'Extinct' is our latest of Film of the Month

19 Feb 2024 in Film of the Month

8 mins
'Extinct' is our latest of Film of the Month

We are delighted to reveal our latest Film of the Month winner Extinct, in which a group of students make an unexpected discovery on a school trip that changes everything. Made by students and staff at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, in Swansea. Plus a special mention to How to get over FOMO by a talented group of filmmakers from the BFI Film Academy in Birmingham.

Extinct (engaging for ages 7+) will delight audiences with its exciting locations, plot twists and wonderful acting.

A thrilling and well crafted story, and ingenious use of puppetry.

Film of the Month Judge on 'Extinct'

We caught up with students and staff at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn to find out more about their filmmaking journey. We've also included a Welsh translation of the interview towards the end of the article.

Can you tell us about where you got the idea for Extinct?

Mr Williams - The basic idea for the project was planned at the end of the Summer Term 2023. Our group of learners then created a script based around the idea, writing their own lines and deciding how they would be interacting with each other. The group worked together to create the film on a Monday afternoon throughout the Autumn Term.

What was your favourite part about making the film?

David - Working with my friends, it was a lot of fun, lots of hard work but everyone enjoyed being a part of the film, and coming up the funny scenes on the bus.

This project was clearly a collaborative effort, how did you decide who was going to do different roles?

Georgie - We took part in workshops in our lessons before we started filming. Everyone wanted to be in the film, but we decided who was going to do what in the film. After that we then worked together to write a script, me and Kyle wrote our scenes together with some help from the staff.

What cameras and equipment did you use to capture your film?

Mr Williams - We currently use a Sony Alpha DSLR, camera tripod, sound recorder, lighting and reflectors. We have only recently upgraded to this camera, and have used a number of different cameras' and iPads over the years. We also create our own props in school, and try and use the school as much as possible, with location visits if needed.

The judges loved the use of puppetry to bring the dinosaur to life, can you tell us how you made this happen?

Mr Williams - The dinosaur puppet was lent to the school by Dinomania, who have been a big supporter of our film projects, and worked with us on our previous Ghostbusters Film Skills project.

The puppet was controlled by a member of staff with the pupils (our school caretaker) helping to setup and also control with Kyle in particular, having to manipulate the dinosaur in the many scenes he appears with the creature.

The dinosaur puppet has a mechanism inside it that is hand controlled and moves the mouth and eyes. It was a fantastic prop for the film and became known as 'Spike' by everyone in the group! It was very difficult to make the creature look like it was alive, which hopefully it does in the completed project.

What would be your advice for young filmmakers thinking about making their first short film?

Kyle - Make sure it's fun. Making a film is a lot of work and can take a lot of time, but it's much easier if you are enjoying what you are doing. Try not to be scared and give everything a try, I get nervous sometimes, but am proud that I was one of the main parts in the film project.

A short message from students at Pen-y-Bryn

O ble ddaeth y syniad am Extinct?

Mr Williams - Fe gethon ni'r syniad yn wreiddiol nol yn nhymor Haf 2023. Fe aeth y criw o fyfyrwyr ati i greu sgript ar gyfer y syniad, gan ysgrifennu eu llinellau eu hunain a phenderfynu sut y byddan nhw'n cyflwyno'r holl beth. Fe weithiodd y grŵp gyda'i gilydd i greu'r ffilm bob brynhawn Llun drwy gydol tymor yr Hydref.

Beth oedd eich hoff rhan o'r broses o greu'r ffilm?

David - Gweithio gyda fy ffrindiau, roedd e'n lot o hwyl, lot o waith called ond fe wnaethom ni gyd fwynhau creu'r ffilm a dod lan gyda golygfeydd doniol ar gyfer y bws.

Roedd hwn yn amlwg yn brosiect i bawb, sut wnaethoch chi benderfynu pwy fyddai'n gwneud beth?

