Moviestorm News
Recent Entries

Monthly Archives

Search Moviestorm News


Advanced Search



News Article Archives

Moviestorm News

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Assignment: The News From Abroad

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: The News From Abroad
Present the news in a foreign language.

image

Suggested techniques

You can pick a single story and cover it in depth, or a series of shorter news reports to make up a news show.

Pick a story about the country whose language you are learning.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate. You could do this as a studio presentation or lecture, and display the images on a screen behind the presenter, or cut away to reporters in the field, interviews, and video segments.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you’re saying.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • The student is required to demonstrate fluency with the words required to describe topical events.
  • The student has to find out a little about the country they’re learning about. Their choice of story can then lead on to classroom discussion.
  • Dramatic reconstruction makes for a good group project.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • Languages

Downloadable resources

Click the link to download a Moviestorm movie template.

cloud.moviestorm.co.uk/Lesson_Plans/News%20Program.zip

 

Installation instructions:

Download the file and extract the zip folder to this location:

 

Vista, Windows 7, Macs: [Username]/Moviestorm/Movies

 

Windows XP: C:/Documents and Settings/[Username]/Moviestorm/Movies

 

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Shortie Awards

Moviestorm is very proud to be supporting the Shortie Awards, organised by MHz Networks in Virginia, USA. 

This year, the event is taking place on June 5th as part of its International Film and News Festival. Films entered for the awards are made by filmmakers between the ages of 7 – 18. Entries must be under 10 minutes long, and categories include:
• Live action: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, PSA, Music Video, or Other
• Animation: Stop-Motion, Claymation, Machinima, Digital, or Other
• Daily News Program

This year the Shortie Awards received 350 entries from 26 U.S states and 14 countries including India, Turkey, Australia, Finland, and Kazakhstan.  Each of the top 5 winners will receive a one-year license to Moviestorm.

The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday June 5, 2011 between 2:30PM – 5:00PM at The Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22209

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, May 30, 2011

Assignment: Film adaptation

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques.  Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: Film adaptation
Write a short story, or choose a set text. Then adapt it to a film.

This is an adaption of Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Heat” made for an “Intro to Literature Class.” (Not suitable for younger students.)

Suggested techniques

Remember to add in sound and music, as well as a good title and credit sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This helps students develop skills in video as well as prose.
  • Students will understand issues involved in adapting a book to a film. You can then relate this to other film or TV adaptations.
  • This makes a good group project.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • Literature, media

 

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 27, 2011

Assignment: Business meeting

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: Business meeting
Film a business meeting.

image

Suggested techniques

This can either be a presentation, negotiation or job interview.

Make it specific to a particular product, industry, career, or company to add authenticity.

You could do a humorous one showing what not to do in a business situation - for example, forgetting your presentation, unprofessional appearance, inappropriate use of language.

Do a “Dragon’s Den” style pitch for an idea.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • Students are required to show familiarity with business terms which will be useful in a commercial situation.
  • Students are required to demonstrate that they have basic business skills and understand procedure and etiquette.
  • A good way to demonstrate a business plan.
  • Requires students to show that they understand both sides of a commercial situation.
  • Can be appropriate for corporate or entrepreneurial situations.

Suitability

  • Ages 16+
  • Suitable for groups
  • Business development and entrepreneurship

 

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Assignment: Speech

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: Speech
Take a famous speech, and film it.

image

Suggested techniques
If you have access to audio recording of the actual speech, consider using that.

Add on-screen text explaining why this is significant.

You can film the speaker making the speech, or use other appropriate images and sequences: for example, if you were doing Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, you could cut away to images and scenes illustrating the Cold War and the Iron Curtain.

Use plenty of body language to emphasise the speech.

Add music.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • The student will get closely involved with the speech, which helps them understand why it is important.
  • Dramatic reconstruction helps them understand rhetoric.
  • Finding images and music to enhance the presentation requires detailed research.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • History, politics, current affairs

Downloadable resources

Click the link to download a Moviestorm movie template.

cloud.moviestorm.co.uk/Lesson_Plans/cloud.moviestorm.co.uk/Lesson_Plans/Gettysburg%20Address.zip

 

Installation instructions:

Download the file and extract the zip folder to this location:

 

Vista, Windows 7, Macs: [Username]/Moviestorm/Movies

 

Windows XP: C:/Documents and Settings/[Username]/Moviestorm/Movies

 

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Featured movies - May 2011

Every month, the standard of Moviestorm movies goes up. What’s even more surprising, many of the very best movies are debut pieces, or are coming from people who are only just starting to use Moviestorm. Several of them are experienced film-makers, and we’ve been really pleased to see the kind of work they can turn out when they combine their knowledge of movies with Moviestorm.

