Behind the Scenes: what we get up to at half term

It’s a busy time at SFS HQ – we’re in the final stages of preparing for the upcoming Aliens vs Zombies workshop as well as our first film festival – Dr Hydenshriek’s Laboratory – next weekend.

On Monday, we’ll be welcoming lots of half term filmmakers for the three days of special FX movie making fun as they pick a side, create their own character make up effects and shoot an epic showdown between, you’ve guessed it, the aliens and the zombies. We’re already having fun gathering together the ingredients for edible fake blood or alien slime, digging out our favourite zombie costumes and even choosing the best creepy font for the register, so we know next week is going to be great fun. Groups will be making five films over the course of the event, and we can’t wait to share them with you in just a few weeks, when we’ll know for sure which is best: aliens or zombies!

Doctor Hydenshriek's Laboratory is our first film festival event - a collection of short films set in an immersive haunted house experience

Doctor Hydenshriek’s Laboratory is our first film festival event – a collection of short films set in an immersive haunted house experience

After the half term workshop, we’ll then be busy taking over our head office building ready for screening immersive short horror films in ‘Dr Hydenshriek’s Laboratory’. This is our first film festival event, to say we’re excited is a bit of an understatement…

The concept behind the event is to bring children and young people closer to the short film medium, which is something we’ve been passionate about for a long time and underpins a lot of the work we do with the Startups programme for teenage filmmakers. Often, short films are the first step (and second, third, fourth…) in the journey to becoming an established filmmaker, and to specialising as a film director/producer etc, but so rarely feature as a viewing choice amongst our young filmmakers. There are a lot of amazing short films out there, including the range of work we’ve been delighted to programme for the event next weekend. There are some fantastic and highly original films, we can’t wait to share them with audiences on an immersive, interactive journey through our haunted house/mad science setup.

This week, we’ve been rehearsing, finalising the set and costume design and sourcing lots of weird and wonderful items for the lab. Next week we’ll be installing them overnight ready for the grand unveiling on Saturday.

After half term, we’ll then be back for more Saturday Film Shoots, which are our weekly workshops for young filmmakers to explore ideas, themes and techniques in greater detail. This term’s theme is ‘Shoot Like a Girl’, a series of workshops exploring techniques associated with female filmmakers. So far, members have looked at animation pioneer Lottie Reiniger, the cinematographic style of Sophia Coppola and, in keeping with the short film theme, at ‘Rocket’ by Jennifer Sheridan.

We’ll be sharing updates, photos and of course, the films from all of our half term activities very shortly. In the meantime, if you’d like to get involved with any of our workshops take a look at or for Dr H tickets, then head to

See you soon!

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