Georgie - Fe gymeron ni ran mewn gweithdai mewn gwersi cyn inni ddechrau ffilmio. Roedd pawb eisiau bod yn y ffilm, ond roedd yn rhaid penderfynu pwy fydde'n gwneud beth. Yna fe aethom ni ati i ysgrifennu sgript, fe wnes i a Kyle ysgrifennu ein golygfeyedd ni gyda'n gilydd a gyda help wrth y staff.

Pa gamerâu ac offer a ddefnyddiwyd ar gyfer y ffilmio?

Mr Williams - Ry'n ni'n defnyddio Sony Alpha DSLR, trybedd ar gyfer camera, recordydd sain, goleuadau, adlewyrchydd. Mae'r camera yn newydd i ni, ac ry'n ni wedi defnyddio gwahanol gamerâu a iPads yn y gorffennol. Ry'n ni hefyd yn creu ein propiau ein hunain ac yn anelu i ddefnyddio'r ysgol gymaint ag sy'n bosib, gyda ffilmio ar leoliad lle bod angen.

Roedd ein beirniaid yn dwli ar y pyped er mwyn dod a'r deinosor yn fyw, sut wnaethoch chi hyn?

Mr Williams - Mae'r grŵp yn mwynhau ffilmio ar leoliad, er ei bod hi'n gallu bod yn broses anoddach achos bo angen ichi gofio popeth a chariot popeth i ble bynnag y byddwch chi'n mynd. Fe ffilmiwyd llawer o'r cynnwys yng nghoedwig Penllergaer sy'n eithaf agos inni fel ysgol. Mae'r olygfa lle mae Georgie a Kyle yn dod o hyd i'r wŷ wedi'i ffilmio mewn ardal werdd ar safle'r ysgol ei hun - ond y tu ôl i nhw ma ‘na stâd o dai felly roedd yn rhaid inni ffilmio drwy ddefnyddio siot agos iawn!

Beth fydde eich cyngor chi i bobl ifanc eraill sydd eisiau creu ffilm?

Kyle - Mae angen ichi wneud y broses yn un hwyliog. Mae creu ffilm yn lot o waith ac yn cymryd lot o amser, ond mae'n broses lot yn haws os ydych chi'n mwynhau'r hyn ry'ch chi'n ei wneud. Peidiwch a bod ofn a rhowch dro ar unrhywbeth, dwi'n mynd yn nerfus weithiau ond dwi'n falch iawn o'r hyn dwi wedi ei gyflawni gyda'r prosiect hwn.

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn's film will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and all of our Film of the Month films are now on the Into Film YouTube channel, they have also secured a £100 Amazon voucher to help further develop their filmmaking. Think you could win Film of the Month? Find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you've been inspired by Extinct then make sure to check out the following films:

  • Jurrasic Park (PG, 1993, 127 mins) engaging for 11+
    One of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of all time and a landmark in special effects, this thrill-ride of a film also touches upon aspects of man vs nature, technology and greed.
  • Night at the Museum (PG, 2006, 104 mins) engaging for 7-14
    When Larry is hired as a night watchman in the Museum of Natural History, things seem to be looking up but, on his first night on the job, Larry is in for the surprise of his life.
  • The Iron Giant (U, 1999, 86 mins) engaging for 5-14
    Bringing to life the much-loved story by British poet Ted Hughes, The Iron Giant takes place in a quiet American town in the 1960s.
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (U, 1982, 115 mins) engaging for 7-14
    Full of some of the most magical scenes in movie history, ET has had audiences laughing and shedding a quiet tear for over 40 years.

Special Mention

Each month we highlight one runner up that we think deserves special recognition for their filmmaking achievement. This month we are excited to feature How to get over FOMO, a beautifully realised film by a talented group of young filmmakers from the BFI Film Academy in Birmingham.

Brilliant use of sound design and camera angles to convey the protagonist's internal struggle.

Film of the Month Judge on 'How to get over FOMO'

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