June 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 celebratory spotlight on a student production, which has been made by Sparks Film School students.
Each month, 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.
This month, we are so happy to announce the winner is Mystery Mountain from filmmakers from Sparks Film School South Croydon!
Mystery Mountain was produced by filmmakers from Studio 2 and Studio 3 during their Easter Holiday Camp in the spring.
Mystery Mountain follows a group of friends as they are stranded on a harsh and stormy mountain. What ensues is a thrilling and epic murder mystery movie set in a really interesting location!
We chose Mystery Mountain as it really strongly implements all of our criteria for our Film Of The Month Award. Its original, whilst showing a really good understanding of the genre. It’s interesting and it keeps us watching, and it’s well made! To make a film with so much green screen work takes a lot of creativity, commitment and attention to detail from the filmmakers. This film really delivers and we see the result is something really quite unique, epic, and fun!
We here at Sparks HQ particularly love the use of perspective and use of camera work to achieve different effects. One example is when the group of characters appear very far away and small against the rather imposing and formidable mountain. There is great visual storytelling, some really lovely use of camera work and direction here. We also really enjoyed the use of an high angle shot as we followed footprints in the snow. Some real imagination has gone into the creation of this film. This shot must have been quite difficult to pull off, but the talented Sparks young filmmakers have managed to achieve some amazing shots here.
During this year’s Easter holiday camps, filmmakers explored a murder mystery theme. The filmmakers had clearly taken this on board and really used some of the techniques of the genre they had been learning about. One great example is when the monster first appears, we don’t see it fully and we just see a suggestion of how scary it is with only its big furry arm onscreen as the character is pulled away. This use of not fully showing the audience the monster, mainly just the characters reaction, is great for building the tension and allowing our imagination to run wild with possibility.
The crew have also used some really fun and dramatic storytelling in this film. The characters are all fully formed and fun to follow, and we really do care what happens to them as they all slowly disappear as the mountain claims its victims. Then, we have a really interesting and fun twist as the finale, which is a great nod to the murder mystery genre.
Mystery Mountain is a really fun, creative, atmospheric, and well made film. The film was created in just three days as part of the camp, which is even more of a testament to the talent and imagination of Sparks young filmmakers.
Well done to all the crew involved on your win as Sparks Film of The Month.
About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Courses:
This film was made by young crew members taking part in a holiday movie making camp with Sparks.
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 >>>