Announcing March 2023’s Film of the Month Award!
Each month, the Sparks Film School’s Film of the Month Award celebrates a film production from one of our talented, imaginative and dedicated film crews.
The Film of the Month Award 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…
Original: We look for originality and imagination above all else when choosing the winner of Film of the Month. We looks for films that surprise us, offer some inventiveness and challenge convention.
Interesting: 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 should be invested in watching until the very end.
Well Made: We need to be appreciate the technicality in how a film has been made for it to be awarded Film of the Month. It should feature a clear storyline, be well shot, well acted, well edited and put together.
Made by Students of Sparks Film School: Film of the Month can be awarded to any film production made by students at any Sparks Film School across the UK. It can be made independently or during film school sessions.
Congratulations to crew members at Sparks Film School in Wimbledon for their fantastic film Alone!
Crew members from Studios 2 and 3 in Wimbledon collaborated on this production, which won over this month’s panel of judges.
Alone is a creepy, tense ghost thriller movie set in the most classic of locations, a haunted school.
Alone was produced as part of the October Half Term holiday filmmaking camps at Sparks in Wimbledon. The theme was Creature Features, which prompted the young film students to use imaginative and unusual creatures as a way to spook the audience.
Alone is a great example of the filmmakers’ imagination, creativity, and the ability to lend their filmmaking skills to any genre!
About the Making of Alone
We asked Baljit, the Head at Sparks Film School in Wimbledon, about the process involved in making this month’s selection for Film of the Month.
She told us, “The class was split into three groups to pitch their story ideas. As always, there was passionate debate between everyone, but ultimately one group was able to win everyone over with their concept. We know the young filmmakers really love making scary films, so this was a popular choice amongst the crew members.
The group had an aspiring young screenwriter (age 12), who crafted a storyline involving 4 children entering, and hanging out in an empty school. But it turns out that all is not as it seems and they experience many strange goings on. They meet others but something doesn’t feel right. It then emerges that a ghost boy is haunting the school and stealing souls! The main protagonist is desperately trying to escape with her soul intact. The twist is that the boy will always find her.’’
Our judges agreed that Alone is a thrilling and – if we’re being honest! – a downright creepy genre film. They felt that there were some standout acting performances on camera, especially considering the challenges of making a scary film. They were so impressed by the acting, that it earned them this month’s Film of the Month award.
The judges – a panel assembled of Sparks team members each month – explained, “Convincing and truthful performances can be key to a film’s success and ability to connect with its audience. This film features some standout actors able to portray a wide array of emotions. This film presented some scenes inspired by the horror genre in which the actors were required to have dramatic acting skills alongside some lighter more comedic moments. The possessed students give some particularly terrifying performances in their ‘zombie’-like state, which we all really enjoyed watching.”
They also shared that they enjoyed how the film makes use of an interesting range of special effects, such as in the first scene when we see a door mysteriously open on its own, and later on we watch as the creepy ghost boy appears out of thin air. Alone also features the use of special effects makeup later in the film, as we watch the possessed-like school children stalk our protagonist down the hall in a hair raising scene. Special effects can be a great technique to add some cinematic storytelling and the crew involved here have shown creative flair in how they’ve put this together.
Baljit also told us, “The crew chose to keep mainly close up shots making the movie more tense. Dolly shots were used close to the characters to enhance the feeling of isolation in what they believed was an empty school. One of the masterclasses delivered on the course explored the convention of gadgets with secret powers in film stories. These special effect techniques were incorporated to create even more suspense in their production.”
We are more than proud to award Alone the Sparks Film of The Month award for March 2023. Well done to the crew for all their hard work!
About Sparks Film School’s Holiday Courses for Young Filmmakers
This film was made by young crew members taking part in half term filmmaking workshop Creature Features.
Sparks Film School offers filmmaking, animation and photography workshops for ages 5-18, including term time classes and holiday camps. You can find out more about our upcoming holiday courses for young filmmakers here >>.