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6 Tips for Submitting a Film to GIFF

The Geocaching International Film Festival is returning for another year of epic geocaching moments captured on camera.

If you’re a filmmaker, a geocacher, or something in between, GIFF 2017 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. Submissions are due August 1, 2017.

But before you start filming, check out these tips all GIFF filmmakers should follow!

1. Know the rules for submission

Seriously. Read the rules. In the past we’ve had to reject films that:

  • Are longer than 4 minutes. We immediately disqualify these entries.
  • Show footage of a geocache that they either don’t have permission to spoil or that doesn’t follow all basic requirements for hiding a geocache. If you’ve received permission to show an active geocache, make a note of that in the film submission form.
  • Include footage that is not family friendly. By “family friendly” we mean: no nudity, sexually explicit or suggestive content, profanity, firearms or other weapons, racist, harassing or otherwise offensive content or content that would be inappropriate for children, such as violent or frightening content. Several times in the past, we’ve had to disqualify film entries for scenes that are too frightening for young kids.
  • Use footage, music, photos, etc. that they don’t have rights to.  Here are some free, fair-use music resources:
2. Tell a story only you can tell

There’s nothing wrong with your film being about a geocaching love story, a race to the FTF, or a geocaching montage, but be aware that we’ve seen those themes a lot in the past. After watching the finalist films from previous years, where do you find the art in geocaching? How do you make this game your own? And don’t forget that your film can be fiction or in a documentary style.

3. Make it global

Geocaching is an international game, and so is every GIFF audience. Try to show an element of the geocaching experience that people in different corners of the world can connect with. Try to find a balance between a film that is personal to you and one that others can relate to.

4. Make it visual

Show, don’t tell! Film is visual medium—you’ll have your audience hanging on tenterhooks by keeping the voiceover and dialogue short and sweet. This GIFF 2015 finalist film was able to do a lot with no dialogue at all.

5. Less is more

Just because you can submit up to 4 minutes of video doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Ask yourself, “What is the simplest way I can tell this story?” Then, add more if you can’t resist. This will help you focus on what is truly important and keep your audience engaged. 2015 GIFF finalist, Travel Bug Story, tells a sweet and simple story in under 2 minutes!

6. Focus on quality

We understand if geocaching comes before filmmaking on your hobby list—we’re not looking for Hollywood here. We are, however, looking for videos that will look and sound good on the big screen. As much as you may love your GoPro, simply wearing it around while you go geocaching usually doesn’t make for the best footage. If you can, use a tripod and an external mic. If you can’t, have your actors speak close to your on-camera mic and use a natural tripod like a tree limb or your friend’s shoulder. The 2015 finalist, The Future of Geocaching, is a great example. For more technical tips, check out Vimeo’s Video School.

 

Submit Your Film

 

 

 

GIFF call for submissions

Calling all filmmakers! Submit your film to GIFF 2017.

GIFF gnomesThe Geocaching International Film Festival is returning for another year of epic geocaching moments captured on camera.

If you’re a filmmaker, a geocacher, or something in between, GIFF 2017 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. Submissions are now open!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

How the festival works

Films are submitted to Geocaching HQ by August 1, 2017. Throughout August, the films will go through various rounds of viewing by a panel of judges from Geocaching HQ. In September the finalist films will be announced. The filmmakers will be notified, and the film titles made public. Geocachers who are hosting GIFF events will receive a single film reel compilation of all the finalists. From November 2-6, 2017, the GIFF film reel will be shown at GIFF events hosted by geocachers all over the world. In 2016, there were 526 events hosted in 44 countries, and 15,543 geocachers attended.

How to submit a film
  1. Read the rules. Seriously, read them!
  2. Read the tips for filming.
  3. Upload your geocaching film to Vimeo.
  4. Fill out the submission form and submit by August 1, 2017.
this year’s theme: the art of geocaching

There’s no arguing that geocaching is an art, as much as it is a game. In designing a creative container, writing a memorable log, or going to great lengths to reach a cache, we express ourselves every time we play. This year, your challenge as a filmmaker is to show us how you turn geocaching into a form of art. And remember, your film can be fiction or documentary style.

Learn more about submitting to GIFF 2017

Submissions due August 1, 2017

A Box of Red Herrings — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC6NQC2
by burgo78
Difficulty:
4
Terrain:
1
Location:
Townsville, Australia
S 19° 17.724 E 146° 46.327

“A Box of Red Herrings” (GC6NQC2) delivers exactly what it promises. The cache itself is hidden with permission inside the Aitkenvale Library in Queensland, Australia. It’s not  difficult to spot, but the logbook inside is as well protected as J.K. Rowling’s sorcerer’s stone.

