Education Blog

Weekend Film Challenge #3: Stranger than Stranger Things

By Darrel Swann, Education Program Manager 04.09.20

These rules are for every film challenge.

1. Film Challenges come out on a Friday. To enter the prize pool you MUST send us a working link to your film by the following Monday at 5 pm. Please send your video submissions to education@burnsfilmcenter.org.

2. Films must be under 2 minutes.

3. Films must be “family friendly” to win the challenge. Nothing R-rated!

4. The prize is having your film featured on the JBFC Education YouTube channel (even a scholarship to an upcoming course, free movie tickets, or snacks at the JBFC)!


And the winner is....

The Neilson-Papish family keep the crown!!! Congratulations to Clara, Zachary, and Eli on their film! Can anyone take the crown from the Neilson-Papish’s?! All the entries were really well done, so thank you to all the filmmakers for their hard work! Watch their film on the JBFC Education YouTube channel starting next week.


Film Challenge No.3: Stranger than Stranger Things

IMAGE: A graphic match is a way to connect two shots by having similar composition in each. Check out our visual glossary (linked above) for some ideas, or look at the examples below. Use at least 1 graphic match in your film.

  • A shot of the sun in the center of the frame, CUT TO a shot of a baseball the same size as the sun, in that same spot of the frame.
  • A little girl sits in a chair facing the camera. She plays with a toy helicopter while a fan spins over her head, CUT TO a young woman sitting facing the camera from the pilot seat of a helicopter. The blades spin over her head. The blades and the girl are in the same spot, and are the same size in both images.

SOUND: There are sounds characters can hear and ones they can’t. Sounds characters can hear, like a glass breaking, or a truck’s horn honking, are called diegetic. Sounds characters can’t hear, like the music that lets them know danger is around the corner, or the narrator’s voice, are called non-diegetic. Use one of each type of sound, diegetic or non-diegetic, in your film. 

STORY: Someone in your house is not who they seem to be! 

A few tips:

The “ticking clock” is one of the most common ways filmmakers drive the story forward: “We need to get to Dallas by Tuesday!” “You have 20 minutes until the bomb goes off!” “If we don’t get home by midnight, our carriage turns back into a pumpkin!” Adding these sorts of deadlines can make it easy for the audience to understand the urgency of a character’s problems. Try using a ticking clock in your story to drive the action.