Win A Copy of Film in Action

the gentlemans wager

This EFL lesson plan is designed around a short filmed commissioned by Johnnie Walker Whisky starring Jude Law. In the lesson students watch the short film speculate about what it may be advertising and make their own short film as part of a competition to win a copy of my book Film in Action. The teacher who submits the best film wins a copy of the book.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and creating a short film

Topic: Branded short films

Language: Language connected with film-making

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: the gentleman’s wager lesson instructions


Step 1

Elicit or explain that a branded short film is a short film created for a company or product.


Step 2

Tell the learners they are going to watch a short film which is actually an advertisement for a company or product – a ‘branded short film’. Their task is to decide what type of company or product is being advertised.


Step 3

So the learners don’t see the company’s name or logo, you should start the film at 00:04 and pause before the closing credits at 05:49.

Show the film.



Step 4

Divide the class into groups of three or four:

  • The learners discuss what type of company or product they think has commissioned the film or is being advertised.
  • They give reasons to support their opinion.


Step 5

Hold a feedback session on their opinions.


Step 6

Show the film a second time:

  • Pause when the advertiser’s name or logo appears in the closing credits.
  • Ask the learners what they know about the company or product.


Step 7

Hold a plenary session based on these questions:

  • How does the film support the brand?
  • What is the film saying about the company or product?
  • Why is advertising increasingly using short films?


Step 8

Ask the learners to imagine that they are advertising executives who want to make a short film for a company or product.


Step 9

Divide the class into groups of three. Each group chooses the company or product they want to advertise.


Step 10

Tell the groups their task is:

  • To decide how they would make their short.
  • To break the film into important points.
  • To write very brief notes on action, dialogue, camera shots and angles, and any sound effects and music.


Step 11

Tell them they are going to perform and film their presentation.


Step 12

Two learners perform the presentation, while the third learner is the film director whose role is to:

  • To make sure the executives know their lines by heart.
  • To set up the scene (choose the location, arrange the furniture and any props, etc.).
  • To tell the executives where to stand or sit.
  • To plan the shots.


 Step 13

When the ‘director’ is happy that the others know their lines and has set up the scene:

  • The two ‘executives’ perform their dialogue.
  • The director records it on a mobile phone or other mobile device.


Step 14

The director sends you a video file. You watch the video files and give the learners feedback on performance and pronunciation. If you would like to enter your students’ short film in the Film in Action competition to win a copy of the book send a link to the film to

Winner of Film in Action Competition


To celebrate the publication of Film In Action which is now available in book shops and on Amazon, we announced a film-making competition in which your school could win the following fantastic prizes:

  •  A license for Camtasia Studio 8 which helps you create professional videos easily  (value 250 US dollars).
  • A licence for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 which allows you to edit, organise and share digital images  (value 150 US dollars).
  • A  copy of Film in Action.

Our competition used an activity from Film In Action in which students had to make their own ‘how-to’ videos using a mobile phone or other mobile device. We had a wonderful response from teachers and their students throughout the world, and deciding on the winner was very difficult because of the high quality of the videos. However, we have finally decided that the prize should go to Nick Caine and his students Takahito Tomonaga and Atsuhito Nishimura at the University of Nagasaki in Japan.

Here Nick tells us about himself and his student’s video:

“Hi! My name is Nick Caine and I have been teaching in Japan since 1997. I currently work at the University of Nagasaki. The production of “How to…” videos have been a component of our classes here for the past two years, and this year it was nice for students to have the opportunity to enter their work into the Film in Action competition. We aimed to explain very simple tasks around a Japanese theme that would hopefully appeal to a worldwide audience. Here is a video made by 2nd grade students that we would like to enter into the competition:

How To Make Miso Soup by Takahito Tomonaga and Atsuhito Nishimura.”

And here is the winning video.



Congratulations to Nick, Takahito and Atsuhito. We would like to thank all of the teachers and their students for the wonderful videos they have created. We will post all of the videos on the site in the coming weeks.