When making films in the classroom you need to think and plan very carefully how the session will proceed and how it can best be managed. You will probably need to enlist a classroom assistant or auxillary. Ensure that he or she has been trained in aspects of filmmaking. Don’t forget that some of the pupils may have extensive experience and knowledge of digital technology – use it!
It can be good idea to hire in an expert filmmaker if you want to make a product with high production values to distribute to parents.
Animation is the best place to start and the most simple to manage. The structure of the management of the animation films is a perfect model for drama based films.
Assuming that all the pre-production work has been completed and that each group has:
1. A story
2. Artwork, scenery, characters to animate, props etc
3. A story board
4. All the technical equipment that they need
5. A good space to work in with good light
Each group should be between 2-4 children. They need to work well as a team and they will need to rotate in their roles. The whole class can do this if you have enough space and equipment. Look at some photos below to see how equipment can be set up.
If you only have one camera, then the rest of the class need to be working on other parts of the story/film.
You will need:
- opening title
- sound effects
- perhaps a voiceover
- perhaps a publicity poster/flyer
This is more difficult to manage because you can only have one crew operating in a classroom at one time and the crew will be fairly small (5 max). What will the rest of the class do? There are some activities that are listed above. Also, try to include wide shots of the whole class so that everyone is involved in at least one scene. Rotate roles in the crew and perhaps shoot a “making of” documentary. This could be done on a digital still camera and produced using Photostory.
This is the most difficult genre because you may have subjects to interview who are coming in to the school. In an interview situation, almost everyone over 12 feels uncomfortable in front of a camera. You need to make interviews as relaxed as possible and conduct the interview in a comfortable, quiet and uninterrupted space. Interviewees are often more relaxed if they are with a friend or colleague.