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Amateur Film-Making Plot

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At least it was funny...

At some point, everyone has imagined themselves acting on the big screen or working behind the scenes of a major motion picture. Just as amateurs in real life will attempt to make films using their friends and a camera, fictional characters also like to try their hand at filmmaking.

Maybe they're entering a film contest or just having some fun. Maybe they want to make a full-length movie, a short film, or a simple class project. They might be working together with a single vision or fighting over creative control. At times they're just the cast, acting despite being amateurs who may or may not have creative control. Whatever the scenario, they're stepping outside of their usual activities to create a film of some sort.

Results may vary, with the films most often ending up incredibly amateurish at best and objectively bad at worst after a Movie-Making Mess ensues. More talented (or simply luckier) characters will end up with a successful film, and perhaps an interest in creating more movies. The finished products often end up as parodies of real-life franchises, Le Film Artistique, a parody of True Art Is Incomprehensible, or something extremely simplistic, depending on the characters behind the camera. The more wealthy characters will easily be able to get professional resources and even actors, and are often the antagonists challenging the protagonists' own film-making efforts.

To apply, a story need not be specifically about making a live-action movie; animated projects and other film work is acceptable as long as the general plot pattern fits. Live-action work is simply the most common form.

Compare Musical Episode, School Play, Hey, Let's Put on a Show, and Show Within a Show for the movies themselves. Contrast Set Behind the Scenes. Not to be confused with an episode about the out-of-universe production of the series or an episode where the characters are the subject of an in-universe movie but are not otherwise involved in the production.

Can be Truth in Television, thanks to modern technology making entry-level moviemaking fairly accessible to anybody with a digital camera (or even cellphone), a computer, some kind of video-editing software, and a bit of spare time. Nowadays the results may become a Web Video.

