straight 8

one super 8 cartridge
no editing

rules - download as pdf

when you enter straight 8 2019 you need to confirm you've read and agreed to the rules below

(you do actually really need to read these rules)

nb: if you're looking for straight 8 shootout rules - this is not them and there are differences

straight 8 2019 rules

congratulations - you're about to make a short film in one of the hardest ways possible. we salute you for that.

now, don't make it harder by getting our rules wrong or missing out on some tips that follow here…

once you've entered you're committed to it - always a good thing. and there can be no backing out - and no refunds


safety / responsibility

you are responsible not just for the safety of yourself and your team during recce’ing, rehearsing, filming and recording but also that of the general public. please be safe and put safety above everything else. straight 8 / seven productions cannot be held responsible for your production in any way.

in the unlikely event that your film becomes lost or damaged whilst in our care, we will only be able to replace your cartridge. we will not be able to refund your production costs: the star talent, thousands of extras, catering, eight trashed skodas and so on



the copyright paragraph below is the law. please read it and consider it carefully at concept stage. you will be signing this as part of the film submission form and you must stick to it:


“as the director and producer submitting the above straight 8 film, i confirm that i own all the rights to the film and can show it anywhere i want to after its first straight 8 public showing if it is selected.

i grant straight 8 productions non-exclusive rights to show the above straight 8 film, if they choose to do so, anywhere on any format at any time in the future under the banner of straight 8 including but not limited to the following: straight 8 events, straight 8 screenings at other events, straight 8 website or podcasts, straight 8 showtapes, straight 8 branded dvds, straight 8 feature films, straight 8 tv programmes or features within other tv programmes, straight 8 ‘channels’ within other websites, podcasts and the like.

i warrant that i am entitled to assign these rights for all contributors to and all elements of my film. i and all actors and crew appearing in or involved in the making of my film have completely released all rights to me for use with the film wherever and whenever it is shown and as detailed here.

all composers and performers (and publishers if relevant) of any part of the film’s soundtrack have completely released all rights to me for unlimited use with the film wherever and whenever it is shown and as detailed above.”


so just for example...

make sure your film does not contain any copyrighted material. spiderman costumes and footage on tv screens are a bad idea

your soundtrack needs to be 100% original. if you use music it needs to be an original composition with no copyrighted samples, no library music, no creative commons, no free online music


the film

you need to supply your own super 8mm film cartridge - you can use any type of colour negative film. we are unable to accept entries on reversal or black & white film. the film should be new or in excellent condition with no damage to the cartridge, otherwise the lab may not process it due to the risk of contaminating the bath.

if you are unsure of where to buy film, check out our list of film outlets ( or hit google

we will email you artwork that includes your unique entry number. please print it, cut out the artwork and stick it on your super 8 cartridge and then use that cartridge only.

the first shot of your film, for a minimum of 3 seconds, needs to clearly show your entry number. how you show that number in your film is up to you, so long as we can see it clearly when we see your film. check out some examples below:

s8id example 4 up.jpg

 we also recommend strongly that your film includes its title visually. this can be at the start and combined with the entry number, but equally the title can come wherever you want it creatively.

make sure you understand how to use your chosen super 8 film type with your camera, particularly its 'asa' rating - not all cameras recognise all asa ratings - if in doubt ask someone who knows... and if you don't know anyone then try joining and asking our straight 8 past entrants facebook group: if your camera is new to you, make sure you’ve thoroughly tested it.

everything about your film can only be made in-camera on that one cartridge. for this main competition, (not shootout) its maximum length is +/- 3 minutes 20 seconds (we project / transfer at 18 frames per second). you can make a shorter film but it's impossible for it to be longer.

if you do make a film shorter than 3min 20sec, then when you've completed your last shot, cover the lens and viewfinder and run the film to the end before removing it from the camera. you should then see the word 'EXPOSED' stamped on the last part of film showing on the cartridge. shorter films are fine. but don't think the audience will love you for filming your credits for 30 seconds. end the film in a good way, not just using up celluloid.

similarly make your soundtrack the appropriate length for your film for a good audience experience. don't leave the audience literally in the dark for ages at the end of your masterpiece! more on this to follow under “the sound”.

once exposed, package up the un-developed cartridge and fix the labels we sent you onto your package. these stickers include the wording: 'no commercial value / for cultural purposes only'. this phrase is really important so please make sure this is also clear on your package and write the same phrase on any customs forms. we cannot afford to pay import duty on your multi-million dollar epic (though we’d love to see it). seriously, we or cinelab will contact you if any import duty needs to be paid and you will be liable for this - it should not happen if you stick to these rules. if sending from outside of the uk please DO NOT use FedEx, they send us customs bills even when filmmakers have declared no commercial value on their packages. again we will have to contact you for payment.

