The 2016 Directing Change at City College student film contest is now accepting submissions. To enter the contest, submit a 60 second film raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.
All San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar College Students are invited to enter!
Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday, April 17, 2016.
The contest at a glance:
- All San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar College students are eligible to enter
- To enter, you must submit an original 60 second film raising awareness for suicide prevention and mental health
- Film submissions are due by midnight on Sunday, April 17, 2016
- Cash prizes of $500, $250, and $150 will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners
- All students submitting films will be entered into a raffle for a GoPro camera
- All students submitting films will be recognized at an award ceremony in May 2016 (date to be announced)
- No professional film equipment or experience necessary - films are judged primarily on content; it's about the message!
See films from the contest that inspired this one! Visit:
Email email@example.com; the faculty person in charge of the contest is Christine Ho, you may also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional assistance.
How to Participate
- Review the Judging Form for scoring measures
- Review the Getting Started information sheet and email us at email@example.com to let us know you’ll be participating
- Create a 60-second film about mental health or suicide prevention (pay close attention to judging form for content guidelines) *Note: Include an opening or closing slide with the student lead’s name and email for identifying purposes.
- Upload film as “unlisted” to YouTube (see instructions for this on website)
- Submit the following forms to firstname.lastname@example.org by the April 17, 2016
Entry Form (with link to film posted on YouTube)
Release of Intellectual Rights Forms (one for each student on film team)
Release of Image and Voice Forms (one for each person seen or heard in film)
Any other copyright forms (if you are using copyrighted images or music)
Disqualification: Suicide and mental health are complex and sensitive subjects, which need to be addressed with compassion and knowledge. All entries need to be suitable for schools and the general public viewing audience; otherwise, they may be disqualified. This contest has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided for the safety and respect of the audience. Entries that show portrayals of suicide deaths or attempts (such as a person jumping off of a building or bridge, or holding a gun to their head) even in dramatization will be eliminated. Additionally, entries must be sensitive to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and gender differences. All films deemed to have inappropriate content will be disqualified from entry into the contest. Again, please pay close attention to the judging form which is available on our website.
If at any time, you or someone working on the project experiences an emotional crisis call the San Diego County Access and Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240 (This is a free 24-hour hotline) or visit the City College Mental Health Counseling Center during operating hours (A Building-Room 221, Phone: 619.388.3539)
How to submit film
Upload your video as “unlisted” to YouTube (MANDATORY video settings listed below) and include the link on your entry form. Entry forms with link to video must be received by midnight on April 17, 2016. You may scan your forms and email them to email@example.com or hand deliver them to A-221 during open business hours.
Follow these steps to upload your film to YouTube:
- Login to YouTube. (If you do not have a YouTube account, create a free Google account that will allow you to create a YouTube channel.)
- On the homepage of YouTube, select “Upload.”
- Choose "Unlisted" as the privacy setting and select the file you wish to upload.
- Under "Advanced Settings," UNCHECK the Following:
a. "Allow Comments"
b. "Users can view ratings for this video"
- Under "License and rights ownership," choose "Standard Youtube License"
- Under "Caption certification," choose "This content has never aired on television in the U.S."
- Under "Distribution options," keep "Allow embedding" checked
- Click "Done"
If you are experiencing problems uploading, try the following steps:
- Try a different browser (e.g. if you are using Google Chrome, try Firefox)
- Try uploading the video from a different computer (e.g. desktop, laptop, school/office computer
- Try uploading the video from a different location (e.g. outside of school such as from home or a coffee shop)
Entries are limited to 60 seconds in length. YouTube is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. YouTube accepts the following file types: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP AND WebM. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file.
Many video editing programs (such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro) and encoding software (such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder) may include a preset for encoding H.264 files that match the YouTube format requirements. If yours does, we recommend using that preset when encoding your finished video. For more information on exporting your video to meet these requirements, and for further technical assistance, visit the YouTube Help Center: support.google.com/youtube/settings
If technical problems persist, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and include your internet browser, and a description of the problem you are experiencing. Please be assured that we will not disqualify any entries that did not make the deadline as a result of a technical problem with uploading the video.
Contest Rules and guidelines
Submission Deadline: April 17, 2016 by midnight
Eligibility: Students listed on the official entry form (up to 4) must be students at City, Mesa, and/or Miramar College. Additional students and non-students are welcome to participate in the making of the film (actors, crew, etc.), but should not be listed on the official contest entry form. Be sure all participants, both student and non-student sign the Release of Image and Voice Form and be sure all students on the film team sign and submit a Release of Intellectual Rights Form. Individuals under the age of 18 are not permitted to participate in the contest.
Judging Form: Films should be no longer than 60-seconds and follow contest scoring measures outlined in the official contest Judging Form.
Notice of Intent: If you plan on submitting to the contest, please send an email to email@example.com so we can keep you up-to-date with information about the contest.
Submission Deadline (Midnight April 17, 2016): Each film must be uploaded as a “unlisted” video to YouTube. An Entry Form including a link to the video on YouTube must be completed and submitted by April 17, 2016. Be sure that your film name matches the name on the entry form.
Submission Format: Entries are limited to 60 seconds in length. YouTube is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. YouTube accepts the following file types: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP AND WebM. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file. For more information visit the “How to Submit Film” section.
Judging Process & Prizes: Entries will be judged by a panel of faculty and staff from City College. Winners will be announced at the contest award ceremony (date: TBD).
- 1st Prize: $500 for the winning team
- 2nd Prize: $250 for the winning team
- 3rd Prize: $150 for the winning team
Release Forms: Every participant on the submitting team has to sign a release form. Please review the “Forms and Copyrights” section for more information and other requirements. All applicable release forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline. Signed release forms and applicable copyright forms must be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music and Copyrights: Entries must meet all copyright standards by obtaining releases for all copyrighted music and materials prior to submission. Entries that include copyrighted materials (such as images, supers or audiovisual materials) or music (such as music purchased from iTunes, on CD or other downloadable services) without the proper permission and signed release forms will be disqualified. Please review the “Forms and Copyrights” section for more information and to download the appropriate forms. All applicable music and copyright forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline. Signed release forms and applicable copyright forms must be scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
Safety: Please avoid potentially dangerous production situations that could put crew, actors or the public at risk. Safety during the project is of highest priority. Directing Change at City College sponsors take no responsibility and assume no liability for any acts or damages that may result from preparing the materials to submit to this contest. Further, the submission category includes sensitive subjects that need to be addressed with respect and understanding for how they might impact those involved in the project.
Elimination: Suicide and mental health are complex and sensitive subjects which need to be addressed with compassion and knowledge. All entries need to be suitable for schools and a general public viewing audience, or may be disqualified. This contest has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided for the safety of and respect for the audience. Entries that show portrayals of suicide deaths or attempts (such as a person jumping off of a building or bridge, or holding a gun to their head) even in dramatization will be eliminated. Additionally, entries need to be sensitive to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and gender differences. All films deemed to have inappropriate content will be disqualified from entry into the contest.
Forms and Copyright
All forms can be found at the top of this page under “How to Participate”
Entry Form: Each team needs to submit one Entry Form per film. The Entry Form will include a link to the film posted on YouTube and other identifying and contact information.
Release of Intellectual Rights Form: Every student on the submitting team (up to 4) has to sign a Release of Intellectual Rights Form.
Release of Image and Voice Form: For your submission, you need signed Release of Image and Voice forms from all people whose faces are recognizable and central to the shot or whose voice is featured in the video. In public settings, people in the background do not need to sign a release.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should my video be about?
The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Refer to the Judging Form for specifics.
- Do I have to be a student to participate?
Yes, each student listed on the entry form (up to 4) must be enrolled in at least 1 unit at City College. Non-students are welcome to participate in the film but should not be listed on the official entry form. All participants must be 18 years or older to participate.
- What if my film goes over 60-seconds?
Films will only be judged on the first 60-seconds of footage. Title slides (with identifying information) and credits do not count towards the 60-second maximum.
- How will my film be used? Where will it be shown?
Winning films will be displayed on the City College Mental Health Counseling website, screened at the awards ceremony, and used in awareness activities on campus.
- What could cause my video to be disqualified?
Films with inappropriate content will be disqualified. Remember that films will be shown in a school setting and the content needs to be appropriate for that setting. Additionally, entries need to be sensitive to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and gender differences. Films focusing on suicide prevention that show portrayals of suicide deaths or attempts (such as a person jumping off of a building or bridge, or holding a gun to their head) even in dramatization will be eliminated.
Other Useful Filmmaking Information
Step One: Get an idea
To get inspired you can check out some examples of existing PSAs from the statewide Directing Change Student Video Contest (high school only). Be aware that although the contests are similar, the content or criteria may not be applicable to the “Directing Change at City College Student Video Contest”. To view films from the other contest visit:
Step Two: Script and Storyboard
Once you have your idea you will need to write a script and storyboard for your video. 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 video on paper.
Step Three: Permissions and Releases
Before filming your video, be sure you have all appropriate forms and releases signed. For more information and useful links, visit the “Forms and Copyright” section.
Step Four: Shooting your Video
Shots and Framing
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 videotapes 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.
Rules of Thirds
- This link contains information about the basics of “shot types” and offers insight to consider when filming.
Lighting Tutorials – Media College
- This article explains “the rule of thirds”, an important principle in photography.
How To Use Microphones
- 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 you can use in your video. 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 video.
- 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 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
- A collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.
Step Five: Editing your Video
Video Editing Tutorials-Media College
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 video. 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.
Top 10 Rules for Video Editing
- This site offers tutorials on various aspects of editing.
- This article offers tips to consider when editing your film.
Step Six: Compressing and Submitting Your Video
Entries are limited to 60 seconds in length. YouTube is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements: YouTube accepts the following file types: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP AND WebM. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file.
Many video editing programs (such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro) and encoding software (such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder) may include a preset for encoding H.264 files that match the YouTube format requirements. If yours does, we recommend using that preset when encoding your finished video. For more information on exporting your video to meet these requirements, please visit the YouTube Help Center:
Additional sites that may be useful:
Thank you for your interest in the Directing Change at City College Student Video Contest.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego County Access and Crisis Line: (888)724-7240
Forms For Directing Change