Filmmaking Challenges

At SFC, we like to challenge our members to become better filmmakers, step out of their comfort zones, and take

risks. We welcome anyone who wishes to participate in the challenges, whether you prefer to work

alone or wish to get together with friends and submit as a team. These challenges are designed to build your

skills in key areas of filmmaking. Additionally, partaking in these challenges will result in original content created by you!

Each challenge is designed for participators to be able to make their submissions as big or as small as they

want. Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each challenge.

FALL 2017 CHALLENGES

INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE (Due September 12)

Make an interesting short film that is less than 15 seconds. Anyone can be a filmmaker! Anyone with a smartphone can make a beautiful or funny little video on Vine or Instagram. This contest is designed to get you to start looking for stories everywhere and practice filmmaking you can start doing right now, no equipment necessary.

  • Length: 15 seconds or less.
  • Tag #UNTShortFilmClub
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Instagram 2017
PHOTO STORY CHALLENGE (Due September 26)

Tell a story using only still photographs. Since you’ll be unable to use sound or movement to tell your story, you will have to rely on the emotions of your characters and composition of your images. It’s a lot harder than it sounds!

  • Length: 10 – 15 still images.
  • Email us your final project with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Photo Story 2017
LYRICAL INTERPRETATION CHALLENGE (Due October 17)

You are tasked with creating a short film inspired by your favorite poem, song, or other piece of lyrical material. The catch, however, is that you cannot use the song itself or its lyrics in the piece; it is simply there for you to draw inspiration from and create your own original work.

  • Length: 30 seconds – 5 minutes.
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Lyric Challenge 2017
FAMOUS DIRECTOR FAKE TRAILER CHALLENGE (Due November 7)

For this challenge, you must emulate the style of a famous director and create a preview trailer for his or her hypothetical upcoming new film..

  • Length: 30 sec – 3 minutes.
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Trailer 2017
ONE LIGHT CHALLENGE (Due November 28)

Your goal is to create a short film using just one light source. You are free to get as creative as you want with this, but you cannot use the sun!

  • Length: 30 sec. – 5 minutes
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: One Light 2017

PAST EXAMPLES

AUDIO STORY CHALLENGE

Make an interesting audio clip that is more than 30 seconds but less than three minutes. Use music. Use sound effects. Use anything imaginable to tell a story from your wildest imagination. This contest is designed to get you to start focusing on the importance of audio film making, and give you an outlet to do just that.

  • Length: 30 seconds – 3 minutes
  • Email us a link to your audio clip with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Audio Story Year
SHOT FOR SHOT CHALLENGE

Take any short film/scene/music video/commercial/trailer/etc. and try to recreate it in your own way, shot for shot. This means, try to mimic the shots, timing, tone, etc. of the original piece so that they sync up when viewed side-by-side. This contest is designed to get you to pay close attention to how different types of visual media convey meaning through cinematography and timing. By attempting to interpret and mimic these things, you may better understand what goes into achieving appropriate tone for the media you are trying to produce.

  • Length: 30 sec. – 5 minutes
  • Must submit the visual media you referenced along with your project
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Shot For Shot Year
ONE-SHOT CHALLENGE

Tell a story in one continuous shot.  For this challenge, the only rule is that the entire film must be done in one shot. This means that once you start recording, you don’t cut until the very end, and you don’t cut/edit the film together at all afterwards.  This contest is designed to get you to plan action in your films and the technicalities necessary to achieving those things carefully, responsibly, and thoughtfully. A fun challenge to see what all you can accomplish without relying on the ability to cut and adjust.

  • Length: 30 sec – 5 minutes
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: One Shot Year
FAKE TRAILER CHALLENGE

Make a movie trailer for any existing or imaginary film! You must shoot all the footage going into your submission, and be sure that what you make is recognizably a trailer/teaser. This contest is designed to get you to observe how movie trailers convey a story and tell the audience quite a lot about what a film will offer in such a short period of time and in such interesting ways, allowing you to try your own techniques and see what you can come up with.

  • Length: 30 sec – 5 minutes
  • If making a trailer for an already existing show or film, include the title and synopses of the reference film in your submission.
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Fake Trailer Year
DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGE

Make a short film documentary showing real people’s (or animal’s) stories, examining a topic, or simply profiling a person. Great filmmaking can often involve exploring truth. This contest is designed to get you to understand adaptability, how editing shapes story, and to look for what makes for a good film subject.

  • Length: 30 sec – 10 minutes.
  • Scripted scenes are frowned upon, please just don’t do it. We’ll all notice.
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Doc Year
GENRE FILM CHALLENGE

Make an entertaining narrative genre film! Now it’s time for all your skills as a filmmaker to come together. An interesting script, thoughtful directing, captivating cinematography, powerful acting, crisp audio, and impressive editing are all goals when working with narrative film. For this contest, we encourage you all to pick a genre and run with it to make your very own narrative film. This means you can interpret each of the cinematic elements listed above however you desire (that’s the best part about being an artist afterall, right?) and present to the club your masterpiece. This contest is designed to give those who have both learned a great deal in the art of filmmaking and who are eager to take risks and express their own voice the opportunity to make a short film.

  • Length: 30 sec. – 10 minutes
  • Run wild
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Genre Year
SILENT FILM CHALLENGE

Make a visual story with the use of no or minimal sound. The film should be more than 30 seconds but less than three minutes. Your film should be visually driven and not take cues from the diegetic or non-diegetic sounds underneath. This contest is designed to get you to start focusing on the importance of visual storytelling.

  • Length: 30 seconds – 3 minutes
  • Email us a link to your video with the subject line formatted as follows: Name: Silent Film Year
Rules for all contests:
  1. Must be made between the first meeting of that semester and the time of the contest.
  2. Must meet the requirements written for each challenge above.
  3. Challenge entries must be emailed to untshortfilmclub@gmail.com by 6:00PM on or before their due date.
  4. One entry per filmmaker/team for each challenge. Multiple people can collaborate on projects, but multiple prizes won’t be given.