August 2023’s Film of the Month Award
Every 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 celebratory spotlight on a student production, which has been made by Sparks Film School students.
Our panel of judges – assembled from our team of filmmaking instructors – look at submissions from across Sparks Film Schools nationally. They assess based on each film’s impact on screen and explore 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.
For August, we are delighted to announce that the winner is Phantom Education from students at Sparks Film School in Dorking & Leatherhead!
Phantom Education was produced by our young filmmakers ages 7-11 during the Summer Shoots summer camps. The theme for this project was Worlds of Wonder, and the young filmmakers from Sparks Film School Dorking & Leatherhead certainly hit the brief with this wacky, creative, and overall really fun film!
Phantom Education introduces us to a trio of Ghost Exterminators after a school is invaded by a menacing and scary pair of ghostly creatures. We follow this unlikely group as they are joined by others at the school to combat the ghosts in a very imaginative and comedy filled romp!
From the Judges…
“The film is very well crafted and the strong and heightened sense of comedy really stuck out to our judges. This film contains some exciting and enjoyable acting performances from all involved! From the mis-matched trio of Ghost Exterminators and their clumsy intern, to the villainous ghosts haunting the school (who also have their own moments of well placed comedy).
This film is a great example of the collaboration and creative teamwork our young filmmakers are known for, as everyone involved in this film has their own moment to shine!
Some great camera work and editing choices have been made with this film. One example is when our ghost exterminators are met by a suspicious group at the school. As they are led into the building, the team have used a tracking wide shot and made use of some great scene blocking here. We hear the exterminators at the back, loudly boasting of how great they are, whilst the students at the front quietly conspire amongst themselves. We are seeing two conversations play out at once which the characters are not aware of, but we are. Really great stuff!
The filmmakers have also made use of some snappy and very funny editing choices. Primarily with the ghost exterminators commercial, in which the two reel off their cheesy advert lines, and their phone number (which they don’t remember). We also see this fun editing later on with the snap cuts on the little toy horse and when the Intern saves the day. These very quick, almost comic-like edits give the film a great sense of pace and humour which is held present throughout.”
Finally, our judges couldn’t stress enough how much fun this film was to watch.
“The filmmakers have clearly used all of their imagination and references to create something really dynamic and engaging here. For example, the sequence near the finale where all the characters are chasing each other back and forth through the school corridors, may remind us of some old style cartoons with a very wacky and wild style. Really fabulous work here crew!”
Overall, we here at Sparks Film School HQ are very happy to award Phantom Education the Film Of The Month award!
Congratulations to the crew involved, some really impressive and fun filmmaking here!
About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Courses
This film was made by young crew members taking part in the Summer Shoots – epic movie making summer camps – with Sparks Film School.
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 filmmaking courses here >>>