Top Of the Class

Top Screen is the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s annual survey of the finest VCE Media Student assessments of the year. This year’s program has drawn to a close after three months of screenings and live presentations.

The votes have been tallied and if the program already showcases the best of the best, then surely our People’s Choice winners are the best of the best of the best.

Patrick standing before a projection of his film

Winning filmmaker Patrick Verlin

“When I heard that I had been selected for Top Screen; I was ecstatic and ran down the hallway to tell Dad. He was very proud. It meant a lot to me because I had put a lot of effort in the film and now I was being recognised for that.” says Patrick.

According to the budding filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino is his favourite director. “I took a lot of inspiration from his films; most especially Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. The opening credits sequence of my film was inspired by Django‘s opening credits and many other older films. I took inspiration from the music and style of filmmaking found in Inglourious Basterds.

Though Tarantino served as his cinematic muse, not all of his inspiration came from overseas. While he was brainstorming ideas for the film, Patrick was re-watching the first season of Aussie crime series, Underbelly.

“This gave me inspiration to write a movie about gangsters, but I wanted it to relate to people my age so it was centered around a school student,” he explains. “The colour scheme used in Underbelly Season 1 and many other Australian dramas, including the film Animal Kingdom, gave me inspiration.

“They use a very gritty style of filmmaking where their shots are grainy, and have some of the vibrancy taken out. I also attempted to keep each shot with one main colour in it – whether that be the green of trees, or the yellow of Flinders Street Station which features strongly in my opening sequence.”

Congratulations to all of our favourite student filmmakers.

1st Place
Patrick Verlin
School: Box Hill Institute/St Kevin’s College
Title: Jenna Farkas

A still from Jenna Farkas

A still from Jenna Farkas

2nd Place
Eliza Hill
School: Upwey High School
Title: Old Friend

A still from Old Friend

A still from Old Friend

3rd Place
Jeannie Psomoulis
School: Distance Education Centre Victoria/Lighthouse Christian College
Title: Umbra

A young boy staring a a scary reflection of himself

A still from Umbra

Check out the winning film Jenna Farkas on YouTube.

Top Screen returns in March 2015.

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2 Responses to “Top Of the Class”

  1. Mary 20. Jun, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks for this entry on your BLOG. Patrick’s film is fabulous. Are you able to provide links to Eliza and Jeannie’s films too?

  2. ACMI 20. Jun, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately we haven’t been supplied with links to the additional films.

    We’ll have a look and see if we can’t source them from somewhere.

    Matt Millikan

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