Our first pick this month is Transmission, written and directed by Ed Lie.  It’s an absorbing story of an astronaut travelling to Mars, alone, and is undoubtedly one of the best movies yet made with Moviestorm. Ed is a student at the University of North Texas, and the film was written and produced for the University of North Texas’ Radio, Television, and Film Program, as part of the Digital Narrative course run by Professor James Martin. The majority of the principal photography used Moviestorm, while some short live-action clips were shot on location in Denton, TX. Some final post FX work was done in Adobe Flash, and editing was completed within Adobe Premiere; voiceover recording was done in Pro Tools and recorded at the University of North Texas.

The course focused on storytelling technique, and Ed really shows how everything from lighting to camera angles, editing and subtle facial gestures all contribute to the script. Moviestorm allowed Ed to tell a story that would have been impractical in live action, and too time-consuming in a more sophisticated animation program. Transmission is Ed’s first piece with Moviestorm, and it clearly demonstrates how powerful Moviestorm can be in the hands of someone who understands the craft of film-making.

Set in the year 2340, The Chronicles of Humanity follows Katherine McDonald, journalist and the only person to survive the destruction of a mining colony. Convinced the government was behind the disaster, she embarks on a mission to uncover the conspiracy. This is the first part of a Web series that Damien Valentine started about five years ago. Originally he was using The Sims, but switched over to Moviestorm towards the end of last year. Although Damien has been making machinima for many years, he has produced almost nothing with Moviestorm until this.

The scale of The Chronicles of Humanity was hugely ambitious, but Damien has pulled it off. Not only is there a Web series, but he’s also created a feature-length version. Not only that, but he managed to attract some incredible talent: Felicia Day, who’s worked with Joss Whedon several times on everything from Dollhouse to Dr Horrible, and also created The Guild, has a major role. She was more than happy to work alongside an amateur cast, director and writer.

Go to the Chronicles of Humanity web site to see more.

Our third pick, Heat, is an adaptation of a short story by Joyce Carol Oates. Director Kera Hildebrandt did this as part of a literature course. She’s studying film-making and screenwriting, and this is a useful way to understand the differences between storytelling in prose and in film, and also to understand what’s involved in adapting a book to the screen.

It’s a dark, tragic story and very different from Kera’s usual work.

Meet John Eldritch, London’s Night Hunter; a man whose destiny is to defend the night against the Dark. This is the start of a new series by Killian. He’s been a stalwart of The Movies for some time, but this is his first movie with Moviestorm. His experience in movie-making really comes through: although the lighting is a little too low in places, it’s a well-told story that leaves you wanting to know what happens next. Fortunately, Part Two has been released already - see here.

We’ll close with a lighthearted spoof commercial from Yarmond, Crazy Bob’s Dealership. Yarmond has been making occasional short sketches with Moviestorm for just over two years, and he never fails to make us smile. His comedic timing is excellent, and the script is, as always, sharp, crazy, and just long enough to tell the story without overdoing it.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, May 23, 2011

Assignment: Scientific method

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: Scientific method
Create a short film explaining scientific method.

image

Suggested techniques

This could be presented as a lecture, a case study, a debate, or a documentary.

Alternatively, take a more unusual approach. For example, use a Mr Bean type character who behaves erratically to try and achieve something, and contrast with a scientist who methodically tries different approaches until he figures out a solution.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you’re saying. This may be necessary if your examples include complex or theoretical topics which can’t be shown easily on screen (such as relativity or chemical reactions).

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This is an enjoyable way to present and understand this important topic.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.
  • Finding images and music to enhance the presentation requires detailed research.
  • Providing narration builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups or solo
  • Science

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 20, 2011

Assignment: Poem

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: Poem
Create a short film based on a poem.

This film was created by a team of six young film-makers in the North West of England as part of the innovative DMEX (Digital Media Exchange) programme. It is an animated interpretation of a poem by the recently appointed Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The poem caused controversy and was withdrawn from the GCSE curriculum for its alleged glorification of knife crime.

Suggested techniques
Have someone read the poem aloud.

