Tips for making a great 90-Second Newbery video
Friday, December 13, 2019

Now is the time to work on your 90-Second Newbery film! Each year, BiblioTech and H-E-B Read3 sponsor a student-driven film contest right here in San Antonio. We ask kid-filmmakers to read a Newbery Award-Winning for Newbery Honor Book and then create a short movie that tells the entire story of the book. You'll enter your film into our contest by January 10, 2020. Then, we hold a Film Festival at the Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum to honor the top films.

Today, we have great tips to make your movie stand out, so that you can be one of the lucky directors screened at our Film Festival on February 15. Okay, let's dive into film making!

A good place to find inspiration is the collection of Best 90-Second Newbery Films curated by the film festival's founder, author James Kennedy, who will host our film festival. These films can help spark your creativity and show you all the amazing possibilities before you! 

Kennedy was partially inspired to start this contest by a website called Acceptable.TV and there are several video tutorials from that site that can help you produce a fabulous film. Check out:

BiblioTech also provides resouces to help all the budding filmmakers out there. At any of our branch locations you can use iMovie on our computers. Here is a good video introduction to iMovie, but our friendly staff members are always happy to help you in person, as well! Also, at our BiblioTech East location, we even have a green screen you can shoot in front of in our Maker Space. 

Curious about how to shoot your film? We've seen great work done with phone cameras and iPads or tablets! If you'd like, you can borrow an iPad to use in our branch locations for shooting, as well.

Kennedy, who gives personal feedback to every filmmaker who enters the contest, also has some great information about sound effects, "Your video will be a lot snappier if you add sound effects and music! Of course, you can use the audio effects that come bundled with iMovie or MovieMaker. But what if those programs don’t have the sound effects or music you’re looking for? Or what if you don’t want to use the same sounds every other movie uses?" He recommends using these site to find free mousic and sound effects:

Looking for more tips and tricks? On this page, you can download a detailed curriculum about how to make a 90-Second Newbery film created by educator Deb Ross. Also, check out How to Make a Short Film from the New York Film Academy.

Don't forget: the deadline to enter our contest is January 10. If you have any questions about the contest, or the film festival, please let us know. We'd love to see your work and we hope to see you on February 15 at the Witte!