Note that this trope only applies to works where the films are being made by amateurs. Works where the films are made by professionals do not count here, nor do works that feature film-making but none of the other plot elements. See Making the Masterpiece for such examples.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach anime episode #298. In order to make money to repair the Soul Society, the 13 Court Guard squads split into teams, with each team making a movie to enter in the Seireitei International Film Festival. Ichigo Kurosaki becomes involved with several of the teams' efforts. He ends up making a film with Rukia, Renji, Rangiku, Uryu, Orihime, Chad, and Captain Kuchiki.
  • Doraemon has this kind of plot occurring in both the TV series and a couple of the movies:
    • A manga chapter has Suneo converting his garage into his own cartoon studios, announcing his plans to Nobita, Shizuka, and Gian before inviting them to collaborate with him... only to leave Nobita out as usual, given Suneo's Jerkass to One attitude towards Nobita. As always, Nobita tries running back to Doraemon for help, leading to Doraemon bringing out a "Cartoon-Making Machine" to compete against Suneo.
    • In another episode, the gang tries filming their own toku with Doraemon's futuristic gadgets. They managed to "dupe" Gian into playing the Big Bad, which Gian didn't find out until the end of the story.
    • The main plot of Doraemon: Nobita's Little Space War, where Nobita, Gian, and Suneo try making their own Star Wars-style sci-fi film only to run into Papi, an alien refugee. And the hostile aliens after Papi mistake the gang's filming antics to be real and launch an invasion.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and The Space Heroes repeats the same plot as Little Space War (being a Recycled Script and all that) but instead of a sci-fi film, the gang is filming their own toku-style superhero film when their superheroics are mistaken by an alien seeking for help.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: The episode "Cartoon Buffoon" has King Dedede drafting the citizens of Cappy Town to make an anime (after he's inspired by Tiff's simple work). Aside from the show making references to real-life's anime studio working process, it shows that the citizens are mostly bad at drawing and animating, especially Kirby himself (who's a toddler). The resulting anime — "Dedede, Coming At Ya!" — is chock-full of Stylistic Suck as a result.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Two of them in Pokémon the Series: Black & White era, thanks of recurring character Luke: the first one (which also marks Luke's debut) is "Movie Time! Zorua in 'The Legend of the Pokemon Knight'!", where Ash and pals join in the cast of Luke's amateur movie after he failed to do it using only his Zorua as every character in the film (since Zorua is a female and she wants to do only the female characters), and later "An Epic Defense Force!", where Ash and pals join Luke in a amateur movie contest at Pokestar Studios, making a film that is hogged with references to the Showa Era Godzilla films.
  • Sgt. Frog: In Episode 33, the Keroro Platoon come up with an invasion plan that involves them making their own anime in order to gain more funds. Unfortunately for the invaders, they learn that creating animation is much harder to do than they initially thought. The finished result is predictably terrible, with Bad "Bad Acting" and terrible art courtesy of Giroro and Dororo, who drew the lines and colored them in respectively. Only the backgrounds end up looking good, and that's because they were images taken from other sources.
  • An episode of Adventures of the Little Koala revolves around Roobear and his friends attempting to make a movie of their own version of Snow White. With their friend, Kiwi being a photographer, they were able to get the appropriate camera, but problems keep surfacing throughout, coming to a head when Betty, who was playing Snow White, faints during the apple scene because the apple had a worm in it, but no one knew about the worm and thought the apple might have actually been poisoned. When she finally comes to, and the doctor examining her says that she's alright, Kiwi comes up and drops a bombshell: he forgot to put film in the camera.
  • Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! follows an understaffed, underfunded high school film club's attempts to produce three animated short films. Though two of the members are gifted animators, they struggle to get work done due to their overactive imaginations, the student council trying to shut them down, and their amateur collaborators (voice talent, composers, etc) being inexperienced and difficult to work with.
  • The secondary plot of Fire Punch's first half is about Agni and Togata. Movies are no longer being made After the End, and they were outlawed sometime even before then, Togata picks up a camera and decides to film an action flick himself. Luckily for him, he finds Agni in the middle of his revenge spree, so he decides to help out in exchange for following his "director's instructions".
  • The 24th episode of the PaRappa the Rapper anime has PaRappa and friends try to make a movie starring Chop Chop Master Onion after having to tell him that the two filmmakers he was performing for earlier were actually Groober and Gaster pretending to make a movie as cover for a bank robbery attempt.

    Asian Animation 
  • King Shakir: "Filmmakers" has Shakir attempting to produce a sci-fi film. Necati brings in a real alien that was fixing his spaceship, only for the alien to get caught up in some distress that involves him being separated from his girlfriend.

    Comic Books 
  • Bart Simpson comic issue 20 has a story where Bart and Milhouse attempt to make their own zombie film using an ancient home movie camera. But they're very tight on money and decide to just use whatever's available, and the low budget and Bart's method really shows. Their families and friends initially hate the movie, until a representative from the Bad Movie Channel tells Bart and Milhouse he thought their movie would be perfect for his channel and pays them to air it and produce a sequel.
  • In the "Moons of Venus" arc of X-Statix, the team reluctantly agrees to let Hollywood make a movie about them. This causes increased stress for Guy and Venus, neither of whom are comfortable with the spotlight.
  • Impulse: Bart's best pal Preston is an aspiring filmmaker, and his making amateur films has led to a number of misunderstandings.

