1 Mini-DV Tape + 72 Hours + Your Ideas = Analog Magic

1-Tape Challenge

What is the 1-Tape Challenge?

[Click here for the tl;dr version]


Constraints lead to creativity. The 1 Tape Challenge asks you to make a short documentary [5 minutes or less] in the month of October, limiting your raw material to what you are able to capture on one mini-dv tape in 72 hours. This includes all video, stills, music, and voice over.

From the moment you have digitized your tape, everything is fair game. Editing, titles, digital manipulation, motion graphics and animation are welcome, but not expected. The only thing you won’t be able to do is search for or capture new material.

The contest will start on October 1st and finish on October 25th. Participants can sign up to borrow a camera from NW Documentary for a 72-hour block of their choosing. If you have your own Mini DV camera gathering dust on a shelf this is a great chance to dust it off and remember where all the buttons are.

The films should all be non-fiction in nature, but that label is expansive and we hope this challenge is a chance for you to stretch your creative legs and surprise yourself. Our goal is to create a documentary playground in which you don’t have to worry about making a perfect film and instead can enjoy the fun of making something that still has rough edges and that is driven by curiosity and creative experiment.

All of the films will be screened and celebrated on October 30th at NW Documentary and prizes will given in various categories with a cash prizes being awarded to the audience favorite.

The 1 Tape Challenge is part of Doctober at NW Documentary. This month long series of events is meant to rally our community to celebrate documentary filmmaking and to raise funds to support the work of NW Documentary. Half of the $25 entry fee for the contest will go to NW Documentary and the other half will be entered into a prize pool that will be awarded to audience-selected winners at the end of the month. As a fundraising for NW Documentary your participation in the 1 Tape Challenge will help support all of the work NW Documentary does to make filmmaking skills and tools available to everyone, and to create a welcoming and supportive creative community that encourages everyone to find and finish projects and to enjoy the process.

To sign up early, email info@nwdocumentary.org with your preferred 72 hours!

How it Works, the basics

Step 1 – Sign up! Sign-up form coming soon. To sign up early, email info@nwdocumentary.org.
Participation costs $25. Half of this money will be put into a prize pot for the crowd-favorite film, and the other half will go to fund NW Documentary’s scholarships & general operations.
If you will be borrowing a camera from NW Documentary, please double-check your availability before reserving camera-use dates, as rescheduling may be limited.

Step 2 – Collect footage, audio, & music. Remember, you can only work with material that’s on your tape. Once you digitize your footage, you’ve got what you’ve got.

**Whether you have your own camera or are borrowing one from NW Documentary, you have 72 hours of camera-time. At the end of the 72-hour period, you move into the editing phase, and you can collect no more footage or audio.

Step 3 – Digitize your footage. You can bring your tape to NW Documentary for digitization, or do it on your own. Please note that if you bring your tape in, you will need to provide a hard drive or other storage.

Step 4 – Edit to your heart’s content–or until the deadline, whichever comes first. Remember, your film should be 5 minutes or less.

Step 5 – Submit your film! Please send a private Vimeo link with download enabled to info@nwdocumentary.org along with the video password. If you need to make alternative arrangements for submission, please contact us ASAP.

Step 6 – Come watch & vote!

We’ll be screening the 1-Tape films on Wednesday, October 30th in the NW Documentary micro-cinema!

Rules & Regulations

  • Eligibility
    Doctober 1-Tape Challenge (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least fifteen (15) years old at the time of entry. The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.


  • Sponsor
    The Contest is sponsored by NW Documentary, located at 6 NE Tillamook St., Portland, Oregon 97212.


  • Agreement to Official Rules
    Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.


  • Indemnity
    All Contest entrants shall indemnify and hold harmless NW Documentary and its directors, officers, employees, agents, and affiliates against all allegations, claims, actions, suits, demands, damages, liabilities, obligations, settlements, judgments, costs and expenses (including without limitations attorney’s fees and costs) which arise out of, relate to, or result from any act of the entrant.


  • Contest Period
    The Contest begins on October 1, 2019 at 12am PST and ends on October 25, 2019 at 11:59pm PST (the “Contest Period”). Entries that are submitted before or after the Contest Period will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Contest by submitting a private Vimeo link with a password via email to info@nwdocumentary.org or other method arranged with NW Documentary staff.


  • How to Enter
    See Contest description. Limit one (1) entry per person or team.


  • All participants in the Contest grant NW Documentary, agents, successors, licensees, and assigns, the non-exclusive right but not the obligation to edit, store, transfer, or otherwise use in any media form in perpetuity their contest entry (the “Film”). Contest entrants grant NW Documentary the rights to the Film for private and public viewing, including but not limited to schools, museums, cultural centers, film festivals, broadcast, and electronic.


  • Prizes
    Info TBA.
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop