Thursday, May 27, 2010

Student Created Movies

Two big ideas for making a great student created movies.

  1. Use close-up shots
  2. Trim the shots – only keep the key action

While there are 100’s of factors that chance a good video to a great video.  This post shares two key ideas for elementary students to focus on when making movies.

Use Close-up Shots

Close-up shots are the key to a great video.  They engage the audience, let us get to know the characters in the video and display emotion.  Take a look at this photo, the close shot gets the viewer to wonder about what is the boy thinking?

close up by Jess ☆

In this shot below, it is called a ‘full’ shot.  Use these types of shots to set the scene or display some action.

Human children and pig child by surfzone™

Trim the shots – keep the cuts short.

Keep the shots short.  Try to limit each shot to 5-10 seconds, focus on the action and delete the rest.  Here is a short lego star wars movie.  Most of the shots are under 10 seconds.

Sharing the Video

Sharing and distributing videos with traditional methods such as DVD’s is very challenging and time consuming to create the disks.  Many of these issues can be solved by hosting the videos online.  There is a privacy feature of vimeo that makes it my preferred hosting service.  Of course, when sharing video of students, privacy is key.  Having parents sign a public release of photos and video form is an essential first step.

Here are recommended settings to password protect a video.  You could then email parents and let them know the password to view.  Another great feature is that you can embed the video in your website and still password protect.


See the video below that is locked.  Open to view by entering the password ‘piano’.


I wrote this post as I’ve been invited to work with a group of elementary students doing a year-end video project.  What advice would you give to a students?


credits: boy photo by Jess, children chasing pig by surfzone

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