Video Challenge 2020 Frequently Asked Questions


How many teams can a school have?

There is no limit to how many Video Challenge teams each school can have. But only students at the 15 Fresno County schools that have Youth Court (YC) programs can compete.  Look at number 2 in the Rules section for a list of YC schools.


How many team members can work on a video?

Up to five students can be registered per team, and one must be a youth court juror. You can have fewer team members, even just one.  You also have to have an adult video adviser.


What if we don’t register our team by the registration deadline of March 2nd?

No problem. Submitting the form does not obligate you or disqualify you from submitting a video. It just helps us with our planning process and lets us know what size t-shirt to buy you. You register anytime that you form a team before the video submission deadline. Remember that you have to have submit image releases for everyone when you submit your video.


My school doesn’t have a film or media class. Can I still enter the Video Challenge?

Absolutely! Students can be creative videographers even when their school does not offer a formal program. Be sure to read and follow all the rules and guidelines.


My friends and I don’t know anything about making videos, can we still enter?

Yes. This contest is about developing videos on teen safety. We feel that everyone with enthusiasm and creativity can come up with something amazing. Put your imagination to work, get some tips online or from adults, and get started. You’ll be amazed at what you can do!


What happens if my video is longer than the specified time limit?

The judges will only look at the first 60 seconds of your video. Although you won’t lose points, any video that runs longer than 60 seconds will not be judged on the full content and will be at a disadvantage.  Any title slide at the beginning of a video does not count toward the 60-second limit.


Can we submit our video to other competitions?

Yes! We know of at least two other awesome local video competition that your video, or a slightly modified version of your video might be eligible to enter. Check out: SlickRock at http://www.tcoe.org/SlickRock/ and Directing Change at http://www.directingchangeca.org/ . Please note that each competition has slightly different deadlines and guidelines. Good luck!


Do we really need to submit image release forms for our team members and video actors as well a written approval to use copyright materials?

You sure do. We need to make sure the Video Challenge does not infringe on individual rights or break laws or regulations.  Get the forms signed and submitted as soon as possible so you don’t have to worry about them at the last minute as you are trying to upload your video.


What does the video adviser do?

The adviser does not work on your video with you. That adviser reviews your story concept, content and messaging to make sure your video has positive, appropriate messages.  The adviser does not need to have knowledge of or expertise in filmmaking or about safety.


How much help can we get from other adults?

Adults are great sources of information and guidance while allowing your team to direct the video and make all final decisions. They can even be actors in your video. But the project must be your team’s work. This includes scripts, shooting, pre- and post-production. Adults can also teach your team how to do certain tasks like editing, but cannot do them for you.


What if we don’t have a Youth Court juror on our team?

Your team must have at least one YC juror to compete.  Try going to the monthly YC session at your school (before any cases are called) to see if you can recruit a juror for your team. Someone from your team can also sign up to be a juror to meet the requirement. Contact your School Resource Officer or the Probation Officer on campus for more information on YC and how to be a juror.


We have limited internet access. Is there another way to download release forms?

Yes, we can mail you copies of all release forms and you can sign, scan and email to us or mail us a hard copy. If you don’t have access to a scanner, you can take a picture of the signed form and send that. Questions? Please contact us: videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov.


How much violence can our video show? Can we use profanity?

Videos have to be PG or suitable for all audiences. This is a student contest. Content must be appropriate for school use and adhere to your school’s policies, rules, and guidelines. Portraying violence, profanity, sex, drugs, or illegal activity on screen is inappropriate, and could be triggering for people watching. Be creative. It’s okay if it is implied that those things happen off-screen, but remember that the best movies focus on why the characters do what they do, the reason behind the characters’ decisions, and a resolution. Knowing this, try to focus your video on specific actions that can help teens to stay safe. Provide accurate and appropriate resources for viewers to get help if they are faced with a similar situation.


Can we use popular music in our video?

We can’t stress this enough: You will need written permission from the copyright holder to use all copyrighted materials such as popular songs.  You will not be able to download or purchase your favorite song on iTunes and use it in your video. You can use your own original music or music that is in the public domain (royalty free) if you cite the source in the video credits. For more information visit the Directing Change Forms and Copyright page or check out the Public Domain Information Project that offers “free” royalty music tracks and tips.


What about showing brands?

We don’t recommend it due to copyright protection. While it may not be possible to keep all branded items completely out of your video, there are easy ways to avoid them from being recognizable. For example, turn items so the logos aren’t clearly visible or, better yet, cover them. Dress your actors in clothing without graphic logos or copyrighted slogans like Just Do It and Think Different.  Don’t show business or store names.


What is the difference between captioning and subtitles?

Captioning (also called closed captioning), is commonly used in broadcast to aid deaf and hearing-impaired audiences. This usually appears as white text within a black box, appearing a second or two after being spoken. Subtitling is most frequently used as a way of translating a medium so that speakers of other languages can enjoy it.

You do not need to use closed captioning or subtitling. But we do encourage your team to include English captions for dialog in other languages. This will allow judges and viewer to fully understand and enjoy your video.


What if my school or organization does not allow access to Dropbox?

Try uploading your video outside of school. If this isn’t an option, please contact us to discuss alternative submission methods. You can email us at videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov .


What if we have problems uploading our video?

If you have technical difficulties submitting your video, email us right away at  videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov.  Be sure provide a phone number for us to call you back so we can help. DO NOT WAIT TO EMAIL US.  Even if we are not able to phone you right away, the time stamp on your email will prove that you tried to upload your video by the deadline and you will not be disqualified.


Where will our video be shown?

All videos will be shown on the Youth Court Video Challenge channel on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvpt8oAu52RUgcd58pk0GVg .  Finalist videos will also be showcased on this website.   The winning video will be announced and shown at the Youth Court Recognition Ceremony on April 30, 2020. In addition, submitted videos may be shown at school, community, Youth Court, and Fresno Superior Court events.


What if I have other questions not in this FAQ list?

Contact us via email at videochallenge@fresno.courts.ca.gov .  We promise to get back to you within two business days.