We’ve put this very important page together for you to read over and use as a way of ensuring a proper submission. It’s full of resourceful links and information that should make creating a trailer for our contest almost as painless as meeting The Plague alone in a dark alley. Almost.
In order to make sure that your contest submission is approved, it must be cleared for all of the music used within it. This means that you have a legal responsibility to clearly attribute and provide proof of license for each and every music piece you will want to use.
There are three main ways of obtaining music for use in film, and they are covered below with links to various websites and articles that will help you.
The first, and easiest way, is to make an original soundtrack for the trailer. You can do it yourself, or collaborate with a musician/composer who will work to create an exclusive score for your submission. Remember, if you are collaborating with someone, you must properly credit them in the submission form. Additionally, we would recommend you to publish the original soundtrack under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License, which you can use for submission purposes. For more information on types of licenses, FAQ and other useful information concerning Creative Commons please visit their website.
OPEN SOURCE MUSIC:
The other route is to use open source music specifically licensed for commercial use. There are a number of great links to websites which can be found on this Creative Commons page. It is imperative that when selecting music from any of the Open Source music websites, you adhere to the license specifications for each track. They must allow commercial usage [any CC license that does not specify No Commercial or Non-Commercial can be used].
Here’s where things get tricky. If you wish to use already published and copyrighted music, it needs to be licensed. This is a great article to read concerning what you will need. If you are able to obtain either a Master or Synchronisation license, or both if necessary, you will need to provide us with copies for each licensed track used.
When filling out our submission form you will be asked to provide a cue sheet with a detailed listing of any licensed or open-source music [and composer if an original soundtrack is used]. Please provide names of open-source tracks with links to their location. All music used must be attributed and properly licensed, with copies of licenses being added to the document portion of the submission form. We can’t stress this enough. Your submission may be rejected for lack of documentation concerning music.
All of the actors in your submission, whether leading roles or background performers, must sign a release form. You can find an example of one here [PDF].
If any of the locations used during the filming of your submissions are privately-owned, the owner must also sign a release. You can find an example of a location release here [Direct Download Link].
Photographs, artwork, someone else’s film footage and any other copyrighted work must also be cleared for use. Our advice is to steer clear of anything you cannot contact the original creator about. If your grandma paints unicorns, and she let’s you use one of her paintings in the trailer, it’s cool.
And finally we come to your original idea. It is original right? All of the characters, situations, dialogue and scenarios in your trailer need to be original works of fiction. Do a bit of research prior to shooting so you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes.