Competitors should form teams of 5 members and choose one of the eight Screenplays listed below as the basis of their brief, which they can answer using any medium or mixture of mediums – the judges will be hoping to see examples of 3D photoreal animation, 2D or 3D character animation, stop frame or any combination of the above, with or without live action elements/backplate acquisition. The final sequences should be 30 seconds long and of HD quality.
Remember, this year we are permitting a team to pitch twice, once for each charity; so you have double the chance of being successful. We have space for 8 teams this year. We are looking for four teams to tackle the Anthony Nolan Trust briefs and four teams to tackle the Dyslexia Action briefs. This is however optional, you don’t need to pitch a project for each charity – we are looking for a quality pitch, so please don’t jeopardise your pitch if you under a schedule. Check out the pitches from previous years here –http://www.bfxfestival.com/competition/bfx-competition-finalists-2014/
Your chosen screenplay should act as your narrative – establishing character, environments and story; we want to see innovative treatments that take these narrative elements and turn them into engaging and challenging visual sequences. It is up to you to decide the screenplays Genre (Comedy, Horror, Thriller etc.) – you have creative freedom in this respect.
Each team needs to produce a pitch document, outlining exactly how they intend to answer their chosen brief – the document should include a scene by scene breakdown/shotlist, a creative and technical treatment and can be supported by storyboards, mood boards, character/set designs and any other material the teams think relevant.
In September (slightly after the final films have been submitted) the teams will also be expected to submit accurate, clearly titled shot breakdown, which explain all relevant aspects of their production process – the breakdowns should be no more than 3 minutes in length. But don’t worry about this for now.
The teams should be prepared to defend their finished sequences and breakdowns in front of a panel of mentors and judges.
So here is a quick checklist:
* Think of an amazing team name!
* Read the screenplays below – choose your favourite (and by extension the charity). Remember your team can pitch for two screenplays if your feeling ambitious.
* Take a look at the previous years work, including the pitch video and documents – this will help inform what was successful. The 2014 final films can be seen here. The teams original Pitch videos and documents are here
* If you need help finding some team members, then join our Facebook page here
* Read our FAQs section
* Download the application pack here
* Upload you application form as a .Zip file on that same page (scroll to the bottom). Remember we have a 50mb limit, so go easy on our poor server Bertha! She is approaching retirement age.
* Any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some information about the charities
Do your research – take a peek at the charities website and try to understand their brand and vision. Remember they will be part of the judging process, so think of them as your client.
In the mean time, both Anthony Nolan and Dyslexia Action have provided some information regarding their charities work and how they would like to see these films be adapted:
Our creative direction
To get through to our key audience of young men aged 16-30, humour is important. We’d love this video to do well on social media and go ‘viral’ so making it funny or shocking (to an extent) will help. There’s definitely freedom to do that: our brand uses humour in a lot of what we do because we find that’s what appeals. So through the script and the visuals we’d like it to have that comedy come through.
Obviously to bust myths you have to show them in the first place but we don’t want that to be the thing viewers remember most about the film. So when showing the pain etc we want to show this is an exaggerated, tongue in cheek way so it’s clear this isn’t what actually happens. Think Tim Burton or Ren and Stimpy – so ridiculous, absurd or camp that it’s clear it’s just fun.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with!
Primary target audience
Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.
We need more men aged 16–30 to sign up as they are underrepresented on the register. Young men make up only 15% of our register but are far more likely to be chosen to donate by transplant centres. 80% of people who go on to donate are men and males aged 16-30 provide nearly half of all donations.
Young people are also most likely to be chosen to donate as they are less likely to have long-term health problems which might delay or prevent donation.
That means we can be slightly cheeky and use humour to get their attention.
Our creative direction
Creative direction we are looking to take is the theme of Dyslexia Action helping a young person to learn about dyslexia how there is hope despite how lonely and confused a child can be. The film should have a character that depicts us as a guiding hand rather than a super hero who magically saves the day and solves all the child’s issues. The film should overwhelmingly be about hope & overcoming fear and confusion.
Primary target audience
Mainly children but we are also happy for the film to appeal to parents and teachers, a video that appeals to children AND the child in us all. An ideal film would be accessible to all but with a slight emphasis on a child’s journey.
The Screenplays below are also available in the Application pack.
Dyslexia Action | ‘AT THE RACES’ Written by Jonn Newman
1 EXT. MOTOR RACING CIRCUIT – DAY
A picturesque sunny day blue skies with cotton candy clouds
A spectator grandstand is at the side of the race circuit
with a lively carnival atmosphere.
