Become An ECA Judge

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The Emerging Cinematographer Awards Committee gives members of Local 600 an opportunity to be a judge for the ECA entrants each year.

Films are typically assigned online to judges in the month of March through There’s an approximate sixty (60) day turn around period. Once judges have been secured, they will be sent the films electronically through along with instructions and/or materials. When judges commit themselves, reliability and follow through is a crucial part of the process. Regardless of what type of judge our members become, your name will remain confidential to all entrants.

There are two parts to the judging system for the ECA short films: Regional and Blue Panel. Following is an explanation of each, and the requirements:

Regional Judge

This requires less of a time commitment, but the skill set and knowledge about cinematography is 100% necessary. ECA film entries are split up between judges from around the country. Each judge may receive anywhere from 12-25 short films thirty (30) minutes within a single genre. The number of films judges receive fluctuates depending on how many judges are secured. Approximately 20 judges are usually involved with this process so that each film entry can be viewed and balloted by multiple judges. This means if 20 judges are secured, then each entry may be judged and balloted up to 3-4 times. Regional judges must complete one electronic ballot for every film they are assigned. 

Following are the basic requirements to be an ECA Regional Judge:

Blue Panel Judge

All ECA film entries submitted are viewed by Blue Panel Judges. Each year approximately five (5) are assigned films to view all sumbissions. This means that if eighty (80) films are submitted for the new season, then each Blue Panel Judge views all eighty (80) films. Each year, the ECA averages approximately 100 film submissions, but all films are shorts, and are thirty (30) minutes and under. Films are viewed online through FilmFreeway. This is a big commitment, but it’s been reported that the experience is both a fun and rewarding experience.

Currently, there is a higher demand for Blue Panel Judges who are Directors of Photography.

Following are the basic requirements to be an ECA Blue Panel Judge:

Judges are typically secured by early March. Directors of Photography are preferred as judges, but all members in all job classifications may apply. If you are not selected as a judge, this does not mean we don’t want you to be a judge.  It may mean we have booked all the judges needed for the year, and your name will be added to a list for the following year.

If you are interested in becoming a judge, please reach out to us by clicking here and send us a message. We will contact you about the next steps.