Our Mission

The HHM Film Slam Challenge was created with a simple goal in mind – Remove all the usual excuses and provide a simple framework for aspiring filmmakers to ‘get out there’ and shoot something that they can see on the big screen.

HHM Film Slam Rules

These rules apply to each participating group/production team.

These rules may change at any time prior to the beginning of the Official Time PeriodBe sure to also read the FAQs.

2020 Spring HHM Film Slam Official Time Period

This 72-Hour HHM Film Slam event will occur in the Bay City, MI area between Friday,  March 20 at 7pm and Monday, March 23 at 7pm. This is the Official Time Period.

Join us at 6 pm on Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Hell’s Half Mile Headquarters located at 701 Washington Ave, Suite 203, for the Criteria Kickoff we will cut you loose at 7 pm to begin writing your script!

The participating group/team must complete its film/video work in time to have it uploaded it to a location to be announced or dropped off in person to Ohno Design, on Monday, March 23, by 7pm. Only works that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition and eligible for the cash award prize.

All films received (on-time and late) will be screened at The State Theatre on Friday, March 27, during Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival.

Creative Process

All creativity must take place during the Official Time Period. Any creative work in advance of the competition weekend is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Writing the script
  • Rehearsing
  • Costume/Set Design
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Sound Design


The only work to begin prior to the Official Time Period is:

    • Organizing Crew
    • Organizing Cast
    • Securing Equipment
  • Scouting/Securing Locations

All cast and crew must be volunteers.


All footage, including animation and special effects, must be shot within the Official Time Period of the project.

No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used unless the footage is part of a post-production effect or on a background monitor, such as a television, as long as the team has rights to the stock footage and the stock footage is placed over or under footage that is shot within the Official Time Period.

Pre-made sequences or compositions that are available to all via purchase or download are permitted if a majority of your film’s frames contain content created within the Official Time Period. The pre-made portion of the sequence may not include people or other performers.

Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not need to be created during the Official Time Period.

Permissible stock footage, permissible pre-made sequences, and still photographs must all be accompanied by a Materials Release demonstrating that the team has rights to use them.

Required Elements

Each participating group will be assigned required elements that must appear in its film, these include a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue.

  • Character must be seen on-screen and it must be clear–either directly shown or by context–who the required character is.  The Character name does not have to be said out loud or written on-screen.
  • Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung and/or written. It may be in any language, though if it is unclear that it is the required Line, there must be a translation.
  • Prop must be seen on-screen. A picture of the required prop is also allowed.
  • Optional:bonus will be awarded for any reference to Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival. References include dialogue or an image, which can be digitally added, as on phone or TV screen, or in reference to a scene, like a poster in a window, a postcard on table, or a character in a t-shirt from any year. This can also be a credit scene.

To qualify as an Official Entry, each group’s film must:

  1. Be in the randomly selected Genre
  2. Contain all Required Elements
  3. Be finished within the Official Time Limit


Cast and Crew safety: Please don’t ruin a fun weekend shoot with careless choices in action.

Animal safety, like cast and crew safety, is important. Do not harm animals in the making of your film.

Blatant disregard for safety is grounds for dismissal from the competition.


Any type of video or film camera may be used, including an iPhone. Also, there is no limit to the number of cameras you can use.

Music Rights

Although it’s amazing when you can involve a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for your films, we realize that is not always feasibile. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used.

As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but again you must have rights to use them.

Any pre-recorded music or sound effects should be referenced in your Materials Release forms.

Film Running Time

The finished film must be a minimum of 3 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 7 minutes in duration—not including end credits. In other words, the official running time begins after the required HHM Film Slam denotation slates and ends prior to the end credits. The required slates and the end credits do not count towards the minimum time of 3 minutes. The film story may not be longer than 7 minutes.

Credits – Opening and End

Opening Credits

Required beginning Opening Credits:

    • 5 seconds of black
    • A title card with Film Title, Team Name, Genre and the following text:
      This film was made for the 2020 72-Hour Spring HHM Film Slam film competition. 
    • 2 seconds of black

End Credits

Credits at the end of each film are limited to 1 minute.

A film may be up to 7 minutes long, with an additional 1 minute of credits, for a total running time not to exceed 8 minutes.

The end credits must include the words: This film was made for the HHM Film Slam, www.HHMFilmSlam.com, a film competition created in association with Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, www.HellsHalfMile.com

End with 4 seconds of black.

Festival Credit After the Competition

For any future screenings, online or otherwise, films should retain the end credit that says: This film was made for the HHM Film Slam, www.HHMFilmSlam.com, a film competition created in association with Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, www.HellsHalfMile.com.

Media Formatting and Submission

    • We prefer your film be saved as an MP4 formatting. 
    • We will set up a dropbox for each team to upload their film and paperwork.
    • We recommend that you make sound levels relatively even throughout your film. (If your film has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)
    • Projection specs vary from theater to theater. If your film is very dark, it may be difficult to see in the theatre.
    • All films received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be screened, presuming they meet the eligibility requirements.

Late films will not be considered for judging awards.

Each team must obtain releases for cast, crew, music, locations, and third-party materials used, which must be turned in to the project organizers with the finished film. The film will not be screened before the HHM Film Slam Organizers receive the signed releases.


To be eligible for judging, films must be the original work of your Team; must not infringe third-party’s rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations; and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the participant, HHM Film Slam, and/or Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Fest).


Shorts containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the HHM Film Slam, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate, or otherwise non-compliant, will be disqualified. HHM Film Slam reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. HHM Film Slam reserves the right to refuse to screen a film or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the film. HHM Film Slam reserves the right to alter a film in order to remove or delete offensive or defamatory content.

No Pre-Screening Distribution

Teams should not distribute their entry/video in any way prior to it receiving its official HHM Film Slam premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than your Team.

Entries and Documentation Not Returned

No entries (media or documents) will be returned. Please keep copies of your film and documentation if your choose to distribute after the competition.