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The UWOL Challenge (our newest contest)
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!

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Old February 2nd, 2016, 11:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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UWOL 2016 - What are the rules, and how can I play?

What are the rules, and how can I play

The Under Water, Over Land (UWOL) Challenge is the planet's premiere nature and outdoors video production contest. A unique opportunity for documentarians, planet Earth-lovers, extreme sports enthusiasts, bird-watchers, sea-dwellers, and all aspiring outdoor film makers to join a community of like-minded people, swap stories, learn skills, win prizes and maybe get an exclusive place in the winners’ circle.
1. Timings – The UWOL Challenge will run 4-5 times per year:
2016: February, April, July, October
2017: January, March, June, September, December
2018: March, May, August, November
2019: February, April, July, October

Each challenge will begin on the 1st of the month. A sign-up thread will be posted on DV Info Net in the UWOL forum, minimum one week before the challenge begins. Contestants are required to sign up for each challenge separately. Once the sign-up thread closes on the start date for the challenge, no new players will be admitted for that challenge. Players have one month to shoot, edit and post their videos online. This gives at least three full weekends for participants to travel to new and difficult-to-reach locations with their gear.

2. Signing Up – You must sign up for a free account at DV Info Net. You will need to do this so you can post in the sign-up thread in our dedicated “Under Water Over Land” forum on DV Info Net.

3. Contest Topic – On the first of the month, a theme will be posted into a new thread in the UWOL forum at DV Info Net.

4. Production – Submissions should be no more than 4 minutes in length. Entries exceeding the 4-minute limit can be posted on the site, but will be disqualified from judging. Credits are excluded from the 4-minute limit but please, keep them short--no more than an extra 15-20 seconds.

5. Material – Material must be original and shot for the purpose of being judged in the current contest. Previously shot footage, as long as it is a minor part, for educational or illustrative purposes, was shot by yourself, and not the main story/feature of your entry, is permissible. The use of this footage must be declared in your feedback thread. The use of effects templates from Motion and After Effects, Livetype, etc. is permissible without limit. You retain the rights to your video.

6. Music – All music must be fully licensed. If you use copyrighted materials (music or other copyrighted works) be prepared to show us proof that you own the right to use it. Without proof, we will remove your video from the site. You have the option of providing us with an image-only version, in the event we are forced to remove it, since our goal is to enable players to make beautiful images to develop good production practices.

7. Submissions – All finished videos will be uploaded to the UWOL Challenge account on Vimeo Pro, an account provided by Chris Hurd of DV Info Net, especially for the UWOL Challenge. There will be no charge for contestants. Details of the Vimeo Pro hosting service may be found at Vimeo Launches PRO Service. If you have questions about compression check out http://vimeo.com/help/compression. Players are also encouraged to post links to additional copies of their videos from their personal Web sites, Youtube, Vimeo sites in their feedback threads, if desired.

It is your responsibility to be sure that the Challenge coordinator has your most up-to-date e-mail address, so that the challenge coordinator can forward you the Vimeo password during submissions week. If you don't send the e-mail, you won't receive the required upload clearance. At the deadline, the password will be changed, submissions will be locked, and no new submissions will be admitted. Please send your email information to uwol@dvinfo.net. Entries must be uploaded to the Vimeo account by 11:59 p.m. local time, anywhere in the world, on the due date.

8. For players concerned about possible usage of their material by Vimeo, as outlined in its TOS, a watermark, such as © Jane Doe, 2011, may be displayed throughout the video and would not affect the judging of its content.

9. Judging – All players who sign up for the challenge automatically become judges in that round, with the exception of the DVC/UWOL Charity Challenge, where donors to the charity pool also vote. Videos will be available for viewing and feedback after the deadline. At any time after that, judges may send their votes for the top three videos by email to uwol@dvinfo.net. In your email, include the player’s name and title of video along with the placement (#1 #2 #3). One vote per judge/team, and no voting for your own video.
Videos should be judged 50% on best use of theme and 50% on overall production value.
All players who submit an entry, are obliged to vote.
Players are encouraged to make their own feedback thread in the forum as soon as possible after the submitted films are released for viewing.
In your feedback thread, please put the following as a guide for the feedback you would like to receive:
Are you a 1-2-3 on the criticism scale.
1= let me have it! Be ruthless! I want to produce professional wildlife cinematography at the highest levels.
2= I want to get better at this, but I'm here to have fun so give me good feedback but let's keep it light and fun as we do it
3= I'm not really here for the feedback as much as I am here to have fun and make stuff with people who love getting out there with cameras. I'm invoking Rule #11!
Feedback is an important part of this challenge and all players are encouraged to provide constructive feedback on each of the films submitted, to help other players improve their skills.

10. Winners – On rounds with high numbers of submissions, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced, along with honorable mention for videos receiving three or more votes. In the event of lower numbers of submissions, fewer rankings may be posted as a courtesy to lower-ranked videos. When available, prizes will be awarded to winners.

11. FUN! – Oh, and last but definitely not least, all participants must have fun!

12. In addition to DV Info Net, UWOL Challenge has a Facebook page as well.
Sign-up and theme info, and once in a while general info will be posted there, with links to the appropriate threads on DV Info Net.
DV Info Net will at any time be the main source for information!

13. For archive purpose only, the old UWOL website with the archived contest submissions can be viewed here:

These guidelines are subject to revision without notice.

Updated: February 2016


UWOL Challenge is a challenge! The ultimate goal is to challenge you to improve your own skills as a film maker.
Even though the submitted entries are being judged and winners announced, the only one you really are competing against, is yourself.

Reason sign-up closes before the theme is announced:
Because the whole part of the challenge is to motivate you to get out and shoot something. You are more likely to get out and shoot for a challenge because you committed to doing it. It's easy to sign up for challenges where the theme would be easy for you. By signing up without knowing the theme, you may have to turn up the creativity dial if it's a theme that may be particularly hard because of your location or season.

Why only minimal use of previously shot footage is allowed:
Because it’s a challenge! If you went on a Safari ten years ago and the current theme is wildlife, it's not much of a challenge if you use all the footage from your safari.

Time limit:
The limit is set to 4 minutes. This gives you a reasonable amount of time to tell your story, and at the same time keeping it short. To be able to tell a story in a limited timeframe is a way to challenge yourself.

The aim of filmmaking is to tell a compelling story - you can choose strategies like voiceover to do this, an interview or simply allow the camera to tell the story.
Over the years more and more players have used voiceover and told stories, but it is not mandatory - there are also plenty of examples of UWOL entries with no sound other than music, which also work well.
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