2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide - Part One

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WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

INTRODUCTION Wisconsin Film Festival....................................................................................................1 A Guide to the Guide........................................................................................................2

PART ONE Film in the Curriculum Visual Literacy and Common Core Standards..........................................................3 Media Literacy and Critical Thinking............................................................................6 Life on the Screen: Visual Literacy in Education......................................................8 Preparing Your Class for a Field Trip to the Movie Theater................................ 14

Filmmaking Create an Animated Image: Make a Thaumatrope and Experience Persistence of Vision................................................................................ 16 Storyboarding: Visual Storytelling.............................................................................. 18 Stop Motion Animation for Beginners...................................................................... 22 You Oughta Be in Pictures: An Introduction to Making Videos........................ 24 10 Ideas for Classroom Video Projects..................................................................... 29 The Power of Music and Sound..................................................................................30 Resources for Teaching and Making Film in the Classroom.............................. 32 Apps for Storytelling and Filmmaking..................................................................... 36

PART TWO: 2019 Movies NOTE: Details will be added closer to the Festival: K–2: Shorts Program.........................................................................................................– Grades 3–5: Feature Film................................................................................................–


Wisconsin Film Festival | April 4-11, 2019 Established in 1999, the Wisconsin Film Festival (WFF) is the largest university produced film festival in the United States with an average of 150 film screenings and up to 30,000 attendees. 2019 will be the 21st annual Festival! The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts, in partnership with the Department of Communication Arts, presents the WFF every spring. The Festival is known for its diverse film offerings: American independent, international cinema, documentaries, experimental and avantgarde, restored classics, the Wisconsin’s Own Competition (selections featuring Wisconsin filmmakers, themes, or settings), and Children’s Cinema: Big Screens, Little Folks. The Wisconsin Film Festival strives to make films screened during the Festival accessible for all audiences.

The venues for the 2019 Festival include Cinematheque at 4070 Vilas Hall, Wisconsin Union Theater – Shannon Hall, Chazen Museum of Art’s Auditorium, Union South – The Marquee, and AMC Madison 6. The UW–Madison Division of the Arts is a gateway to the arts at the university. As arts practitioners, theorists, historians, and educators in the cultural and creative world, we advance the arts as an invaluable resource that underpins the vital nature of the university and its wider community. We do this by promoting all forms of artistic expression, experience, and interpretation via a diversity of intertwined paths through which we engage and understand our world. For schedules and further information, please visit 2019.wifilmfest.org.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


A Guide to the Guide The Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide is intended to help K–5 teachers: ☛☛Integrate film studies and a trip to the Wisconsin Film Festival in their curriculum ☛☛Prepare students for a trip to the cinema ☛☛Introduce teachers and students to the art of filmmaking and production Part One provides information about how Film and Media Studies can enhance your curriculum and meet Common Core Standards (CCS). The Guide offers filmmaking activities and resources that you can modify to fit your grade level and schedule. In addition to the first piece in this Guide, “Visual Literacy and Common Core Standards”, the following articles make excellent arguments for including film studies in the curriculum: “A Case for Filmmaking in the Classroom” via The Current, and “12 Basic Ways to Integrate Media Literacy and Critical Thinking into Any Curriculum” via Project Look Sharp from Ithaca College. Students understand an art form best when they have the opportunity to create a piece of art. The filmmaking activities 2

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

in this guide create hands-on learning opportunities that will contribute to students’ visual literacy. The focus should be on the process, rather than a polished product. The students will understand the challenges and the problems to be solved, and will appreciate the way in which media artists tackle and solve those problems when they have had to wrestle with those challenges themselves. Don’t be afraid to jump into an art form that you have never tried before. There is no right or wrong answer. And there is little to be learned when you stay in your comfort zone! Many of the articles provide websites with more information or activities. Please use these resources to expand your exploration or find additional activities appropriate for your grade or needs. Part Two will arrive closer to the Festival and provides information about the specific films that your class will see, and some activities inspired by those films. This section includes some links to trailers so you or your class can preview the films. Again, please use your judgment about whether or not this will help your class prepare for their field trip. Many students attend with little knowledge of the films they will see and have a wonderful experience.


Visual Literacy and Common Core Standards Today’s student is at home in a world of screens. Smart phones, video games, television, and movies present information in an increasingly sophisticated collaboration of word and image. This complexity prepares students to better interpret the world around them, and is vital to their development of reading and writing skills, critical thinking, and empathy. Film offers teachers the opportunity to help students develop Visual Literacy. Dr. Diana Dumetz Carry, Ed.D defines Visual Literacy as “the ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challenge and evaluate texts that communicate with visual images as well as, or rather than, words. Visually literate people can read the intended meaning in a visual text, interpret the purpose and intended meaning, and

evaluate the form, structure and features of the text.” Diana Dumetz Carry, “Visual Literacy: Using Images to Increase Comprehension,” Reading Recovery Council of North America, http:// readingrecovery.org/images/pdfs/Conferences/ NC09/Handouts/Carry_Visual_Literacy.pdf.

Teach with Movies advocates for the use of film in the curriculum. “Screen-based stories are the literature of today’s youth and teachers who don’t use movies as an integral part of their lesson plans are denying themselves and their students a powerful motivator. They are foregoing the benefit of the strong current of modern technology to assist in education.” Some of the new Common Core State Standards refer specifically to the use of film and other multimedia, and movies

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


can be very useful in meeting many of the standards that make no specific reference to film. Below is a list of Standards identified on the Teach with Movies website that you may find useful as you develop a Visual Literacy curriculum. CCS STANDARDS THAT REQUIRE OR SPECIFICALLY PERMIT THE TEACHING OF FILM: 28 important CCS Standards, most relating to grades 6–12, refer directly to the use of movies, employing the word “film,” the term “diverse media” or similar terms. Several standards refer to “drama,” which on page 57 of the Standards is defined to include filmed versions of plays.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADES K–12 Reading: CCR 7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. Grade 4: RL.4.7. Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text. Speaking and Listening: CCR 2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. Grades 1–5: SL.1.2. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read


2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

aloud or information presented orally or through other media. [Standard 1.2 for Grades 2–6 contain increasingly complex activities with text read aloud and information presented . . . in “other media” or “diverse media.” These activities include distilling and describing the main ideas, paraphrasing, etc.]

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADES 6–12 Reading: CCR 3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. Grade 6: RL.6.3. Describe how a particular story or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. Grade 7: RL.7.3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). Grade 8: RL.8.3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. Grades 11–12: RL.11-12.3. Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Reading: CCR 5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole. Grade 7: RL.7.5. Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning. Reading: CCR 7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

LITERATURE Grade 6: RL.6.7. Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch. Grade 7: RL.7.7. Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique

to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). Grade 8: Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors. Grades 9 & 10: RL.9-10.7. Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment . . . Grades 11 & 12: RL.11-12.7. Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.) __________________________________ Adapted from materials developed by teachwithmovies.org. “The Common Core State Standards and Feature Films in the ELA Classroom,” Teach with Movies, http://www.teachwithmovies. org/common-core-standards.html.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Media Literacy and Critical Thinking In our media-saturated world, kids are constantly bombarded by messages, images, opinions, and ideas. Add the Internet, Web, email, and wireless devices into the mix, and it’s difficult for any of us to escape the information—and misinformation—glut. Adults increasingly are finding that they need to teach the important skills of analyzing messages and information for validity and bias. Analyzing and assessing sources are essential parts of all inquiry-based learning projects, but our multimedia world means that we have to teach students not just how to assess data and arguments, but also how to discern emotional appeals made through pictures, music, and video. This important topic is too big to thoroughly cover here, but we can give you a few pointers and resources for further explanation:


we show students how images can be changed to distort the truth or fabricate untruths. ☛☛When we teach about video, students learn more about the differences between reality and acting and how subconscious elements like music or setting can alter the emotional reactions to a scene. Just as we try to teach students to read with deeper awareness and conscious analysis, in a visual world we must teach them to look closely at the images that sometimes pass by them in a flash. You can use some of the following activities to reinforce those skills:

☛☛When we teach how to do photography, we’re also teaching students to really look at the images they see. They come to understand the emotional effects inherent in a photographer’s choices about angle, focus, and other aesthetic elements.

• Bring photographs from newspapers and magazines to class occasionally for brief discussions about what they show and mean. Combine this activity with vocabulary exercises in which you show the students a picture and ask them to write as many words as they can to describe the picture or its effects. Do the same thing with TV commercials or bits from TV newscasts.

☛☛When we teach image-editing programs like Adobe Photoshop,

• Show students photos and ask them to write captions for them.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

• Take a photograph that has emotional power and make a copy. Now make copies that show just parts of the image. Make several more copies that show a gradually larger area of the image from each of the focal points, until you have the entire image showing again. • Show the students the smaller images, and ask for their impressions of what each image shows or means. Then show the larger images and ask for impressions until you’ve finally shown the complete photo. Talk about how their impressions changed as they saw different parts of the photo.

laugh track. Ask them how hearing the music and the laughing affects their impressions. • Find some photo-based advertisements in magazines, tape over the words and text, and copy them. Ask the students what they think the ads are selling. After discussion, show them the full ad. • Take extreme close-up photographs of parts of everyday objects and see if the students can figure out what they are. For a twist, use objects in your classroom and hand several photos to teams of students and see if they can find the objects.

• Show students part of a TV situation comedy that includes music and a

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Life on the Screen: Visual Literacy in Education THE VISIONARY FILMMAKER ARGUES THAT STUDENTS MUST LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE OF IMAGE AND SOUND IN ORDER TO SUCCEED. In the rolling hills of California’s Marin County grows a brittle amber grass known for one thing: its combustibility. If ignited, this thigh-high tinder burns furiously, rapidly consuming everything in its path. The same can be said of the filmmaker who calls these hills just north of San Francisco his home. George Lucas is regarded as one of the legends of American cinema. By the mid-1980s, he had made a number of blockbusters, including Star Wars, American Graffiti, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Released in 1977, Star Wars is still one of the top-grossing films of all time.

is much work to be done. For the American educational system, he says, that work must begin now.

What do students need to be learning that they’re not? They need to understand a new language of expression. The way we are educating is based on nineteenth-century ideas and

Just as Lucas once envisioned new intergalactic worlds, today he envisions a new world of learning. He grew up onehundred miles inland from these coastal hills in the searing heat of Modesto, California, tinkering with cars and helping out at his dad’s stationery store. He was, he recalls, “an average student who daydreamed a lot.” It is perhaps those early memories of unfocused ambition that have infused him with a desire to promote a new way of learning that prepares students to succeed in a highly wired and visual world. Lucas habitually dresses in jeans, sneakers, and work shirts — a man looking like there 8

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

Image credit: © 2002 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

methods. Here we are, entering the twentyfirst century, and you look at our schools and ask, ‘Why are we doing things in this ancient way?’ Our system of education is locked in a time capsule. You want to say to the people in charge, ‘You’re not using today’s tools! Wake up!’

What would you change? We must teach communication comprehensively, in all its forms. Today we work with the written or spoken word as the primary form of communication. But we also need to understand the importance of graphics, music, and cinema, which are just as powerful and in some ways more deeply intertwined with young people’s culture. We live and work in a visually sophisticated world, so we must be sophisticated in using all the forms of communication, not just the written word.

When people talk to me about the digital divide, I think of it not being so much about who has access to what technology as who knows how to create and express themselves in this new language of the screen. If students aren’t taught the language of sound and images, shouldn’t they be considered as illiterate as if they left college without being able to read or write? Unfortunately, most learning institutions find that idea very difficult to swallow. They

consider the various forms of nonwritten communication as some type of therapy or art, something that is not relevant to the everyday life of a student. This is wrong. You can measure verbal or math skills by determining whether a student is right or wrong on a test — in other words, whether they’re learning or not. With visual communication, some might argue it’s trickier to measure progress and competency.

But there are rules for telling a story visually that are just as important as grammatical rules or math terms, and you can test people on them as well. There is grammar in film, there is grammar in graphics, there is grammar in music, just like there are rules in math that can be taught. For instance, what emotion does the color red convey? What about blue? What does a straight line mean? How about a diagonal line? In music, if you want somebody to feel sad, what kind of a chord do you use? A minor chord? A major chord? We know that a fast rhythm makes you feel one way and a slow rhythm makes you feel another. If you want to get somebody excited, you use one kind of rhythm; if you want people to feel important, you use another. If you’re going to put together a multimedia project, you need to know that you can’t have a fast rhythm track if you’re talking about

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


death. It just doesn’t work. You’re not communicating well. We also know that if you’re trying to calm people down, you don’t use the color red. Or, if you’re trying to get people excited, you do use the color red. If you want people to be calm, you use a flat line; if you want them to be excited, you use a jagged or a diagonal line. Knowing these things is as important as knowing what a verb and a subject are, what a period and an exclamation point mean.

