This page has 3 sections: 1) Support and Crisis Resources, 2) Educational Information and Resources about suicide prevention and mental health, and 3) Technical resources for creating your film.
Support and Crisis Resources
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Lifeline Crisis Chat: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (available 24/7)
The Trevor Project Project: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24
- The Trevor Lifeline: (866)-488-7386
- TrevorChat – Available 7 days a week (1pm- 6pm PST/3pm – 9 pm EST): www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now
Educational Information and Resources
Educational Videos: The educational videos are films produced by some of the Directing Change Team that discuss various mental health and suicide prevention topics.
- How to Help a Friend
- Suicide Prevention 101
- Mental Health Continuum
- Mental Illness & Stigma
- Mental Health Conditions
Bring Change to Mind: Bring Change to Mind High School is a national anti-stigma campaign aimed at removing misconceptions about mental illness.
Steps and Resources for Creating your Film!
The following is a list of resources covering various components of film production. Many of these resources have been adapted from other media festival websites.
Created by Military Veteran and Filmmaker Trent Duncan, the Online Film School Boot Camp is a complete educational resource for aspiring filmmakers looking to begin a career in the Film and Video industry. It is a great tool to help you as you develop your film — and it is now free! For more information about Online Film School Boot Camp and to check out their videos, visit their webpage at: http://www.onlinefilmschoolbootcamp.com
This webpage is a great resource for those who have never created a film before. It comes with tutorials about storyboarding, tips for editing films, and even talks about stop motion animation!
Step One: Get an idea
Review the submission categories and guidelines for content. To get inspired you can also check out some examples of existing films. Some of these examples have been produced by professional advertising agencies, and some are winners from other student film contests. Be aware that although the following films may be well made, the content and criteria may not be applicable to the Directing Change Program and Film Contest.
Student Examples (topic related):
Check out the winners from last year’s contest.
Step Two: Script and Storyboard
Once you have your idea you will need to write a script and storyboard for your film. The script gives you a roadmap to your production and all the content that you will cover. In addition to a script, the storyboard allows you to visually plan your film on paper.
Step Three: Permissions and Releases
Before filming your film, be sure you have all appropriate forms and releases signed. For more information and useful links, visit the Forms and Copyright section.
- Release Form: Every person on the submitting team (cast and crew) has to sign a release form. For students under the age of 18 the form needs to be signed by their parent or a legal guardian.
- Location Contract: The location contract protects both the property owner and the film production team. Getting permission is also a courtesy that can prevent you from being ejected from a location.
- Copyrights: When creating a film youth should be aware of intellectual property and copyright rules especially if they plan on using elements that someone else has created. See Songs and Sounds Effects Resources below for links to free music and sounds.
Step Four: Shooting your Film
Before you start filming you will want to plan each of the shots. If possible, you may want to use two cameras to provide different angles for the same scene when editing. Take time to look at the area you in which you will be filming, paying attention to the background. Also, it is very important to make sure you keep your video tapes or video files in a safe place so it doesn’t get lost. The following sections offer links to the various aspects of video production.
- This link contains information about the basics of “shot types” and offers insight to consider when filming.
- This article explains “the rule of thirds”, an important principle in photography.
- This site offers various information sheets about lighting in film production.
- This tutorial offers information about the use of microphones.
Songs and Sound Effects Resources
Unfortunately you can’t just go to iTunes and download your favorite song. The following resources offer free music and sound effects that you can use in your film! Although some sites offer “free” music, note that you may still have to request licensing for permission to use it in your film. You can also create all the music and sounds yourself, or obtain written permission from the copyright holder for copyrighted songs and materials you would like to use in your film. For more information about how to obtain permission, visit the “Copyright Requirements” section on this page. Note: We have added some new resources this year – be sure to check them out for new possible tracks!
- Free tracks, searchable by mood and instrument. You will need to credit the artist – the specific credit needed is shown when you download the track. The artist has a handy page that creates the exact credit to use based on which track you decide to incorporate in your film.
- This link will lead you to a page of music, organized by keywords (emotion, genre, lead instrument, etc.). Any of the songs listed as “FREE” can be used for your film, provided that you include a credit at the end of your film. Info on the credits process can be accessed here.
- A collection of royalty-free music that can be used in your film. You will still need to credit the website. For instructions on how to give credit in your film check out the site’s FAQ.
- Similar to the above links; you can download and use these songs for free as long as you credit the artist.
- A composer who has a range of his tracks posted, free for use under Creative Commons. Make sure to credit the creator and the track name at the end of your film!
- Similar to the above links; you can download and use these songs for free as long as you include this credit at the end of your film: “Music by www.pacdv.com/sounds/”
- A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
- Offers free ‘film music’, and is intended for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.
- A collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.
Ben Sound (this is a popular one!)
- A database of downloadable, copyright free music and sounds that can be used in your film. You will still need to credit Ben Sound. For instructions on how to give credit in your film check out the site’s FAQ.
- This is a non-profit organization that has classical and other (mostly instrumental) pieces available for free download and use. You have to sign up as a member (do the “Lite” membership for free downloads), and then navigate to the “Recordings” link for a given piece in order to download the song. Just like many of the other resources shown here, you will need to include a credit at the end of your film if you use a track from this website.
Step 5: Editing your Film
Editing is important to the film making process. You may spend more time editing than filming. These links will help guide you in editing your film. There are various programs for editing that you may have on your computer at home, or ones that may be available through your school, or local library. Tutorials specific to the program you use should also be available online. Remember, entries are limited to 60 seconds in length.
- This side offers tutorials on various aspects of editing.
- This article offers tips to consider when editing your film.
- Recommnended by advisor Sara Hills from Claremont High School, this website offers a free version of video editing software that can be run on a Mac or PC.
Step 6: Submitting Your Film
Entries must be either 30-seconds or 60-seconds in length depending on the submission category. Vimeo is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. You will be asked to upload your film as part of the entry form. Please note: this year every submission category has its own entry form; please be sure to submit to the correct entry form. By uploading your film to Vimeo you will automatically agree to their terms and conditions. Vimeo recommends that when preparing your video for upload, it’s best to maintain the video’s native frame rate when compressing your video. If your footage exceeds 60 FPS, they will automatically reduce the frame rate. Vimeo recommends a constant frame rate throughout your entire video. Always choose “constant” frame rate instead of “variable” frame rate. A codec is the format in which your video is encoded. Vimeo accept most major codecs, but for best results they recommend H.264 or Apple ProRes 422.
- For more information on exporting your video to meet upload requirements, please view a tutorial on your particular editing software – http://vimeo.com/help/compression
- Troubleshooting Upload Problems: https://help.vimeo.com/hc/en-us/articles/224818007-Troubleshoot-uploading-problems
Other Film Festivals
Entries can be submitted to other film festivals after the March 1, 2020 submission deadline. Special note to students in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties Directing Change is partnering with the SlickRock Student Film Festival. We strongly encourage you to also submit to this festival if your entry is in the suicide prevention category. The entry description and judging guidelines for both contests are aligned. If you are in San Diego County we also encourage you to submit your entry to the iVIE film festival. Students throughout the state of California are encouraged to also submit their films to Art With Impact, and enter into their monthly video contest. Here are a few other film festivals we encourage you to enter as well:
Picture the Valley – Fresno County contest open to Juniors and Seniors.
Much of the information found on this page was adapted from the Student Educational Video Awards video and many of the resources and links were adapted from the other film festival websites listed here.