Here are the winners in the AFI ScreenNation Ghost Story Challenge.
Not that you should fear the upcoming holidays…
1st place winner “Ribbon” uses dramatic shot angles and quick cuts to put a blasé big brother into a twilight zone of dead teens when he ignores his little sister’s pretty dolly. Great production values and a full team in front of and behind the camera on this one.
The #2 finisher takes on more of a news documentary/recreation telling the story of a fallen football player at North Little Rock H.S. Again, good filming, creative lighting, and eerie sound make this a first rate production.
Seems like the 3rd place entry, “The Mark,” had some technical difficulties and had to “make do” with what he had. But he still manages to create a creepy feeling with quick cuts, a range of shot angles, and an eerie rendition of an innocent children’s song.
“Mountain Mystery” takes on the classic staying overnight in a spooky house story line. With some “Blair Witch” style filming and the panicked dialogue of the characters, you get a feel for their fear and helplessness.

Production Tips I like making inanimate objects like the doll into active players in student videos or to have student actors take on the persona of things like letters, numbers, books, etc. If you don’t have an advanced software editing program like Final Cut or Premiere, you can approximate the nearly transparent specter effect with a slow cross dissolve. Make sure your camera is locked down with a tripod and the lighting doesn’t change as you slip your ghost into the scene.


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