Wednesday, 20 December 2006

International Infertility Film Festival FAQ

When is it?
Who can enter?
What sort of film should I make?
Is there a time limit to how long a film can be?
Can I make a film about any stage of infertility?
Can I submit more than one entry?
Are there prizes and awards and stuff?
It sounds hard, is it?
Can I get some tech support around here?
Where can I find some free software to get started then?
Ok, so I've finished my film, I should upload it somewhere, huh?
What if I'm having trouble uploading?
I've finished and I've uploaded my entry. Now what?
And just what do you think you're going to do with my entry?
But my blog is password protected/I don't have a blog!
How can I tell everyone about this like I so dearly want to?
Do you have any tips on how to create an animated film using a computer game like the one you did?
What do I do if you didn't answer my question already?
What if I have a really great suggestion?


Q. When is it?
A.
Previous festivals screened in March, July and October 2007, and you can view the entries here.

In 2008 we will hold two festivals - one on Saturday, the 29th of March, and the other on Saturday, 27th of September. The March festival theme is Finding Out, Letting Know, Realising, and the September theme will be Centuries and Decades, Years and Months, Days, Hours and Moments.

Q. Who can enter?
A.
Anyone can enter! Only trolls are excluded. I'd love for you to let me know you are working on a project so I can put your name on the list! (Although you won't be excluded if you forget to do this.)

Q. What sort of film should I make?
A.
The festival is for short films on the subject of infertility and/or pregnancy loss. "Film" is being defined rather loosely to include really anything audio-visual, from home videos, to machinima, to slideshow formats.

Q. Is there a time limit to how long a film can be?
A.
I'm not going to set a specific time limit, but bear in mind that the longer your film, the harder it will be to view over the internet. For practical purposes, I suggest all films should be under four or five minutes. I'd also suggest that it's actually quite difficult to make a watchable film longer than this, and that most people will do best within the 1-3 minute range. Also feel free to submit a twenty-second short if you want!

Q. Can I make a film about any stage of infertility?
A.
Yes, of course. Pre-treatment, post-treatment, no treatment pursued, whatever path you chose or are choosing to follow, and whatever outcome you found or are working towards. Much like the real movies, I'll be sure to give content warnings where appropriate.

Q. Can I submit more than one entry?
A.
You can submit as many as you like.

Q. Are there prizes and awards and stuff?<
A.
Yes!

For each festival, we try to award three prizes. One is the Audience Choice Award, decided by online poll. Then there's the Lucky Dip Prize, which is literally your name out of a hat, so there's no reason to be afraid your film won't win, because this could go to anyone! Thirdly, there's the Jury Prize, which is awarded based on interpretation of the theme, originality, technique, and overall impact.

Your prize - it's nothing big, by the way - will either come in the mail or, if that freaks you out, you can nominate a charity to receive an equivalent donation.

For more info, you can see how previous awards' ceremonies went.

Q. It sounds hard, is it?
A.
No. Or rather, it doesn't have to be. If you are able to blog, you are able to make a short. And shit, if you can deal with infertility you can do just about anything.

The idea is you can spend a lot or a little time on the project, and you can use state-of-the-art software, or freebies you downloaded off the internet. If you need help, email me at infertilefantasies at gmail dot com and I'll try. Also check out the How To... label.

Some suggestions:
  • a simple music video, where you set a slideshow or home video to a meaningful song

  • a slideshow of photos, drawings or artwork with a voiceover

  • a computer-game-generated animation, either moving or still, perhaps set to music or a voiceover

  • a CGI-enhanced claymation short with a heartwrenching yet witty script and an adorable dog character (or maybe that's been done...)


Q. Can I get some tech support around here?
A.
Try the How To... label. I can't promise to solve your problem, but I can try.

Q. Where can I find some free software to get started then?
A.
Here are the Top 7 Free Video Editing Software Products according to some guy on the internet. Windows Movie Maker can easily make you a tidy little video (and I guess iMovie can do the same or perhaps even better, but it's only free if you bought it with your Mac). ZS4 is a great free tool from t@b for those wanting to get really into things, and if I figure out how to use it properly I'll let you know.

