Attention geocaching filmmakers! The deadline for submissions to the 2015 Geocaching International Film Festival is fast approaching (July 1, 2015). As you write, shoot, an edit your films, keep these 5 tips in mind. They’re straight from mouth of a GIFF judge.
1. Make it global
Geocaching is an international game, and so is every GIFF audience. Try to show an element of the geocaching experience that people in different corners of the world can feel connected to. That can range from a tangible moment in the game—FTF hunt, anyone?—to something a little more abstract—like that feeling you get when you find the geocache after hours of searching…in the first spot you looked.
2. Tell a story only you can tell
There’s nothing wrong with your film being about a geocaching love story or a race to the FTF, but it’s exactly because these are such universal geocaching themes that you’ll need to work to make your film stand out from others. We have it on good authority that you are a unique person, so…make it personal! Show the GIFF audiences why this crazy/nerdy/wonderful hobby is your wacky/nerdy/wonderful hobby. Odds are, the things that matter the most about geocaching to you are some of the same things that matter the most to others. The perspective you use to show those things will be the catalyst for surprising and delighting your audience. This finalist from GIFF 2014 is an awesome example of this:
3. Know the rules for submission
Seriously. Don’t make “Thriller” your main theme song unless you have permission from the King of Pop himself. Though a particular song might suit your geocaching love story perfectly, the GIFF judges will regrettably but firmly have to chuck it back to you. And remember—any geocache featured in your film should follow all basic requirements for hiding a geocache. (Hint: no buried caches, folks!) Review the GIFF 2015 submission guidelines and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any niggling questions.
4. Make it visual
Show, don’t tell! Film is visual medium—while you might love the sound of your voice, you’ll have your audience hanging on tenterhooks if you keep the voiceover and dialogue to a well-planned minimum. That being said, dialogue can still make or break a film, so be thoughtful about what you do include. This GIFF 2014 finalist film was able to do a lot with no dialogue at all.
5. Quality over quantity
The submission guidelines say it all: “Film length must not exceed 4 minutes (including credits).” That may not seem like a lot of video to write, shoot, and edit, but creating four minutes of absolute video gold is the challenge. So be discerning about what your audience gets to see. Make those four minutes the best four minutes of their week. Month! Year!
As someone once said, “We are on the edge of our exercise balls over here at HQ”…to see what geocaching filmmakers create for GIFF 2015.
Watch all of last year’s finalists here.