Teaching Material Flagged for Abuse
  • This teaching material has been flagged as violating the Terms of Use.

The 5x5 Filmmaking Challenge

Posted on 5/25/17 by Ian Upton Last updated on 6/8/17
3 1,471
  • 5/5 | 6 Ratings


I have used this exercise with many, many students. It is a powerful activity that will encourage those new to film and challenge experienced filmmakers.

This resource introduces the challenge and provides guidance, resources and example to support your students in their task.

This Adobe Spark enables students to take the challenges and resources with them in an accessible form on thier smartphone.

The 5x5 Filmmaking Challenge

Where this challenge really comes into it's own is when used with a group screening and discussion. I send students out to create. We all get back together and critically discuss eachothers work.

I have never failed to pull some valuable element for discussion out of a film. Even a collection of 'random shots' can be used to consider narrative and pace.

Make sure you let the students themselves talk as much as possible. Act as a 'guide on the side' and challenge your students with questions for discussion. For example:

- How do we feel the order of the clips created a narrative?

- Why did you choose to shoot the subject in this way?

- How does the sound effect the work?

These sessions can be great fun and as a lecturer very rewarding.

I am always humbled by the creativity of my students and this exercise challenges them to shine!

Additional Information

Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Content Standards
UK - England, Wales, & Northern Ireland
ISTE NETS·S Standards
Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, Creativity and Innovation
  • 1-2 Hours
  • 1+ Day
  • 1+ Week
  • 1+ Month
  • Semester
  • Year

Students need a smartphone capable of shooting and editing a short video. In the five years I have used this exercise, I have not hosted a classroom where access to a smartphone was an issue!

If you plan to host a group discussion (and I so recommend you do) you will need a way of projecting video from the web. Taking the tome to ensure quality of projection and an informal, comfortable, space to discuss really adds to the experience.

  • 5/5 | 6 Ratings
All Comments (3)

Chris Clark

Posted on 6/6/17 - Permalink

​I love this idea. It sounds like a great exercise for students beginning to learn about working with video. I'm going to try it myself.

janet robertson

Posted on 5/30/17 - Permalink

​This is a great entry level project for my media tech class. Thanks

Ian Upton

Posted on 5/31/17 - Permalink

Thanks for the positive comment Janet!