Welcome to our Film of the Month!
Our Film of the Month Award celebrates a film production from our talented, imaginative and dedicated film students. It shines a spotlight on a student production made by Sparks Film School students and celebrates all its strengths. We look at its impact on screen and all its little details to uncover all the things we love about each film chosen.
To be selected as Film of the Month, a film production needs to be…
We look for originality and imagination above all else. We looks for films that surprise us, offer some inventiveness and challenge convention.
To be chosen as Film of the Month, a production needs to be interesting. We want to see what happens next; we want to learn more about the characters; we’re invested in watching until the very end.
We need to be appreciate the technicality in how a film has been made. It should feature a clear storyline, be well shot, well acted, well edited and put together.
Made by Students of Sparks Film School:
Films can be made by students at any Sparks Film School across the UK. It can be made independently or during film school sessions, but it must be made by Sparks Film School students.
Our Film of the Month for January 2023 is ‘Chair Farm’.
Chair Farm is a short film production made by Studio 5 filmmakers (ages 14-18) over Spring Term 2022 at Sparks Film School Balham. It’s a popular favourite amongst Sparks Film School staff, students and amongst the community on our YouTube channel.
On selecting Chair Farm for our inaugural Film of the Month, the Award panel explain, “Chair Farm is a highly creative and unique Sparks production, in which we follow a group of sentient chairs (yes you read that correctly, chairs) as they grow resentful of their role as the sat upon, never the sitter! What ensues is comedic, dramatic, downright silly, and everything in between.”
“For our first Film Of The Month we wanted to focus on a particularly special and quirky film that is close to the hearts of the students and instructors alike here at Sparks. Chair Farm showcases the boldness and creative freedom of Sparks filmmakers, and how they never shy away from a challenge to make the best film possible!”
Chair Farm has recently been submitted to multiple film festivals and awards, we await the results with anticipation so watch this space. (You can find details about some of the other Awards Sparks film school students have won here >>)
When we spoke to Sparks Film School Balham Manager Jess about the film, she fondly remembered its production and the amount of fun the students had making it. “The theme for that particular term at the filmmaking classes was The Double Act. They had previously taken part in a masterclass session on Buddy Movies, where the characters go off on an unlikely adventure.
They made a short based on this masterclass which then eventually led to the idea of an ‘Animal Farm’ parody for their main production. They also looked at symmetrical framing as part of Spring Term 2022, something that they tried to do lots of in Chair Farm. The idea is that the chairs are very uniformed, aside from the protagonist who can’t conform and tends to break this rule!”
The filming of Chair Farm was a rather unique process, given the nature of the film. One of the panel commented, “There is some great use of puppetry in this film. You can see that everyone involved really put lots of effort in to come up with lots of different ways the chairs could move in order to give them a real range of movement.”
The techniques used in Chair Farm, all thought up by our young filmmakers, include using fishing wire and puppeteers to achieve the coat moving and chair spinning. The shot of the legs marching is done by standing on the chair behind and moving the chair from side to side from above. Alongside these the team also achieved the shots of the tops of the chairs marching, by lying on their backs on the floor and sliding the chairs down the length of their body one by one!
Chair Farm is deservedly our first ever Film of the Month for January 2023! You can watch Chair Farm below – we hope you enjoy!
Chair Farm was made as part of the Filmmaking Classes at Sparks Film School in Balham, SW12.
If you’d like to learn about filmmaking, find out more information about our filmmaking courses for ages 5-18.
We’ll share another deserving Film of the Month production next time!