It's cameras on but lights off for aspiring South Canterbury film- makers getting ready to take part in the 5x5x5 film festival.
The film festival held at Geraldine cinema is back for a second year and first-time film-makers are diving in.
Fourteen-year-old Ben Denman has a keen interest in film and acting and has already had his submission for the festival accepted. He hasn't had any professional training but makes short films and video clips in his spare time.
Plans for his short film are already under way, with Ben behind the camera, directing and editing.
Originally wanting to make a horror film, he had to adapt his ideas to fit around the set theme of Earth Hour.
Although he said it was tricky, he is confident with what he has come up with.
5x5x5 Film Festival organiser and creator Fiona McKenzie said the event was created in response to a growing interest in film-making, providing enthusiastic film-makers with the opportunity to create something.
From the five-minute films submitted, five will be selected to screen at the Geraldine Cinema on March 28.
Mrs McKenzie said it is not a competition but each of the five successful teams receives $100 sponsorship.
She said the Earth Hour theme makes participants think carefully about what they are producing as opposed to just putting anything up on YouTube.
Also entering the competition for the first time is Wayne Doyle, who has taken a different approach to the theme.
"Since Earth Hour encourages people to turn off their lights, we decided to go back to where it all started, with the invention of the light bulb."
Mr Doyle, who is the Aoraki Polytechnic graphic design and multimedia tutor, has written the screenplay and will have a team of actors and Aoraki Polytech graduates to help with the editing.
Mr Doyle has taken part in the 48 hour film festival in past years and is looking forward to having more time to complete his five-minute short film for this festival.
He said he is getting everything prepared to start filming but the hardest task for him and his team will be getting the costumes to make it look like authentic 1880 America.
- © Fairfax NZ News