For Youth

This page has 3 sections: 1) Support and Crisis Resources, 2) Educational Information and Resources about suicide prevention and mental health, and 3) Technical resources for creating your film.

Support and Crisis Resources 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Lifeline Crisis Chat: (available 24/7)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

Educational Information and Resources

Educational Videos: The educational videos are films produced by some of the Directing Change Team that discuss various suicide prevention topics.

Steps and Resources for Creating your Film!
The following is a list of resources covering various components of film production. Many of these resources have been adapted from other media festival websites.

Online Film School Boot Camp
A FREE membership to “Online Film School Boot Camp” is available to all students who submit an “Intent to Direct” form and plan to participate in the Directing Change film contest. Created by Military Veteran and Filmmaker Trent Duncan, the Online Film School Boot Camp is a complete educational resource for aspiring filmmakers looking to begin a career in the Film and Video industry. It is a great tool to help you to as you develop your film!

Submit Intent to Direct form and then visit the Online Film School Boot Camp website to get started:

Check out films from California’s Directing Change Program
Review the submission categories and guidelines for content. To get inspired you can also check out some examples of existing films. Some of these examples have been produced by professional advertising agencies, and some are winners from other student film contests.

Once you have your idea you will need to write a script and storyboard for your film. The script gives you a roadmap to your production and all the content that you will cover. In addition to a script, the storyboard allows you to visually plan your film on paper.

Storyboard Resources

Plan out your Film with a Successful Storyboard” by Don Goble
Before filming your film, be sure you have all of the appropriate forms and releases signed. For more information and useful links, visit the Forms and Copyright section.

  • Release Form: Every person on the submitting team (cast and crew) has to sign a release form. For students under the age of 18, the form needs to be signed by their parent or a legal guardian.
  • Copyrights: When creating a film youth should be aware of intellectual property and copyright rules especially if they plan on using elements that someone else has created. See Songs and Sounds Effects Resources below for links to free music and sounds.

Before you start filming you will want to plan each of the shots. If possible, you may want to use two cameras to provide different angles for the same scene when editing. Take time to look at the area you in which you will be filming, paying attention to the background. Also, it is very important to make sure you keep your video tapes or video files in a safe place so it doesn’t get lost. The following sections offer links to the various aspects of video production.


Shots and Framing

  • This link contains information about the basics of “shot types” and offers insight to consider when filming.

Rules of Thirds

  • This article explains “the rule of thirds”, an important principle in photography.

Lighting Tutorials – Media College

  • This site offers various information sheets about lighting in film production.


How To Use Microphones

  • This tutorial offers information about the use of microphones.

Songs and Sound Effects Resources
Unfortunately, you can’t just go to iTunes and download your favorite song. The following resources offer free music and sound effects that you can use in your film! Although some sites offer “free” music, note that you may still have to request licensing for permission to use it in your film. You can also create all the music and sounds yourself, or obtain written permission from the copyright holder for copyrighted songs and materials you would like to use in your film. For more information about how to obtain permission, visit the “Copyright Requirements” section on this page.


  • Offers free ‘film music’, and is intended for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.


  • A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.

Free Sound

  • A collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

Ben Sound (this is a popular one!)

  • A database of downloadable, copyright free music and sounds that can be used in your film. You will still need to credit Ben Sound. For instructions on how to give credit in your film check out the site’s FAQ.

Editing is important to the film making process. You may spend more time editing than filming. These links will help guide you in editing your film. There are various programs for editing that you may have on your computer at home, or ones that may be available through your school, or local library. Tutorials specific to the program you use should also be available online. Remember, entries are limited to 60 seconds in length.

Video Editing Tutorials-Media College

  • This site offers tutorials on various aspects of editing.

Top 10 Rules for Video Editing

  • This article offers tips to consider when editing your film.

Media Composer First

  • This website offers a free version of video editing software that can be run on a Mac or PC.

Your film must be 60-seconds in length (not including the title slide).  Vimeo is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. You will be asked to upload your film as part of the entry form. By uploading your film to Vimeo you will automatically agree to their terms and conditions. Vimeo recommends that when preparing your video for upload, it’s best to maintain the video’s native frame rate when compressing your video. If your footage exceeds 60 FPS, they will automatically reduce the frame rate. Vimeo recommends a constant frame rate throughout your entire video. Always choose “constant” frame rate instead of “variable” frame rate. A codec is the format in which your video is encoded. Vimeo accepts most major codecs, but for best results, they recommend H.264 or Apple ProRes 422.

Academy of Motion Pictures-Teachers Guide

Cyber College

Screenwriting U