    Fan Works 
  • The Miraculous Ladybug fic The Ladybug Puppet Show centers around Bustier's class trying to make their own movie based on Ladybug and Cat Noir, partly because all of them were left disappointed by the actual movie about them that was released, partly out of spite towards the director after he threatened legal action against a parody video of the movie Alya posted to the Ladyblog. As the title indicates, they decide to go with puppetry as their medium of choice.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, Mei and her friends record the planning and execution of their fundraising for 4*Town concert tickets to serve as "a behind-the-scenes video diary" as the Novelization puts it. This serves as a plot point when Mei's father finds the footage and uses it to cheer Mei up which (perhaps inadvertently) convinces her to keep her panda transformation abilities.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Be Kind Rewind, a video store employee accidentally erases the store's entire stock. To make up for it, he enlists his friends to make amateur "Sweded" remakes of all the blockbusters he destroyed starring themselves.
  • The plot of Super 8 kicks into gear when the kids, out shooting a scene by the train tracks for Charles' zombie movie, witness a train crash that sets a captured alien loose. Unfortunately for Charles, the footage is unusable, and they have to substitute in Joe's model train set being destroyed. The final product plays over the end credits in all its Stylistic Suck glory.
  • Son of Rambow is all about a pair of kids trying to make one of these.
  • The beginning of Strange Brew has Bob and Doug showing Mutants of 2051 A.D., a hilariously terrible film that they made themselves. We only see part of it, as the film breaks after the first few scenes.
  • Wild America is the story of three brothers who go on a road trip to film wild animals and a mythical bear cave. Their finished product is a series of choppy cuts of both animals and the hijinks that occurred along the way.

