Tips for filming
Following a few of these simple tips will make for stronger footage.
Filmmaking is storytelling: Think about how to hold the viewers’ attention. Whether you’re filming yourself or someone else, the more personal and honest, the better.
Hold your shots
Hold your shots long enough to establish them in the viewers’ minds. Avoid lots of panning and zooming — it will look messy and it will leave your viewers dizzy.
Make sure to shoot in landscape mode (so hold your phone on its side).
You can submit as much or as little footage as you like, and you can record footage in any language.
Capture highest quality possible in 24fps
We can handle footage shot on any device but higher resolution footage will translate better to the finished film. So choose 4K over 1080p if your camera will allow it. Also, select 24fps as your frame rate, or 30fps if that is not an option on your camera or phone. Go to Settings in your phone and look up the Camera section.
Get the best sound
It’s important that we can hear you properly. Pay attention to any background noise that may interfere with your recording. If possible, plug a basic microphone into your camera to get the best sound possible.
Do not use any filters, stickers, or special effects. We want your raw footage.
Here are some guidelines that need to be followed for your work to be considered for inclusion in the finished film
When filming anyone other than yourself, such as your family, your friends, or even strangers, you MUST get them to sign an Appearance Release Form. This is essential, especially for anyone who is clearly identifiable, talks to camera or can be heard talking.
If you’re filming anyone under the age of 18 (or under the age of legal majority in the country where they are a resident), also get their legal guardian or parent to sign the Appearance Release Form. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. DO NOT FILM ANY CHILDREN WITHOUT SEEKING PERMISSION FIRST.
If you do not get permission from people to include them in your video, we will not be able to use it.
Note: If you are filming a crowd, or street scene, where people are mainly in the background, express permission may not be required, but rules vary country to country. Where possible, it’s best to be on the safe side and get releases signed by people who are identifiable.
How to use Appearance Release Forms
Generate a release form link here, then share the link with anyone you film. Via the link, your subjects can submit release forms to you electronically. You'll receive an emailed PDF of the completed release forms. Keep those emails safe.
Prefer to use a printer?
Print out a handful of Appearance Release Forms. Ask people who appear in your video to sign the form and fill in their name and contact details at the time you do the filming (ideally before or immediately after the filming). Take a photo of your form and keep the original safe.Download Release Form
Nothing other than your camera available on filming day?
If all else fails, a good tip is to film your subjects saying their name and a contact telephone number or email address (in any language). This will help you track down release forms at a later date if necessary.
More tips on usable footage
It’s generally OK in many countries to film in public places without permission, although some buildings or public locations may require special permission to feature them. In privately owned locations, make sure the owner of the location is OK with you filming there. We may later have to ask you to get the owner to sign a Location Release if your video is included. If you shoot in your own home, your permission is already included in the Terms and Conditions.
Don’t film trademarks or protected works
Don’t shoot posters of a famous person, or artwork, or shoot brands or trademarks (such as cans of soda, or logos on clothing) unless you have the rights or permission to do so. Don’t use photos, footage, or quotes from movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, or books etc. in your content without permission. This includes anything on a mobile device or TV in the background.
Don’t use music
Don’t use any music in your video, in the background or overlaid as part of the soundtrack.
Know how personal information will be collected, used, and shared
Any personal information you provide to us in Appearance Releases and Location Releases about the people you film and the owners of locations where you film is governed by this Data Protection Notice.
Be careful and don’t break the law
Pay attention to your surroundings and your safety. Make sure to follow any government guidelines on travel, social distancing, and face covering. Take care of yourself and others and don’t put anyone in danger. Don’t film anything obscene or violent (or that incites violence) or anything sexually explicit. Don’t break the law.