Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where and when are the screenings?

Where do I get all my docs to fill out?

  • Attend the MANDATORY Kick Off Party
  • ASK questions now please. Don’t wait to figure everything out.

Is there a specific format/file the video needs to be in?

  • Absolutely! ALL FILMS AND TRAILERS must be turned in the correct format.
  • Click this link and watch the tutorial video on the ASPECT RATIOS.
  • With the many file formats out there we have chosen three; here they are: HD, Scope and Flat
  • For help on exporting to Avid DNxHD, see this tutorial
  • HD:
    • Apple Users- .MOV file- Apple ProRes 422HQ 23.98 fps (23.976 or 24 are ok) 1920×1080 = 1080p (not 720p)
    • PC Users- please use free AVID DNxHD 170 codec with the same specs.
  • 2K Flat:
    • Apple Users- .MOV file- Apple ProRes 422HQ 24 fps 1998×1080
    • PC Users- please use free AVID DNxHR 170 codec with the same specs.
  • 2K Scope:
    • Apple Users- .MOV file- Apple ProRes 422HQ 24 fps 2048×858
    • PC Users- please use free AVID DNxHR 170 codec with the same specs.
  • 4K Flat:
    • Apple Users- .MOV file- Apple ProRes 422HQ 24 fps 3996×2160
    • PC Users- please use free AVID DNxHD 170 codec with the same specs.
  • 4K Scope:
    • Apple Users- .MOV file- Apple ProRes 422HQ 24 fps 4096×1716
    • PC Users- please use free AVID DNxHD 170 codec with the same specs.
  • If you are not the techno guy and you don’t understand this, ask questions! Please forward this information to your editor!
  • Absolutely No MP4, AVI, Mpeg2, XDCam, Jpeg2000, Uncompressed, Animation Codec, also no Standard-Def or 720p, Etc.
  • Films turned in incorrectly will be charged a transcode fee of $150
  • If you decide not to pay you will be disqualified. Please AVOID THIS.
  • Ask questions now.

What if I’m using Sony Vegas to edit my film?

What about audio?  Can I use surround or do I have to use a stereo mix?

  • Attach your STEREO audio track to your movie file as you normally would. (nothing special)
  • However if you are submitting Surround please send the audio files split out as .L / .R / .C / .LS / .RS / .LFE
  • At this time we only accept 5.1 surround not 7.1 or 9.1

What do I need to do if my film contains music that is public domain or music licensed from the internet that requires attribution?

  • Public Domain:
    • Put the title on the music release form
    • note that it is public domain
    • include printed verification that it is public domain along with Z-Fest music release form
  • Music licensed from the web
    • Print the license form from the website where the music came from
    • Physically attach this printout to the Z-Fest music release form

What’s on the USB flash drive?

  • A folder with exactly TWO files. Named exactly as shown below. (XX= Your team number)
  • Team XX Video (this file is under 7 min to the frame + 1 min for credits 8 min total)
  • Team XX Trailer (this file is 30 sec to the frame or under)

Do I need to format my USB Flash Drive?

Can I turn in my USB flash drive early?

  • Yes.

How do I nominate my film for consideration for various categories (best actor, etc)?

Read the nomination instructions on our nominations guide page.

The Nominations only allows me to enter one YouTube clip… What if,  for example, I want to nominate two actors from my film?

Only one clip may be submitted per category, but the clip can contain, for example, two actors.

What if I can’t get my film down to 7 min?

  • If your masterpiece is under 10 minutes and you can’t bear to cut it down any more, simply turn it in. You will be disqualified but we will screen it.

Control Element- What if I don’t include it?

  • You will be disqualified but screened.

Why do you need a “two sentence” description?

  • Audience members use this to choose the “Audience Favorite” awards at the screenings. Help them remember the details of your film.
  • Please put a .txt file named “2 Sentence” in the team drop box folder or you will not appear in the program.
  • Good example: Timmy the clown robs a toy store to get the helium he needs to make balloon animals, never suspecting he was attending his own funeral in the future.
  • Bad example: A film with passion and intrigue, comedy and laughs, about a man and a woman sharing a moment in time together.

Why is my Team Name and Film Title so important?