  • In the 1974 picture book Ida Makes a Movie by Kay Charo, later adapted into The Pilot of The Kids of Degrassi Street, Ida makes a movie for the Children's Film Festival, but when the judges misunderstand it under the assumption that True Art Is Incomprehensible, she has to decide if she's prepared to win under false pretences.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down, Greg and Rowley try to storyboard and film a horror movie. It quickly devolves into a Movie-Making Mess.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has an arc where the SOS Brigade makes a film for the School Festival. The movie is an incoherent action flick that casts three members in roles suspiciously similar to their real-life powers. Mikuru stars as a time-traveling waitress, Yuki is an alien witch, and Koizumi is an Ordinary High-School Student with ESPer powers. Haruhi goes into full-on Prima Donna Director mode. The lack of a script, Haruhi's demands, and the intensification of Haruhi's Reality Warper powers (which lead to Mikuru developing laser eyes) make the whole thing a Movie-Making Mess.
  • An entire volume of Outbreak Company is dedicated to this. It started as a fake trailer made as a cover story to the existence of the other world being leaked but is eventually extended to an entire movie. The completed movie is eventually shown throughout the empire and becomes very popular due to the empress's appearance as the main heroine, to her embarrassment.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Time Rush: "Big Time Music Video" has the guys attempt to make a music video behind Gustavo's back in order to allow their friends a role as extras, which they'd accidentally promised. They get photographer Marcos to be their director and film everything on a camcorder. It doesn't turn out well, but it does inspire a much better music video to be professionally made, which involves them and all of their friends.
  • Cheers: Woody wants to make a video for his parents to convince them to let him stay in Boston. Diane takes over production and makes it into a pretentious Le Film Artistique, Manchild in Beantown.
  • Community:
    • The episode "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" has this as Abed's plot. Taking inspiration from Shirley, Abed decides to make his own religious film. While he's making it, the film starts to take on some Memetic Badass traits. Unfortunately, the result turns out to be terrible and Shirley destroys it to save Abed's reputation.
    • In the episode "Intro to Recycled Cinema", the Save Greendale Committee creates an Affectionate Parody of Star Wars in order to capitalize on Chang's success in a television commercial and future appearance in a movie made by Steven Spielberg.
  • iCarly: The B-plot of "iHate Sam's Boyfriend" involves Spencer trying to make a claymation movie called "The Alien, The Space Hamster, and the Burrito" for a contest. He spends all his time carefully making each individual frame, obsessing over the details, but his work is ruined by interference from Sam's boyfriend Jonah. As such, his 10-minute idea had to be shortened to a rushed and plotless 20-second film thanks to the lack of time once he started over.
  • Gilligan's Island has the episode "Castaways Pictures Presents," in which two crates full of silent-film equipment and costumes wash up on the island. The castaways get the idea to make a movie about their shipwreck and send it out to the mainland, hoping it will lead to their rescue. The resulting film is horribly edited with shots upside-down, off-center and even overexposed at one point,note  but they send the film out to sea regardless. The film is found and submitted anonymously to the Cannes film festival, where it is hailed as a masterpiece of surrealism. Naturally though, it fails to get the castaways rescued.
  • The Goldbergs: Adam is an aspiring filmmaker who shoots home movie parodies of blockbuster films starring his family. Many episodes focus on him making these films.
  • In the B-plot of the Good Luck Charlie episode, "Termite Queen", Gabe's friend Jake gets a video camera as compensation for getting cut from the baseball team. This gives Gabe the idea to make a film called "Attack of the 50-Foot Baby", featuring Charlie as the titular baby. When Charlie doesn't do what Gabe and Jake want for the movie, Gabe glues Charlie's shoes to the floor. When Amy finds out, she is not happy and takes Charlie out of the picture. During the closing credits, we get to see the blooper reel for "Attack of the 50-Foot Baby".
