Beyond Film School Short Film Challenge

Dates & Details for the 2024 Challenge are Coming Soon!

2023 Beyond Film School Short Film Challenge

Make a Movie in 9 Days with no Money!

The Beyond Film School Challenge is created to provide opportunity to all Beyond Film School Alumni to gain experience in a film role they aspire to be in a safe environment with the guidance of an industry professional. 

It also serves as a way to make film industry connections, receive credit on as well as on their resume, and produce footage for their reel, and website. 

During this challenge not only will the participants come to understand what is involved to make a movie come together, but they will practice resourcefulness while utilizing problem solving, leadership, and communication skills.

Only those that have successfully completed a Beyond Film School Set PA Training Course (either online, or in-person) are eligible to apply to the Film Challenge.


The Film Challenge at this time is not open to those that are not Beyond Film School Alum. It could be possible in the future.


June 25, 2023 – Team Applications open 

July 7, 2023 –  Team Applications submission deadline

July 7-20, 2023 – Team Leaders select their teams

July 21, 2023 – Team Announcement Day (Done over Zoom)

August 4, 2023 – Challenge Launch day

August 12, 2023 – Ideal Shoot day

August 13, 2023 – Final Film to be Submitted @11:59pm

August 21, 2023 – Challenge Screening Night @6pm. Location TBD

Applications will be open June 25, 2023 and is free to submit, there will be no cost to join the challenge.


All applications are due July 7, 2023 at 11:59pm (est)


In order to be eligible to apply the applicant must have completed the Beyond Film School Set PA training Class either online, or in person. 

In your application:

  • You will choose at least 2 team leaders you wish to work with 

  • You will choose at least 3 film roles you wish to fill in order of priority

  • Reasons why you want to be in that role, and why you feel you can succeed in that position for your team. 

(Why are you ready to take on this challenge of these positions)


  • Film Experience you have to strengthen your application 

(It is completely ok if you don’t have experience)


  • Share all the assets you can bring to your team 

(Friends that want to provide for the team, locations, cast, equipment, software, hard drives, crew members that are willing to help out on the shoot day, microphones, a slate, knowledge of free things your team can use, etc)


  • Submit a 1 minute video telling the team leaders what you can bring to the team, talk about your strengths, and what you hope to gain from this challenge, and anything you feel the team leaders need to know about you. 

(This is used for the team leaders to get to know your personality – remember they don’t know you) 

Each team will have a Team Leader to help guide and mentor the team through the Challenge, but also will be guided by Amber M. Sherman. 


Roles to be filled:

  1. Producer

  2. Writer

  3. Director

  4. Director of Photography

  5. Assistant Director

  6. Art Director

  7. Editor

  8. Script Supervisor

  9. Sound
  10. Set PAs


Editor, and Writer CAN be remote, and not located where your team decides where to shoot your movie.


A team member can fill more than 1 role, and is limited to a dual role, NOT a triple role.

(For example: Director/Writer, Producer/Director, Producer/Editor, Director/DP, Producer/AD)


If your team needs additional crew you CAN recruit friends, other industry crew members on a volunteer basis only to fill any crew gaps that may occur on each team. 


Choosing the Teams:

The team leaders, and Amber will choose/decide who goes on what team based on applications, and your performance in the Set PA Class, and projects worked on in the industry.


Each team will have a balance of more experienced, and less experienced Alumi, and our goal is to even the teams out as much as possible so you succeed in making a great short film.

Each position will require a training session to go over the responsibilities of the position you are given at the team announcement.


This training will be done over zoom, and will be scheduled based on the availability of the participants. 


This training will be mandatory. 


If you can not make the training for any reason, the training will be recorded for viewing afterwards.

Team Leaders are there to guide, motivate, and make sure the team succeeds in making a complete short film. 


