Smartphone film-making Masterclass comes into focus

Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop

In a town already famous for its wide array of film productions, Angela Blake is hoping to inspire the next generation of filmmakers when she delivers a free smartphone film-making youth workshop for tweens and teens in Broken Hill at the Broken Hill City Library next Wednesday.

Made possible through a grant from Create NSW as part of their Holiday Break program, and supported by the Office for Regional Youth, Ms Blake, the Co-Founder and Director of SF3 (Smartfone Flick Fest) will be providing the knowledge and skills to help 10-to-16-year-olds create, shoot and edit films on their smartphones or tablets.

Ms Blake says the whole aim of bringing this workshop to Broken Hill – she’s also taught the skills in Sydney, Melbourne, and this week even has an online class with a group in Ghana – is, “to get world-class filmmaking training into regional NSW”.

“I will teach everything in film-making,” she told the Truth.

“The whole idea is that I will take the kids from having an idea, into how to ride that into a film, into how to actually shoot that on a phone or a tablet. We will actually shoot something together – perhaps a horror film if the kids are into that – and hopefully have something to show the parents that come at the end of the day.”

The ease of using handheld devices to create films has been growing, with Ms Blake saying anyone can create a film nowadays – something she and SF3 want to encourage, with increasing advantages.

“The whole intention behind SF3 was to make filmmaking affordable and accessible to everybody. We could see that people were doing stuff on their phone and we wanted to break down those barriers of filmmaking,” she said.

“We had no idea how amazing the technology was going to get. I mean, now, the brand-new phones are 4K. In everyone’s pockets or handbags is an absolutely Hollywood-level movie camera. What we like to do is educate people of all ages to pick that up.

“Filmmaking is something a lot of people want to do, or they have stories to tell but they just don’t know how or they’re scared. We like to think we’re breaking down those barriers and giving everyone the power to make a film with what they already have.”

As a result of undertaking the workshops, kids will be able to enter into the Smartfone Flick Fest – the next event is in November. Many of Ms Blake’s students have also gone on to be involved in major projects, including one 16-year-old being a Director’s Attachment on a big feature film shooting this year, and another student appearing on two ABCME TV shows.

“We have lots [of kids] that are going onto film school and doing that as a career, plus lots of other filmmakers who have won awards in our festival and then are going on to make feature films and get funding. It’s a way of building their name and meeting other filmmakers as well. The kids do exceptionally well,” she said.

To reserve a spot in the free masterclass at the Broken Hill City Library on Wednesday, April 12 from 10:30am, visit

If you don’t have a device to use for the masterclass, one can be borrowed from the library – but you must be a library member to do so.

Ms Blake also invites creatives from Broken Hill and surrounding areas to make a film for her own festival, with entries for the Smartfone Flick Fest open until Friday, September 1. For more information on the Smartfone Flick Fest, visit

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