How do we bring these lessons into the classroom? We need to look at the whole world of communication in a more complete way.

We need to take art and music out of “the arts class” and put it into the English class. For instance, the various forms of communication form a circle. On one end of this circle is math, the least emotional of all forms of communication. It’s very strict and very concise, and has a very precise way of explaining something. Then you start moving around the circle, and you get to the other end, where we have music, which primarily appeals to your emotions, not to your intellect. So, in this great circle of communication, you go from the emotional end of music and painting and art — the visual forms of communication — to the written communication and spoken communication. Finally, you end up at math, which is the

Image source: http://etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/File:Visual_literacy.jpg#filelinks.

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most precise. It forms a beautiful circle of communication. But it’s all part of the same circle. All these forms of communication are extremely important, and they should be treated that way. Unfortunately, we’ve moved away from teaching the emotional forms of communication. But if you want to get along in this world, you need to have a heightened sense of emotional intelligence, which is the equal of your intellectual intelligence. One of my concerns is that we’re advancing intellectually very fast, but we’re not advancing emotionally as quickly.

What’s at stake if this understanding doesn’t make its way into the classroom? You’re already seeing it. You often see very educated people — doctors and lawyers and engineers — trying to make presentations, and they have no clue about how to communicate visually and what happens when you put one image after another. So their lectures become very confused because, from a visual perspective, they’re putting their periods at the front of their sentences, and nobody understands them. We must accept the fact that learning how to communicate with graphics, with music, with cinema, is just as important as communicating with words. Understanding these rules is as important as learning how to make a sentence work.

Image source: Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/ about.

It seems that there have always been two parallel paths in education. The first is the formalized path of the schools. The other is the knowledge of the street, the information gained outside of school. Is the information students now gain outside the classroom more in touch with learning the language of motion and sound and graphics? Students understand that they need to have these skills in order to exist in this world, so they’re way ahead of us. Most kids relate to each other through music or graphics. They are regularly bombarded with images and sound. Most of their awareness comes through the language of moving images and cinema. That’s why it’s so important that they learn the language of it. In most formalized education, graphics in cinema or music training is taught as a craft or discipline. That is, you learn the notes so you can read music and play a song. 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Image source: Molly Pfister. “Eye Candy: Are Your Pictures Worth 1,000 Words?.” Snap36.com. https://www. snap36.com/blog/eye-candy-are-your-pictures-worth-1000-words/.

But that doesn’t teach you how to express yourself. What I’m talking about is learning the grammar, but also learning how to express yourself. When you are trying to write a paragraph and you want to get a point across, how do you clearly make your point? What does your first sentence say? What does your last say? Take that and apply it to graphics.

Some might say you’re being too idealistic, that the schools don’t have enough money for pencils. Shouldn’t we focus on that first? Education is based on a whole number of issues, and two of the most important 12 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

are, what are the kids learning, and why are they learning it? The educational foundation, though, tends to be based on what you are going to accomplish, rather than how and why. We have to ask, What is important for the kids to learn? The old idea of education as a way of storing facts is not that significant because nobody can store the number of facts there are. Every year it seems to double. Instead we need to teach students how to tell a story. It’s not enough to learn geometry; you have to learn how to build a house. We need to treat the language and grammar of the screen exactly the way we learn writing or music or painting.

Where did your passion for education come from? What kind of student were you growing up? I was an average student who daydreamed a lot. I had a very hard time with education, and I was never described as a bright student. I was considered somebody who could be doing a lot better than I was doing, not working up to my potential. I wish I had known some of these rules back then.

Do you think the education field will get your message? I hope so. Right now we are having a huge paradigm shift, on all fronts, from analog to digital. The business world has pretty much accomplished this already, and education is still taking its first baby steps in this direction. This is more than just teaching kids how to use computers. Kids already know this. They know how to use computers before they get to school.

race survives on its educational system. That means that a country with the best educational system becomes the prominent country or society. The society that has a great educational system becomes the prominent society because that’s the way the human race survives. People seem to forget this fact, and often these are the same people who are running the society. They would rather spend money on the military than on the educational system, unaware that the military will bring them zippo. It’s not a great idea to want to take over the world if you don’t know what to do with it and how to run it. Nothing is accomplished through conquest. Everything is accomplished through education. __________________________________ James Daly, “Life on the Screen: Visual Literacy in Education,” Edutopia, September 14, 2004, http:// www.edutopia.org/life-screen.

There is one major hurdle, though. The business world thrives on change. If you don’t change, you don’t improve, and you go out of business. The education world, it seems, thrives on stability and limiting change. There seem to be an awful lot of people protecting the status quo. The problem is that people don’t get the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is that a country survives on its educational system. Go beyond that: The human 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Preparing Your Class for a Field Trip to the Movie Theater MOVIE. Once the film begins, it is distracting to others if you get up and push past their legs to exit the aisle. If you really need to use the bathroom, of course you should do that. But try to be as quiet and quick as possible.

With increasing access to movies online or through Netflix and other services, some students may not have much experience in the movie theater. Here are some guidelines to discuss with your class and a fun activity to help them think about theaterappropriate behavior. 1. Ask students to generate a list of Theater Dos and Don’ts. Or start with our list and add some additional advice.

Movie Theater Dos • WHISPER. It’s fine to talk before and after the film. And PLEASE laugh as often and as loudly as you wish. But once the film begins, you should whisper to your companions. • LISTEN ACTIVELY. When you watch television at home, you can squirm and get up and walk around and eat and do other things. When you watch a film in the theater, you are expected to sit quietly and really listen carefully so that you can understand the story. If there is no dialogue, watch carefully so you can remember the story. • USE THE RESTROOM BEFORE THE

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Movie Theater Don’ts • KICK THE SEAT. Be careful not to kick your seat or the seat in front of you because it is very distracting and uncomfortable for other movie watchers. • CRINKLE WRAPPERS OR SLURP YOUR DRINK. If you bring candy or a snack or a drink, unwrap or handle it quietly so you don’t disturb others. Especially in those quiet, dramatic moments! • CHEW GUM OR THE ICE IN YOUR DRINK. Again, the noise will distract and annoy others. • SHOUT AT THE ACTORS ON SCREEN. They cannot hear you and you only disrupt the movie for others! 2. Explain that you will create two tableaus: The Respectful Audience

and The Rude Audience. If students are unfamiliar with tableaus, define the term for them. A tableau is a frozen picture of a scene using live performers. 3. Set up chairs to simulate the theater and divide the class into two groups, the Respectful Audience and the Rude Audience. 4. Begin with the Rude Audience. Have an assistant distract the other so they do not listen or look at the group working to create the tableau until it is time to present. 5. Ask the Rude Audience actors to find dynamic positions in the simulated theater that demonstrate your list of bad behaviors – kicking the seat in front of them, talking on a cell phone (if appropriate), crawling on the floor, talking loudly, etc. Ask each to create one line about what they are doing. For example, “I’m kicking the seat in front of me!” or “I am arguing loudly with my friend.” or “I’m texting!” When you are ready, call the Respectful group to see your work and have the Rude Audience freeze in their action poses. Have one student (or teacher) point to each to cue them to speak their line. At the end, they can all say the final line together: “We are the Rude Audience!”