  • Henry Danger: One episode had the cast seeing a cartoon based on their adventures which was awful. They decide to make their own cartoon that's better. This mainly served to promote their cartoon spin-off.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has two episodes in which the gang make fan-sequels to the Lethal Weapon films. The episodes were removed from Hulu because Rob Mc Elhenney's character (a dimwitted bigot) plays Roger Murtaugh in Blackface.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Dennis attends a college film class and makes a semi-autobiographical film The Burning House with the help of his coworkers and David Hasselhoff. Interestingly, most of this is shown as a behind-the-scenes documentary by another film student.
  • M*A*S*H: In season one, an Army film crew shooting a documentary about mobile army surgical hospitals has their footage hijacked and turned into a parody of itself by the doctors who object to what they feel is the glorification of their work. Hawkeye and Trapper, with the help of Radar and the nursing staff, shoot some additional footage of their own, heavily inspired by the Marx Brothers, and mocking the original voiceover which had overly sentimental and patriotic imagery such as "saints in surgical garb" and "Yankee Doodle doctor." The trope is slightly subverted by Hawkeye's closing scene, in interview style, where he breaks the fourth wall (in universe) and talks to the audience to say that modern medicine is often powerless to change the outcome when military munitions are turned loose on flesh and blood soldiers. The monologue, in stark black and white, even impresses the brass who had commissioned the documentary to begin with, who suggest keeping the final scene while jettisoning the rest of the amateur footage.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus featured an interview with an everyman who screen his 8mm release of "Rear Window" then complains how his "Midnight Cowboy" was still at the chemist's being developed while John Schlesinger gets his released straight away
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: In "Guide to Video Projects", the characters have to make a video project, either in a group or individually. While Moze attempts to interview Mr. Wright and finds him being concerned with looking "cool" for the camera, Ned and Cookie argue over whether to make a Ninja Movie or a Sci-Fi movie. Moze and Mr. Wright eventually come to a compromise that makes him look both respectable and cool, and Ned and Cookie create a movie about a Ninja IN SPACE!, incorporating Martin Qewrly's embarrassing imaginary-fight footage to make him the star character.
  • The Noddy Shop had the episode "Lights, Cameras, Chaos", in which the children want to make a movie called The Mystery of the Missing Necklace, which goes wrong when the necklace that was a prop for the movie was stolen by the goblins.
  • Oobi: The episode "Video!" is about the kids making a home movie, then screening it in the living room with popcorn. When Oobi and Kako do their "secret handshake" in the movie, they realize it's not a secret anymore and call it their "famous handshake."
  • The Partridge Family: In "Fellini, Bergman, and Partridge," Keith makes a movie called "16 1/2" starring himself and his family. Keith manages to get it shown at a local theater, but the others make him edit out all the embarrassing footage first, and there's almost nothing left. Keith edits the remaining footage to last as long as possible, and the family gives a live performance while it plays.
  • Zoey 101: In "Jet X", the characters are given the task of creating their own commercials for the Jet X bike to be shown off in class, with the best group winning their own bikes. Chase, Logan, and Michael end up with professional equipment and actors thanks to Logan's wealth, while Zoey, Nicole, and Dana keep fighting over their ideas and eventually split up. Zoey stays up all night editing whatever footage they were able to get into a unique commercial, winning the contest for her and the other girls.
  • An episode of Step by Step had Cody decide to try making his own movie, enlisting the family's kids to star in it. Given that he tried to start filming before writing the script, the results were terrible, though the audience didn't actually see it.
  • Victorious: The main setting of the show is a performing arts school and the students are often involved in the making of movies and short films. Notably, the episode "Slap Fight" revolves around the main characters trying to make a short film for a school project. Things hit a roadblock when the main characters become obsessed with their social media followings and ignore the project. By the end of the episode, the characters manage to kick their social media obsession and finish the project. However, judging by their teacher's reaction to the final product, it wasn't that good.

