Sparks Film of the Month: November 2023

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.

This November, we are delighted to announce that the winner is School Alone! from students at Sparks Film School Glasgow South.

School Alone! follows three students who have managed to escape detention, but discover something strange has come over some of their teachers. Will they outwit them or will they be sent back to detention?

“Firstly, we here at Sparks HQ really loved the simple, but very effective concept of this film!

Centring the story on our three main characters with other cameo roles was a great decision, as it gives everyone a chance to shine, but for the audience we can really connect with and go on the journey with our heroes. The crew here have really used their creativity to create a really fun and stylised film which has a clear tone and comedic energy. The film feels really cohesive as a piece, and it was clear the crew were all really passionate about this film.

We loved some of the camera work seen in School Alone!. One part we were really impressed by was the use of a motif when the teachers and ‘villains’ were on screen, the crew used some really great framing in a close up. This happens with the teacher dressed up in the corridor, in the classroom, and again at the end when our sleeping teacher (now awake) hilariously shouts “Oi You!’” to the students. The use of a close up really hones in on a character, and the crew have kept the focus in the shot really well, and these shots are enhanced by some great acting performances. 

We are always impressed by Sparks young filmmakers’ talent for comedy, and School Alone! is no exception! This film has a really solid sense of style and tone, and comedy is a big part of it. All our main characters get a comedic ‘over the top’ moment which are all really funny, and also the cameo roles from the teachers get some hilarious moments. It’s great to see this film’s consistency with its tone, and the humour is all well placed and performed. Good work team! 

Finally we really enjoyed the ending of the film. We have a great low angle shot of the kids running over the finish line, almost in slow motion, which looks so great and is fantastic visual storytelling. We then have our main characters discovered by their teacher who they snuck away from. The teacher has a brilliant line which ends the film, and the students give a great comedic reaction. This finale rounds the film off perfectly, as it keeps in line with the comedy and style we have seen throughout, and it’s simply really fun. Great work! 

Overall we have been really impressed with this film from Sparks Film School Glasgow South. The crew have done a great job, and the fact they made this in only a week in a summer camp is even more impressive. A testament to their talent and imagination.”

Congratulations to all involved in this brilliant film production, we’re proud to award you the November 2023 Sparks Film of the Month Award!

Sparks Film School | About Us | Meet the Team | A Photographer stands in front of a green Sparks banner in a cinema foyer. He holds up a DSLR camera to the camera taking the photo.

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.

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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