Film Formats

We video project from m2ts (Blu-Ray), VOB (DVD), and other hi-def file types using media players.  We prefer hi-def m2ts files.

IF YOU HAVE A BLU-RAY

  • We do not actually play blu-ray disks, but take the m2ts file off the disk and place it on a hard drive for screening.  This means you cannot have copy protection added to your disk (almost no one does)
  • You do not need to use the relatively expensive physical blu-ray discs (though one is acceptable).  If your film file is under 4.7 g, you can use a DVD ROM, or you can send us a USB thumb drive (formatted for Windows), or make it available for us to download.  We simply need the m2ts file.
  • It is important for you to follow the “General Rules and Recommendations” below for m2ts files.

IF YOU HAVE OTHER DIGITAL HI-DEF FORMATS, we MAY be able to use it.

  • Our preferred format is m2ts, but we generally can screen mkv, mp4, mov, particularly if using h/x264.
  • Avoid any unusual codex.
  • DO NOT use an Apple proprietary codex.
  • Follow the “General Rules and Recommendations” even closer as we may have less control over how these files play than over m2ts files.
  • You may send the video file to us on a blu-ray ROM, DVD ROM, or USB thumb drive or make it available for download.

GENERAL RULES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR VIDEO FILE

  • Do not use color bars
  • Do not use count down clocks
  • Have 1 to 2 seconds of black/silence before and after your film.  Do not have more
  • Do not put a sheet with contact info, TRT, etc, before or after your film.
  • Do not put ads in your credits.
  • Only include subtitles if your film is intended to be screened with subtitles before an English-speaking audience (we’ve all been to a festival where subtitles were displayed for a film that didn’t need them).
  • Do not have additional audio tracks (EXCEPT if you have a 5.1 track – including a stereo track is smart.  Smarter still is to include two copies of your film file, one with 5.1, one with stereo)

OPTIONAL ITEMS to make our lives easier

  • Our festival trailer is made up of very brief clips (between a half second and two seconds) from selected films.  If you supply such clips, they may be better quality.  This is completely optional, but if you would like to, we welcome you doing so.  Such clips should be of particularly exciting or impressive moments in your film, and sound does not matter as we will be using a music track.  Using mov or dv format would make it easier for us.  We only use a limited number of clips, so we may not be able to use yours.
  • We play a 15 second clip (no shorter than 10 seconds, no longer than 18) from each finalist at the awards ceremony. If your film was a finalist, and you supply the clip, it may be a better quality clip than we could create.  This is completely optional, but if you would like to, we welcome you doing so.  The clip should be of an interesting or exciting moment in your film.  The sound will be heard, so it should be cut to avoid a harsh transition (the middle of a word is a poor choice).  Using mov or dv format would make it easier for us.  We reserve the right to use a different clip.

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