6. Ask the rest of the class to comment on the tableau. Would you want to see your favorite film with this group? 7. Repeat the process with the Respectful Audience. Tell them that it more challenging to find dynamic poses for the Respectful Audience, but challenge them to find levels and variety. They can demonstrate your list of good behaviors – attentive listening, quiet eating, a quiet whisper, etc. Ask each to choose one line to speak about what they are doing. Examples might be “I am wondering what will happen next!” or “I am asking my friend a question in a quiet whisper!” or “Even though I don’t really understand what is going on, I am watching and listening attentively.” When you are ready, have the Respectful Audience freeze and present the frozen picture to the rest of the class. Again, have someone cue each actor to say their line and conclude with everyone saying, “We are the Respectful Audience!” 8. Ask the other group to analyze and comment. Would they want to watch their favorite movie with this group? 9. If you see some of the Don’ts during your field trip to the Festival, you might remind them to adjust their behavior by prompting, “Respectful Audience!”

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide



Create an Animated Image Make Your Own Thaumatrope and Experience Persistence of Vision A film is made up of many individual still pictures. When they pass by our eyes very quickly on the screen, our brain holds one image and blends it with the next one. Objects in the pictures appear to move! This is called Persistence of Vision. You can trick your brain into blending two pictures by making a Thaumatrope, an optical toy popular in the 19th century. YOU WILL NEED TWO 3” X 5” INDEX CARDS AND TWO 2” RUBBER BANDS. 1. Think of two images that you would like to see combined. Here are some examples: 16 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

• A bird and a birdcage • A dragon and someone riding on its back • You and your best friend 2. Hold the two cards together and make a hole on each side. You can use a hole punch or ask someone to help you. 3. Draw one of your pictures on the first card. • For example, to create the illusion of a bird in a birdcage, draw the cage on first card (See Example A) and the bird on the second card (See Example B) 4. Hold the second card on top of the first with the holes lined up. If you cannot see the picture on the first card

7. Put a rubber band through each side of the cards to hold them together and to make handles (See Example C).

through the top card, hold both cards up a window or to the light. 5. Draw the second picture on the top card so that it lines up with the picture on the first card. 6. Now put the two cards together back to back, with the second card upside down, with the holes lined up. The top of the front drawing should be back to back with the bottom of the back drawing.

Example A

Spin the Thaumatrope and look at the middle of the cards. Can you see the two images together? Do they seem as if they are one drawing? Your brain put them together for you!

Example B

Example C

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Storyboarding: Visual Storytelling A storyboard is a sequence of drawings, often with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production. Students use many reading skills and strategies when creating a storyboard, developing a strong sense of narrative structure and sequence and using explicit mental pictures as they strive to represent their vision. __________________________________ Excerpt below. Andrianes Pinantoan, “Using Storyboards in Education, informED, May 20, 2013, http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/teacherresources/using-storyboards-in-education.

Storyboards have been around practically forever in one way or another. 30,000 years ago, early humans “storyboarded” their hunting exploits on cave walls. Egyptians perfected this kind of visual storytelling 24,000 years later with hieroglyphics that tell pharaohs’ entire life stories. Of course, that probably isn’t what most of us think about when we hear the word “storyboard,” which brings us back to a word we used earlier: outline. What do we mean by calling storyboards an outline? Well, the modern storyboard we’ve come to know over the last 80 or so years was

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never intended to be the final version of something. It’s a tool that people use so that others see how something is going to be. This type of storyboard was created by an animator at Disney Studios. Instead of using comic-book style panels for his work, he drew each picture on an individual sheet of paper and then pinned them all up side-byside. This allowed multiple people to see them and make suggestions at the same time – perfect for brainstorming sessions and pitches to executives. The format became so popular that it spilled over from animation to live action, where directors frequently storyboard big action scenes before shooting them to give executives a sense of how they will play. Today, with the emergence of new digital technology, the definition of storyboards has somewhat reverted back to its broader original meaning as a visual way to tell stories, though most of the time we still incorporate idea and language from film and television. This very old definition has plenty of new uses and tools, though, such as Power Point presentations, webpages, and computer screens. And storyboards have not only escaped the world of Hollywood, but started to pop up in one of the most seemingly unlikely places: our classrooms.

Storyboards today should always seek to convey certain things to your audience: ☛☛Who or what is in the frame? ☛☛If we can see characters, which way are they headed?

– now use computer programs to create storyboards. Others cut out pictures that they find in magazines or take their own photos and use them.

☛☛How much time has passed between storyboards?

Don’t worry about it not looking pretty. The point is to clearly convey information, so panels with stick figures and simple shapes where everyone understands what’s going on are better than gorgeous drawings of people and battles that don’t make sense.

☛☛Where is the camera in the panel, and what is it doing?


☛☛Are the characters saying anything? If so, what?

