Movie Making Activity
This lesson is all about movie making fun for kids. Learn some of the basics and enjoy creating your own movies and burning them to DVD so you can watch them whenever you want. Using this Windows Movie Maker lesson will help teach students important film making tips and techniques and allow them to be creative in making their own movie. After watching all their work you can then show them how to make a DVD for them to take home.
Important movie making things to think about:
- Point of view - from whose perspective is the story being told?
- Do you want captions before, on or after the pictures?
- Length of scenes.
- Background music and sounds.
- Text effects, size and colour.
- Transitions from scene to scene e.g. fade, star swipe etc.
- Story stages - Introducing the characters and storyline, developing the story, story climax, ending, credits.
- Set up computers with both speakers and the windows movie maker program loaded. It is also helpful to have a number of stock images, sound and music resources available.
- Students can work individually or in pairs.
- Introduce that in this class they will be learning to use Windows Movie Maker and creating their own movies.
- Hand out a worksheet that lets students come up with a theme, main characters, brief story outline etc (as stated in the important movie making things above). It’s ok if they don’t fully complete their sheet yet, they will come up with more ideas and change their sheet as they go.
- Turn on your computer and show the class an example of a ready made movie telling them to look out for things like sound effects, scene transitions, title overlays, main characters, story etc.
- Ask them a few questions about what they saw, what did they like? What would they do differently?
- Load up Windows Movie Maker making sure to show the students what icon you clicked.
- If you have them available then show the students where all the image, sound and movie resources are stored. They can add more resources to this area by uploading their own images, sounds and songs from a personal CD, USB stick or similar memory device.
- Make a quick example movie with the class, this is the best way to show how the program works.
- Show how the storyboard works and the difference between this and the timeline view (the timeline view lets you see the movie as a whole, with titles, sounds & music as well as the images which are the only thing shown in the storyboard view.
- Show how to drag things into the storyboard and timeline and explain how to lengthen and shorten scenes, music and sounds.
- Explain that they are missing a title to introduce the movie. This can be made by clicking ‘tools’ and then ‘titles and credits’, from here they can type in words that will appear on screen, they can also alter the colour, font and animation that goes with the text. Titles are very useful and can explain what is happening throughout their stories.
- You can now introduce transitions and video effects. Transitions are the link between scenes and can include things like pixelate (when dreaming for example) or star swipe (when introducing a character) etc. Video effects alter the look of images, if you are making a story set in the past then you might like to add an old, grainy effect for example.
- Show how to save their work and remind how important this is! Movie Maker auto saves every 10mins but it also important to save whenever possible.
- Answer any questions they have.
- Let them begin.
- Move around the room helping the students, making sure they are on track and know what they are doing. This is a good time to remind them to save their work!
- If they can’t find images they want then they are welcome to draw their own in Paint, before dragging their work into the Movie Maker collections area and finally onto their storyboard.
- Try to get them to finish with around 30 minutes left. Suggest adding credits to the end of their movie so everyone knows who made it.
- Save as much of the students work as you think you will have time to show as a movie file (file > save as movie file > recommended settings).
- Copy the student’s work to your computer and let everyone watch each others work with a projector.
- If you want to you can also burn their movies onto DVD’s and let them take them home to watch whenever they want.
Burning a DVD for each student to take home:
- After they have left, clean up their movies and remove anything that will make them unnecessarily long.
- Save as a movie file (DV-AVI, not the recommended setting which was used previously).
- Convert this file to a DVD capable file (ie .VOB) using an AVI converter such as WinAVI.
- Place the VOB and related files in a file labelled VIDEO_TS, also make an empty folder named AUDIO_TS.
- Load up a DVD burning program, drag the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders into the burning program and begin burning!
- Copy one DVD for each student or as needed.