Sparks Film of the Month: March 2024

The Sparks Film School’s Film of the Month Award celebrates a film production made by film crew members taking part in Sparks Film School courses.

Or young film crews work incredibly hard to produce their own film productions, where they work collaboratively to make a film that expresses their ideas and creativity, whilst also showcasing their technical abilities and skills. We love to shine a celebratory spotlight on their achievements.

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 Sparks 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 March’s Film of The Month we are turning our gaze to Sparks Yarm! This month’s winner is the thrilling and exciting film ‘Reset’ ! The film was created by Sparks Studio 4 (ages 11-14) members in Yarm as part of their weekly filmmaking workshops during the Autumn Term.

The film follows our hero on an average day of school until she is suddenly the victim of a  car accident as she crosses the road. After she wakes up in the hospital, she notices her world and she herself has changed in strange ways, and sets out to discover what has happened to the world she once knew and why.

Firstly, our judges were very impressed with the big ideas on display here for this film. The filmmakers clearly really wanted to ‘go big’ with the use of the term’s theme ‘The Other Side’. They have created an immensely atmospheric and very well paced film dealing with very relevant issues and ideas, mainly that of the implementation of Artificial Intelligence into our world and its consequences. Some really brilliant storytelling on display here from the young filmmakers at Sparks Yarm!

The film opens with an intriguing introduction. The opening of the film takes place on an average day in school, but something feels different. The filmmakers have implemented a great use of tone and subtle storytelling through use of music and framing to create this slightly unnerving atmosphere which works to great effect, giving the audience a sense of anticipation for what’s to come. The opening has some brilliant use of the camera, such as at 0.53 when we see some lovely use of the room’s architecture to create a really interesting image. Great work!

Our panel would also like to commend the acting performances in ‘Reset’! The cast have all done a great job here, All characters are given great energy and conviction, with a nice varied cast of characters from our hero who discovers her power, the villain and his stern and confident demeanour, to some of the more light hearted and comedic performances. ‘Reset’ is filled with some really truthful and subtle performances shining throughout the film. Well done to the whole cast!

The crew have really excelled with this film with its interesting use of camera work and framing. One highlight for our panel was towards the end of the film when our hero uses her newfound power to transport the villain’s guards to another dimension and free their minds from their master’s control! Some excellent use of special effects and wide shots here, playing with distance and shapes on screen to great effect. This was a really unexpected and exciting sequence that added to the drama of the final scenes!

Congratulations to Sparks Yarm for winning the Film of The Month for March 2024! We can’t wait to see what else the young filmmakers create!

This film was made by young crew members taking part in the Sparks Film School weekly classes. Sparks Film School offers filmmaking, animation and photography workshops for ages 5-18, including term time classes and holiday camps.

We offer free taster classes and there are lots of opportunities to get involved. You can find out more about our filmmaking courses here >>>

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