Creating Your Own Storyboards KEEP IT SIMPLE Making a storyboard is pretty easy. There are lots of free templates and even storyboard creators out there with libraries of stock characters and backgrounds, but you can also design your own with minimal effort. Remember to think of it like a comic book. Individual pages have multiple panels, each capturing a specific visual moment of the story. Your storyboard template should follow that general look, with a “window” for you to draw the action and a space for you to write in dialogue. The simplest and easiest way to draw a storyboard is to use a pencil so you can erase mistakes and create rough images for what’s going to happen in each specific panel, but you don’t have to do it that way. Many people – even professionals

People most often make one of two mistakes when creating a storyboard: either they leave out too many details and no one can tell what’s going on, or they put in so much detail that it’s confusing. Finding that balance is the key, and the best way to reach it is to show your storyboards to people who don’t know the story or the lesson at all and work to fix things that confuse them. Here are some of the most common areas where you can go wrong and how to avoid it. FORGETTING DIRECTION When we’re watching characters, your storyboards need to tell us what direction they’re going in. This is especially important when you’re storyboarding a fight or another big action sequence, but even simple scenes can be confusing if the audience doesn’t know which way is up. Include arrows that do what arrows do best – point us in the right direction.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


WHERE AM I? Along those lines, while simplicity is great, it’s important to include at least some geography in each panel so that the audience doesn’t get lost. Imagine a bank heist sequence that goes from the bank to the streets to the back of a car and how jarring it would be if you couldn’t tell where the characters were. Make sure you have some kind of anchor that lets us know where we are even if it’s as simple as an exit sign. WHAT ARE THOSE LUMPS SUPPOSED TO BE? You don’t necessarily need a lot of artistic talent to create your own storyboard, but it does you no good if you can’t tell what anything is. Drawing isn’t your strong point? No problem! Try labeling buildings, cars, even people if you need to. It’s not ideal, but at least your audience will know where they are and who’s in the panel.

Classroom Storyboard Exercises STORYBOARD A STORY YOU JUST READ. OR USE SEVERAL STORIES, ONE FOR EACH GROUP ☛☛Divide into groups of six. Give each student an 8”x11” piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser. One member of each group should draw the introduction to the place and character, the beginning. One student in each

20 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

group should draw the end moment. The other four students should draw four important moments of the middle part of the story. ☛☛Ask each group to come up and hold up their panel. They must rearrange the images in the order that tells the story. Let one student tell the story using the panels to illustrate. ☛☛Just for fun, change the order of the middle panels and tell the new story! STORYBOARD A FAIRYTALE OR FAVORITE BOOK ☛☛Using the storyboard temple on the facing page, ask each student to create her own storyboard to tell a favorite fairytale. ☛☛The first panel should show the place and the key character or characters. The last should show the end. The middle panels show what happens to the character that leads to that end. ☛☛Tell the story using the Storyboard to a partner or small group. Or have several students share with the whole class. Did the visuals help your audience “see“ the story the way you do? Could you film the story using this outline? Of course, when students are comfortable with this process, they could storyboard an original story or a short film that they would like to make.


HERE ARE MORE ARTICLES ABOUT THE USE OF STORYBOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM: “What Are Storyboards?” via Scholastic “Making Movie Storyboards” via Thirteen: Media with Impact “Create a Movie Storyboard” via TeacherVision

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Stop Motion Animation for Beginners Stop Motion Animation is a filmmaking technique in which inanimate objects or figures appear to move. The Wallace and Gromit movies use this technique, and some of the films that students may see in the Wisconsin Film Festival are made using Stop Motion. It is a very easy way for elementary students to create short films of their own.

Animation is a perfect STEAM project, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

The basis of Stop Motion is simple: you take a photo of a figure, move it just a little bit, and take another photo. Repeat this process many times, and then play the photos in sequence at a very fast pace. The more photos you take, the smoother the action will be. An iPad, tablet, or smart phone and a Stop Motion Animation App are the essential elements. Stop Motion Studio is a free app for iPad or iPhone. There is also a version for Android. Here is what you will need: ☛☛Two pieces of white foam core to create the studio ☛☛Objects or small figures to animate ☛☛Smart phone or iPad

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☛☛Tripod or stand to hold your device steady ☛☛Stop Motion Animation App like Stop Motion Studio on iTunes or Google Play

Create the Studio Place one piece of white foam core on your table, and the other piece vertically in back of it to form the background. Place your studio in a well-lit area. You can also provide some additional lighting with a lamp or worklight, but be careful not to create shadows on your set. You can also use a tri-fold presentation board as the backdrop, but you may need some supplemental lighting. If you prefer, you can use colorful foam core. Colors will absorb more of your available light. Photos from a magazine can also make great backdrops. Of course, your students can draw backgrounds as well. Use a tripod or iPad stand to steady your camera.

Choose Characters Students can create characters with any of the following: ☛☛Action figures or small dolls or animals ☛☛Clay figures that you create

☛☛Wooden blocks

Shoot the Photos

☛☛Small household objects such as paper clips, bandages, or bottle caps

Open the App and shoot the first photo. Move the figure only a little bit. Or move its arms or legs, if it has appendages. Shoot the photo and repeat.

☛☛Paper cutouts from magazines ☛☛Drawings that they create ☛☛Candies ☛☛Whatever object they would like They will need a way to make the object or the paper cutout stand up for each photo.

Generally, twelve frames make one second of film, so the more photos you can stage and shoot, the better. Playback your footage.

Imagine the Story Students can simply plan a sequence in their heads, or they can storyboard the action first. Storyboarding may help produce more satisfying stories. However, students may discover a great story through simple improvisation with the materials. This is a great team project for two or three students who can collaborate and take turns shooting the photos.


Image source: Rachelle Doorley. TinkerLab. https:// tinkerlab.com/

Incorporate Lessons Learned in the Next Video You will learn a great deal about how many photos to take, how to create convincing movement, and how to structure a story with your first attempt. Students will be eager to make use of these lessons in their next film. You can add titles that you write on a board or create using letters you have in the classroom. Be sure to shoot multiple shots of the titles and of the opening setting for your film. 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


You Oughta Be in Pictures: An Introduction to Making Videos Imagine saying to your students, “Let’s make a TV show or music video!” Few projects can engage children like video projects. They’re fun, and what could be more gratifying for a child than to see his or her name rolling in the credits, just like in a movie? Making a video isn’t difficult, even though you may have little experience with video yourself. You probably know more about it than you think. Video can be one of the most powerful forms of communication, and it offers a tremendous vehicle for learning. Experiencing video production, even in its most basic form, can open new career opportunities and avenues for personal expression. It teaches kids about multimedia communication with action and motion, and it helps them reinforce a variety of other skills, including critical thinking, literacy, interpersonal communication, collaboration, public speaking, composition, storytelling and group decision making. Studying video has another advantage: It helps teach vital media literacy skills so kids

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can understand how the many images they encounter every day affect them and so they can observe those images with a more critical eye. Working with video isn’t something you can just jump right into, however. Children must be prepared for it with preliminary excursions into concepts like storyboarding and photography. Each stage can be made fun and educational, and at the end of the project, the children will understand how all the pieces come together to make a video they’re proud to show parents, friends and the world by putting it on the Internet. Children as young as age five can make a video with the proper guidance and preparation. Below is an overview of the stages involved.

