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Screen It FAQ

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Screen It:

Background
Registration and Entries
Content Questions
Technical Questions - Animation
Technical Questions - Live Action
Technical Questions - Videogames
Submission of Entries
More Information

 

Background

What is Screen It?
Screen It is Australia's national film, animation and game making competition for school-age students. Designed to encourage imagination and inventiveness in primary and secondary school students, Screen It fosters a new generation of young media makers.

Unlike other student film competitions, Screen It is designed to provide rich education outcomes for participants with comprehensive education packs provided to assist in the production process.

What is ACMI?
World leading and state-of-the-art, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) celebrates, champions and explores the moving image in all its forms - film, television, games, new media and art.

Through a diverse and engaging annual calendar of award-winning major exhibitions, film programs, live events, creative workshops, education programs, community activities and lending services, ACMI brings the best of moving image culture from across the globe to Australian audiences.

Read more about our story.

What are the deadlines?
Screen It has a number of key dates that entrants must be aware of:
Screen It launch and registrations open - Monday 17 February 2014
> Entries open - Friday 29 August 2014
> Entries close - Friday 12 September 2014
> Awards Ceremony - Friday 5 December 2014

Can I have extra time beyond the entry deadline?
No. Entries must be submitted by COB Friday 12 September 2014. Entries received after this date will be ineligible for judging.

How are entries judged?
Screen It entries are judged in a two stage process by ACMI internal staff and Industry/Education professionals.

In Pre-selection, the best entries in each of the categories are shortlisted and put forward to the finalist panel. In Judging, the finalist panel judges assess the shortlisted entries to decide the overall winners.

The judging process is extremely rigorous. The decisions of the panel are final and no correspondence concerning the winners will be entered into.

Can I enter if I do not attend a conventional secondary school?
You are welcome to enter Screen It either as an individual or through your educational institution. The competition is open to students engaged in primary and secondary school programs in 2014 (18 years and younger).

 

Registration and Entries

What is the difference between registering and entering Screen It?
Registration provides us with the information we need to communicate with you during the competition, for example sending you the exciting words "You are a winner!"
Register for Screen It 2014.

The entries comprise your films or videogames that are submitted for judging. Entry for this year's Screen It opens Friday 29 August 2014.

Why do I have to register?
Registration also gives us one key contact person - which becomes very important if a school is submitting numerous entries.

Your registration identity also helps us to keep track of all the entries throughout the submission and judging processes.

When registered, you gain access to a range of resources that assist you in the creation of your entry. These include:

> The Screen It Education Resource
> Invitations to online information events (webinars and conferences)
> Updates about prizes and awards

Do I have to register more than once?
No. You only have to register your details with us one time.

How many entries can I submit?
You can have multiple entries - as many as you like! Each individual submission requires its own entry form to be filled out, which is accessible during the dates when we accept entries.

Is there an entry fee?
No. Screen It is free to enter.

What is the difference between Individual and School entries?
The majority of entries received for Screen It come from schools - although we have an increasing number of entries from individuals. We recognise that many students will create animations, live action film and games in their own time and not in class. Screen It aims to support the inventiveness of Australian students both in and out of school.

What are the entry categories?

Primary School
> Animated Film (Category 1)
> Live Action Film (Category 2)
> Videogame (Category 3)

Secondary School
> Animated Film (Category 4)
> Live Action Film (Category 5)
> Videogame (Category 6)

An overall best school entry is awarded in addition to awards for each primary and secondary category.

 

Content Questions

Do I need to observe copyright?
Yes. Screen It requires entrants adhere to Australian Copyright Law. This means that any content used as part of the entry must be wholly created by the entrants (i.e. new and original work) or have written permission from the copyright holder agreeing for their work to be included as part of the entry. It is important that all contact with copyright holders makes it clear that the work will be screened in public and will form part of the ACMI student collection (available both onsite and online).

For detailed resources and up to date information on Australian copyright, visit the Copyright Council.

If I use music I've purchased do I still need copyright clearance?
Though you may have bought the CD or paid for the music from an online provider, you still need to obtain written clearance from the owner of the copyright. With music, this may require authorisation from both the record label and the performer/writer as in some cases the rights are held jointly.

What if our school has an APRA|AMCOS licence?
You still need to obtain written clearance from the owner of the copyright. APRA|AMCOS state that for use of synchronised music and sound recording in film that:

"These films may only be shown on school premises to members of the school community. Films made for film festivals or to be screened elsewhere require separate licensing or permissions. Note: this does NOT cover the use of Production Music in films or audiovisual recordings. APRA|AMCOS offers special Production Music licence rates to warranted educational institutions." Visit the APRA|AMCOS website for further information.
Source APRA|AMCOS accessed 13 February 2014, 11:08am

Will I be allowed to show my work elsewhere?
Yes. As the creator of the work you maintain the rights to your work. By entering Screen It you agree to allow ACMI to use your work, as outlined in the entry form (Terms and Conditions). This is a non-exclusive licence which means you have the right to enter any other competition or showcase/exhibit the work in any other format/location.

ACMI adheres to a non-exclusive agreement to enable you to maintain the utmost freedom in the display and promotion of your work.


