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cheyenne_h on 04/13/2015 at 09:00AM

Unreel Trailers: A Challenge

Photographer: Henry Gawthorpe. Via Australian National Maritime Museum's Flickr Commons collection

Take a film out of context... you know you want to! You could re-cut that cheesy sci-fi flick into an interstellar romantic comedy, or poorly dub alternate dialogue onto an action sequence to make it a slapstick routine. We've put together a list of public domain films; pick one and make an Unreel Trailer! In less than three minutes, tell us a touching story of ghosts in love, a science experiment gone wrong, a training montage for puppies, or whatever seems appropriate (or inappropriate) to preview a movie that doesn't exist (yet). 

Dramatic voiceovers, superfluous sound effects, and imaginary titles are encouraged. Credits, including CC license information, are required, but everything else is up to you! 

Here are some examples of public domain films to choose from (entries must be derived from films in the U.S. Public Domain):

1. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die wiki
2. Night of the Living Dead wiki
3. Reefer Madness wiki
4. Little Shop of Horrors wiki
5. Attack of the Giant Leeches wiki
6. Carnival of Souls wiki
7. Teenagers From Outer Space wiki
8. Rock, Rock, Rock! wiki

Use a track from our FMA Music for Video Vault in your trailer – or check out one of these artists:
Chris Zabriskie made a collection called “Direct to Video” for a reason. CC BY
Kevin Macleod’s music has been used in thousands of videos. CC BY
Ian Alex Mac’s “Cues” is made for cinematic purposes. CC BY
The Conet Project is full of strange sounds! Free Music Philosophy
UncleBibby has done a three-volume Free Music Project release. CC BY
Steve Combs has tons of stuff to choose from. CC BY
Our microSongs and Masters Remastered works are all in the Public Domain! No citations necessary. 

Film must be in the public domain in the United States
Music must be licensed for use in video without further permission from the artist
Submissions must be posted to a video streaming site online and shared with FMA via our submission form
Submitters must list all works used in the film (audio, visual, etc)
Use proper citation in the film (attribution of music, license, etc) - CC Best Practices here

If you submit a trailer using footage from a film that isn’t on the list, please make sure it is in the public domain (or your own work, which you are willing to dedicate to the public domain using this Creative Commons license) before you proceed. Submissions that are not in the public domain in the U.S. won't qualify for judging.

We'll accept entries from April 13th until May 8th, 2015

Entry form is here, finished projects are here

One winner will be chosen by our panel of judges, and the winner will get an Epson Powerlite Projector. Read the Official Rules for more detailed info. 

The Unreel Trailers Challenge is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts



nikthesik on 05/12/15 at 01:42AM
Are the trailers on the unreel viewing page the only ones being considered? Mines not on the page and theres plenty of others on Youtube that were recently posted that aren't in the gallery either
cheyenne_h on 05/12/15 at 03:03PM
Yes, the ones on the Gallery Page are the only ones that were properly submitted in time. Quite a few had licensing/crediting issues, and others were submitted after our deadline (all entries were timestamped).

Many were submitted improperly during the 4-week window and I helped those submitters make changes and resubmit before the deadline. Unfortunately, ones submitted at the last minute weren't correctable before judges began viewing and assessing entries.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please email me. Thanks!
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