You might also want to dig out your picture editing tools. Gimp is a nice free one - better than paint, cheaper than photoshop.

Finally, for audio, I've found HiQ to be a very simple recording program (I basically use the "go" and "stop" button) and it has a distinct advantage over other free programs in that it doesn't cut you off after X amount of time.

Songs or voiceovers can make simple soundtracks, but if you want to get serious and edit or mix sound (and if your video editing program won't do it) - Audacity is from sourceforge, always a good bet, and Wavepad seems to be popular, but I haven't used either myself. These guys can tell you more.

Confused? Email me at infertilefantasies at gmail dot com, or check the How To... label.

Q. Ok, so I've finished my film, I should upload it somewhere, huh?
A.
Yes you should. Once you have a finished product, you're ready to upload. I don't care where you do this, but I couldn't go past Youtube. Youtube will walk you through the whole process, and at the end it'll give you an url, and a little piece of cut-and-paste html so you can embed your film in your blog. Take a copy of both of these. If you could tag your film with the label IInfertilityFF that would be good, too. Please include the address of this site in your film's notes.

Q. What if I'm having trouble uploading?
A.
Email me at infertilefantasies at gmail dot com. There's more than one way to skin a cat. (This site in no way condones the skinning of cats.)

Q. I've finished and I've uploaded my entry. Now what?
A.
Where possible, tag or label your film with IInfertilityFF, and include the festival site's URL in the notes for your film.

Prepare a post for your own blog about your masterpiece, and send me the URL. You don't have to add any notes or commentary, but it'd be great if you could write a little something about your work. Make sure you include a link back to the festival site in your post. Now wait til we're due to screen, and hit "publish"!

Q. And just what do you think you're going to do with my entry?
A.
On the day of screening, I'm going to publish a post listing all the entrants, their blogs, and links to their work. The idea is people will come to watch, comment, discuss, and share your film around.

Q. But my blog is password protected/I don't have a blog!
A.
That's ok - there are other options.

1. I can link directly to your entry on eg Youtube and you'll still get some space there to say a few words. Make sure you include a link back to this site with your film and, where possible, tag your film IInfertilityFF.

2. Take a minute or two to open a blog just to display your film. It won't take long, but you can make it look pretty.

Either way, your blog/personal life can remain private, although your entry will, of course, be public.

Q. How can I tell everyone about this like I so dearly want to?
A.
I'm glad you asked, because the bigger the better - we need an audience as well as participants. So link here from your blog! Spread the word on your favourite message board! Send an email out to your support group list, or organiser! Put a mention in your next newsletter! Talk about it with your mum!

Here's some html to cut and paste into your sidebar:

{a href="http://infertilityfilmfestival.blogspot.com/"}
{img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uyjKcvA8c8A/RYe2AXvcwCI/AAAAAAAAAAg/b4CrhOlrQHY/s320/IIFF-LOGO-small.JPG"}
{/a}

Replace {} with <> to make it work. The above code will give you the smaller logo with a link back to this FAQ. You can also use the following code to get a larger version for a post:

{a href="http://infertilityfilmfestival.blogspot.com/"}
{img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uyjKcvA8c8A/RYe2AXvcwBI/AAAAAAAAAAY/M58AE9veZ9U/s320/IIFF-LOGO-big.jpg"}
{/a}

A big thanks to Max and Vee for the logo.

Q. Do you have any tips on how to create an animated film using a computer game like the one you did?
A.
Sure I do! I wrote about it here. If you have any more questions, email me or leave a comment. Also check out the How To... label.

Q. What do I do if you didn't answer my question already?
A.
Leave a comment. I'll update this post with more questions as they arise. For technical questions check the How To... label.

Q. What if I have a really great suggestion?
A.
Leave a comment, or send an email. Sometimes I ask for specific suggestions, such as for themes - check the Suggestion Box Label.

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