1. How do I make a movie on my cell phone?

Your cellphone already has an app that records video- often the same app that takes photos. AND you can download other free apps that may help you make better quality videos, or you can change the settings on your phone to improve quality with the native camera recorder. ALSO, chances are you would be better to edit your movie on a computer after shooting all the video clips on your phone. For the T1D video festival, you only need to use your phone to shoot the video. After that, you can finish it wherever and however you like!

  1. I don’t think I can make a movie by myself.

Although you need to be the submitter of the video as somebody living with Type 1 Diabetes, you don’t need to make the video all by yourself! Get friends and family to help you- cast them in your movie, get them to work the camera , record audio and/or edit the video in a computer.

  1. The videos on my phone look crummy. How do I make them better?

Most recent phones can take videos that are way better quality than ANY video camera from even 10 years ago. But sometimes the videos you take look crummy because the settings of the camera on your phone are not at ‘best’, or because when you are uploading the video to the Internet or to/from your computer, the quality is getting scrunched in the transfer.

The trick is to do some tests before you begin making your 2-minute tale. IF you’re not good at technical stuff, maybe get a friend to help you through all this? i) Make sure your phone’s video recording settings are to high quality ii) load your ‘footage’ into a program on your computer that will maintain the quality right through to the ‘export’ of your movie. Exporting your video is when you get the computer program to take all your elements and edit decisions and put them together in one single movie that you can upload to Youtube.

  1. My phone keeps telling me that I have no more memory for storage. How do I fix this?

You need to free up some memory. Copy the stuff on your phone that you want to save onto another device [e.g. laptop, tablet, usb stick] and clear the memory on your phone’s storage device. If you are still running out, get more memory, or copy the video files over as you make the movie; keep freeing up space to record.

  1. Why can’t I just use the microphone on my phone? The one that I talk into when I call someone?

You can, so long as your movie script has you playing a character that’s talking on a phone, or making an intimate diary entry as part of your story. But if you’re shooting a scene where the subject that’s speaking is 10 ft or more from your camera, the sound is going to be iffy. It’s best to at least use your hands free microphone that came with the phone, and plug it into another phone that’s recording audio only [it can go in the back pocket of the subject]. If you can afford it, buy a clip-on mic and use that on the audio phone- for $30 your film will sound like a million bucks.

  1. I can’t get my movie down to 2 or 3 minutes. It’s at 7 minutes, and I don’t know how to cut any more without wrecking it. What do I do?

Try again. Sometimes editing a documentary film means taking hundreds of hours of interviews, and cutting it down to 2 hours. It can be a bit painful, but it’s doable with diligence. Show it to a few friends, and ask them what the video’s about? If they can’t really tell you, then you need to do more editing, maybe even some more shooting. If they agree on what it’s about, then focus on that theme, and cut out some stuff that doesn’t serve that theme. Cutting scenes and bits that you love in editing is sometimes called choosing which of your children to murder. It hurts, but that’s show biz.

  1. I’m doing a music video about me going to the Endocrinologist to the music of Drake. But I notice in your rules and regulations that you expect music to be cleared or copyright free. Is my submission going to be accepted?

Nope. We want your movie to be a success in our festival and perhaps at other film and video festivals too. And using music that you don’t have permission to use makes your movie unusable to us, legally. There are a million songs and film scores out there that you can use legally and for free. And we have provided some music available exclusively for T1DVF submitters. Find a way to make your movie work with music that you have permission to use. If it doesn’t work without a Drake song, then go back to the drawing board.

  1. I can’t think of any good ideas to make a movie. Can you please give me the award-winning idea?

Not exactly, but there’s good news on this question: we designed this video festival to encourage people that are living with Type 1 diabetes to tell us something about their personal story. Or even just to do something fun and creative as a member of this community! So pretty much anything you come up with is going to be of interest to our audience.

It’s usually best if you have a strong idea for your movie before you start out, so look at our example list to get inspired. But sometimes, if you shoot some video over the course of a day & look at it later, something there will inspire you as a story for your movie. Then go back and shoot some more!

  1. What’s this Early-Bird thing?

Murphy’s Law of Diabetic Film making states: “If somebody has two months to submit a movie to your festival, that person will wait till week 7 to start making the movie.” We want movies for our audience to watch and enjoy in July. So we’re offering some perks to light a fire under your butt. Get started on your movie early, and be one of the first 10 submissions to get Professional Mentoring and a T1DVF Accessory Package [mic, tripod and light]. So get on this thang!

  1. I don’t get your Festival Theme of “Living with Diabetes”. Can I make a video about my cat instead?

Yes you can. And if it’s a great little movie about your cat- if it makes us cry or laugh or think seriously about the future of humanity, then chances are good you’ll be in the running for our 1st prize of $500! But you should know that including some aspect of your life with Type 1 Diabetes is going to get points with our festival jury. So include that angle if possible. But please GET OUT THERE AND MAKE A MOVIE.