Sparks Film School’s Film of the Month: January 2024

Sparks Film School’s Film of the Month Award celebrates a film production made by Sparks film crew members.

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. It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate and recognise all the fantastic filmmaking that goes on all throughout the year by the young crew members (which is a lot, and represents a huge amount of growing talent and expertise in filmmaking!).

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

To be selected as Sparks Film of the Month, a film production should show that it is…

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 January’s Film of The Month award, the winners are very deserving film crew members from Sparks Film School Dulwich! Their recent film AI was produced by young filmmakers during 2023’s Autumn term of weekly workshops.

The film follows a broken robot, decades after its creation, as it wreaks havoc on the local villagers. Firstly, our judges were very impressed with the subject matter and story of AI. We were impressed with how our young filmmakers have turned this topical conversation into a fun and action packed film that still manages to raise questions about our own world.

Atmospheric Opening

The film opens with a brilliant and intriguing introduction. We see a scientist working in their lab and pouring over what looks to be a very still body. The scene is shot in black and white with some tense music underscoring it. The crew have been inspired by some classic horror here, Frankenstein springs to mind! The scene is really well shot with some great framing of the two characters going on. We also enjoyed the tracking shot as the robot takes her first steps followed by the scientist, as they speak into their recording device, information the audience later finds out as the film continues.

Performance

Our panel would also like to commend the acting performances in AI! The cast have done a great job here, especially the actor playing the robot, as she has clearly inhabited the character completely and brought an interesting and unique physicality to the role, really highlighting how unique and non-human the AI really is. Well done!

Composition and Framing

The young filmmakers have clearly been inspired by the term’s theme of The Other Side in which masterclasses explored interesting framing and camera techniques. Some of the shots as our two main characters discover the cyborg are brilliant! Our panel particularly loved when the two characters walk down the aisles of the desks at 1.38, this is a great shot and the crew have implemented some key framing techniques such as the ‘Rule of Thirds’, an important tool used to decide where the audience’s focus should go in film. There is another shot at 3.58 in which the crew have used the bench as part of their framing, putting a physical line between their two characters. This is such a great shot and really helps our audience focus on the drama!

Congratulations to Studio 3 in Dulwich for winning the first Film of The Month for 2024, with really well handled subject matter. Well done to the team for their creative storytelling!

Congratulations to the Makers of AI

Congratulations to everyone involved in this brilliant film production, we’re proud to award you the January 2024 Sparks Film of the Month Award!

This film was made by young crew members taking part during Weekly Workshops – regular filmmaking 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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