Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What the heck is Finite Films?
A: Put simply, Finite Films is a website where you challenge a group of filmmakers to produce short films based on sets of constraints. Every month, you vote for 7 restrictions or rules we must follow in the production of our next short–and every month we’ll release one of those films. You set the rules, we make the films.
Q: Who ARE you people?
A: We’re a big group of directors, writers, actors, editors, etc. all living in Los Angeles who have come together to make an exciting series of short films based on your challenges. Our team is always growing and changing, but check out the Meet the Team page to find out more about the core Finite Films cast and crew members.
Q: What are Production Diaries?
A: The Production Diaries are short behind-the-scenes videos that document all the work that is going on at Finite Films. We release one every week, and they let you see how your submissions are being transformed into short films.
Q: My constraint just got chosen for a new Finite Films production! Do I get a say in how the filmmakers interpret it? Do I own the part of the rights to this film since my constraint helped inspire it?
A: No, and no. We’re incredibly excited to involve you in our creative process by letting you set the rules for our next film; but from that point on, our team will be writing the actual script and interpreting the constraints in our own way (which is part of the fun of this idea–seeing how the same set of finite constraints can inspire an infinite number of possible films). By submitting a constraint, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service.
Q: If I donate to Finite Films, what will my money be used for? Is my donation tax deductible?
A: The team at Finite Films has gathered together to make movies because it’s what we love. None of us are getting paid, and our budget for each film is exteremely limited (the fact that we have any budget it all is thanks to generous donations via IndieGoGo.com). Most of our IndieGoGo funds have already been invested into film & video equipment, and the small remainder is rapidly diminishing as we have to feed our unpaid cast & crew on each produciton, as well as rent or purchase costumes, props, set decorations, etc. The best way you can help us keep going and making films every month is with a donation of any amount.
Any money donated to Finite Films will go directly into funding our future productions; once again, nobody in our cast or crew is getting paid. Unfortunately, your donation is not tax deductible at this time, as we are not registered as a nonprofit organization.
Q: What is a “Constraint”?
A: A constraint is a sentence that describes some attribute that one of our films must contain. For example, “One scene must take place in a laundry room.” It can describe a location, a character trait (“One character loves the taste of vanilla”), an event that happens (“A tourist falls down a staircase”), or any other idea you may come up with. Check out our About page for more details.
Q: What happens to my constraint if I submit it during voting week?
A: You can always submit new constraints, but if you send a submission during a voting week, it will be considered for next month’s vote, as we will have already selected finalists for the current month. Make sense? Hope so.
Q: Why do I have to give you my name and email address every time I submit a constraint?
By submitting a constraint, you are not signing up for any kind of Finite Films mail list.
Q: If you can see who submitted every constraint, how do I know you’re being unbiased when choosing your 21 favorites?
A: When picking our favorite submissions we only look at the constraint, not the name or e-mail of the person who submitted it.
Q: Why can’t I vote all the time?
A: Voting for each Finite Films production occurs during the last week of every month. We narrow down all the submissions from the previous four weeks to 21 finalists–the public then gets to vote for their top 7 favorites.
Q: Why do I have to sign in to vote?
A: To vote for your favorite constraints, you can choose to sign in with the account of your choice–Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Yahoo!. By requiring everyone to sign in with an external account before voting, we’re ensuring there are no “rigged” votes where someone annoyingly just votes for their favorite constraint a million times. Every user is allowed to vote once a month.
Q: I want to sign in using Facebook, but I don’t want share my whole freaking life with you or see annoying Finite Films updates posted to my News Feed. What does it mean that I have to connect to Facebook using the Finite Films app?
A: If you sign in to vote using Facebok, you are only sharing your basic information with Finite Films. We are not using your information for any other purpose than to make sure you are, in fact, a person, and to ensure nobody votes for their favorite constraint a million times.
If you DO want to stay up-to-date on Finite Films via Facebook, you can always “Like” our Facebook page. Otherwise, your News Feed will be free and clear of our various status updates and postings, even if you sign in to vote using Facebook.
Q: Why don’t we get to vote on ALL the submissions every month? And how are the finalists chosen?
A: There are many, many submissions collected every month, and for you to go through them all would take a very long time. So instead, we go through all the submissions each month and choose 21 finalists that are: (A) actually possible to make, (B) the most interesting, and (C) the most diverse.
We try to come up with a list of interesting, varied, and feasible constraints for you to vote on. Feasibility is a big factor–if you submit the constraint “The film must have a scene where two gigantic robots fight on the surface of the moon, and one of the robots must be voiced by Burt Reynolds” –we’re probably not going to choose that one.
We want to make sure we can actually follow through on the challenges you give us!
Q: Why are the 21 finalists broken into three categories for voting? And what do those categories mean?
A: They are broken into three categories to ensure that the final list of constraints describes multiple aspects of a film. If all 7 constraints demanded that the film have 7 kinds of genres, it wouldn’t make for a very good movie. It’s more interesting if multiple aspects of a film are defined by your constraints, and it will make for a more enjoyable movie.
• Character constraints refer to traits or aspects of a character (likes/dislikes, appearance, history, fears, etc.).
• Story constraints refer to events that must occur in the movie (one character must say a certain line, something significant happens to the protagonist).
• Wild Card constraints refer to anything else you can think of (genre constraints, etc…any rules that don’t involve characters or story events).
Q: How long does it take for a film to show up on the site once the constraints are chosen?
A: If the 7 top constraints are chosen for a movie on January 1st, that film will premiere three months later–in April. However, we still release a new movie every single month, because we’re always working on 2-3 films at a time, with staggered production schedules. While you are submitting constraints or voting for any given project, we’ll always make sure to list the release date for that film at the top of the page.
You can always check out our Production Schedule page if you’d like to track all the projects that are currently in production.
- Don’t see your question above? Still not quite sure about something? Email Us!