Team Leaders will:

  • Be industry professionals that have experience in film from start to finish

  • Produced full creative content in some form to its completion

  • Worked in the independent film realm in some capacity

  • Understand each key film role, and know what is needed from each role

  • Have a love of teaching and mentoring

  • Have patience

  • Keep calm

  • Set the tone for their team 

  • Make sure a final Film is Produced to completion

  • Be present at the day of shoot with their team

  • Supervise all stages of production


Team Leaders CAN: 

  • Provide assets to their team.

  • Give feedback on how each crew member can improve in their role

  • Give notes on script

  • Give notes on edit

  • Assist in tough spots that each crew member might encounter

  • Use contacts to help their team


Team Leaders can NOT: 

  • Fill key roles

  • Give money to the team for any use

  • Pay any crew member for any reason


Amber is the Challenge Leader, and will serve as a Team leader for all teams. She is also available for help if needed and can be reached out to as well. 


Most meetings, pre-production can be done over zoom, the ONLY in-person requirement for the whole team and the Team Leader is when your team shoots.

(It is suggested to have a tech scout and look at the location in-person prior to shooting. This would involve the Producer, Director, DP, and 1st AD)


Team Leaders must be added/CC’d on any team meetings, zooms, and emails. 


An official callsheet must be distributed to all of the team and crew involved in the shoot day, and submitted to Amber. 

The script needs to reflect the assets of your team. You write within the means of your team only.

(You wouldn’t write a script that involves a bar scene if your team does not have access to a bar to shoot it in.)  


You are NOT allowed to use old script or recycle scripts you’ve written in the past previous to the Challenge Launch Day.


Script writing stage starts once the Challenge is launched on August 4, 2023.


On the Challenge Launch Day you will receive your genre, certain creative elements, as well as the theme for this year’s challenge to be implemented into your script. 


There will be a sole Writer, but the Producer, Team Leader, and Director can add notes, and collaborate to produce the best script possible for the team. 


The Writer should make themselves available remote or not, to give creative clarity once production starts. 

Your script can not be less than 3 pages, and not exceed 5 pages

No longer than 7 minutes in run time including credits, and the Beyond Film School company introduction at the front of the film.

All elements given on the Challenge Launch Day must be in the final edit of the film. 


There will be a list of special thanks that must be in your end credits. 

Every person that helped contribute to your film must be credited in the final edit. 


Must be shot in horizontally, as well as be exported in .MOV codec



Final films to be submitted Sunday August 13, 2023 at 11:59pm

There can NOT be any company moves during the production phase that take longer than 30 minutes. 


You can have multiple locations, but locations are suggested to be walkable from the starting point of shooting, and not exceed the 30 minutes of company moving. 

*** If there is an instance where a team NEEDS more than a 30 minute to company move the Team Leader and Amber must approve that company move beforehand***


If you are shooting in NYC you CAN shoot on public property without needing a permit as long as you do not put a tripod/equipment on the ground, or disturb the space and people around you.


You can NOT go past 12 hours of shooting in a given day.


You must break for a 30 minute lunch 6 hours after crew call. 


Wherever your team decides to shoot your film you MUST get permission from the owner of that property.

(Unless it is public property and you can shoot with disturbing the surrounding area)


If your team agrees you can shoot on another day outside of August 12, 2023, or your team is choosing to use more than the allotted day of shooting to get your movie shot is permitted as long as the final film is submitted by the deadline. 

For example you may want to give your Editor more time and shoot earlier. If this happens your Team Leader and full team must be available to be on set.


The AD MUST produce a schedule, and a callsheet to be given to the whole crew, and submitted to Amber. 


The Producer must ensure all crew roles are filled to produce the final product, and provide a cast/crew list to enable proper communication. 


Producers will designate a person to do still photography, and behind the scenes videos, photos, that will be also shared with Beyond Film School.


Final films to be submitted Sunday August 13, 2023 at 11:59pm 

All short films will be .mov file codec


They will be submitted to the Beyond film School website. 