RECOMMENDED TIME: Plan on working on the various elements of this project for about 30 minutes per day over several weeks. Break it up into modules that make sense for your program schedule and the age of your students. Young children will require more time with modeling and practicing various segments.

GOALS • To teach kids about simple video production techniques

You may also want to introduce simple animation techniques as a brief unit to help kids start thinking about motion in storytelling.

• To explore storytelling in more depth • To learn basic photography skills

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT ☛☛Digital cameras capable of capturing short video clips or video cameras ☛☛Computers ☛☛Panel book ☛☛Sheets of white paper for drawing ☛☛Assortment of pens, crayons and/or markers in various colors ☛☛Oversized pad, at least 2’ x 3’ (preferable) or blackboard for mapping

PREPARATION (BEFORE YOU BEGIN) Making a video incorporates a number of other skills with which you should be familiar. You can introduce them to the kids in earlier projects, or introduce them as part of this one. Either way, be sure that you are familiar with the following: • Using mapping • Using storyboards • The basics of drawing • Digital photography

ACTIVITY STEPS STEP 1: GETTING TO VIDEO WITH STORYTELLING Making a video combines many traditional skills as well as some that may not be familiar to children. It’s important to take your time and prepare kids with the fundamental, nontechnical elements before actually introducing the camera. Think of a video project as having three parts: concept, storyboard and production. More sophisticated projects with older children might include an editing stage, but that involves technology and training beyond introductory activities like this. In the beginning, have children make short pieces of 30 seconds to one minute. You can get more sophisticated later, if you have the facilities, but children must first master the fundamentals. Before you start a video project, make sure that children understand what makes a good story, especially one that involves pictures as well as words. Try panel book activities and storyboarding. We also recommend introducing animation and multimedia authoring before tackling video to help ease students into the process.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Exercises like these help children not only understand the elements of story better but also improve their language skills and graphic sense. STEP 2: GETTING TO VIDEO WITH SOUND AND PICTURES Also fundamental to video is a basic understanding of sound and photography. Both can be introduced while working with multimedia authoring projects before getting to the video stage. It’s especially important to sensitize children to the impact of sound. Although it’s something they know is all around them, they tend to think more consciously about words and pictures than sound effects and background noise. In the video production phase, sound effects will become even more important because they’ll have to be reinforced. An actor walking in sneakers, for example, may not make footsteps loud enough to be picked up by the camera’s recorder. You’ll need a sound effects person on your team to focus on such things. Preparation and understanding are the keys to a successful video project. The more you do low-tech things, the higher you can up the creative ante later with technology. Projects like this are not just about the tools; they’re about inspiring creativity, confidence and learning in children. When it comes to camera work, don’t get too deeply into theory just for this

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project, but cover the basic techniques of photography. With video, the photographic essentials of angle, pan, distance, level, focus and framing are combined with a new element— movement—of both the camera and the subjects being filmed. If the digital cameras you used to introduce photography also allow for the capture of short video segments, you won’t have to introduce the kids to an additional piece of equipment. Using digital cameras rather than full-fledged video cameras has another advantage: Because they capture the images on disk instead of tape, it’s easy to add them to multimedia presentations and Web pages. STEP 3: CONCEPT AND STORY Once you’re confident that the children are ready, it’s time to begin a group video project. Start by showing them an example of a short, simple video as a model. TV commercials can be helpful because the good ones effectively combine the essential elements of sound and picture to tell a story in a minute or less. Find an example—one that’s fairly minimalist—so as not to distract or intimidate the children with fancy production values or special effects. In their first video, you’ll have them copy the basic structure of the example, so keep it simple. Show the children the example at least twice, each time asking them to pay

particular attention to one element of the piece, such as sound or camera position. Now step the children through making a storyboard of the sample you showed them. In addition to the basic sketches of the action, each frame must include such elements as associated dialogue, camera position and important sound effects. You’re basically drafting all the cinematic elements of each shot as thumbnails for understanding the story and how it was told. Do this exercise interactively and ask lots of questions to point children to the elements they may not notice at first. Once the children understand the model, spend some time helping them apply it to their own projects. The most basic elements of a story of this type are problem, solution and how we obtain the solution. In the case of a commercial, for example, the equation might be as simple as the following: • Problem: A person has no furniture • Solution: Buy some furniture • How: Use the store’s catalog Use mapping to help generate ideas; take a look at a sample map to begin a storytelling project. Divide the group into teams of five or more and have each team come up with their own problem/solution/how equations. After a few minutes, have the teams share their ideas with the whole class, and pick an idea to produce as a demonstration video. Once you’ve selected a concept, storyboard

it in detail with the entire class. Let the whole group write it while you act as questioner, coach and facilitator.


When helping kids choose an idea for the demonstration—and for their own projects as well—guide them toward practical concepts that are “do-able.” Choose ideas for which all necessary props are on hand and that won’t require extraordinary skills, effects or technology that is beyond the group’s capabilities.

STEP 4: MAKING A DEMONSTRATION VIDEO As we stress over and over again, good modeling is the essence of good teaching. For the demonstration video, you will be the director working with a crew. By producing the demonstration video first, you’ll be able to model the various roles in a production crew and show the children what shooting a video will be like. Half the fun of creating a video is that it’s a team project—not just a group of people working alongside each other, but a real team that must totally coordinate all of its ideas, work and efforts in order to succeed. For example, the camera person must learn how to follow the actors, and the

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


lighting person must understand how the camera person will move around. Repeated modeling, practice and rehearsal are essential. Assemble your demonstration team, and either assign or let the members select their roles. In addition to the director, a production team needs a camera person, a sound person, a lighting person and a props person, along with whatever actors are called for in the script. You can adjust the responsibilities according to the number of people in your group. Some people may be able to play more than one role: For example, one person can usually handle both props and lighting. Conversely, you may want to have more than one person doing sounds. Don’t overlook the importance of lighting, by the way. It’s something few adults notice, let alone children, but it can make all the difference in how a film or photograph looks. Spend some time demonstrating lighting effects. You don’t need special equipment, just one or more lamps you can move around the room.