  • The Cabin Pressure episode "Rotterdam" centres on the airplane's crew attempting to film their own welcome and safety demonstration videos. Complications ensue.

  • A Chuck E. Cheese animatronic segment from 1997 involved Chuck E. and his friends making their own low-budget secret agent movie, set appropriately to the song "Secret Agent Man."
  • Part of the background narrative of RENT is Mark Cohen trying as best he can to make his own amateur film, eventually quitting a job to pursue the project.

    Web Video 
  • SuperMarioLogan: In "The Film Project!", Jackie Chu assigns his students to make short films for a film festival he is hosting at Y U Dumb? Elementary School, where the winner will receive an Oscar award. On the night of the award ceremony, the student's films are shown. Joseph's is "My Life Socks!", which shows a love affair between a sock puppet couple (with many sock-themed puns), Jeffy's is "Fruit Party 4", which depicts a bunch of fruit talking with Synchro-Vox a la The Annoying Orange, Penelope's film is of her fawning over Justin Timberlake in black and white (which is unfinished due to her father, Brooklyn T. Guy interfering), Cody's film is "TiKenic", a remake of Titanic (1997) starring him and his Ken doll, and Junior's is "Doomsday in Townsville!", where the City of Townsville is under attack by a T-Rex and a giant tarantula as a result of The Powerpuff Girls going on vacation. Said film also includes Junior constantly referring to a pig as Cody's Mom, which results in Cody slapping him, not unlike what Will Smith did to Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscar Awards. The episode ends with Cody winning the Oscar.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Videomakers", Finn and Jake try to make a movie after realising that all pre-war media might still be under copyright and shouldn't be watched.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The episode "Lights, Camera, Danger!" has Jimmy winning a screenwriting contest to have his script made into a movie by director Quentin Smithee. However, the production constantly goes horribly wrong with Jimmy and his friends being put into life-threatening situations with malfunctioning props and equipment. This is revealed to have been done on purpose as Quentin Smithee is actually Professor Calamitous in disguise.
  • Arthur:
    • In "Arthur Makes a Movie," the kids decide to make a James Hound Fan Film because they aren't likely to be allowed into the latest, PG-13-rated, real one. They make a model supersonic jet for their villain (which gets eaten by Arthur's dog, Pal), they use their inflatable shark, Sharky, as part of a Bond villain-esque peril scene (Arthur defeats it by deflating it), and Brain accidentally hacks into the library's electrical power and turns it off while simulating trying to hack a nuclear missile. Prunella, who has seen the real film despite being only a year older, thinks their version is better.
    • The premise of "The Agent of Change": disappointed with the female characters in movies they watch being portrayed as Satellite Love Interests for the protagonists, Muffy and Francine team up with Molly to create Agent Double X, a cartoon starring a female secret agent.
  • The As Told by Ginger episode "Lunatic Lake" has Carl and Hoodsey be into this, looking to make an epic low-budget horror movie, complete with shooting it using black-and-white Super 8 film. Hoodsey sees the opportunity with the Bishop family vacation to Loon Lake (which Ginger and Macie are already coming on as well) to bring Carl along to make such a film, especially since there are rumors that an escaped lunatic is on the loose, and Blake Gripling is on a survival campout in the Loon Lake area, so naturally, Carl and Hoodsey decide to make Blake their "victim." Naturally, things go wrong for both the movie shoot and the vacation in general, at least up until Carl and Hoodsey get actual footage of the real lunatic (rather than using their Halloween mask as planned) and decide to use that footage along with what they also filmed and fake the rest at home.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Ain't Miss Debatin'", Louise decides to make a stop-motion film with a "meatman" molded out of ground hamburger meat.
  • The Capelito episode "Filmmaker" has Capelito make his own film with help from the white mushrooms. The finished product is about Capelito fighting a dragon who has eaten his white mushroom friends.
  • Clarence: In "Sneaky Peeky," Clarence, Jeff, and Sumo steal the film for a new movie trailer from the theater, but accidentally ruin it on Jeff's projector. So, they have to remake the trailer starring themselves and using nothing but an old video camera and some homemade costumes.
  • Doug: In "Doug's Monster Movie", Doug and Skeeter try to make a scary monster movie, which involves dressing Doug's dog, Porkchop, in a shark costume and hanging him from a fishing hook. They end up making a "monster movie" more akin to a documentary that shows Mayor White's "Unify Bluffington" trash truck that's meant to push for recycling and avoiding pollution ironically doing more harm than good.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: "Movie Magic" features Timmy entering and trying to win a film festival to impress Trixie. He and his friends create a film of them badly reenacting other films, which they liked but the other kids hated. Timmy tries again, having Cosmo and Wanda poof him to where some action is taking place so he can film it and he has "Sylvester Calzone" as the main star. However, his friends are sad at being replaced, so he shows the original film at the festival and wins an award for "best comedy".
  • Family Guy:
    • The episode "Chick Cancer" revolves around Peter growing fond of chick flicks and deciding to make his own chick flick, with his friends as actors. The finished product, "Steel Vaginas", turns out absolutely terrible, with an incoherent plot, a storyline that was intended to be tragic just ended up narmy, and absolutely terrible special effects (for example, to make it look like Joe Swanson's character can walk, they superimpose a pair of cartoon legs over his wheelchair).