please do not include any lab instructions (no push / pull or cross-processing, bleach bypass etc and no special scanning instructions for straight 8, sorry).

send your exposed - un-developed - cartridge to london by the film delivery deadline - see if your film arrives by the standard delivery deadline there is no extra charge.

if your film arrives after the standard delivery deadline, there will be an extra charge of £15 payable direct to the laboratory.

if your film arrives after the late delivery deadline, your film will not be processed and collection will be your responsibility.

you're responsible for choosing suitable packaging and methods of getting it there on time.

we will not be returning film spools automatically. everyone will receive a prores digital version of their film, with its sound included (this will be your film as scanned at 18fps now as a 25fps video file - the length will still be the same!). these files will only be available at some point after the cannes and london premieres have all taken place - no matter whether or not your film is selected.

you will not be allowed to restrict or delay our use of the film at screenings in the real or online world, e.g. for festival submissions.

if you do require your spool back, you can request this by special arrangement before end of july 2019. there will be an additional fee of £15 payable to cover splicing it out of the lab roll, spooling it onto a core and readying it for collection. the film will be available for you to collect in person or by courier arranged by you, up until nov 1st. we will not ship or mail films.

all original film not requested and paid for will be disposed of nov 1st 2019. 

the sound

your film must have a soundtrack. no silent films please, we've all moved on!

your soundtrack will have been made 'blind' as you won't have seen your film when you submit it.

make sure you’ve read and considered the copyright section above very carefully at concept stage.

here's the key line again: “your soundtrack needs to be 100% original. if you do use music it needs to be an original composition with no copyrighted samples, no library music, no creative commons, no public domain recordings”. we check all music rigorously and regularly have to reject submissions despite the clarity of the copyright para you need to sign off on.

we will synch your soundtrack to the first frame of your picture on your film. so imagine your film's sound starts a few frames after you pull the trigger the first time (when you will be shooting your entry number). creative energy going into attempting perfect synch, in our experience, is better used on your concept and all the executional elements you really can control. :-)

we don't accept special instructions regarding sound playback or synching. so, for example, if you want the first 10 seconds to be silent, include 10 seconds of silence at the start of your soundtrack and we will still synch the first frame of picture with the start of your sound file. you'll get the ten seconds of silence you needed. we sometimes get asked to start the sound after shot 1 or 2. we say no. it wouldn’t be fair.

your soundtrack must not be any longer than your film. make the soundtrack end the way you want it to at 3'20" exactly. or less if your film is shorter. a couple of seconds over is ok if you feel there’s good reason for it to fade off or finale after the end of picture - but please, no longer that 3'25"/3'30" tops! how you leave the audience feeling at the end is what you need to care about.

make sure you’re happy with the audio levels: that they’re balanced throughout and at a good overall level - it's a shame to hurt the audience's eardrums and it will affect judging too.

when your soundtrack is complete, create a WAV or AIF file. but not MP3's - they are very compressed and not good enough for a screening in a big cinema.

name the audio file with your entry number as the filename. for example: 20190013.wav

then send us your soundtrack via a link (wetransfer, dropbox etc) emailed to by the sound delivery deadline - see

film submission form

please complete your film submission form which can be found at

this form is legally binding and by submitting it you'll be committing your entry. if you can't agree to everything on it, your film should not be submitted - even if something changed during production and your production does not comply, your entry will not be accepted and cannot be refunded either.

please send your completed and signed film submission form with your soundtrack by the sound delivery deadline - see

selection and screenings

we together with our jury will choose which films to show where and our decision is final. simply entering a film does not mean definitely getting it shown anywhere.

films we select to show at various events will be kept totally under wraps ready for their premieres. no- one, not even the filmmakers, sees their films before their premiere.

we’d love to see you at the screenings but transportation and accommodation is down to you. we will get you one free ticket if your film is showing but can't cover festival access etc though we do try and make things smooth for you where we can.



check our website's films and archive pages and our vimeo channel for examples of great past straight 8 films. also check our site’s faq page where you’ll find answers to lots of questions, plus a link to a facebook group ‘straight 8 entrants’ which you can request access to and where you may find people willing to offer advice.  there’s also a very useful guide for shooting titles, text and anything in close up that really matters for the audience to read.  (knowing your camera’s minimum focus distance is a very good idea)


right that’s it. if you can agree to all the above you're ready to enter and enjoy the straight 8 experience and may the gods of celluloid smile on you

be safe, be smart and have fun and…

welcome to straight 8 2019

--- by entering straight 8 2019 you agree to all of the rules above ---

!! straight 8 2019 has now sold out !!

sorry if you were looking to grab a place - they’re all gone as of feb 8th

but we have plenty of screenings and other events coming up, so make sure to join our mailing-list and follow our socials to ensure you don’t miss out!