Six Do’s and Don’ts for GIFF Filmmakers

The Geocaching International Film Festival is returning for another year of epic geocaching moments captured on camera.

If you’re a filmmaker, a geocacher, or something in between, GIFF 2018 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. Submissions are due August 1, 2018.

But before you start filming, check out these do’s and don’ts of making a GIFF entry.

1. Do read the Submission Rules

This one is pretty straightforward. You can find the rules here.

There are 1497 words on that page. Now, we know that’s a lot of fine print to digest. Here are some tips for making it through:

  • Find a comfortable spot to sit
  • Keep a snack and water nearby for stamina and hydration
  • Do take the rules seriously! We hate having to turn down awesome films because of small, preventable guideline problems.

2. Do watch films from previous years

For inspiration and context, it’s generally helpful to get to know your peers. Don’t know where to start? Check out the films from prior years for a nice variety of genres. While you’re watching, try to pinpoint one thing each film excelled at, and start to make a mental list. Then when you set out to make your film, you’ll have some ideas of what you might want to make your film excel at.

3. Don’t use music without permission

It’s in the submission rules too, but it never hurts to mention this one again. We see so many submissions come in with background music that the filmmaker doesn’t have the rights to. Yes, it definitely would be neat if you could open your film with a sunrise shot accompanied by music from The Lion King. There may be a way to get permission for that, but it’s probably expensive and difficult. Instead, we recommend using one of these free, fair-use music resources to source your tunes:

4. Do show, Don’t tell

Film is visual medium—you’ll have your audience on the edge of their seats by keeping the voiceover and dialogue short and sweet. Be merciless with your final editing. Bad lines aren’t like your children. You’re allowed to give them up if they’re awful.

5. Don’t sacrifice quality

Many GIFF filmmakers are geocachers before they’re…well…filmmakers. Which is completely fine. Your experience producing a film may not match your experience finding nanos. And let’s face it—this isn’t Cannes and it’s not Hollywood. But we do prefer videos that look and sound good on the big screen. Invest some time in figuring out how you’re going to make the audio clear and the visual crisp.

6. Do seek advice and listen to feedback

Most filmmakers will work as a team with at least one other person. This is helpful considering the work it takes to produce a GIFF film. But it’s also helpful to bounce your film ideas off of others before the final product. Collect your closest friends or family and show them your storyboard (or whatever you’re using to brainstorm). Keep in mind that your film shouldn’t be shared beyond those you consider your filmmaking team in case it becomes a finalist!

Submission deadline is August 1, 2018!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *