Cassini Logs wins first Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge, News

Cassini Logs wins first Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge

Timothy Cole, Alexandru Popescu, and Isabella Povolny’s inaugural Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge.

Epic Games recently joined forces with all Australian screen agencies to create the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge, which delivered 16 impressive short films all produced in six weeks. NSW-made Cassini Logs was selected as the top film in the competition, receiving a $50,000 grand prize. 

We spoke to Cassini Logs filmmakers Timothy Cole, Alexandru Popescu and Isabella Povolny about creating their stunning short film and taking home the trophy for NSW.


Your film Cassini Logs won the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge, requiring you to produce and deliver a short film in only six weeks. What did you learn from the experience? 

The short deadline was both a great help and massive challenge. It focused our efforts and made us prepare thoroughly for the dedicated production weeks. At the heart of everything was assembling a fantastic team. Everyone involved was extremely dedicated and self-motivated, and as a result,  the energy was spent on making the film as good as it can be.

You had to pitch the film idea as part of the film challenge. What advice would you give emerging filmmakers to make their pitch stand out?

We tried to imagine what would make us excited to find out more about the story. Each element, from the visual treatment to a short one-minute mood sample, was meant to sketch out our main character and offer a glimpse into their world. We tried to answer all the questions that we would ask ourselves if this was the first time we heard the pitch. For example, not just what the film is about, but also how are we going to pull it off. 


Did Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge help you to develop your film skills and if so, how?  

Absolutely! We started with a pretty ambitious science fiction script involving a lot of different concepts. Making that flow in the 5-minute runtime was a great exercise in storytelling. We knew the short would raise more questions than it would answer, but we loved the challenge of avoiding exposition through dialogue, and we focused on strong composition and lighting, plus some editing tricks to have the film constantly evolve, slowly unravelling more about Cassini [the lead character] and the world she’s in. 


Why do you think initiatives like the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge are important to participate in?  

The most exciting thing we found about the challenge is that it brought together artists from so many different fields, and it generated an incredible variety of content. For our team, given that we were already experienced Unreal Engine users, it gave us a fantastic opportunity to show how this technology can be used for filmmaking.


Watch Cassini Logs.
Find out more about Alexandru Popescu’s work
Check out Timothy Cole’s work.

Learn more about the Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge and the finalists.


Image: Cassini Logs - Created by Alexandru Popescu and Tim Ben Cole.

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