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Using your storyboard as a foundation, help the demonstration team understand their roles by modeling in front of the class. You may end up deciding to adapt certain aspects of your storyboard, such as lighting, camera placement or where the actors walk. Once your team has figured it out, rehearse a couple of times. Preparation and confidence is everything. Have the camera and sound people practice coordination with the actors, but keep it simple. This is a demonstration to help the entire class feel comfortable. They’ll experiment with new techniques once they begin their own projects. Now that everyone is ready, it’s time for action. Have your team shoot the video, then show it to the whole class and talk about it. The teams can now go off and shoot their own films. __________________________________ Excerpt no longer online. “You Oughta be in Pictures: An Introduction to Making Videos,” YouthLearn, accessed January 2017, http://www. youthlearn.org.

10 Ideas for Classroom Video Projects Dr. Alex Couros, a professor of educational technology and media in the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, writes a personal and professional blog, Open Thinking and Digital Pedagogy. His post, 10 Ideas for Classroom Video Projects, features excellent ideas a sample videos to help teachers create fun classroom projects that help develop a range of skills. The link, following Dr. Couros’ introduction, takes you to the article which features lots of video clips and a wide range of projects. Some are demonstrated with adult students, but could be easily adapted to an elementary setting.

If you follow my Twitter-stream, you know that I spend a lot of time viewing, collecting & sharing videos. In this post, I share ideas on certain types of videos that I’ve gathered and how educators might use related methods or styles to engage students in constructing and deconstructing media while becoming critical consumers and producers of digital media. __________________________________ Excerpt. Alec Couros, “10 Ideas for Classroom Video Projects,” Open Thinking: Rants & Resources from an Open Educator, September 2, 2012, http://www. educationaltechnology.ca/2127.

Introduction to 10 Ideas for Classroom Video Projects : “… ten years ago, not one student in a hundred, nay, one in a thousand, could have produced videos like this. It’s a whole new skill, a vital and important skill, and one utterly necessary not simply from the perspective of creating but also of comprehending video communication today.” (Stephen Downes)

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


The Power of Music and Sound This is a simple but very effective demonstration of the way that music and sound effects tell us how to feel about a scene. Sound is a powerful storytelling tool. We are often so focused on the image or story that we are unaware of how it works its magic on us! You may use the images provided here, or any image that can be interpreted in multiple ways. And you can use any music from any source. Be sure to use contrasting pieces of music – scary, romantic, funny, or suspenseful.

You will need: ☛☛Images and a way to project them. You can copy the images provided in this activity and paste them into Power Point or another slide show. Or simply find an online image that you like. Here are a few potential sources: “The Images Shed” via The Literacy Shed The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1984) by Chris Van Allsburg, via Mrs. Graves’ Website ☛☛A range of music and a way to play it so that all can hear

Image credit: Louise Brooks on twitter/com/lobroo. 30 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide

Step by step: 1. Choose an image from the following examples or from the Internet. Begin with an image that is fairly neutral. As the exercise progresses, experiment with more specific images – a man laughing or a potentially scary image – and see if the addition of music that suggests a contrasting emotion can change your perception of the mood or story. 2. Project your image and ask students to look and listen to the music you are about to play. 3. Play a romantic tune, and ask students what they think might be happening in the picture. Did the music tell them about the mood or story?

4. Using the same image, play a contrasting piece of music, suspenseful or scary. Ask students if they imagined a different situation or mood. Could either soundtrack work with the image? 5. Try a third choice, or let students suggest another mood to try. 6. Project a new image and try several musical choices. Discuss how the image seemed to tell a new story with each new soundtrack. 7. To expand the exercise, you could use recorded sound effects or noise makers you have in your room, to add a sound effect to the musical score. What did students imagine happened?

Image credits from the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. 1984. 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Resources for Teaching and Making Film in the Elementary Classroom There are great resources for film education and film making on the internet. Finding appropriate activities and information for elementary students is a bit more difficult, but projects can be adapted for a range of grades and technical proficiency. Here are a few links to explore. Into Film promotes film and digital literacy in the U.K. The website offers many, many resources and a filter so you can look for grade/age appropriate materials. Here are a few favorite pages. Into Film features a page on filmmaking as well as resources for the classroom. Learn About Film offers advice, information, and resources to help you learn about film and filmmaking. It’s geared towards adults, but it’s full of great technical information. The George Lucas Educational Foundation created the website, Edutopia. Of course, in addition to a range of education articles, it provides wonderful film and visual literacy resources. Here are two lists of teacher resources.

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5-Minute Film Festival: Resources for Filmmaking in the Classroom I’ll admit I’m a bit biased here since I’m a filmmaker by trade, but I truly believe the process of planning and making videos can offer tremendous learning opportunities for students of almost any age. Not only is the idea of telling stories with video really engaging for many kids, filmmaking is ripe with opportunities to connect to almost every academic subject area. As the technology to shoot and edit films becomes more ubiquitous, where is a teacher with no experience in video production to begin? I’ve shared some resources below to help you and your students get started on making blockbusters of your own. __________________________________ Amy Erin Borovoy, “5-Minute Film Festival: Resources for Filmmaking in the Classroom,” Edutopia, February 12, 2016, http://www.edutopia. org/blog/film-festival-classroom-filmmakingresources.

Video Playlist: Student Filmmaking 101 Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

1. “10 Tips for Beginner Filmmakers” (10:37) Young filmmaker Simon Cade’s channel, DSLRGuide, is one of the most popular for filmmaking tutorials. He’s got hundreds of tips to share and started making videos when he was just 11. 2. “No-Budget Filmmaking Gear - The DIY Filmmaker” (05:02) Getting your filmmaking kit together is one of the hardest things to do on a budget, but you can’t begin until you have the basics. There are links to some of the DIY projects to build your own gear on the YouTube page for this video. 3. “How to Create a Storyboard” (09:19) One great resource is the YouTube Creator Academy channel, which has a variety of tip videos made by YouTube’s most successful creators. This video by Mary Doodles and Whitney Lee Milam is one of the best intros to storyboarding I’ve seen. 4. “Telling Your Story Through Video” (04:00) It’s less glossy than the other tutorials here, but I love that this video uses footage from student work to illustrate camera angles. It’s produced by ChildFund Connect, an Australian

organization that provides an online space for kids to post videos they’ve made. 5. “Top 5 Tips to Shoot Incredible Video with a Smartphone!” (08:34) Nashville video producer and tech reviewer Danny Winget gives excellent advice for filming with smartphones, which is probably the most accessible way to get started. He covers both gear and technique in this short video. 6. “5 Quick Math Tricks for Filmmakers” (06:02) IndyMogul stopped posting new videos two years ago, but their YouTube channel is still a treasure trove of tutorials on every aspect of low-budget filmmaking, from visual effects to lighting. This video shows the math behind some essential filmmaking rules. 7. “Sophia Dagher Offers Tips & Tricks in Filmmaking” (02:14) ProjectED was an Amplify program that hosted open video contests for students and teachers. Although they seem to have stopped running these, they still offer some great resources, like this fun advice video from filmmaker Sophia Dagher. 8. “Top 15 Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make” (17:04) This is long (17 minutes) but fortunately filmmaker Darious Britt is really engaging. His advice is geared 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


towards people trying to break into the film industry, but his tips are sound. Heads up for a little language that may not be appropriate for younger kids. 9. “How I Edit My YouTube Videos” (13:23) While there are hundreds of more informative and concise tutorials on video editing basics, I chose this one because it features Jennifer Zhang, a teen YouTube creator, sharing how she taught herself to edit video using free tools. She posted a Part Two here.