On the starting line of the race circuit grid, a small
selection of motorcars and motorbikes (circa eight) line up
ready to race. The “DYSLEXIA ACTION” logo adorns each
Engines roar in anticipation, wheels spin causing smoke
Ahead of the line up, the five race starting lights change
one by one from red to green; as the last light turns to
green the vehicles race off in a plume of smoke.
The cars and motorbikes race around, jostling for the lead
Various overtaking manoeuvres with different vehicles taking
As the vehicles race and weave around the circuit and each
other, the sky turns dark, all the brightness is drained from
the picture leaving everything overcast in shades of grey.
The word “DYSLEXIA”, in bright bold multi-coloured letters of
varying sizes slam down in front of the cars and bikes at
intervals. Some words drop in front of the vehicles
horizontally, some vertically.
The different cars and bikes swerve to avoid the words, some
of them miss the words, some of them hit the words. As
different vehicles hit the falling “DYSLEXIA” words, the word
“DYSLEXIA” smashes into hundreds of pieces. Shards of colours
in the form of stars sprinkle across the race circuit. (This
should occur a minimum of five times).
Each word smashing injects a little extra colour back to the
race circuit until the full colour is resumed and the race
can continue without the words interrupting the race.
In the distance a figure is waving the chequered flag for the
end of the race. The cars and bikes speed towards it. The
vehicles cross the finishing line as the flag is waved, the
crowd go wild with cheers.
2 EXT. THE WINNING PODIUM – DAY
All the race participants are stood on the top podium
position, all happy and smiling.
A party popper explosion sprinkles colourful confetti over
Thank you Dyslexia Action!
A motorcyclist pulls in directly in front of the podium, the
“DYSLEXIA ACTION” logo covers the bike. The rider takes off
his helmet and gives a thumbs up to the camera. He smiles and
gives a cheeky wink.
Dyslexia Action | ‘Dyslexia Action’ by Tom Garrett
EXT. FOREST – MORNING.
The forest — motionless. Not a single wisp on the wind.
A single leaf starts to rustle.
BAM — dashing through the shrubbery — a little BOY.
He turns back behind him, nothing. He stops, breathes.
Landing in front of the boy, from out of the sky — the
letter D — big and bold — and with legs, a letter with
The boys starts running again.
Two more letters start chasing him — L & A. Sprinting
Another letter, S, they’re all gaining on him. The boy
He stumbles, over a log.
A shadow looms over him.
Long coat, big hat… The boy looks up, There stands a THE
LETTERMAN — he’s wearing a mask over his face, bright yellow
and black clothes — a swishing yellow coat, a black shirt
with yellow dots [Think a Yellow and Black Indiana Jones].
His hat, just a bit too big for his head. He takes it off,
greeting the boy, he pops it onto his head. Now we’re in
Over his shoulder, a big net.
He holds a hand out to the boy, helps him onto his back.
Net in hand, he leaps through the air. Pounces on the letter
L, the boy stuff him in his bag.
Running again, the letter D in the distance, jumping again,
the boy, blocking the D’s path. The Letterman swishing the
net over the D. Got him.
To the right! The A — swing of the net. Ha ha, got him to.
EXT. FOREST SKYLINE – MORNING.
Hanging over the forest now, The Letterman and the boy can be
seen jumping across the skyline to different parts of the
forest — every now and then a letter might fly through the
Laughter echoes softly over the wind.
EXT. FOREST – MORNING
The boy throws his bag down on the floor, carefully opening
it — with the help of Letterman, he starts ordering the
letters until they spell DYSLEXIA ACTION.
Letterman pats the boy on the head, salutes.
Looks up to the sky, WHOOSH!
EXT. FOREST SKYLINE – MORNING
Looking down on the forest, the letters can be seen spelling
out DYSLEXIA ACTION.
Anthony Nolan | ‘MYTH BUSTER’ by Iona Campbell Byatt
INT. BLANK WHITE ROOM – DAYTIME
ARCHIE. Short. Scruffy hair and a goofy smile. Dark jeans, a
nervous expression, trying to keep his glasses on his nose.
Some people think that in order to
donate stem cells we’re going to
use GIANT needles on you.
A giant needle, twice the size of Archie appears beside him.
He SCREAMS and runs towards us; bumps into the camera. He
steps back and looks down. The needle hasn’t moved. His eyes
widen. He reaches out…plucking a normal sized needle from
In reality, for three days you’ll
receive injections simply to
stimulate your production of cells.
Archie smiles. He throws the needle over his shoulder. GLASS
TINKLES. His eyes widen.
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – AFTERNOON
A door creaks open. Archie cautiously walks over; peers in.
Some people think that it will be
Harsh lights highlight an operating table covered in surgical
instruments. Archie’s eyes widen. Sweat trickles down his
face. A gloved hand on his shoulder. He SCREAMS, whipping
round. Before him a smiling nurse. She leads him to a bright,
sunlit room and connects him to the real equipment.
