21-Day Filmmaking Competition Team Newsletter #4 – Deliverables

August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized by admin

8/18/11 This is the standard letter that goes out to all Team Leaders. If you are a Team Leader and have not received letters like this, contact ProjectTwenty1@gmail.com to ensure that we have your proper e-mail.

Hello again to all our 62 Teams!

It’s been an exciting (and quick!) 18+ days thus far on the 21-Day Filmmaking Competition, and though it isn’t quite at an end yet, we thought we’d bring you all up to date on the highlights, and let you know what to do before this Saturday’s due date and Drop Event.

Hopefully most of you are finished production, well on the way to finishing post-production, and starting the exciting rendering process. Rendering is always a killer for a couple of Teams each year, so make sure you have an edit you can be happy with exported to tape or disc or data file EARLY that you can deliver in the event of the unspeakable!

Last year, only 50 Teams finished on time. We want this to be our first year with NO drop-outs or missed deadlines, so follow the below to ensure you’re one of the lucky ones!



Remember: your films are due in person or postmarked/timestamped THIS SATURDAY, August 20th, by 6:00pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. You can check the home page of our website for an exact countdown clock.

All submissions must include:

1) YOUR FILM – preferably 2 copies, as a COMPLETED full-resolution NTSC, PAL, or HD video file (.avi, .mov, or .mp4 preferred) on a flash drive, USB card or the like, as a playable video DVD, or, if you’re a tape person, on miniDV, or DVCam. We will screen from the highest-quality version of your film or animation that we are able to play.

2) All of your forms, including The PARTICIPANTS AGREEMENT (signed by all Owners of the film), CERTIFICATION FORM , and PROMOTIONAL FORM, and all relevant Cast/Crew, Music, Location, and Materials waivers. U.S.A. DOWNLOAD. International filmmakers, please check your prior Team Leader emails for the download links. (Film Tip: You might want to hold onto a blank copy of these releases for future, non-Project Twenty1 productions as they will save you a ton of headache if and when a big distribution company wants to buy your film!)

We are getting a lot of questions about delivery, so please read all of the below! You can choose from one of the following two methods to deliver us your films. Or choose both, if you’re local AND feeling paranoid. But one is generally sufficient.

IN-PERSON SUBMISSIONS (Do not mail stuff here!!)

Project Twenty1 Drop Event & Mixer
Saturday, August 20, 4 pm – 7 pm (6pm deadline for on-time entries)
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge
1336 Chestnut St. (map)
Philadelphia, PA 19107

NOTE: We recommend sending TWO people as your drop-off team, so that if one person needs to jump out at the venue with your film, they can do that! Parking is scarce in this location, and “I was looking for parking” is NOT an acceptable excuse for getting there 2 minutes late. Actually, there is no acceptable excuse. Ask prior years’ teams, and plan ahead!! We’re serious.

We will be interviewing all filmmakers present and learning more about the films you’ve worked so hard on, and capturing the stories that went into their creation. So come on out and bring as much of your Team as you want! We will be there from 4:00pm until 7:00pm. All films submitted after 6:00:00 PM EDT will still be screened at the Festival, but will not be eligible for Awards.

See you there!

MAIL-IN SUBMISSIONS (Do not hand-deliver here – we will be at the Drop Event above!)

Project Twenty1
Attn: 21-Day Competition
107 E. Main St.   Suite LL1
Norristown, PA 19401

If you are mailing us your films via USPS, keep in mind, 1) Please send Certified Mail so you have an exact tracking time on it, 2) many stations are NOT OPEN on Saturdays, or are only open until 12:00 noon or 2:00pm, and we need to see a tracking time before 6:00pm EDT on Saturday (do the math for your local time zones, please!), so do your research or send it on Friday if you need to, to be sure. Our next suggestion would be find a FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinkos) location, which are frequently (but not always) open 24/7. Stand there and make the counterperson puts it in the system while you’re there to ensure an accurate delivery time stamp! You don’t need to spend extra money on Priority Overnight Mail – we will e-mail you the moment your film arrives.

***NEW THIS YEAR*** No longer is there a 10 day grace period for “late” films to be delivered in order to be screened with the on-time entries. Whether you officially “make” the deadline or not, if you want your film to be screened at The Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival, it must be IN OUR OFFICE by Tuesday, August 23rd. So if you’re international, think about expediting that shipment. Last year, the 21-Day film submitted from Hong Kong was sitting in our office the morning of the Drop Event! If they can do it, so can everybody else.

