Film School: Quarantine Video Challenges

Philip Bloom | Improve your lighting skills using a weird mannequin head! Philip Bloom | Improve your lighting skills using a weird mannequin head!

A collection of video & VFX creations made in isolation.

Cabin fever may be setting in. Maybe it’s something you’re trying to fight off – or maybe it’s something you’re inspired by to have some fun – here’s a range of video creations and challenges.

Filming Yourself

Cinematographer Danny Gevirtz demonstrates some great ideas to try – even using just the camera in your phone – and that, above all, good visual storytelling is about planning

The Straight 8 Competition challenges filmmakers to shoot on 8mm and edit in-camera (i.e. not edit at all). Create a shot list, and then shoot in story order. Their website has plenty of examples from their own isolation edition – here’s an entry from Edgar Wright:

Speaking of Edgar Wright: a great way to learn (and improve your own) filmmaking is to recreate scenes from movies you love. You could start by replacing shots in shot / reverse-shot sequences – and have some fun with it:

Filming Things

The creative crew at have a bunch of fun, easy-to-try ideas with things lying around the house:

Daniel Schiffer is all about commercial-style B-roll and dynamic visuals – try replicating his challenge, and other Ways To Shoot A Commercial, At Home:

The results are in for Mark Bone‘s “Handheld Challenge”, and full of creative ideas focused on improving your handheld camera work:

While not strictly a quarantine challenge but more one-man-crew advice, Mark also offers these four tips for filming by yourself:

Lighting Things

Philip Bloom (who also has a detailed video of his own crack at the Straight 8 challenge) suggests using your time at home to practice your lighting on the most patient subject possible (the demo starts at 7:42):

Rear Projection

Experiment with using a projector, or even your TV, as both backdrop and lighting source. Here are a couple of explainer-and-tutorial roundups:


Masking in After Effects + cabin fever = this:


… just some good old-fashioned creativity and a clever camera angle: