Why You Should Enter Short Film Challenges

Posted on June 10, 2020Comments Off on Why You Should Enter Short Film Challenges

Beyond Film School Short Film Challenge

The film community is really at a stand still with the whole pandemic situation. By this Friday (June 12, 2020) I would have been out of work for 3 months! No film work for me. So, as someone that wants to inspire others to work on their skills, have people get creative, and help the new generation of filmmakers come up in the industry I wanted to try and host a Short Film Challenge. Ya know get the creative juices flowin!

How Did it Go?

I think the buzz was great, people were excited to participate. But when you actually sit down to write your short film, and then shoot it things start to get REAL really quick! Making these short films is a small taste of what you will experience on a real big union set.

Filmmaking is tough! It is not easy at all. And a short film challenge is a great way to find that out.


Even when it’s scaled down.


The Requirements for the Short Film Challenge

What do I mean scaled down?

Keeping it Simple!

Trying to keep your short film as simple as possible. With the world in lockdown, and everyone suggested to stay at home, that’s exactly what I focused the requirements on.

  • The short film had to occur in 1 room, and 1 room only
  • No more than 2 actors used
  • Had to have the required prop: a yellow book
  • No more than 5 minutes in length
  • A small Submission fee of $5

The fee was just the deterrent to make sure I didn’t watch too many movies. I wasn’t trying to make money although, I probably should have. lol

The Thing I tell Aspiring Directors

Anyone that wants to be a director, I tell them all the same thing. Start small! A Short Film Challenge is a great way to do that. There are all kinds of film challenges that happen all around the country and the world. If you want to be a Producer, Director of Photography, and/or Director, and even to get introduced to film as a Production Assistant, Short Film Challenges help with all those goals. Big and small.

Short Film Challenges were how I really got my start in the camera department, and then down the line once I decided to change career paths to the Assistant Director track  – once again Short Film Challenges propelled my career forward in the direction I wanted.

I Even Had Prizes!

I wanted to offer something to the folks that took the time to make their movie. It was small, but it something! The main thing I absolutely loved was the trophy I made for it! Well, custom ordered, I should say. I was so excited to send this out to the winner!

short film challenge trophy

Film Entries

All in all I got 5 solid films out of this. All having good experiences and with feedback saying they had fun making them, and were glad to do something creative while inside at home.

I’m going to share the entries with you because I think they are all worth taking a look at.

My first entry was from Alanah Rafferty a respectable filmmaker with a love for the horror genre. I always love a horror film that is done in the day time and she delivered just that!

My next entry was from Ahmed Mohammad. This was a more experimental deep thinking film. It is in another language so make sure to put on the subtitles.

My next entry is from Tess Anfield, an animator with a pretty great Youtube channel. I was pleasantly surprised to get an animated entry! I love the story of the two sisters.

My next entry is from Anabel Caicedo who works in the camera department in the film industry and an aspiring Director of photography. I have to say I loved her camera work and her very meta short film. I loved how she used the concept of doing trying to think up an idea for this challenge as the plot of her film.

The Winner!

The winner of the challenge really went for it! The film by Emma-Louise Smith had production value that was really up there. They got lucky with their open floor plan. The editing was really great, and I loved their use of the required prop! Well deserving of the top spot.

All the entries were so different, and great in their own way! They all need to make sure to keep creating! I also encourage everyone to enter different film challenges around the world.

Other Film Challenges to Check Out

There are also so many challenges that happen at the local level in many different cities. I encourage you to do a google search to find one in your area.

Let me know what you think of the short films in the comments! want to contact me? You can do that here!