    • After Lois gets a job as a news reporter on FOX in "FOX-y Lady", Peter decides to use his wife's connections with FOX to make an animated series. He and Chris come up with a series called "Handi-Quacks" which has terrible animation, stiff voice acting, and is just filled with whatever Peter finds funny (Word-Salad Humor, things happening randomly with no explanation, etc.)
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "One False Movie", the school principal is impressed with Mac's film about Foster's (which Bloo added armpit fart sound effects into) and enters Mac to represent his school in the Annual State-wide Elementary School film festival. He gives Mac a $500 budget and the idea for the film, which Bloo helps make into a movie called "T-Rex-A-Tron Alien Wolf III: A Prequel In Time: The Unrelenting". Despite all the extra effort and money Bloo puts into the filmnote , the ending to Bloo's movie gets taped over by an episode of Lauren is Explorin' that Eduardo was trying to watch, causing Bloo's film to lose.
  • Futurama: The episode "When Aliens Attack" has the Earth being invaded by Omicronians who only want to see an episode of a show called Single Female Lawyer. As all copies of the show have been destroyed, the Planet Express crew decide to film an episode themselves to satisfy the Omicronians.
  • The Ghost and Molly McGee: In “Hooray for Mollywood”, after being disappointed by a cheesy horror movie, the kids and Scratch decide to make their own, with Libby providing the script and playing the lead, Darryl filming it on his camera phone, Scratch playing the ghost, and Molly as director. The production is as amateurish as expected, but the kids don’t seem to be having a problem. Eventually Andrea finds out about what they’re doing and inserts herself into the project, offering them a professional studio and equipment to seal the deal. However, she immediately starts to take over production, replacing Darryl with a professional cameraman, inserting herself into the lead role, throwing out Libby’s script to turn the movie into a supernatural romance, adding product placement, and eventually replacing Molly with Greta Gerwig. Realizing the movie isn’t hers anymore, Molly allows Scratch to scare Andrea off the set, and Darryl converts his behind-the-scenes footage of Scratch scaring her into a movie that everyone enjoys.
  • The very premise of Home Movies is about three kids who love to make low-budget movies in their spare time.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 158, Kaeloo notices that Smileyland is falling into disrepair, so she and her friends (none of whom have any experience making movies) try to put together a movie, hoping that they'll earn money from ticket sales for the repairs. The movie ends up being so bad that it wins an award for being the worst movie ever made in history.
  • The Littles did this in the episode "Lights, Camera, Littles": not being satisfied with watching movies in a human cinema, the Littles decide to make their own movie using an old Super-8 movie camera in the Bigg's attic. Lucy wants to film an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, while Tom wants to do a sci-fi epic, but Grandpa flips a coin and Lucy's idea is chosen, much to Tom's dismay. Things get worse when the film makes Tom look bad, so he intentionally "loses" the film when giving it to Henry to be developed, and it falls into the hands of Dr. Hunter. Fortunately for the Littles, Dinky didn't do such a good job shooting their movie, so the film just came out all fuzzy and dark, so Dr. Hunter did not see the Littles and dismissed the film as just being someone's trash, just as he figured.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: "Horrificator" is set up by the students needing to put together a horror film, and scaredy-cat Mylene is turned into the titular Monster of the Week.
  • Muppet Babies (1984): In "Gonzo's Video Show", Nanny gives the Muppets an old home movie camera to play with. After arguing about what kind of movie to make, they settle on doing their own version of A New Hope.
  • In the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode, "Tuckered Out", in order to pass the Second Grade, Tuck has to do a presentation on the person he admires most. Tuck decides to make a movie about Jenny, but he becomes a huge Prima Donna Director towards her, Brad, and Sheldon. On the day of the presentation, Jenny, Brad, and Sheldon get back at Tuck by showing a montage of embarrassing old home movies of him. Fortunately, Tuck passes anyway because his teacher mistakes the home movies for an autobiography.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: "Pooh Oughta Be In Pictures" has Christopher Robin make a monster movie with the gang, with Piglet as the hero. Most of the episode, however, is about the antics Tigger gets into while stuck inside his monster costume (a giant carrot) and Piglet trying to overcome his fears.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In "Plaza Film Festival", Gar's Bodega hosts a film festival. Several regulars at Lakewood Plaza Turbo, including both K.O. and his friends and the Boxmore bots, enter movies in the festival hoping to win a plutonium trophy (apparently "plutonium's cheaper than gold nowadays").
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Lights, Candace, Action", the boys attempt to make a film adaptation of Candace's favorite play... which turns into a monster movie, Candace playing the monster. Thanks to Perry and Doofenshmirtz's subplot, the sneak-preview audience is hit with an "Age-Accelerator-Inator", becoming too old to enjoy the film. However, it still finds its way onto the internet where it's a big success, despite Candace being mortified about the finished product.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "A Star is Born", Sydney and the gang create a Commander Cressida fan film about the birth of a star. Complete with cardboard props and wooden acting, but still very charming and educational nonetheless.