Your official movie poster should accompany your film submission as well

– Vertical 2:3 aspect ratio as a .jpg

– Horizontal16:9 aspect ratio as a .jpg

Both variations are required


Also selected BTS taken during the Challenge should also be submitted by sharing a link to any BTS Albums


Film Submission forms will open August 12, 2023


You submitted a completed film to be screened at the Challenge Screening.


You collaborated with fellow Alumni, and created an environment that was fun, safe, and great to work in. 

You connected with people you want to work with again.


You learned from the experience of being in a role you weren’t familiar with, gained skills, and discovered things about yourself you weren’t expecting.


You also might learn what you don’t want to do in film. Either way if you learned from this Challenge that is success.

July 21 – August 4, 2023 – Team announcement to Launch day:

  • Teams will decide on when they have their meetings, whatever is best for their team. 

  • Asset meeting: discuss what each person has access to

  • Lock in location with potential of shooting there

  • Lock in cast with potential to use them 

  • Decide what lunch options you have as a team

  • Acquire crew/extra help that is needed


August 4, 2023 – Launch Day 5pm: 

  • Theme Announced for 2023 Challenge

  • Teams receive genre

  • Elements for film given

  • Scriptwriting can commence


August 5 – 7, 2023 – Day 1 to Day 3: 

  • Scriptwriting, script to be locked and finalized with team leader, director, writer, and producer in agreement.


August 8-10, 2023 – Day 3 to Day 6: 

  • Tech Scouts

  • Acquire Props/Art design elements needed

  • Lock in cast

  • Lock in Locations 

  • Director/DP creates shot list 

  • Director rehearses with Actors

  • AD creates schedule/callsheet


August 11, 2023 – Day 7:

  • Callsheet to be sent out to cast/crew

  • Loose ends to be dealt with


August 12, 2023 – Day 8: 

  • Production shooting begins

  • Editing start once 1st card, or once files are available for the editor to start the rough cut process


August 13, 2023 – Day 9:


  • Final Editing

  • Final Film Submission at 11:59pm

Anyone! Anyone that you have access to – talk about the Challenge, don’t be afraid to ask for help. So many people will want to help you with your movie. 

Be specific with what you ask for from each person. Let people know what you need. 


As long as you don’t exchange any money for their help, they are permitted to help make your film in any capacity. 

Each Movie is for the team to do whatever they want with it. Want to enter it into film festivals? Totally fine. Beyond Film School will NOT hold exclusive rights to your short film. 


Each short film to be featured on the Beyond Film School website, Youtube Channel, Facebook, and Instagram with alum, and crew information in descriptions. 


All short films will be screened at the Challenge Ccreening on August 21, 2023. 

All cast, crew, sponsors, and family and friends of those involved in this Film Challenge will be invited to the film screening. 


We will have 3 Judges that will vote on the overall best film, that will not be from Beyond Film School Alum, or from any team. 


We will have awards for certain roles, and prizes for the winning team.

Best Film

– Best Cinematography

– Best Screenplay

– Best Director

– Best AD (Callsheet, schedule, lunch, first shot, and first shot after lunch, and camera wrap time must be submitted)

– Best Editing


The winning teams will have bragging rights and a little Trophy to Prove it!


Beyond Film School will ask all participants for feedback to make the next Beyond Film School Short Film Challenge better and more improved. 


You can use all footage for reels, and websites, and it is to be shared among your team. The Producer of each team will make sure all Beyond Film School Alum crew will have access to the short film file for their needs. 


You are allowed to submit to film festivals – knowing that you can’t apply for a world premiere because Beyond Film School and the screening would serve as your world premiere. 


For future Film Challenges you can apply to be a team leader!


2023 Film Challenge Leaders

Film Challenge Teams

Final Challenge Films!

Winner of Best Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing

Winner of Best Screenplay, and runner up for Best Direction by 1 point difference!

Winner of Best Assistant Director

Start Challenge Application Here

Applications are Currently Closed Come back for the Next Film Challenge!