INITIAL STAGE – ENTERING YOUR FILM
1. WHO CAN ENTER?
To enter a film into Virgin Media Shorts, you’ll need to be:
- aged 18 or over by the time the competition closes for entries (18th July 2013)
- a resident of the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
- registered on virginmediashorts.co.uk
- the director or producer of the film you're entering
- You'll also need to agree to Virgin Media's terms and conditions as well as the competition's terms and conditions before submitting your work.
If you’ve entered your film into Virgin Media Shorts before but weren't shortlisted, you’re very welcome to re-enter it – in fact, we’d love to have your film back! If your film has made our shortlist before (whether it won or not), you won't be able to enter that same film again, but we'd be more than happy to receive any of your other films.
2. WHICH FILMS ARE ELIGIBLE TO WIN THE COMPETITION?
If you enter a film that doesn’t fit the competition criteria, it won’t be considered in the judging process, no matter what. Sorry! If you want to win Virgin Media Shorts 2013 (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll need to make sure that your film:
- is no longer than two minutes twenty seconds in length (140 seconds) including titles and credits - not even by a second! It can be shorter though.
- is U or PG rated (more info here)
- complies with Ofcom's Broadcasting Code (in particular your film must be suitable for transmission before 9pm)
- complies with the CAP (non-broadcast) Code
- is in English or subtitled in English
- only uses music that you have the rights to use
- is uploaded before the deadline (12 midday on 18th July 2013)
No matter how much we love your film, we can’t let the rules slide for anyone we’re afraid. If your film is too long, even by a second, it won’t be considered - we won’t email you and ask you to cut it down. If your film contains inappropriate content and isn’t considered U or PG, we won’t ask you to edit it. It simply won’t be judged in the competition. And if it’s not uploaded by the time we close the competition for entries, we won’t be able to accept it. We’re sorry, but getting your dates mixed up or not leaving long enough for the upload process won’t mean we can extend the deadline for you.
Please, please make sure you read all of the rules carefully before entering.
3. WHICH FORMATS ARE ACCEPTED?
The following video codecs will be accepted:
- H.264 with AAC or uncompressed audio (we strongly recommend this format)
- MPEG (1, 2, & 4)
- Motion JPEG
- VP5 & VP6
- WMV / WMA
We will NOT be accepting .flv
SECOND STAGE – SELECTING THE SHORTLIST
Once the competition closes for entries in July, our curators will start getting busy choosing the shortlist of 12 films. We'll also work out which film has made the 'Lucky 13th spot'. In addition to the 12 shortlisted films, we will again this year be offering a 13th spot for the film submitted to the competition that generates the highest number of points via social media during the period between the 22nd until 28th July. Points will be calculated by measuring the number of 'Likes' submitted through the Virgin Media Shorts Facebook tab and tweets submitted via Twitter (tweets must include the film's name followed by #ShortsLucky13. One point will be allocated for each 'Like' or 'Tweet'. The film with the highest number of points will automatically get the 13th spot on the shortlist, providing of course it is an eligable film under the rules of the competition.
The curator's selection of 12 films, plus the automatically selected Lucky 13th film will make up our final shortlist of 13 films. We won’t contact any of the unsuccessful entrants so if you don’t hear from us, we’re sorry but your film hasn’t made it this time. If you are chosen as one of the final 13, we’ll be in touch. You will need to provide your work to us in its highest quality as a master copy by post. You can send us your film digitally or on tape. The following formats are accepted (in quality order from lowest to highest):
- Medium: DigiBeta, DVCam, DVCPro
- High: D1, D2, D3, D4
- Highest: HDCAM SR, HD-D5, HDCAM, HDV
We'd rather get your short in film format rather than PAL format, but we can accept either. The content cannot be received in NTSC format (the US format at 29.97 FPS). The following format is ideal:
- PAL: 625
- Aspect ratio:1:185, 16:9, (optionally 4:3)
- Frame rate: 24 FPS, 25 FPS
- Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, stereo or mono
We will also double-check your film clearances at this point, too. You'll need to have your rights forms (actors, locations and music) ready to progress in the competition. If you can’t obtain these, we’re sorry but you won’t be able to go any further.
THIRD STAGE - THE SHORTLIST. WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR FILM?
This bit is all about getting your work on the big screen in hundreds of cinemas nationwide. Each of the 13 shortlisted films will be shown in independent cinemas and the Picturehouse network nationwide, ready to be watched by millions of cinema-goers across the country. If selected, your film will be on the big screen for 36 weeks, starting in September, so it's important that your original film master can be transferred technically and cinematically to the cinema screen.
We may also show your short film:
- On Virgin Media’s TV On Demand service, alongside 500 blockbuster films, and Virgin Media's TiVo® service
- On the internet (both on the website, through internet TV and on our YouTube channel)
- Other places we think you might benefit from extra exposure, i.e. our partners’ websites, film blogs, etc
FOURTH STAGE - AWARDS AND PRIZES (THE EXCITING BIT)
Three films will be awarded a prize at the 2013 awards ceremony in November:
THE NIKON PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
We'll give power to the people and ask the great British public to vote for their favourite of the 13 shortlisted films via the website. If your film is in the mix, get your friends and family behind you! The Nikon People’s Choice award will be decided by the film within the 13 Shortlisted films that generates the highest number of points via social media during the period commencing 9th September 2013 and 21st October 2013. Points will be calculated by measuring the number of ‘Likes’ submitted through the Virgin Media Shorts Facebook tab and tweets submitted via Twitter (tweets must include the film’s name followed by #VMShortsVote). 1 point each will be allocated for each ‘Like’ or ’Tweet’. The Film with the highest number of points will be awarded as the Nikon People’s Choice Award Winner. The winner of the Nikon People’s Choice Award will walk away with £5,000 film funding, mentoring from the BFI and £5,000 worth of SLR digital camera equipment from Nikon.
THE TIVO® AWARD
Virgin Media customers will get to vote with their remotes and crown our second ever TiVo® Award winner. By voting through their TiVo® set top boxes, customers will choose their favourite of the 13 shortlisted films. The winner will be the shortlisted film which receives the highest number of votes via the TiVo set top box during the period commencing 9th September 2013 and 21st September 2013. To vote, simply choose the option ‘vote for this film’.The winner will win Virgin Media’s TiVo® service for a year (if they are an existing Virgin Media customer).
THE GRAND PRIZE
A panel of judges, including industry experts, actors and directors will select one film maker from the 13 finalists to win the Grand Prize. That's £30,000 film funding and the chance to work with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Virgin Media to make a short film.