More Resources on Student Filmmaking As you can see, there are so many things to learn when it comes to basic filmmaking, and there are countless resources available to help get you started. I didn’t even dig into sound, lighting, or scripting in the selection above, but you can find tutorials on every aspect of filmmaking on YouTube. Try some of the channels linked from the playlist for more. The list below includes some articles I’ve enjoyed on the value of filmmaking and digital storytelling for kids. Plus, there are some lesson plans that will help give you ideas. Share your favorite resources in the comments below, and I’ll see you at the movies! ☛☛“Filmmaking for Kids: Rough, Raw, and Real” via The Atlantic

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☛☛“A Case for Filmmaking in the Classroom” via NWP Digital Is ☛☛“3-2-1 Vocabulary: Learning Filmmaking Vocabulary by Making Films” via ReadWriteThink ☛☛Teaching Tools via FilmEd ☛☛“16 Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation” via Graphite __________________________________

Teaching Resources from Matt Davis ☛☛Film Lesson Plans and Interactive Activities: Into Film is a U.K.-based film education non-profit that features tons of great resources on their website. Educators can browse their long list of free film-related lessons plans and activities, which are designed to enhance movie watching and cultivate future filmmakers. The lessons cover a diverse range of subjects, from World War I to science in film. ☛☛Oscar-Nominated Flicks for Families: Common Sense Media produced a list of great reviews for this year’s Oscarnominated films. Each review features an age-appropriate rating, as well as an overview of subjects covered in the movie and possible discussion questions families and educators can use following each film.

☛☛Journeys in Film Global Education Lesson Plans: The focus of these lesson plans is teaching global education through film. The site features lesson plans for covering recent U.S. and international films in the classroom, as well as tips for teaching with film and a middle school global education series. ☛☛Ideas for Using Film in the Classroom: The Learning Network’s “Film in the Classroom” page from The New York Times features tips, activities, and Times content for teaching students about motion picture-related topics. Also, be sure to check out “Teaching History With Film,” and “Ten Ways to Teach the Oscars,” for even more useful ideas for incorporating film into your lesson plans. ☛☛Teachers Guide Series: These guides, produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Young Minds Inspired, can help you dive into the art and science of film with students. There are guides for animation, media literacy, and screenwriting, and they include lessons that encourage students to write creatively, think critically, and explore visual literacy. ☛☛“Media Literacy: Learning from the Oscars”: Media-literacy expert Frank W. Baker wrote this article for MiddleWeb, offering teachers practical ideas for teaching visual literacy. If you

like this, you should also check out “Learning More About the Movies,” another MiddleWeb favorite. Plus, Baker also hosts a a teacher’s guide to the Academy Awards on his personal website, which features links to other useful resources, ideas for teachable Oscar moments, and links to some great film-related lesson plans.

8 More Film and Media Literacy Resources for Teachers There are many other great film-literacy lesson plans, how-to articles, and other useful education resources on the web. But here are a few more quick links to helpful sources rich with interesting content. Lesson Plans Based on Movies and Film via TeachWithMovies.com Exploring Satire with Shrek via ReadWriteThink Primary and Secondary Resources via Film Education 12 Basic Ways to Integrated Media Literacy and Critical Thinking (PDF) via Ithaca College How to Watch Film Critically: 7 Key Things to Note via The Cheat Sheet Teaching for Visual Literacy: 50 Great Young Adult Films via The Alan Review Media Literacy Lessons via National Council of Teachers of English

__________________________________ Matt Davis, “Oscar Week Special: 7 Teaching Resources on Film Literacy,” Edutopia, February 18, 2013, http://www.edutopia.org/blog/academyawards-film-literacy-resources-matthew-davis.

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


Apps for Storytelling and Filmmaking To Support






Comic Life

https://plasq.com/apps/ comiclife/macwin/

Free Trial; $4.99 at Apple Store



Camera App


Rory’s Story Cubes

https://www.storycubes.com/ $4.99 app


https://itunes.apple. com/us/app/popplet/ id374151636?mt=8

Free (lite), $4.99


Storyboard— https://itunes.apple. Writing with Friends com/us/app/storyboardwriting-with-friends/ id1080168423?mt=8



Stop Motion Studio

https://itunes.apple.com/ us/app/stop-motion-studio/ id441651297?mt=8



iStopMotion for iPad

https://itunes.apple.com/us/ app/istopmotion-for-ipad/ id484019696?mt=8





Built In

36 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide



https://itunes.apple. com/us/app/imotion/ id421365625?mt=8


iMovie (for Mac)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/ app/imovie/id377298193?mt =8id377298193?mt=8

Free on most Macs

Video Editor Master (for Windows)

https://www.microsoft.com/ Free en-us/store/p/video-editormaster/9nblggh5qb93master /9nblggh5qb93

Movie Creator

https://www.microsoft.com/ Free en-us/store/p/movie-creatorfree-video-editor/9nblggh4w wjreditor/9nblggh4wwjr


_______________________________________________________________________ Adapted from Into Film and updated. https://www.intofilm.org/

2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide


We hope that all teachers will enjoy introducing film studies and filmmaking to their students, and will find ideas and activities that lead to new explorations in this Guide. Please feel free to pick and choose activities that best suit your time, resources and needs. If you have questions about any of the activities in the Guide, or feedback about

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which activities were successful in your classroom, please email Terry Kerr at terry@wifilmfest.org. Unless noted otherwise in the document, all website links were working January 2019.

Part Two of the Big Screens, Little Folks Study Guide will provide information about the specific films in the 2019 Festival, and offer additional resources.