|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS|
|Q: Where do I mail my pre-registration, preview, and final cut?
A: All filmmakers must mail all their work by the respective deadlines to our offices at dogooddocs at 1830 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126. In the case of a team of 2 or more people, only one copy of the pre-registration form needs to be sent, as well as one copy each of the preview and the final cut.
Q: Where or how can I find a non-profit?
A: Check out our Finding a Non-Profit tab for a list of local organizations.
Q: In what format do I send the final copy of my film?
A: Standard definition (SD) DVD format.
Q: Can I ask for help outside of my team?
A: Yes, you may ask for advice or guidance from teachers, family members, friends and other students, but note that only 3 people on your team are eligible for scholarship money. Utilize the resources around you! However, please remember that material professional help on the shooting, editing or any other physical element of your film is strictly prohibited (advice or guidance is acceptable).
Q: How do I copyright music or other material that I use in my film?
A: Check out the tools and links section on our site under the tab, Doing the Doc. Several websites offer easy guidelines for copyrighting.
Q: What kind of camera should I use to film my documentary?
A: We highly recommend that you use at a minimum a camera with miniDV tape. This is the type currently predominant in the market and the information is stored digitally on the tape, making good quality editing and production more accessible and practical. There are other cameras that also record in digital format, including those that record directly to small format DVDs and hard drives. These will also work well. The family'camera or one borrowed from school are most likely one of these. We do not recommend older analog cameras (VHS,
VHS-C, 8mm, etc) as there are extra steps to translate from analog to digital, and both loss of quality and increased effort are involved.
Q: What about High Definition (HD) format?
A: Cameras are now available that can record in digital HD format. The quality of the film will be outstanding if you happen to use one of these more expensive cameras, but realize that the much higher information content will be more taxing on your editing equipment (PC, hard drive, software, etc). If you film in HD, please be aware that you need to transfer your final film copy to Standard Definition (SD) format for event evaluation and potential screening.
Q: Which editing software should I use?
A: The good news is that there are a lot of choices and that your project can be done with software you probably already own, as PCs shipped in the last few years have typically included various versions of basic video editing packages. Look at your installed programs list and you are likely to find Windows Moviemaker in most PCs, Click-to-DVD in Sony machines, iMovie in Apple machines, plus basic or trial versions of Roxio Easy Media Creator, ULead VideoStudio, and Adobe Premiere Elements in many PCs. More complete packages include Adobe's Premiere, Apple's Final Cut, and Sony's Vegas Production Suite. There is a large spectrum of performance, cost and complexity. Use what you feel comfortable with, knowing that the most basic ones will have limitations.
Q: Can I use my school’s video production resources?
A: Yes, in fact, we encourage that.
Q: What do I do if a person that I interview speaks in a foreign language?
A: When editing, please provide accurate subtitles in English.
Q: The SI DocFest is for the Greater Bay Area high school students. Where exactly is this?
A: Students from schools in the following counties are eligible for participation: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Monterey County, Napa County, San Benito County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, and Sonoma County.