Okay folks -- I've been meaning to do this for a looooong time. Yes, we have a general forum FAQ, and we have the Terms of Service which you should all read every fourteen minutes, and we have tutorials lists. But since we're still not filling in a couple of key gaps, I'm making this thread juuuuuust for you. These are the most common problems I see with new threads. Here are some ways to correct them and make for better threads that will get you what you want more efficiently -- or even get your question answered without having to make a thread! I want to make a lightsaber duel for my fan film. (visual effects, making blades or hilts, choreography) Everybody's favorite question, so it's worth repeating here just for emphasis. We have a sticky thread for all the information you could possibly need to get started with your first lightsaber duel. I am looking for a certain fan film. It was about this Sith Lord who made his apprentice fight another Sith. It started in space and then the spaceship landed and the guy got out and then the two guys fought with lightsabers. At the end they killed each other and the main Sith shot lightning. It had really good effects and lots of computer animation and fighting. It's called "Duality". It used to be available at http://www.crewoftwo.com... currently down. Right now an alternate home page for it is available at http://starwarsduality.webs.com/ If that site is not working, then Google/YouTube for it yourself and may the Force be with you. I would like to make a thread that is a question or comment to one specific person on the forums. Instead of making a new thread, send them a Private Message, or otherwise contact them personally. It will reach them faster! I would like to ask if something is legal. Don't, unless it's a stunningly original question. The basic facts: - No, it is not legal to sell your fan film. Under any circumstances. I don't care what creative gimmick you've come up with: if someone has to give you money in order to see your fan film, you are in the wrong, and you deserve every lawsuit you get. - It is in many ways not even legal to MAKE your fan film, but Lucasfilm will look the other way. If that had not been the case, this site would have been gone looooong ago, so don't worry, we're quite confident on this point. - It is, however, legal to put a copyright notice on your film. You do have the copyright to it; you made it, not George Lucas. There is a difference between owning the copyright on a film and owning the characters etc. in it. - Yes, it is legal to pay your cast and crew. You are paying them for their time and effort and resources, which has nothing to do with Lucasfilm's intellectual property. It's no different than buying videotapes to shoot your film on, or giving your friend ten bucks to wear a dorky Star Wars shirt to school. - Yes, it is legal to donate money to fan filmmakers. So long as the donations are truly donations, and not "admission tickets" or "DVD sales" going under another name. Remember, it is exchanging money _over intellectual property_ that gets you in trouble, not money itself. - No, it is not necessarily LEGAL to use the music and sounds and whatever Star Wars stuff we tend to throw into our movies, but, again, people tend to look the other way. I would like to obtain commercially-sold software without paying for it. Do NOT post about it here. Your thread will be locked and you may get into further trouble. I would like to obtain commercially-sold music without paying for it. Same as above. Buy the CD, folks. I need help with something technical. First of all, make sure you've consulted the manual and whatever other help files your stuff came with. Beyond that—once again, the more specific information you can provide up-front, the better. What program or machine are you using? What version, what platform? What are you trying to make it do? If error messages are involved, what do they say? EXAMPLE OF A GOOD THREAD: "When I try to burn my disc in DVD Studio Pro 1.5, after I tell it where to write the VIDEO_TS file to, it just sits there, it doesn't prompt me to insert a disc or anything." EXAMPLE OF A BAD THREAD: "how do i make an explosion" I would like people to help with my fan film. Great! But, two rules: — If you're looking for people to help on set, at your location, state your location in the thread title. You might also want to see if there's a local FanForce board you could cross-post to. — Try to give a little information about who you are, what sort of filmmaking experience you have and why anyone should think that this movie of yours will actually be completed. This will help you get more volunteers in the long run. I would like to hire voice actors for my fan film or audio project. Great! But please be prepared. In your initial post, say which characters you need, post the audition lines that prospective actors should record, and how they should send those lines to you (i.e. by e-mail, or a link in the thread, or what). Also say a little bit about your film etc., especially if people don't know you. This thread was half-truncated in the 2012 move and we lost some frequent topics — we may add to it as time goes on. Rick McCallum loves you!