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HBO Zune Contest - FAQ

Q: Can I submit videos in formats other than WMV?
A: No, you really can't. The Zune accepts only WMV-formatted video - we're doing the same for this contest. If the tools you have access to allow export in other formats only, you need to find a way to convert your video to WMV format. (The Halo community is quite large, and for the most part pretty helpful; find someone you trust that can help, and enlist them in your efforts.) We offered to do this for a couple of contestants, before we realized how MANY requests we'd get for this particular service - we can't offer it any more.

Q: How do I make a montage? How do I create machinima?
A: At the risk of sounding callous, we're offering free Zunes, not lessons in how to create Halo videos. If you don't know the answers to these questions, the likelihood that you'll be able to create a Zune-winning entry in the next two weeks is pretty slim. If you still want to try, there are plenty of sites around the net that offer tutorials for these subjects - go read them. (If you can't answer the original questions AND can't be bothered to look for the tutorials yourself, you REALLY shouldn't be entering this contest.)

Q: Can I use copyrighted music in my montage?
A: Nobody's going to be making any money off these videos - not us, not you. So yes, the fair use rules should apply here; Halo montages containing copyrighted music have been released on the net for well over 4 years now, with no complaints from the copyright holders, so it's unlikely anyone will complain at this stage. (That said, if the copyright holder DOES complain, we WILL yank your entry. Sorry - that's just the way it goes.)

Q: Can I use an already-released clip in my montage/machinima? Most of the content is new, I'm just using a LITTLE bit of existing footage.
A: No, sorry - do not include ANY existing footage. No cutscenes, no montage clips, nothing. Apologies - but this is just an easier rule for us to enforce than one that leaves some issues vague.

Q: Can I use clips from existing songs in my parody/original song?
A: In your original song - absolutely not. It's an original song. You're welcome to be 'inspired' by existing music - but the final product needs to be yours. In your parody? Yes, you can base your piece on someone else's music if you're changing the lyrics (or adding lyrics).

Q: Can I add SOME credits to my entry?
A: The voting process for these videos will rely, to some degree, on anonymity; please remove all credits from your entry. You are welcome to make two versions - one with credits, one without; if your entry wins, we'll be happy to host a credit-filled version. But for the voting, we need you to pull all identifiers from the video. (This means clan affiliations at the beginning, and it means standard credits at the end. Don't even include credits for the copyrighted music you used; again, all of this can be included in the final version we host - if your entry wins.)

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