Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need to know about BBC Fresh Online
How do I submit a film?
Sorry, we are not currently accepting submissions for Fresh Online. The closing date for submissions was 31 January 2015.
Can I express a personal point of view in my film?
Yes, you can express your personal point of view but films must comply with BBC Guidelines, summarised here. All films on the BBC Fresh Online website reflect a range of personal opinions.
When is the closing date?
The closing date for 2013/14 entries to Fresh Online was 31 January 2014. The closing date for 2014/15 entries was 31 January 2015.
Who can apply?
Anyone who is age 16 years old or over and has NOT directed a documentary for network television before.
Is there a fee paid for my film?
No, participation is at your own expense. If we ask you to make changes to your film in order to comply with the terms and conditions, this is also at your own expense.
What counts as a network television documentary?
A documentary that has been broadcast on a network TV channel in the UK.
What if I produced a programme for network television but didn't direct it?
You can still enter, as long as you haven't directed a documentary commissioned on network television.
What if I've directed a network programme that wasn't a documentary?
You can still enter, as long as you haven't directed any documentary programmes commissioned on network television.
What do you mean by director?
A director is the person responsible for the artistic and technical aspects of making a film or television programme.
What if I received funding for my film?
If you received any funding for your film (e.g. from a screen agency, commission, organisation or business etc.) you'll need to check what rights to your film the funder retained.
Can I use commercial music in my film?
You can use commercial music but it may need to be removed if the Fresh Online team is unable to gain clearance for it. In that case, you will be asked to remove the music from your film and re-submit it. You can find a music clearance form here.
Can I use specially composed music?
You may use especially composed music. Please make sure that under your agreement with your composer you have obtained the right for that music to be used across all the BBC’s public service platforms for the duration of the BBC’s licence in your film – check clause 1 of the terms and conditions to see what you have to clear for. You will find a music clearance form here.
Can I use archive footage (footage that I do not own) in my film?
Only if you have obtained the right for that archive footage to be used across all the BBC’s public service platforms for the duration of the BBC’s licence in your film – check clause 1 of the terms and conditions to see what you have to clear for.
Can I use footage from computer games or apps?
Generally, this is best avoided. However, you may include such footage provided you have obtained written permission from the games’ publisher before you submit your film. Without this written permission, the BBC will not publish your film.
Can I use secretly filmed footage?
Ideally not, if you do use this kind of material you may be asked to remove it and re-submit your film.
Can I use phone recordings of phone calls?
If the person at the other end consents to being recorded that is fine. If not, and you cannot demonstrate that consent has been obtained, you may be asked to remove the footage.
Do the people in my film need to give their consent in writing?
Yes, you need a consent form from each contributor who appears in the film. You will be asked to provide copies of the consent forms before your film can be published to the site. There is more information on getting consent here. Example consent forms can be found here for over 18-year-olds and under 18-year-olds
Do I need to get parental consent for children?
Anyone under 16 will need a consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian. Example child consent forms can be downloaded here
Is it ok for there to be swearing in my film?
It is best not to include swearing in your film but if it is an essential part of your film then mild swearing may be acceptable. Get more information on swearing and offensive language at our guidance page.
What camera should I use?
You can film on any camera or device you choose but generally the higher quality the better. Get more information on the technical specifications to upload your film to the BBC at our submission information page.
What technical format, codec and frame size should I use to upload my film?
Films must be supplied as a .mov file. We are unable to accept .mp4 files for technical reasons. Please look at the submission information page for further technical specifications.
Where do I send my submission form?
Apply online or if you are sending in your film on a data DVD you can print out the submission form and post it along with your data DVD to:
BBC Fresh Online
3321 Bridge House
Where do I send my film?
On receipt of your submission form you will be sent an invitation and instructions of how to upload your film to the BBC; this may take up to a week. See the technical specifications on our submission information page. Alternatively, you can post a copy of your film on a data DVD, see the submission information page for guidance.
If I post a copy of my film will it be returned to me?
No, we cannot return the copy. Please do not send a storage device that you would need returning.
Is it OK if my film is on other sites as well as BBC Fresh?
Yes, Fresh is a non-exclusive site, but your film should not have been broadcast anywhere.
Is it OK to show my film at festivals?
Yes, Fresh is a non-exclusive site.
When will I hear if my film is going to be published on Fresh Online?
We will contact everyone as soon as we can, this could be anytime from 1 March 2014 onwards. If your film is not selected for publishing to the site we will send you an email.
How are films chosen for publication on the site?
Will I be credited for my film?
Yes, the director of the film will be credited alongside the film. You can also credit the creative team at the end of your film. Please see the BBC credit guidelines here.
Please note that references or credits to commercial companies are not permitted anywhere in your film.
You haven't answered my question
If you don't see an answer to a question you wanted to ask, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to help.