Three Tips For Competing In Film Festivals

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Taking your filmmaking hobby to the next level is a difficult task, but not one that should be written off.

As a student, you have plenty of opportunities to help you reach that next level. Student film festivals are extremely popular, and each year thousands of students win scholarships and awards for entering these events. Donâ??t be left out! While the competition can be nerve-wracking, donâ??t worry. Here are the top things judges seek out when looking at your film. Follow this list and youâ??ll be on the right track toward your first award.

1. Actors

While it might be convenient and fun to get your buddies to act in your movies, that doesnâ??t work out all the time. Acting is harder than it looks, and you can always spot a bad actor when he or she is placed next to good ones. Donâ??t let your film be known as the one with bad actors. Get the word out at your school that youâ??re looking for skilled actors and actresses to star in your movie. Youâ??ll get responses from interested people who most likely have talent.

2. Editing

Editing your movie well is also a daunting task. Not only do you need to have enough film to use, but you also need to be mindful of time restrictions in competitions. Judges are aware that editing is difficult, so donâ??t stress too much if your video doesnâ??t have Hollywood-level effects. However, you need to practice editing to get good at it. The best way to do so is to edit videos constantly. Start simple: There are plenty of apps for smartphones, like Givit, that provide basic editing tools. Record a few angles of you talking or doing simple tasks, and then edit them together. Practice makes perfect, so get to work!

3. Sound

There is nothing more detrimental to your film than bad sound. While a boom mike is obviously preferred, sometimes you have to do without. If thatâ??s the case, donâ??t be lazy. Re-record dialogue in the studio to make it sound clear and free of background noise. Be careful when putting music in â?? too loud and you will overpower the dialogue and strain your viewers; too quiet and you have the opposite problem. To test if you have the right mix, listen to your film from different devices and at different volumes. If any of them sound wrong, then consider going back and remixing your audio.

There are many things Brian enjoys writing about, but one of his favorites is technology. If you’d like more information regarding how to edit videos, please visit


Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom /

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