Sparks filmmaking classes inspire imagination, develop confidence, creativity and skills.
Class members learn all about the different aspects of filmmaking, including directing, camera and photography skills, screenwriting, acting for camera, production design, video editing and even more.
“It’s the perfect place for any young person with the first spark of a love for film, a
fully-fledged passion for cinema, or who just wants to express themselves creatively.
My son has relished every second he’s been going, and while it’s embarrassing to be jealous
of your own child, on this occasion I have to admit that I am.”
Danny Leigh, parent and film critic
Young filmmakers taking part delve into every stage of the creative filmmaking process.
Members learn how to direct scenes and sequences, tell stories and write their own screenplays. They develop camera and photography skills, as well as production skills. Members also explore acting for camera and perform in their productions. They create sound and lighting effects. They also edit their productions, create special effects and even more.
With guidance from Sparks instructors, they explore professional film production techniques. They work towards their own unique film productions and build up their own portfolio of work, as well as their creative skillset.
Through participation, filmmakers develop their imaginations. They express their creativity and bring their ideas to life. Our collaborative projects and experiences also help to develop their soft skills, including teamwork and communication, as well as confidence.
“To say this is the highlight of his week is an understatement. He counts down from one Saturday to the next. He is so inspired.”
N. Montaigue, parent
Our filmmaking classes use an educational methodology known as Project Based Learning. Filmmakers learn through working on practical projects, where they take on ownership and responsibility.
The young filmmakers step into the professional roles you’ll find on a real film set. They become directors, crew, actors, editors, etc and work collaboratively to produce their own films.
Our approach empowers young filmmakers. It accelerates the development of life skills such as teamwork, taking responsibility and decision-making. It’s also inclusive for children who learn in different ways and engage with individual interests.
The young crews love taking on all the different creative roles and taking responsibility for their individual and group contributions. They love the sense of ownership, as well as the space to express their ideas and viewpoints. It inspires them to try their best and to continually push their creativity.
“He genuinely loves it and is beginning to gain confidence and ability across the gamut of technical, production and editorial skills. But more importantly he has fun – watching Netflix takes on a whole new narrative!” Helena Tait, parent
Fun and Friendly Environments
Classes help to boost confidence. Sparks instructors work to understand each child’s passion and interest. They build a strong rapport and support them individually to develop their talents and skills.
We know that children learn in different ways. Our inclusive and adaptable approaches make sure that every child has a chance to contribute and to shine. We encourage teamwork and collaboration. Every child is made to feel welcome and a part of the crew.
“She really really loved the session on Saturday. She has been talking about it a lot. It is especially good for her as she has been unhappy at school and having anxiety issues, making films is a huge new passion for her. She was determined to come on her own, without a friend. You’ve made her feel really welcome and involved. ” S.P. Parent
Filmmaking Classes: What’s Involved?
Crew members work in ‘Studio’ groups of peer ages…
Studio 1: Ages 5-7
(School Years 1-2)
Our youngest crews focus on creative storytelling using cameras and crafts in playful settings.
Classes gently introduce ideas of visual storytelling and working with media elements to create stories. We combine lots of imaginative, creative activites including photography, animation, filming, arts and crafts, drama, music and games.
Studio 2: Ages 7-9
(School Years 3-4)
In Studio 2, filmmakers begin to learn about filmmaking techniques including shots and sequencing. They step into crew roles and start to learn some of the skills and techniques involved in different stages of the process.
Classes focus on developing imaginations and storytelling skills, as well as all the fundamentals of filmmaking.
Studio 3: Ages 9-11
(School Years 5-6)
In Studio 3, filmmakers begin to develop their technical awareness. They build on the skills from Studio 2, becoming more independent and taking on more responsibility.
They explore techniques linked to directing, camera skills, acting, editing and design. They’re also introduced to different storytelling concepts, including genres and dramatic story strcutures.
Studio 4: Ages 11-14
(School Years 7-9)
In Studio 4, filmmakers expand their technical knowledge. They begin to work with more advanced concepts, including photography/cinematography skills and advanced video editing.
They begin to explore specific conventions and formats, as well as sophisticated storytelling structures and devices. They take on more ownership of the production process and greater responsibility in each of the crew roles.
Studio 5: Ages 14-18
(School Years 10-13)
Studio 5 filmmakers form their own production crews, where they take on increased responsibility in pre-production, production and post-production tasks.
They hone their technical skills, learning advanced techniques in sound and lighting, as well as screenwriting, directing, editing, production and screen acting. They regularly produce work to submit to international film festivals, as well as building up their own portfolios.
Classes run in terms of 10 weeks:
1. Autumn Term: September – December
2. Spring Term: January – March
3. Summer Term: April – July
Each term, members work towards new learning outcomes. They explore a new creative theme and new techniques each time.
Each term, they build up their skills and knowledge. They progress through the different Studios over time.
“My son has been going to Sparks film school for three years. If your child is interested in film, it’s a wonderful spring-board for them. They learn about everything from angles to scripts to costumes to sound and lighting, with some acting thrown in too. It’s a fun and comprehensive course. It’s clear a lot of love goes into it from Dan, Sheena and the team rest of the Sparks team.”
Groups & Instruction:
Our class sizes are small, as we ensure every child has plenty of opportunity, as well a high level of personalised attention. We like to get to know every child well so we can support them to achieve their best.
Maximum Class Size:
12 filmmakers per studio
Staff Ratio = 1:8 maximum (in practice often 1:6)
Activities are led by the Sparks team of specialist instructors, who are all DBS-checked and qualified.
Our team members are all friendly, passionate about inspiring others and they bring a sense of fun and enjoyment to every class. All our team take part in specialist training and operate under our Safeguarding Policy.
We’re Ofsted registered and follow strict Safeguarding practices and policies.
Covid-19 Safety Measures
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we implement a range of safety measures that comfortably exceed government guidelines.
This includes operating a bubble system, one way travel and use of PPE.
We also build in lots of frequent cleaning of the workshop space and equipment. If you’d like to know more about our safety measures, please contact us.
Trial Periods & Trial Classes
Some of our locations offer membership with a money-back-guarantee trial period, which is open to new joiners to filmmaking classes.
Where there is availability, we also offer free trial classes. Please contact your nearest film school to discuss a trial class or trial period.
Sparks Film School Locations
We have 14 film schools within the UK and plans to open more in 2021.
For more information on available classes, including term dates, class times, venues and fees, please see your nearest film school…