May 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 proud to award the Film of the Month title to the filmmakers behind Assassin!
Congratulations to the crew members from Sparks Film School Guildford!
Assassin sees a group of children kidnapped and trained as world class assassins. However, a few decide to fight for good and plan an escape!
The May judging panel were really impressed with this fun film for a number of reasons.
The crew behind the film implemented a really imaginative array of camera angles and techniques and even at one point some stop motion animation, which makes it all feel visually very rich.
The choices behind camera angles directly impacts how we as the audience experience the action of the film. One example that plays with tone and atmosphere is the really fun, 80’s inspired, training montage. This sequence has lots of character, uses fun angles with plenty of close ups, tracking shots, and quick-cut editing along with music to express a sense of playfulness and light heartedness in this otherwise dramatic story.
We spoke to Head of Sparks Film School Guildford, Matt Toogood, to ask about the young crews’ process behind this film.
“The crew for this film project had several keen filmmakers who had been to a Sparks workshop before, so you could really tell they knew what they wanted to portray on screen. The group came up with several great ideas and pitched them. It was tough picking the best idea, as there were some really strong stories, but we felt Assassin was a strong concept and we could also build in a few of the other ideas too.
Our location of Guildford County School was great to set the scene for the thriller. The field worked especially well for the training montage. The crew loved getting into spy costume and using props and costume really helped set the tone.’’
Our panel were particularly impressed with the crews’ imaginative use of stop motion animation when we see the shot of the toy plane flying over the map. This shot was really well executed and must have taken a lot of coordination and planning.
Matt also shared that he was really pleased with the group’s teamwork and creative thinking. He said “Their creativity and ability to problem solve shone through with their plan to use stop motion to show the travel from Europe to Australia using the map in the classroom. Luckily, someone also brought in a toy plane so it worked well in the end. The group were inspired by the James Bond franchise but also Fantastic Mr Fox, which led to them filming the map and ‘master plan’ sequence in a Wes Anderson style.
It was fantastic working with such an enthusiastic and inspiring group of young filmmakers. It never ceases to amaze me the creativity and ingenuity that young people are capable of!”
We really enjoyed watching ‘Assassin’ and are very pleased to announce it as May’s Film of the Month!
Congratulations to everyone involved!
About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Courses:
This film was made by young crew members taking part in Sparks Film School’s Licence to Thrill themed filmmaking half term camp, February 2023.
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 >>>