Education Blog

Weekend Film Challenge: Camera Moves and Mysterious Rooms

By Darrel Swann, Education Program Manager 04.02.20

These rules are for every film challenge:

1. Film Challenges come out on a Friday. To enter the prize pool you MUST send Darrel (dswann@burnsfilmcenter.org) a working link to your film by the following Monday at 5 pm.

2. Films must be under 2 minutes.

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

4. Prize is having your film featured on JBFC YouTube Channel! (even free movie tickets or snacks at the JBFC)

The winner of last week's film challenge was Zachary Neilson-Papish!!! All the entries were really well done, so thank you to all the filmmakers for their hard work! Watch their film on the JBFC YouTube channel starting next week.

Film Challenge No.2 Camera Moves and Mysterious Rooms

  1. IMAGE: Revealing a character’s reaction or a new piece of information at just the right moment can add the perfect amount of tension to your zombie love story or get a big laugh in your action-comedy. A whip pan is a quick turn of the camera that can be a stylish way to make that big reveal. You must use a whip pan to reveal something to the audience. 
  2. SOUND: What’s the sound of a sword made of light? What about a monster made of cosmic gas and time particles? Deep questions like these are the realm of the Sound Effect Designer and her team. They create all the sounds in a film from the common (footsteps), to the uncommon (Chewbacca). Create at least 3 sound effects for your film.
  3. STORY: A new room has just appeared in your house! Nobody has ever seen it before. Was it there all along? How could you miss it?! Maybe it just appeared. However it happened, now it’s here and there’s a problem.

A few tips:

Every scene in your film should move the story forward in some way, big or small, and every scene should have conflict. 

A character wants/needs something, and the story can’t move forward until they get it. Remember, the scene is only interesting if there is something in the way of your character and their goal. 

Try to hold all your scenes to this high standard, and watch your films get way better.