Submissions for the Fourth Annual Racer X Amateur Film Festival presented by MotoSport and ISAW opened this past Friday, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the best up-and-coming amateur videographers have in store this year. MotoSport.com, ISAW Action Camera, and Racer X are putting over 3,500 dollars worth of killer prize packs on the line, so don’t let a minor technicality put you out of the running! We've put together these helpful tips to make sure you make the best video you can.
1. Actually read the official rules and guidelines. Like, ALL of them.
We've all grown used to simply clicking "ok" when a website asks you to agree to terms and services, but that approach won't work with this competition. There are specific rules you must follow. Completely understanding the rules should be the first step of your planning process. It would suck if you spent a bunch of time making an entry, only to get disqualified because you didn’t include sponsor logos, for example.
2. Don't rush! Submitting your entry early in the submission period won't give you an edge. You've got six weeks; use them.
We're always surprised when we get entries a couple of days into the submission period. This is usually because somebody just slapped something together, or because they just submitted a video that they already had online somewhere. Neither of these approaches will get you into the semifinals. There will be a lot of entries, and if you want to make the first cut, take your time and turn in the best work you can.
3. Dig deep and find the limits of your creativity.
With the number of submissions we'll get, it won't be easy to stand out to our initial panel of judges. If you think differently, you're more likely to make an impression. Make a run-of-the-mill edit, and you'll be stuck waiting for next year.
4. Be detail oriented.
Getting killer footage for your entry is obviously important, but that's not enough. Pay attention to all the details of your film. Title and logo treatments, transitions, and on-screen text—take care of these details carefully and your work will have a more polished, professional look. Just slap this stuff on and you'll look like an amateur. That won't get you in the semifinals.
5. Music is key, and it can also be the hardest part of making a good film. Spend extra time getting it right.
For starters, carefully read the Music Guidelines in the assets package you'll download before you begin. It would be easy to have awesome music if you could just buy a song on iTunes for ninety-nine cents and use it in your video, but that's not allowed. You must have permission from the artist or their representation in order to use a song. We've given you a few good suggestions for finding music in the Music Guidelines document.
Music creates a great opportunity for you to get creative and set yourself apart from the pack. By creatively using unexpected genres, by doing cool music edits, by using parts of multiple songs to create different segments, and by remixing—the potential is limitless.
Oh, and if the music is bad, you don't have a chance.
Of course you don't have to use music, though most (or everyone) will.
6. Ask questions.
If you feel like you're unclear on anything, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That being said: while we're happy to help you understand the parameters of the contest, please don't ask us for editing tips. That part is on you.