The cache sits in an inconspicuous corner of the library.
The cache sits in an inconspicuous corner of the library.

At ground zero you’ll find a three-foot tall cupboard with each of its drawers padlocked. Tackle the bottom drawer first, using instructions on the cache page and letters from a nearby library sign as your guide.

"A Box of Red Herrings" is easy to find but tricky to open.
“A Box of Red Herrings” is easy to find but tricky to open.

Open that drawer to find over a hundred mostly unmarked keys. You might start to feel like Harry Potter himself as you search through a throng of dud keys to locate one that will unlock the middle drawer.

It'll take a while to sift through the contents of the bottom drawer to find the right tool to open the middle one.
It’ll take a while to sift through the contents of the bottom drawer to find the right tool to open the middle one.

The middle drawer contains several items. Some may be useful in opening the top drawer and gaining access to the log inside. Most are red herrings. The challenge lies in discerning which are which.

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The contents of the middle drawer will take some time to sift through.

The middle drawer contains the following:

  • A magnifying glass and a small clue; on the clue some letters and numbers are in bold or capitalized
  • Two tent pegs which will fit into holes in the drawers
  • A telescoping magnet
  • A mirror and a backwards note
  • Toothpicks and a block of wood – when the toothpicks are pushed into the holes in the wood they spell something in Roman numerals
  • Several plastic eggs, some with letters on them
  • A UV torch
Is it a literal or a figurative red herring?
Is it a literal or a figurative red herring?

Is one of the objects — or are several of them in combination — a clue? Or is there some other trick to getting the top drawer open? We won’t reveal any more than that here, but cachers who make it out to this cache won’t find it an easy one to finish…unless, says the cache owner, they ask for a hint from the local older gentleman who often sits in a chair near the cache.

The UV torch highlights a clue...or another red herring.
The UV torch highlights a clue…or another red herring.

Impressively, the cache owner, burgo78, has only been geocaching since March of 2016, proving that it doesn’t take years of geocaching practice to design a cool hide. He’s been thoroughly enjoying his first year of caching. “I now have 800+ finds and have 60 hides in Townsville (plus one in the USA, and one in England); some are simple containers but most are either a little harder to get to (boat or remote) or are a little more creative as these are the types of hides I enjoy finding myself.”

The bottom and middle drawer successfully unlocked. One to go!
The bottom and middle drawer successfully unlocked. One to go!
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A mysterious jar of sticks can be arranged into a mysterious upright row of sticks.

Although he’s sure his caches will provide a fun challenge for many, burgo78’s motives may lie elsewhere. “I also hope that this cache my inspire new hides in Townsville as I’ve found almost all of the 400 currently in place and the next substantial city is over four hours’ drive away.” The struggle is real.

Trying to discern what the magnifying glass is for.
Trying to discern what the magnifying glass is for.

Until now, only a few folks have found “A Box of Red Herrings”, but the comments have been unanimously positive. Burgo78 hopes that more cachers will rise to the challenge and won’t be too distracted by the red herrings they’ll encounter along the way.

We can see a lot of work and thought has gone in to this really great cache. We tried many options, slowly and methodically working towards success. My comment when I signed the log, “WOW”. Thank you, a favorite for us.

The logbook finally reveals itself.
The logbook and a trove of other objects — mysterious and otherwise — finally reveal themselves.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Old McPlumberman Had A Farm — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC6V4ME
by Plumberman63
Difficulty:
3.5
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
New Brunswick, Canada
N 45° 30.592 W 065° 52.629

LastZoo and Plumberman63 are a geocaching couple from New Brunswick, Canada. They designed their gadget cache, “Old McPlumberman Had A Farm” in October 2016 as part of a local gadget-cache-building challenge. After 25 finds the cache still has a 100% favorite-point ratio, and more than a few geocachers have expressed their deep displeasure about being able to award only one favorite point!

Geocaching HQ reached out to Plumberman63 and LastZoo for a description of their cache, which is generating rave reviews from all who visit. Read on to find out how this intricate and involved gadget cache works!