Why the change? The earlier we know how many entries we’re receiving, the earlier we can alert YOU all to your screening dates/times so those from out of town can make appropriate arrangements. Like everything we do, we’re thinking of your best interests. :)


Before you send us your films, keep in mind the following:

1) The Secret Element, “Start With A Crash,” MUST be somewhere in the film, even if it’s only implied or referred to offhandedly. BUT the better it is incorporated into the theme, story, or feel of the film, the better chance you have of winning it all!

2) The films may be as short as you want, but cannot be longer than 10:00 minutes EVEN, including credits. We’ve had several calls about this now, and we cannot make exceptions.  You’ve got most of a week left, use it and edit, edit, edit until it works! We guarantee you can tell a successful story in under 10 minutes. If you want to expand it later and resubmit to us for our Film Library & Festival Partners, that is acceptable, but to be eligible for 21-Day Competition Screenings, Awards, and Prizes, you MUST meet the time requirements.

3) You must submit to us copies of ALL your Forms, Waivers and Releases needed to ensure you have the rights to everything that appears in your film. We recommend retaining copies for your own reference as well! Ours go into a giant, Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-style vault, never to be seen again unless legal issues arise.

4) The film must be in a deliverable form, be that a memory card, hard drive we can take with us, physical tape or disc medium and in our hands by the deadline in order to qualify for Awards, no exceptions! Do NOT show up at 6:00pm with a laptop displaying a “final edit” on a timeline or a “rendering” progress bar. This is not a completed film!! This happens at least once every year.


We know most of you are in this for the spirit of competition, the thrill of filmmaking, and the promotion you get from being a part of this Competition. But all that is a given… that still doesn’t mean you aren’t thinking about the incentive to win!

The Grand Prize Winner of “Best Film” from our 21-Day Filmmaking Competition will receive a complete software package from Sony Creative Software, consisting of Sony Vegas 10, Vegas Pro Production Assistant, and select Sony loop libraries, together valued at over $1000! In addition, Final Draft is contributing a copy of Final Draft 8 screenwriting software, AND you will also walk home with the coveted Project Twenty1 2010 Trophy! And don’t forget all the promotion, hype and networking contacts that will come with victory! Our winning film is sent to dozens of festivals nationwide FREE of entry fees for years after our 2011 fest ends!

I hear what you’re saying: that’s all well and good for the winner, but what about the other awesome films that make the deadline but miss the Grand Prize by one or two votes? Well, all qualifying Category winners are guaranteed inclusion on Project Twenty1′s Volume 4 DVD “Between the Lines” that gets distributed commercially, as well as being sent to our Festival Partners and Screening Partners around the U.S. These films are also nearly guaranteed to get up on imdb through our submissions to other festivals! In addition, winners of every category will receive a suitable-for-framing Award Certificate.

The official categories are: Best Film (live-action), Best Animation, Best Directing, Best Writing, Best Acting, Best Concept, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Sound Design, Best Effects, Best Use of Element, Best Marketing, and the much-sought-after Audience Award. Our independent panel of judges will be judging your films in all of these categories save two: the Audience Award, which as you might imagine, rests with those in the audience, and the award for Best Marketing, which will be chosen by us, the Project Twenty1 Staff, for two reasons. 1) We have sort of the catch-all perspective on how well you are connecting with people, and 2) we also have the best view of how many people come to us asking about your film pre-festival. So, even AFTER the Drop Event, you are allowed to work on Marketing, and we’ll be watching for your trailers, websites, posters, newspaper articles, and innovative guerrilla marketing techniques. Just don’t do anything that can get you arrested. :) And if you have any photos of your Team in action, trailers, podcasts, posters, etc. send them to us so we can put them up on our site or add them to your Press materials when promoting your film!

Thank You All!

Thanks again to all of you who are brave enough to be not only participating, but STILL participating. As you’ve probably realized by now, making a film you can be proud of in 21-Days is not easy! And it is because we know how hard you all work, that we work hard afterwards to make sure the world sees your films.

So good luck!! You have 2 days left.  Make them count and get those films out the door ASAP!

Your friends, as always,

Stephanie Yuhas, Executive Producer
Matt Conant, Artistic Director