  • Your Team Name and Film Title must be Absolutely Correct
  • We will be copying/pasting the info that appears on the status page… This is what will appear on the big screen !
  • If it’s not correct in any way (caps, abbreviations, spelling, punctuation etc.) please notify us ASAP.
  • We will not retype or correct this in any way unless you notify us.
  • We will be rendering title slates used for the awards ceremony and intro to your film soon
  • You must indicate the dimensions and format of your film on the status page by the end of registration (Friday, January 22nd) so we can give you the appropriate title slate.
  • We will NOT re-render these videos for free if you make changes.

What about Genre?

  • Your Genre is the category you are competing in this this year. Horror vs. Horror etc. Please make sure this column is correct on the “Status Page”
  • Awards will be given per genre. “Best in Show” and prize selection will be based on your overall judges’ score across all genres similar to years past.

What is a “Title Slate” and where do I get it?

  • A “Title Slate” is simply a 15 sec movie that you will add to the head of your film. This does not count toward your 8 min time.
  • This video will introduce your film and add a consistent look to the festival.
  • Everyone will get one. This will be rendered in After Effects using the DATA from the status page. (team name and film name)
  • This file will be available in your Team Google Drive Folder as .Mov (ProRes) file. (Look in the credits tag drop box for the end credits.)

What is a “Shout Out?”

  • As of 10/19/15, we are still lining up the shout out / product placement sponsors.  As they come online, we will get you their information. Watch for more shout outs to come.
  • Just like last year, 2 Gingers whiskey will be awarding a $500 dollar prize to anyone that uses their product creatively in a film. Simply feature a bottle of 2 Gingers in your film and be as creative as you like. However, do not promote underage consumption.
  • The winner of the 2 Gingers shout out award is at the sole discretion of 2 Gingers Whiskey, and is not part of general Z-Fest voting.

What are the rules for the script contest?

  • If you would like to participate, head on over to the status page and mark YES in the appropriate column.
  • Each script will be read by at least 3 judges.
  • The judging criteria will be as follows:
    • Story: Is it a complete story?  Is it compelling?
    • Characterization: Are the characters well developed and unique?
    • Originality: Is the story original?  Does it have an original take on an old story?
    • Formatting: Is the script in proper screenplay format?
    • Clarity: Is the writing clear, straightforward, understandable?
    • Visualization:  Does the script make use of compelling visuals to tell the story?
    • Style/Tone:  Is the tone and style of the script appropriate for the subject?  Does it convey the mood or “feel” of the story.
  • Each category is worth 10 points for a total of 70 possible points from each judge.  Scores from each judge will be added together and the highest scoring script will win.

As team leader, am I guaranteed admission to the screenings, or do I need to buy a ticket?

  • You will need to buy a ticket to each screening. (Ticket sales generally cover the cost of renting the theaters. Entry fees go toward the prizes and parties etc)
  • Z-Fest is  a non-profit which is why we have such a low entry fee and ticket prices.
  • We need your help! Please bring all your friends and family to the screenings, tell them to put it on their calendar now.
  • This helps us continue to provide a great place to show your films.

Why do I have to upload three production stills?

  • The production stills are really fun for the fans of Z-Fest on Facebook, and while they are not an absolute requirement, (screen-caps will be fine) we encourage everyone to submit as many photos to Facebook as you like.
  • This helps us build buzz and bring in more people to see your great work!
  • It’s all about YOU and your FILM! Help us support you.

What happens if I get disqualified?

  • First, don’t panic! Some people get disqualified; it’s not the end of the world. It’s a contest and a race so not everyone can win.
  • Your disqualified film will be screened just like every other film.
  • Only the other team leaders will know your film was disqualified from the status sheet. The audience need not even know.
  • Other filmmakers all know the pressure and stress of making a film and no one will think less of you.
  • The reason we started Z-Fest is so even more great local films get produced and shared with large audiences.
  • So smile, share your masterpiece with all your friends and family, and feel the great satisfaction that comes with seeing it on the big screen.

What does disqualified mean?

  • Simply put. No Prizes, Awards, Cash, or Judging.

If I fail to make a film do I get a refund or If I buy a ticket to “Best of” and my film doesn’t make it do I get a refund?

  • Sorry, No Refunds of any kind… Have you ever asked Ticketmaster for a refund? Please don’t ask us. Thank you in advance for respecting our Festival.

Facebook Team Member Discussion Group
Got equipment? Need equipment? Looking to act in a film? Need actors for your film? Looking for a production crew to join? Need someone to join your crew? Want to join a creative team? Looking for a director, screenwriter or other creatives? Connect on our Facebook team member group. Click below:

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