If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in crunch-mode: The film submission deadlines is October 23rd at the stroke of midnight.

First, take a deep breath. You’ve gotten this far, and you’re almost finished—you can do this! Visualize your finished film on the big screen, and as the credits roll, a delighted audience clapping in appreciation.

How will we get to that moment? Let’s (1) focus on your editing technique and speeding it up. Next, let’s (2) grab some awesome sound effects from free-to-use SFX libraries that’ll juice up your film before we (3) run through a checklist to get your film in shape for festival submission.

After that, we’ll run through the process of submitting a film via FilmFreeWay. And we’re done!

Ready? Let’s finish this film!

Fast editing tips

Searching with Google, you’ll find a tons of resources from excellent websites on how to improve your editing skills. I found a few that I thought were particularly helpful.

⟁ The 50 Most Useful Video Editing Tips You Will Ever Read

Some great short, practical advice in that article. Looking at more specific horror-film editing advice, I found quite a few great articles on pacing, timing, and more:

⟁ When Editing a Horror Movie, Timing is Key
⟁ 12 Tips for Better Filmmaking
⟁ How to Edit a Horror Movie

And a short slideshow of editing tips:

There’s a whole lot more out there, especially on Youtube—you’ll find a bunch of helpful videos on improving the quality of your horror film edit.

I’m a particularly big fan of FilmRiot:

Amp up your horror flick with free audio resources

Audio is a critical part of terrifying and tantalizing an audience. And the good news is that there are a lot of free resources out there with lots and lots of professional sound-effects.

Facebook Creator Studio
Navigating to the “Sound Collection” tab, you’ll find an incredible variety of music and sound effects, especially if you scroll through the different categories.

There are footsteps, screams, location ambience, and other “foley” effects that add to the production value of your movie. Of special interest are the bass drops, scary tones, and creature sound effects in the “Horror” category.

(Possible cons? Well, you’ll need a Facebook account)

As always, even free-to-use, no-license-required resources need to appear in your film’s end credits.

Youtube Audio Library
Similar to the Facebook Creator Library, this resource is full-to-bursting with music and sound effects, sortable by type, duration, and category.

And yes, same as before—attribute what you use in your end credits!

A crowd-sourced classic, FreeSound.org is a community site where creators upload all manner of creative music, sounds, and foley. While the resources here aren’t always as nicely recorded as the options above, they’re unique.

Take special care to adhere to the Creative Commons license specifications on each music/SFX sample. Credit, credit, credit!

The Checklist

So, you’ve nearly finished your film and you’re ready to export it to a video file. Before you do, make sure it checks all the boxes below—this will ensure that your film is selected for the premiere.


  • Horror is the primary genre of the film.
  • ▢ The film is under 10 minutes long.
  • ▢ The film has an intro sequence with titles listing the film’s name and your team name.
  • ▢ If the title sequence is static (black background, white text), it’s under (1) minute in length.
  • ▢ The film has end credits that list (1) the cast, (2) the team city or town, and (3) media credits (names of individuals or companies that permitted the use of their audio/graphical files).
  • ▢ End credits are under (1) minute in length.


  • ▢ The film generally conforms to the MPAA’s PG-13 rating, with absolutely minimal depictions of drug use, explicit language, prolonged graphic violence and extreme gore, sexualized violence, and explicit language.

Legal & Copyright

File specifications

  • ▢ The film is exported in 1920×1080 (HD) resolution.
  • ▢ The film is an .mp4 or .mov file.

If your film checks all of the above, congrats! You’re ready to submit it to our festival. How do you do that? It’s easy.

Submitting your film via FilmFreeWay

You can upload your video file privately via FilmFreeWay or by adding a Vimeo or Youtube link.

Signing Up
Create an account with FilmFreeWay—fill out the basic name and contact information.

Once you’ve completed the quick registration process you’ll be asked to create a project—this is where you’ll add your team name, film details, and upload or link your file.

Upload a file
If you’d like to upload your film directly to FilmFreeWay from your computer, select and upload your film’s video file.

Make sure the video is set to private (default) and give film festivals permissions to view and download automatically.

Add a link
If you’re adding a link, your video should be set to “unlisted” (Youtube) or have a password (Vimeo).

This keeps the video from being viewed by the public ahead of the film premiere—it’d be a shame to ruin the fun!

Submit your project

Now that you have an account, you’re logged in, and with your project created, once again visit our film festival page on FilmFreeWay.

Click on the ‘submit’ button and add your project. You’ll be asked to pay the entry fee. Once you’ve completed the payment process your film will be sent to us.

You may receive an email notification of this depending on your account settings.

Need help? Visit FilmFreeWay’s help center or ask us a question using our contact form under “Questions.”

The process of creating a horror film itself can be a terrifying experience, but I hope the tips and resources above can help alleviate some of that.

And, as always, if you have any specific questions about your film, send me an email—I’m happy to help you in any way I can before the deadline hits:


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