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Darlings Island is a small, little known island in southern New Brunswick, on the East Coast of Canada, surrounded by a lake and a river. It is known for it’s hundred year old covered bridge, mild summers perfect for kayaking or fishing adventures, challenging winters with snow drifts and whiteouts, and the picturesque rolling hills and family farms. It is our goal to also make it known as a destination for gadget caches.

brutal-winters

Our first gadget cache is a small handmade barn complete with a weather vane, hay loft, barn door and attached silo. It is perched on a post along our driveway. As you enter our driveway, the bright red barn on a post could seem like a birdfeeder or birdhouse to the passerby, but the geocacher in search of this cache will immediately recognize it as ground zero. The unsuspecting geocachers will assume that one must simply walk up, figure something out really quick, and voila, the hidden cache container will be revealed, but… not so fast!

While it seems rather simple at a quick glance, this geocache container took nearly 40 hours to build from scratch. While one of the elements was inspired by a WVTim geocache my wife (LastZoo) and I found while exploring in West Virginia this summer, the rest is a combination of different little tricks and components that make the cache fun and challenging all rolled into one.

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As you approach the barn, you’ll easily see that tucked away underneath the barn is a padlock with a 4 digit code guarding access to the logbook compartment. Old McPlumberman had a code… E.I.E.I…uh-oh… Where is the code?

Each handmade component of the barn unlocks the next step to accessing the logbook compartment. The trick is to figure out which component does what, and which component one must start with. The barn is built sturdily so that it can be pulled and pushed and prodded without much danger or wrecking it, but thankfully solving each step does not require any force. Just patience. A barn-sized load of patience.

There are 4 codes for the padlock… and four steps to revealing the code. However, only the last step will provide the code to you, so that you won’t be tempted to give up at the third step. Once you’ve attempted the third step, you’ll know why we only revealed the code in the last step!

small-dsc_4720

SPOILER #1:
The first step is to examine the handmade weather vane closely. It is built with a long brass rode that reaches down into the hayloft and holds the hayloft door closed. Removing the weather vane is the beginning of the chain reaction you need in order to reveal the 4 digit code. In saying this, given that the weather vane is the first step, one would be correct in assuming that the second step has something to do with the hayloft.

SPOILER #2:
Once you’ve opened the hayloft door, you will notice several “bales of hay” stacked neatly in the hayloft. Oh, but wait…..! One bale is impaled with a steel rod. It is that very same steel rode that keeps the inside of the silo in place. You could stop there, and never find the logbook compartment, but since you’ve gone this far, why not unlock the silo by pulling on the hay bale?

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SPOILER #3:
Once you’ve unlocked the inside of the silo by moving the bale of hay, you will discover how devious Plumberman63 can be. This is the part that determines whether you’re standing in our driveway for ten minutes or an hour (or whether you want to throw eggs at our vehicles?). Hidden deep in the barn is another steel rod that guides the grooves carved into the inner cylinder of the silo. Lift the silo higher and higher by finding the right groove without making a wrong turn, and you will gain access to the final step required to reveal the 4 digit code. If it takes you over an hour, you can drop by our house for a break, and we’ll you a hug and some hot chocolate.

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SPOILER #4.
Since step 3 is the most difficult step, we decided to add a little fun to step 4 by including a popular kids game into the geocache. You’re welcome. The game instructions for our cache are on the game piece itself in French and English, the official languages in New Brunswick. This could take 3 minutes, or half an hour, depending on your observation skills.

The good news? You don’t have to repeat step 3 once you’re ready to put everything back together the way it was. Just insert the silo backwards, and then turn it the right way until it clicks back into place when the red arrows match up!

small-dsc_4718

Our favorite memories from this geocache are the reactions from the geocachers who read the description on the geocaching page, but weren’t sure what to expect. If looks could kill, Plumberman63 would have died as each geocacher attempted step 3… We also really enjoy the cleverly worded log entries, like the one made by 4CeasonS, which beautifully describe the experience without giving away the secrets. All in all, we’re happy to provide some entertainment as our way to give back in a small way to the geocaching community for the years of adventures and discoveries we’ve enjoyed through geocaching.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

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A new country souvenir for Singapore!

Statistically speaking, Singapore ranks as one of the best places on earth to be born, grow up, and die.

Singaporeans can expect to receive a first-class education and have one of the longest life-expectancies in the world. Their city is the hub of Asia’s financial services and high-tech sectors. Most citizens are bilingual; they represent a diverse collection of religions and cultures. And one of their most well-known national icons is a fantastical half lion, half fish hybrid: the Merlion.