Tell the story of the poem in the film, using extracts from the poem on screen.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This requires the students to examine the poem in depth and create an interpretation of the work. This allows the student to get a better understanding of the poem by taking it beyond the written word and into something visual and active.  By allowing them a free interpretation, it allows them to react to the poem in their own way.
  • You can then build on this in class as they explain why they chose to present the work that way.
  • Voicing an animated version builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for solo or group work
  • Literature

 

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Assignment: The Rules

This is part of a series suggesting different ways to use Moviestorm in schools or other educational environments. They also make useful exercises for film-makers wanting to develop and practice different film-making techniques. Many more lesson plans and ideas, with free downloadable resources, can be found on the Moviestorm Web site.

Assignment: The Rules
Create a short film explaining the rules of a sport. You may choose to focus on a specific rule.

image

Suggested techniques
Include videos or diagrams to illustrate the rules.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you’re saying.

In addition to the rules, you may wish to include techniques or training exercises.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • The student is required to show familiarity with the rules of the sport, and to be able to explain them clearly. This can be quite a challenge for some sports.
  • Providing narration builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for solo work
  • Physical education

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Arthur V. Kuhrmeier

imageArthur V. Kuhrmeier is a relative newcomer to Moviestorm, but already he’s made a huge impact with his innovative mods. In less than two months, he’s released 11 videos.

He’s originally from Pforzheim in southwest Germany, often called the “Gate to the Black Forest”. After school he learned DTP graphics and went to work in an advertising agency, then moved to Augsburg where he worked as branch manager in a small photographic studio. One and half years later he opened his own photo store where he began videography and editing. The rise of digital cameras five years later put a lot of photo stores out of business, and Arthur went back to publishing. He then bought a small magazine publishing house.

A short while later, misfortune hit: his marriage fell apart, and he went bankrupt, then moved to the small medieval town of Dingolfing, best-known for having the largest BMW plant in the world. That’s when he rediscovered his passion for film-making. “When I was fifteen I heavily envied my older school mates making a movie,” he says. “I wanted to become an actor when I was eighteen. I learned pantomime when I was twenty-one. I was even miming a stunt man at the age of… – hard to say, maybe ten – jumping from my bunk bed on a mattress on the floor. You know, like shot by a bad guy. I can’t believe it. I had completely forgotten that I did that!”

Arthur has no formal film training. He bought magazines, browsed the internet, and practiced shooting and editing with a digital video camera. In 1999 a friend asked him for help editing a motorcycle tour he had shot. His brother-in-law is the owner of Krauser GmbH, a company that manufactures designer motorcycles with side-cars, and organizes an annual tour across the most beautiful regions of Europe for over 30 years now, and they did five videos together. “It was always a lot of work and a lot of fun, but yeah, that’s how it started. My friend lent me his DV camera, and a few months later I bought my own. And of course I studied movies, which I watched very closely to learn from the pros. How the camera was set, how the film was edited, how the lighting stressed the ambience. I figured out the differences between a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ movie all by myself. Man, I’m good…” he grins. Like many others, he learned by re-editing existing movies. “One of my craziest editing projects was cutting down the three parts of Back To The Future into one film of three hours,” he laughs. “Yep, I did it. Just took me a couple of years.”

He only discovered Moviestorm in late March this year. “It’s more like Moviestorm chose me. I can’t even remember how I found it. Funny, isn’t it? And I wonder why I didn’t find it before. I was searching the web uncountable times to find an application which allowed me to do what I wanted to. I started to experiment with Anime Studio Pro which is cool for 2D animation but has some flaws when it comes to 3D. Then I decided to use Blender. I used it, and started to create a few tutorials. But then I realized that it would take me ages just to set up a scene, let alone to create an animated character. I looked at iClone, and at first I thought “Cool, you can even move every finger in iClone.” But then I thought, “do I want to direct ten actors or hundred fingers?” I decided for the actors. I’m not interested in creating stuff from zero, you know, design every corner of the shape, set the material from billions of possibilities… boredom for months! It was only when I got my hands on Moviestorm that I knew:“This is it!” It was like looking for an old friend for ages, and one day realizing he lives on the next street.”

Moviestorm does pretty much everything he needs for his movies. For editing, he uses iMovie. He also has a few useful apps for post-processing, such as Camera Bag, which works on stills only but is capable of batch processing. “It may be a lot of effort, but the results are amazing,” he notes. “Since I created my Panorama Backdrop and the Floordrop mods, I don’t even need chroma key.”

This demo video, the Diesel Train, mixes Moviestorm with an animated backdrop created in Googol-Choo-Choo 3D.

