Recently SYN Media Learning delivered a one day film making workshop with school holiday participants at the City of Casey‘s Winter Arts Program in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
Over the course of the day participants delivered 3 mini film festivals with the assistance of SYN Trainers Travis and JB.
The day started with a 6 second film festival using a set of iPod Touches and the Vine app. Participants were given iPod touches and shown examples of 6 second films from the Tribeca Film Festival.
The films created ranged from short form jokes, stop motion animation, “extreme” sports and allowed participants to explore some of the basics of film making within a short, achievable boundary.
Following the 6 second film festival participants were challenged to create a 15 second film using the Instagram app or create a story through a series of Vine videos. This introduced the group to more complex storytelling and filming techniques, but still within the achievable constraints of 15 seconds and some basic technology.
After a lunch break the group was then tasked with creating films up to 2 minutes using their iPod touches and Windows Live Movie Maker. Films were given a screening at the end of the day with a wide range of interesting results. Participants managed to produce some varied and interesting stories over the space of the day.
Strengths of this model
– iPod touches were easy to use and teach. The majority of participants picked them up and used them with ease.
– The simplicity of Vine and Instagram video made for excellent teaching tools. They allowed for film making technique to be taught progressively and in simple, easy to understand steps.
– The Tribeca Film Festival provided a great source of inspiration for this teaching model – Clear and practical examples of what can be achieved are a must.
– Most participants had already experimented with Windows Live Movie Maker or a variation of the program in their own homes. This meant that minimal instruction was required throughout the editing process.
– The structure of the day worked well with three short “film festivals” and screenings after each section. This gave a lot of variety to the day.
– iPod touches are easy to teach, but stabilisation and audio quality is an issue.
– Levels of skill can be very divergent within a group. Group selection is important and needs to be well managed and curated.
– When creating the longer films – participants need a strong sense of boundaries, structure and time frame otherwise the filming/editing process can blow out.
– As with any workshop involving online tools it’s useful to have backup plans in place for internet access and resources. For this workshop we used tethered 4G internet as a backup due to unavailable wireless internet.
– People power: Often we work with schools where students already have pre-existing relationships with each other – for a school holiday program it was important for us to have 2 trainers to manage group dynamics.
We had a great time working with this group. Using the tools Vine and Instagram was a great way to build up the skills and creativity of participants gradually over the course of the day. The apps are simple, but allow participants of varying skills and abilities to use their creativity and create stories at different levels of complexity suitable to their pre-existing skills and knowledge.
SYN Media Learning delivers workshops in a wide range of media skills across Victoria. Find out more at http://www.syn.org.au/learn