But we think the country’s true greatness lies in its geocaches, which are as diverse as its citizens. They range in style and setting from tricky needle-in-a-haystack hides to gorgeous tropical views; from modern architectural creations to rocky seaside traverses. And if that’s not enough incentive to go caching in Singapore, from now on finding a cache there will earn you the Singapore country souvenir.

singapore_vfinal_full

Read on to learn about five of Singapore’s most noteworthy caches.

Butterfly Garden @ Changi Airport T3 Transit

GC1HA96 | by Orangefizzy & Buntoro | D1/T1 | Traditional Cache | 497 favorite points

picmonkey-collage

Airport caches are extremely rare, and for good reason. Getting permission from the appropriate authorities is difficult. But geocachers Orangefizzy and Buntoro did just that at Changi International airport in Singapore—they received permission for the cache from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore—and GC1HA96 is the result. The cache is placed in the airport’s special butterfly garden. Dappled with natural sunlight from a huge wall of windows, the garden is filled with over 200 species of tropical plants, 47 species of butterflies, a cascading waterfall, and air so humid you’ll meet your daily drinking water requirement just by standing there and breathing for five minutes.

TBH Trail – The Labyrinth

GC4XC21 | by riskysurv | D2.5/T2 | Mystery Cache | 20 favorite points

picmonkey-collage2

To find GC4XC21, you’ll need to pick your way through a series of labyrinthine underground tunnels, but the only equipment required is a computer mouse and cursor. This mystery cache uses Google Maps’ interior “street view” images of the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter to create a fun and unusual puzzle. Click on the link from the cache page and you’ll be plopped down into a Singaporean parking lot…virtually, of course. Then find the open door nearby to Enter the Labyrinth and begin exploring. You’ll need to track down clues hidden within the walls of the shelter in order to answer questions on the cache page and solve for the final coordinates of the cache. It’s a fun puzzle worth working on at home even if you don’t have a trip to Singapore planned…yet.

Welcome to Chinatown

GC41AV5 | by onehappy & Just1gal | D2.5/T2 | Traditional Cache | 131 favorite points

The view at "Wecome to Chinatown" geocache.

An exploration of Singapore would not be complete without a visit to Chinatown. While you’re there, make your way up to GC41AV5. From ground zero of this cache, one can gaze down at the terracotta-colored roofs of the main Chinatown shopping area and plazas.The streets below seem busy at almost any time of the day, filled with “street performances, flea markets and lots of good hawker food,” as the cache page states. The view offers a striking visual of the contrast between traditional and modern architecture. And around Chinese New Year, colorful streamers and banners hang suspended over the streets like candy necklaces.

Metrohomme’s “The Story of a Migrant”

GC1GRJF | Adapted by Orangefizzy and Buntoro  | D3/T3 | Multi-Cache | 51 favorite points

picmonkey-collage3

Geocachers who eschew crowds of camera-snapping tourists and prefer to delve deeply into the history of a place will likely enjoy the multi-cache GC1GRJF. The cache describes the life of Ah Long, who emigrated from China to Singapore in pursuit of grander opportunities. Although Ah Long himself is fictional, the locations to which stages of this cache lead are very real. At each stage, the listing text paints a picture of what the spot might have looked and felt like to someone like Ah Long from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. This cache fits neatly into the ever-growing category of educational geocaching, or “edu-caching”.

Bay Area: Esplanade Bridge

GC2QV9M | by Louise&Lauren | D1.5/T1.5 | Traditional Cache | 40 favorite points

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Marina Bay is sensational from any angle. Rimmed with glittering high-rises and swooping bridges, the bay area is the hub of Singapore’s hotel and entertainment industries. The futuristic Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino dominates the skyline to the south, forever deceiving tourists into thinking a cruise ship accidentally docked on some skyscraper roofs. The northern rim of the bay is guarded by a towering white Merlion, who roars out an endless gush of water. And in the middle of it all sits GC2QV9M, shaded by fluffy pink and white bougainvillea bushes. Searching for the cache among the bushes offers a welcome rest for the eyes after the spectacle of Marina Bay, but be warned: spending any amount of time face-first in the foliage is sure to attract attention from tourists and locals alike. Move covertly and replace as found.


Singapore joins Russia, Puerto Rico, and China as the latest geocaching country souvenirs. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. See the souvenirs you’ve already earned here. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Singapore, the souvenir will be retroactively added to your profile soon.

There’s still one more country souvenir left to be revealed! Follow Geocaching on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or check back to the Geocaching Blog to find out which country is next.

Have you found a geocache in Singapore? Tell us your experience in the comments below!