In reality, it’s really not that
different to donating blood.
Archie sighs in relief and his glasses slip off his nose.
INT. SUNLIT ROOM – AFTERNOON
Some people think that it’ll take a
Clock on the wall shows 13:00. Archie peers out the window,
looking at the beautiful day. Suddenly the sun sets. And
rises. Sets. And rises. Day and night flash past. His stubble
sprouts into a beard that twists round the room. He SIGHS and
begins to SCRATCH out the number of days on the wall. SCRATCH
SCRATCH SCRATCH. Hundreds appear.
The SCRATCHING slowly becomes a SQUEAKING. Archie shakes his
head. He’s back in the chair looking out the window. There’s
a man cleaning it. He grins at Archie sheepishly. The clock
…the procedure actually takes no
more than 4-5 hours.
Archie grins. He pops out of his chair. He’s back, standing
in the blank, white room. A list appears. Archie begins
ticking points off the list
So, in reality there are no giant
needles involved, no scary
operations and it’s easy to do.
Don’t forget, you’re doing
something incredible. You’re giving
someone a chance at life.
A girl appears next to Archie. She holds up a sign; ‘THANK
YOU!’ Archie smiles. They run to each other. She hugs him.
So please, join us at Anthony
Nolan. Be the incredible person you
are. Donate. And save a life.
Anthony Nolan | ‘Saved by the Cell’ John Thornton
EXT. EMPTY WHITE SPACE. DAY.
Pop. TOM, a simple lad, appears.
This is TOM. Say hello TOM.
TOM has a little gulp and does an awkward, little wave.
VOICE OVER (cont’d)
This is what Tom thinks stem cell
donation is like.
Darkness. Big, muscly DR VAMPIRE crashes in-Tom screams.
Dr V’s fangs are two huge syringes-Tom screams louder.
Dr Vampire ties him up whilst reading a book called 50
Shades-Tom screams loudest.
VOICE OVER (cont’d)
Pretty scary, huh? But that’s not
what it’s like. Silly Tom.
Lights up. Dr Vampire chuckles, ruffling Tom’s hair.
VOICE OVER (cont’d)
It’s mostly just lying in bed.
Tom raises his hand excitedly, pointing at himself.
VOICE OVER (cont’d)
Yes Tom, even you can do that.
Pop. Dr Vampire’s gone. In bed, Tom floats through
rainbows with a TV.
By donating stem cells, Tom’s
giving something very special.
Better than an XBOX! Tom’s giving
someone hope. Well done Tom.
A patient and doctor float next to Tom. He gives them a
thumbs up. With small smiles, they thumbs up back.
Anthony Nolan logo, details etc appear on screen:
To find out how you can be a hero
like Tom visit anthonynolan.org
Some SUPER SEXY NURSES swoon over Tom in his bed.
Pffft, no, the nurses won’t be
like that. Sorry Tom.
Pop. The nurses disappear. Tom looks glum.
Anthony Nolan | ‘You Need Not Be Afraid’ by Oliver Selby
INT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM.
A dark, dull, sterile room – like the setting in a horror
film. A light flickers.
A large, misshapen window is wide open. Outside it is dark
and scary, branches hit the window loudly and owls go “whoohoo”.
A tap drips. An IV beeps.
A teenage boy lays in a hospital bed holding his cover over
part of his face. He trembles.
Loud, scary footsteps come from outside the room. The boy
trembles a little bit more at each one.
Suddenly the door blasts open. The boy jumps and screams.
A shadow appears on the floor of the room – it appears to be
a large, villainous shadow of a needle. It fills the room
with a loud, ominous, over-the-top laugh as if it’s losing
The boy pulls the cover over his whole face. The vibration
from his trembling takes over the whole cover, which begins
Some people think that donating
stem cells is scary…
The boy gulps loudly. The door creaks creepily and the shadow
of the needle continues to laugh as if it’s losing it’s
The room suddenly becomes bright.
But it’s not.
The shadow of the needle begins to cough as if he is clearing
The branches stop hitting the window, owls stop “whoo-hooing”
and instead birds start tweeting. The sun shines through
The boy pulls the cover off his face.
The shadow on the floor has disappeared due to the sun and
through the door walks a tiny, little friendly needle with
big white eyes and a large smiling mouth. The needle speaks
in a friendly Brummie accent.
The boy steps out of bed.
Is that it? It didn’t even hurt?
Exactly! And you’ve just saved a
Wow. I don’t know why everybody
doesn’t do this.
The needle winks towards the camera.
The boy picks up the needle in his hand and starts to dance.
The needle starts to dance in his hand too.
They smile at each other.
FADE TO BLACK.