Calling all budding student Spielbergs

There’s still time for schools to submit to Film By Online but be quick. Alyssa Terese explains.

A girl lying on a couch which is covered in green plastic while another girl and a woman film her. A girl lying on a couch which is covered in green plastic while another girl and a woman film her.
Image: The Hospital School at Westmead created a film in an afternoon, including simulating students flying.

Film By Online is an exciting opportunity for NSW public school students from Kindergarten to Year 8 to showcase their talent, creativity and imagination through filmmaking.

An initiative of The Arts Unit, submissions close this Friday and can be made by school class groups, individual students or groups of students.

All films are in with a chance to be shown on the big screen at the Film By Invitation film festival in November, and there are lots of great prizes up for grabs, including sound gear, student workshops, professional learning sessions and film equipment hire.

School Arts and Initiatives Coordinator Michelle Dodd said submissions close this Friday, 20 October, noting how one school put a film together in an afternoon.

The Hospital School at Westmead has a transient student cohort, making it more difficult to plan, film and edit over a prolonged period and needed “an approach so students could execute the filming in an afternoon,” principal Mercedes Wilkinson said.

“The students utilised the green screen so they could ‘fly’ and be superimposed into different scenes; they dressed up as characters, did some talking to camera; whatever they wanted to do really.”

Ms Wilkinson said the filmmaking experience allowed students to be collaborative, showcase creativity and their student voice, with the students leading the creative aspects of the project.

“The students were extremely proud of their achievements and having a student-driven film to share with our parents was an excellent way of fostering strong community engagement,” she said.

Need more inspiration?

Mumma Bear’s Bad Hair Day is an example video with outtakes at the end, showing how this one was filmed:

Mumma Bear's Bad Hair Day is an example video. Video credit: Jannali East Public School.

“All the films are produced, edited, and created by students, so ‘Film By’ is a true showcase of student work,” School Arts and Initiatives Coordinator Michelle Dodd said.

Film By is supported by Lights, camera, action! a filmmaking resource produced by The Arts Unit for students and teachers to learn the basics of filmmaking and how to produce their own film.

Films need to follow the criteria guidelines on how to enter.

Film By Invitation is supported by RØDE, the Australian Film and Radio School, Compnow, Digi Ed and Videocraft Australia.

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