Sixth Form

29 September 2023

Lights, camera, action – Lower Sixth Challenge Day

Lower Sixth students put their filmmaking skills to the test during their Michaelmas term Challenge Day with the One Day Film School.

In the morning, they learned the essentials:

Camera – learning to use an iPad like a pro, tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes, making a practice 3-Shot Film about a theft

Screenwriting – discovering three key things every good script needs, how to tell a great story, create memorable characters… and make us care

In the afternoon, students took the 15-Shot Challenge: creating a short film (three minutes, max) based on a classic narrative (eg ’someone is kidnapped, an attempted rescue’) for premiering at the end of the day. Members of Lower Sixth self-allocated a role within their film crew (writer, director, producer, screenwriter, actors, etc).

Most adverts take several months to make, so the challenge of making a successful short film in just 90 minutes can be daunting. However, the groups gelled exceptionally well, showed great leadership and teamwork, and no-one missed the deadline. Their final task was to introduce their film – just like at the Cannes Film Festival – and give it a poster tagline, like the famous: In space no-one can hear you scream. Then it was time for the VIP judges (Headmistress Mrs Dougall alongside Young Film Academy representatives) to take their seats and decide which would win the ultimate prize: the Best Picture Oscar…

The standard was very high, so it was a tough decision. The Best Picture Oscar was awarded to 9 to 5. It told an engaging, entertaining story which was technically superb: the judges were particularly impressed by the excellent performances and high standard of camerawork, editing and sound design. Best Actor went to Ottilie and Best Technical Achievement to ‘Revenge Best Served Cold’.

Member of team 9 to 5 Amelie (L6C) reflected on the Challenge Day and said: ‘Our Challenge Day was a fantastic experience and we all really enjoyed it. Our group spent most of the day creating a short film set in a dystopian society where people are made to work repetitive jobs, and it explored the theme of societal constraints and the importance of individuality.

Throughout the day we learnt so much, for example, about the importance of different styles of filming and camerawork as well as the types of shots you can use in each scene. Not only did we learn about filmmaking, but also about teamwork and the impact of storytelling. It was very exciting to have our film selected as the best – we won an Oscar! Overall, we found the Challenge Day to be a fun experience and a nice creative challenge.’

Watch the winning short film, 9 to 5 below:

Find out more about One Day Film School on Twitter and Instagram.

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