn't have to have a leading part of the story, nor does it even have to be seen on screen, but it is important.

In regards to the competition in question, I can understand having the restrictions. However, having no scenes where anyone is harmed in any way limits the story to mindless plots where the conflict isn't really a conflict. I can understand the drugs and alcohol part. Those aren't needed. Nudity/sexuality aren't necessarily needed either, however you should allow characters to show affection to one another, such as kissing. I hope that the contest works out for you.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 4:41am

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anonymous

guys guys guys (and cypher),

conflict is necessary in a performance for there would not be drama without it. Violence does not equal conflict tho. it may be catagorized under types of conflict. my point is that creativity can still flow (though slightly not as freely).

example: this goes for anyone who posted. pick up any samuel french one-act compilation book ("25 One-act Plays") and read the numerous stories. i have read 2 volumes of the series (that's 50 stories ppl) where only 2 of them involved remotely violent scenes. All of them existential, and metaphorical. A hell of alot more meaningful than 'matrix.'

it think the rules can remain intact if u added "excessive" to some of the rules (i.e excessive: sexuality, physical harm etc.) thus not ruling out any heavy limitations. keep in mind that this is a high school, so rules are rules. no point in entering a porno action flick. cry

that's all.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 9:06am

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Kid

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The problem though is that in 5 mins you do not have the time to express people's personality or feelings. So basically you are left with a short informative video or some sort of action.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 11:04am

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CurtinParloe

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Riese wrote:


1: 5 minutes in length

2: Students in film must currently attend Centennial High School

3: NO bodily or physical harm can be afflicted upon any person or
animal in the movie.

4: NO nudity, sexuality, drug or alcohol use, or profanity

5: Any actions cosidered illegal are not permitted.
How about this variation?

1: 5 minutes in length

2: Participants in the film must currently attend Centennial High School

3: The use of profanity is forbidden.

4: Portrayal of any acts considered to be illegal or inappropriate are forbidden unless written permission is obtained by the organiser beforehand.

This way, if someone wants to do something precluded by the other rules, such as an anti-drugs commercial, they can. It also allows you to approve or forbid any potentially awkward subject matter on a case by case basis.

Paul
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 4:20pm

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Riese

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Thanks guys for the opinions

I was not the one who wrote these rules. A Dean had a hand in them. Sense I wrote that post yesterday we have made some headway when it comes to the violence. when I talk about violence I am talking about brutal murdering. You can create a murder scene with out actually showing the murder happening directly. That to me is more creative than actually showing the knife enter the body. This opens up a whole lot when it comes to types of movies you can do. I had to beg and plead for this to be changed. But it still comes down to educators deciding on what is appropriate and what is not, and I know that is not always successfull. Keep the idea comeing though.

Oh and some of you guys are totally wrong. You can have good movies with out blood and gore. But thanks for the ideas.

Riese
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 4:28pm

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Cypher

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Binjder: where have you been?

Riese: I'm not talking about blood and gore...not at all. Just violence in general, even if you *hint at violence, then you still have a form of violence in the film...man, ive said violence so many times its losing meaning heh oink
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 6:56pm

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jarar1

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The problem though is that in 5 mins you do not have the time to express people's personality or feelings. So basically you are left with a short informative video or some sort of action.
I have to disagree there. I watched a couple dozen 3-minute sorts for Project Greenlight, and there were several, good and bad, that had no violence.

And action doesn't always equal violence, either.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 8:16pm

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sidewinder

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Violence:

Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.

Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado.

Abusive or unjust exercise of power.

Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.

Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor.


By definition, conflicts do require violence (in reality, not some make-believe self-esteem school video).

Violence isn't just limited to drawing blood.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 9:10pm

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Two Gunned Saint

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For your short film just do a film about some strippers who carry guns and snort coke and only say "F*ck". It'll be so popular that it'll be entered into the competition otherwise there'll be a riot.
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 9:23pm

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davlin

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If those RULES are adhered to ...I hope the titles are good.....lol
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 9:41pm

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Ice_Man

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that's a brilliant movie idea, two_gunned! wink
Posted: Fri, 7th Feb 2003, 9:55pm

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Two Gunned Saint

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I've always wanted to make a film like that just to irritate the censors.
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 12:22am

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Riese

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Well the good news is that I was just told that I am allowed to come up with the rules. Then they will decide on how they like them. So now, with this in mind. I need to come up with rules that allow a screen writer to have fun but at the same time keep it school appropriate. With that in mind anyone have any rules are regs that will help me out. I am going to try and brain storm tonight. Any help will be appriciated.

Riese
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 12:32am

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Bob Page

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1: 5 minutes in lenght

2: Students in film must currently attend Centennial High School

3: No nudity, sexuality, drug or alcohol use, or profanity


Those are pretty good rules.

Bob Page
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 3:03am

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Kid

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You prolly want to add no pyrotechnics or physically dangerous stunts for safety reasons.
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 1:25pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Riese wrote:



...4: NO nudity...


Riese
eek WAH? Whats wrong with nudity. If I went to your high school I bet there would be a line a girls waiting outside side my door to play the lead female, so she could do a nude scene. I mean exposing yourself to the student body, come on, the human form is a beautiful thing!

/perverse cover-up

p.s. I'm 17 so it's not like I'm some old guy that just wants to see some teenage action. rolleyes
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 2:05pm

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davlin

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Hey."orion".......QUOTE:

" p.s. I'm 17 so it's not like I'm some old guy that just wants to see some teenage action. "

There was no need to bring me into the conversation.......LOL


DIRTY O'l DAV
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 4:57pm

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Bob Page

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They cannot show some nudity because they will show the films to the parents of the students.
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 5:57pm

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anonymous

Every Story is About Survival. The really good stories keep you on the edge of your seat.

Don't get me wrong I like Action movies where people die thats life.
But it is possible to have a good movie w/o extreme violence or any at all.

I've done a couple movies for school but they are more like an educational films.
One time I recreated "The Open Window" and That worked out really good no one died it was just a matter of messing with peoples mind.
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 6:01pm

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Inigo

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that was me up there i forgot to sign on redface
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 7:59pm

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er-no

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Bob Page wrote:

They cannot show some nudity because they will show the films to the parents of the students.
AlamDV cinema allows swearing on it... but what about explicit scenes of sex?

Just wondering... I am writting a script at the moment. twisted

Maybe your rules for the competition should be 'compose a visually compelling piece of movie'. ! smile
Posted: Mon, 10th Feb 2003, 9:54pm

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Coureur de Bois

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er-no wrote:



AlamDV cinema allows swearing on it... but what about explicit scenes of sex?

Just wondering... I am writting a script at the moment. twisted

Maybe your rules for the competition should be 'compose a visually compelling piece of movie'. ! smile
Visually compelling? lol lol Since when did the AlamDV cimema become a place for your amatuer porn...? jk razz I'm sure it wouldn't be too bad if there were some "Implied" sexual scenes(i.e...orgasmic screams coming from down the hall... twisted ) I don't think I'll live too see the day where a film in the Alam cinema has frontal nudity, however...although I wouldn't mind that...I mean if it was a girl...I mean no... What I'm trying to say is I'm a pervert... wait a sec...no!! crazy