Secret Tip #1. Quality counts! Make sure you take in-focus pictures and videos. Nothing gets our dander up faster than a beautifully executed item shot so poorly that we can’t see or hear what you did. Keep our dander down by making your submissions beautiful, artistic, and excellent.

Secret Tip #2. Bonus Points. We award extra points for extra awesome item submissions. The more extraordinary your submission, the more bonus points we will assign to it. Math matters, and we aren’t afraid to use it.

Secret Tip #3. Have fun. If you’re having fun making or doing an item, odds are the result will be great. In other words, before tackling an item figure out how to make the process fun. This includes when you capture the picture or video. You will likely receive more points if you are having more fun, too. If you’re not having fun, you are required to change course immediately so that you ARE headed in the direction of some serious good times. (We must add the small caveat that sometimes GISH is miserable – but that’s part of the fun, too.)

Secret Tip #4. Composition counts. Pay attention to everything in your Submission – including the setting and backgrounds of your images and videos. Beautiful, artistically composed images tend to get awarded more bonus points. Think about how your images will look when projected 50 feet high on our judge’s drive-in movie screen, on YouTube, or hanging in the GISH Hall of Fame before you shoot them.

Secret Tip #5. Want us to show off your videos somewhere in the future? Try to shoot them so that they look good in landscape OR portrait mode. We reiterate: Composition counts. (And, for video: shoot in landscape orientation whenever possible.) Submit high resolution photos that are at least 1200 px wide, but bigger is better when it comes to resolution. 

Secret Tip #6. Make the GISH Team laugh, chuckle, chortle or giggle until we lose control of major bodily functions. We love granting points to people with a good sense of humor, so entertain us and you’ll be rewarded with Points. Dance, monkeys!

Secret Tip #7. Artistic expression counts! You don’t have to be an “artist” (though we believe all creatures are), but be thoughtful in your creations. Images that tell a story in a single image are generally more compelling than images where the subjects are posing for the camera – though not always, so your mileage may vary on this point. But try to be eye-catching, awe-inspiring and museum worthy. (No pressure.)

Secret Tip #8. WATERMARKS OR TEAM NAME SIGNS: Unless we specifically ask for it, we suggest that you avoid adding a watermark or sign with your team’s name on it in or on the image. We know you want credit, and wherever possible we’ll give it to you. And we know you’re rebels that do what you like, so we’re not saying you can’t – but just know it can impact our ability to share your work in video compilations, the book, social media, etc due to constraints of size and visual layout. You can add your team name to the video description on YouTube, the comments, etc. But if you want your work seen, please be mindful of this important Tip.

Secret Tip #8. NO OPEN CAPTIONS: We encourage & appreciate your help in adding closed captions to your videos wherever possible, but please for the love of Misha’s pet pony don’t open caption them (where the words are burned into the image). It can impact our ability to share clips of your work later, and that’s just sad. But please do add closed captions for the benefit of all!