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Technical Questions - Animation 

Are there specific technical formats required for entries?
Yes. With the large number of affordable editing software and possible formats, selecting the right combinations can be tricky. We want you to send in the highest possible format to ensure we can showcase your work in the best way. Things you will need to consider when you output your finished film are:

Video Resolution
The resolution refers to how many pixels are displayed on screen. It is the number of pixels high by the number across and is usually represented like this: 1920x1080 or 720x576. Resolution can vary from camera to camera. Please keep the original resolution (i.e. the resolution the camera shot it in). So if your camera shoots 1280x720 you want to edit it and send it to Screen It in that resolution. Keeping the file in this format ensures that the best possible quality is maintained and there is no problem with tricky things like aspect ratios.

Frame rate
This relates to how many frames (pictures) are displayed per second of film. The more frames you shoot to capture a movement, the slower the on-screen action will appear. The fewer frames you shoot, the faster the movement will appear. The frame rate of the original video should be maintained.

Video Codec
The codec relates to how the computer reduces (encodes) the overall digital file size of your film. Some codecs are better at keeping close to the original quality of the film whilst reducing the file size - so it can be downloaded or copied easier/quicker. Screen It prefers H.264, Mpeg-2 or WMV codecs. Adobe Flash has its own proprietary codec (SWF) which should be used if you have created an animation with Flash.

Audio Codec
MP3 or AAC with a sampling rate of 44.1kHz or 48kHz.

Why is there a time limit on the length of my animation?
Animations may be submitted with a length of between 30-180 seconds. While this might seem short, animation is a time consuming process that demands attention to detail. Students need to create a storyline that fits within the allocated time and then create the animation to this duration. Often the best works in the Animation category of Screen It are the shorter works.

 

Technical Questions - Live Action

Are there specific technical formats required for entries?
Yes. With the large number of affordable editing software and possible formats, selecting the right combinations can be tricky. We want you to send in the highest possible format to ensure we can showcase your work in the best light. Things you will need to consider when you output your finished film are:

Video Resolution
The resolution refers to how many pixels are displayed on screen. It is the number of pixels high by the number across and is usually represented like this: 1920x1080 or 720x576. Resolution can vary from camera to camera. Please keep the original resolution (i.e. the resolution the camera shot it in). So if your camera shoots 1920x1080 you want to edit it and send it to Screen It in that resolution. Keeping the file in this format ensures that the best possible quality is maintained and there is no problem with tricky things like aspect ratios.

Frame rate
This relates to how many frames (pictures) are displayed per second of film. The more frames you shoot to capture a movement, the slower the on-screen action will appear. The fewer frames you shoot, the faster the movement will appear. The frame rate of the original video should be maintained.

Video Codec
The codec relates to how the computer reduces (encodes) the overall digital file size of your film. Some codecs are better at keeping close to the original quality of the film whilst reducing the file size - so it can be downloaded or copied easier/quicker. Screen It prefers H.264, Mpeg-2 or WMV codecs.

Audio Codec
MP3 or AAC with a sampling rate of 44.1kHz or 48kHz.

Why is there a time limit on the length of my live action film?
For primary students, a maximum length of three minutes applies to live action works, while for secondary students a maximum length of five minutes applies. These time limits may seem incredibly short, but the time required to create quality moving image works of these lengths cannot be underestimated. The works should concentrate on the quality and engagement of the story and be timed accordingly. Do not try to stretch a three minute work to five minutes (it never works), however a longer work can often be shortened with improvement to the viewer experience.

 

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Technical Questions - Videogames

What programs/software can I use to create my game in?
There is a large range of software available for making videogames. Some popular free software includes Yoyo Game Maker, Adobe Flash and 3D Game Maker. Refer to the Screen It Education Kit for more information.

Both primary and secondary game entries have the following submission requirements:
> The video game must be playable on a Windows computer (XP or later) or Macintosh computer (OS 10.4 or later).
> No third-party software should be required to play the game except for commonly available free plugins (e.g. Flash, DirectX, Java).

What do I need to supply with my game?
> Details of the software you used to create the game.
> Details of the software required to play the game (e.g. Windows XP with DirectX10 plugin, or Macintosh computer with Flash 10 plugin).
> You must indicate on the entry form that you own or are licensed for all copyrighted elements of your game.
> A copy of the project file created to build the game in must be supplied

Why is there a file size limitation on the game?
The file size of the game itself must not exceed 300MB. No external files can be used or referenced by the game. This means you cannot link to a music or image file outside of the game file to get around the 300MB limit. This limitation is to both cut load/download times and to create a level playing field. The complexity of the game and its fun value is forced to be relative to game mechanics and flow rather than high quality graphics and music.

What are the judges looking for?
Screen It guidelines state that entries are judged on creative merit, technical difficulty, theme, and stylistic elements. For games we are also looking for clever, simple and original works. Though the requirements of both simplicity and technical difficulty may seem contradictory, what we are looking for is a game that is simple in its playability and ease in learning, while also difficult or challenging in the way it has been created, e.g. in technical aspects such as its coding.

 

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Submission of Entries

I've finished my work, what are the next steps?
First, save and make a back-up file of your work. Then, submit your entries via YouTube or Dropbox.

If you have created an Animated Film or Live Action Film (Categories 1, 2, 4 or 5), you need to submit your entry via YouTube.

> Our YouTube Instruction Manual for film entries this year is not yet available

If you have created an Videogame (Categories 3 and 6), you need to submit your entry via Dropbox.

> Our Dropbox Instruction Manual for videogame entries this year is not yet available

What are the submission dates for my entry?
This year, Screen It entries open on Friday 29 August 2014 and close Friday 12 September 2014 at 5pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). If you have any issues uploading your work please email screenit@acmi.net.au.

 

More Information

If you have a question that isn't answered in this FAQ please email screenit@acmi.net.au.

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