National Film Festival for Talented Youth | Seattle Youth Film Festival | Student Film Festival


Flash Point

Film of the Week

Can you hold on to your past as you are pulled into your future? A young man grapples with letting go as he faces leaving home for the first time.

Flash Point was an official selection of NFFTY 2014 and screened as a part of the Friday Night Shorts category.

Film of the Week is presented by Volvo Cars of North America.

“Flash Point” Short Film from Colin Campbell on Vimeo.

About the director:


Colin M. Campbell, an 18 year-old filmmaker from Beulah MI has worked on over 60 student films, in every crew position from grip to DP, to screenwriter and director. With a main focus in cinematography, Colin strives to combine striking imagery with powerful meaning to create extraordinary visual representations of how he sees and interprets his own life and life around him. He currently studies film at the Tisch School of the Arts within New York University as a Freshmen and will graduate in 2017 .


NFFTY spoke with Colin about completing his film.

Q: Was this story inspired by any experiences you might have of leaving home for the first time?

Definitely. I’m from a town of 350 people in northern MI and now attend NYU in a city with a population of almost 9 million. That was quite a jump but really the film is not about that. For the past 5 years I’ve dedicated myself to the art and science of filmmaking at both the student and professional level. I was lucky enough to attend a boarding arts high school in the U.S called Interlochen where kids from all over the world come to study their art full time in a year long academy format. I was one of two students at Interlochen to finish their intensive four-year program with a major declared in Motion Picture Arts which in large made me who I am today. The film is about a boy who tries to capture the memories of the people and places that were most meaningful to him through photographs as he prepares to leave home for the first time. Interlochen was my home and these feelings largely connect back to my school and the friends and family I’ve built along the way.

Q: Considering Flash Point has very little dialogue, can you walk us through the process of writing a film where mostly actions and music tell the story?

I’m extremely interested in experimental narrative and experimental storytelling technique. I wrote the piece to be visually driven and focused on my articulation through camera. I believe that if the emotion is there in the film it doesn’t really matter what’s happening in the plot or even the image of screen. Some of the scenes and shots in the piece don’t necessarily make sense logically but to me they convey the emotion of the moment. (I.e the metaphor of the sparklers as time, the flying photos of his memories literally leaving him, or the shot in the dark of what it feels like when he “graduates.” Of course these images don’t make sense but to me they have always been a more powerful articulation of emotion rather than just giving you a straight forward story.

Q: In what ways has your recent participation in NFFTY helped you grow as a filmmaker?

NFFTY has been an incredible experience both at and away from the festival. I have met so many young filmmakers just like me who strive to make films that mean something and who truly believe in the art and power of film. I am constantly in contact with many of the NFFTY alumni and have even worked on some of their films. Two of my friends at NYU who have helped me a lot this year (they are upperclassmen) I met at NFFTY two years ago. Connections like these between young filmmakers just doesn’t happen anywhere else and I am so glad I could be a part of this wonderful festival. Hopefully I will be able to return soon.

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