Creating your own unique story for the Into Film Awards

28 Jan 2022

6 mins
Creating your own unique story for the Into Film Awards

National Storytelling Week (30 January - 6 February) is an important time for schools across the UK and we wanted to use this one to spotlight the many filmmaking categories at this year's Into Film Awards and provide a helping hand to anyone thinking of entering.

After all, what is a great film without a great story at its centre? At Into Film particularly, we are much more interested in that aspect than a film's production value or entrant's technical filmmaking ability. If a young person or group can create something with genuinely outstanding storytelling then there's no reason why they can't win, so we've curated some essential resources that can help your students create the best possible story for their future award-winning film and flourish in the rest of the filmmaking process as well.

This country has always had an incredible tradition of storytelling. Our writers from Shakespeare to Jane Austen are famous around the world. With this in mind, we're encouraging young people to submit their stories to this year's Into Film Awards, because every great film starts with a good story.

2022 Into Film Awards host, David Walliams

Mini Filmmaking Guides

First up, our mini filmmaking guides take you through every stage of creating a short film and it's well worth exploring each element. The first three are devoted to the story creation and development process:

  • Development 1: Develop Your Film Idea introduces young people to the development stage of film production, and includes top tips and activities covering themes, premise, character development, genre and different types of story structure to help them develop their film ideas. 
  • Development 2: Write, Pitch and Test will help young people to develop their film ideas further and refine this into a short summary, and can be used to describe ideas to crew members or other interested parties through the process of pitching. 
  • Development 3: Write Your Script will help young people to refine their final film ideas into a script, and includes an overview of script conventions and tips and activities exploring visual storytelling in scriptwriting.

One more crucial mini guide from a story perspective is Pre-Production 3: Create a Storyboard, which will help young people to develop their script into a storyboard. It covers different storyboard structures and the elements of the film that need to be recorded on the storyboard to help with planning, the shoot and later, the edit.

Additional Story Creation and Filmmaking Resources

Next up is our Story Builder resource, which is aimed at pupils aged 7-11, and enables learners to develop their understanding of the basic building blocks of film - the 3Cs and 3Ss of film, colour, character, camera, story, sound and setting - to create imaginative narratives of their own. They will be able to use our interactive workbook to plan their own films stage by stage. Whilst the accompanying workshops are only available to schools in Northern Ireland, the resource can still be accessed by schools in the rest of the UK.

For more resources that cover every aspect of the filmmaking process including story creation, check out Six Sessions from Story to Screen, which simply and clearly lays out how to make a film in half a term (just enough time before entries close at the end of March). Get Into Animation is also broken down into six sessions but is designed around the unique nature of the animation process.

Changes for a Better World

One category we're particularly excited about this year is the brand new 'Changes for a Better World', which asks asks young people to consider the environmental crisis, and to look ahead to the future and imagine the changes they want to see and create, whether big or small, personal or society wide. For this, the Moving Minds 2: Building Resilience resource can help your older students to shape their thoughts on sensitive and impactful topics ranging from mental health to social and environmental justice through narrative filmmaking. Meanwhile, our recent Engaging with Climate Change Through Filmmaking article showcased youth-,made films from around the world that can help your students come up with their own idea or topic.

Previous Nominees and Winners

Speaking of existing youth-made shorts, head to our Into Film Award nominee pages from across the years to explore our many previous success stories - there's no set formula but you never know what will provide that initial spark. For some more specific examples, we spotlighted five of our favourite previous winners each day of this year's Storytelling Week on our social media channels, which you can find below.

The deadline for entries is 31 March 2022 and even if you submit before then, you can return to your entry and edit it up until that date. Meanwhile, the ceremony for all nominees is scheduled for 28 June 2022 and promises to be another fun and glitzy event in London at the ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, with many famous faces from across the film industry on hand to present the Awards.

To enter the Awards, you'll need to be logged in to your Into Film Account. If you don't have an Account, it only takes a second to set one up!

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