  • This happens in the Rocket Power episode "Double-O Twistervision", in which the gang tries to make an amateur movie (after being disappointed with an actual movie called Boardfinger). The episode actually doesn't show much of the production, just the movie in which the gang tries to act out a James Bond-esque movie. Despite good camera stability and use of decent video editing software, hilarity ensues with a Stylistic Suck film containing loads of Bad "Bad Acting" (save for Lars, who surprisingly turns out to be the best actor in the film as the main villain), Special Effects Failure, Dull Surprise, and Vocal Dissonance. It goes over well with the gang's family and friends, though MacKenzie and her friends disliked it, and decide to make their own movie.
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, in the episode "Camera Shy," Rocko is making a home movie to show his parents back in Australia that he's doing well. Heffer and Filburt take the camera and film Rocko walking down the stairs in the nude as a prank...which then gets edited by the Chameleon Bros. into a strange arthouse film centering on Rocko's nakedness. The film wins at the Australian Film Festival, and Rocko's parents send him money for a bathrobe, claiming they loved the film.
  • Rugrats:
    • In the episode, "Home Movies", Stu shows his family and friends home movies at Angelica's house, boring them to tears. This inspires Angelica to make her own home movies by drawing pictures on her parents' office papers. Tommy and Chuckie join in, and the home movies they and Angelica make are drawn crudely in crayon due to their young ages (Tommy's is the crudest of all since he's only one year old). At the end of the episode, the grown-ups are all very impressed with their children's home movies.
    • The spinoff series All Grown Up! also has this, as Tommy is now an amateur filmmaker and a number of episodes revolve around him attempting to film something or showing off a film, complete with the episode "Truth or Consequences" about a film festival.
  • In the The Simpsons episode, "A Star Is Burns", to increase Springfield's popularity, Marge suggests that Springfield hosts a film festival, and famed critic Jay Sherman is invited to be a judge. Out of jealousy, Homer urges Marge to be on the film jury as well. Mr. Burns uses the film festival as an opportunity to boost his massive ego and has Steven Spielberg's non-union Mexican counterpart "Senor Spielbergo" direct his film, A Burns For All Seasons. The other entries at the film festival include Hans Moleman's aptly-named Man Getting Hit by Football film, which Homer finds hilarious, and Barney Gumble's artistic introspective film about alcoholism, titled Pukahontas, which Marge and Jay foresee to be the eventual winner.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Eggman the Auteur", Dr. Eggman decides to film a movie about his life and his rivalry with Sonic. He offers to let Sonic play himself, but Sonic turns him down, so Eggman casts Dave the Intern for the role instead. After Dave's bumbling portrayal, Sonic interrupts the filming and Eggman offers the role to Sonic again, which Amy accepts in his stead, claiming Sonic as her client.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants: "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture" involves SpongeBob attempting to make a film for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to compete with the new modern movie coming out. After much hilarity ensues, the movie is made... but turns out to be absolutely terrible. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, however, are just happy to know they still have some "action" within them.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Animaniacs!", Plucky finds out that he has to make an animated short for the ACME Looniversity Student Animation Festival, and since he skipped Animation 101 class all semester, Buster has to show him the basics of making a cartoon. In the Animation festival, we get to see the students' shorts, each with a different animation style. In particular, Elmyra and Dizzy's are drawn crudely in crayon, Hamton's is a stylized black-and-white animation, and Gogo's is live-action. Despite Plucky's short, "The Plucky Duck Story" only being five seconds long (Thanks in part to Shirley's film being 17 and a half hours long) and showing him as a kid crying after his toy deflates, Plucky wins the film festival, and his grand prize is having to take Animation 101 over since he skipped it the first time.
  • Total Drama: The episode "Super Crazy Happy Fun Time in Japan" has a challenge where Chris has the three teams create, direct, and publish their own commercials for Chef's new candy Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candy Fish Tails, which are judged by Chef himself. Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot features a Godzilla parody, Team Victory does an over dramatic black-and-white samurai styled setting, and Team Amazon throws together a bunch of ideas with colorful backgrounds and Sierra singing. In the end, Team Amazon wins due to Chef liking the exploding donuts their commercial features.
  • Kim Possible: In the half-episode "Rufus vs Commodore Puddles", Ron tries to produce an amateur monster movie with Rufus as the monster on a miniature set. As it turns out, Rufus actually becomes a giant later in the episode.


Video Example(s):


Arthur Makes a Movie

Arthur and his friends are too young to see the latest "James Hound" film, so they decide to make their own using Muffy's new camcorder, and of course hijinks ensue!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / AmateurFilmMakingPlot

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