Arthur cuts straight to the heart of why Moviestorm works for him. “Only Moviestorm gives me the power to concentrate on what filmmaking means to me: being the director. I design a scene set with existing props. I do the casting from unlimited possibilities within minutes. Soon I can begin directing the actors. For my short demo film “The Diesel Train” I even did the voice recordings in Moviestorm. And I enjoy setting the camera, pick the right angle, wide shot, close-up, cut, move, skip… cool!”

Most of what Arthur’s released so far is mods. “Modding is a combination of 3D, graphics, and programming - all things I’ve done before. The only thing I’m still learning is animation. Actually I was inspired and infected by the other modders. That’s one of Moviestorm’s biggest capacity, allowing 3rd party addons of any kind for everything. I only scratched the surface of modding and lots of things are still a book with seven seals to me, but I know that I can rely on the support and my friends to help me out with anything I need.”

 

This mod adds an animated backdrop to a scene.

He prefers to give his mods away. “I guess it has to do with “Once bitten, twice shy”. I thought I was a great salesman. But in the end I sold my work, but didn’t get paid for it. That’s why I went bankrupt. Honestly, I’m sick and tired of selling, selling, selling… I think it’s the disadvantage of capitalism - it makes you think only about how to sell something. But fortunately I found out that there are other ways. Lots of people live off donations. They do great work, give it away for free, and other people know to value that by donating. I believe that I do great work and find the people who will support me.”  He’s not opposed to commercial third party mods, though. “Modding is a lot of work. That’s why I highly appreciate it if someone offers her/his mods for free. I also understand that some modders sell their work, but I think everyone has reasonable prices.”

 

The Cave: Arthur’s first mod

He’s also involved in some projects with some of his new friends in the Moviestorm community. He and Kate Fosk are planning a website about resources, tips, reviews, videos, games, and more all about machinima. “The name of the website was her idea: fullhorn.tv - it’s sort of a pun. The German word “Füllhorn” means “cornucopia”, but “full horn” also makes sense.” He also offers commercial machinima services. “I set up the service on my website about two weeks ago. I’ve just started to write more about the possibilities machinima offers. I’m also creating a showreel which will show all the excitements within 60 seconds. I just want people to see the benefits of machinima, and what great results you can achieve. I don’t have a price list. I used to do that, and put much effort in it, but I think it’s rather a limitation. If you have a project, just tell me about it. Tell me your budget, and I’m sure we will find a way of how to accomplish it so we are both happy. I believe that machinima and Moviestorm in particular offer an enormous flexibility of how to realize a project. If you want the perfect result, I know how to create a stunning video for you. If you have a small budget, I know the important things, so you still get an exciting video.”

However, his major project now is a full-length feature film. “I always wanted to make ‘real’ movies. Full-length movies. Moviestorm gives me all the possibilities to do so,” he says with a smile. “What I planned to do with other 3D apps is a science-fiction series called Borderline Space. The script was half way done when I discovered Moviestorm. So I stopped that and wrote the short film I Shouldn’t Have Done That, actually to put Moviestorm to the test. I will finish that one first, and then go back to my science-fiction series. And In 2009/10 I wrote a script for a crime taking place in Dingolfing. I love the script, not just because I wrote it myself, but because it combines crime, comedy, and a love story. That’s a project I want to realize with real actors. I already have some German actors in mind: Franka Potente, Heike Makatsch, Elmar Wepper, Til Schweiger. It might take a few years, but one day I’m doing it!”

First, though, he’s working on a thriller called I Didn’t Shoot Sara, an expansion of I Shouldn’t Have Done That. Lucinda McNary has joined the team as production manager, and script editor. “She encouraged me to expand the script of my short film and make it a full-length movie. Now I’m so excited about this project. This movie is a real kick for me, as it also means the start of a new business, and a new life. There’s just a little problem. I don’t have the money. So, I thought, why not just ask for it? I set up a campaign on indiegogo.com where I present the idea, the background, and the team of course. Everyone who donates will be credited in the movie depending on the amount, which ranges from the “Thanks to” to “Executive Producer”. You can even have your name or logo in the film. Of course everyone involved will get an inside look, be informed of the current state, receive screenshots, etc. I will think of more bonuses for everyone who supports me.”

 

His passion for movies is undeniable. “It’s like a mysterious spirit. You don’t know where it came from, you don’t know how to get rid of it - it drives you on and on. To me, modding became a part of filmmaking. I enjoy having the power to direct, to shoot, to edit – and modding multiplies that power. I can do anything I want – once I’ve broken all the seals!”

imageArthur ends by telling us what Moviestorm means to him. “It’s a great tool, and independent filmmakers especially can realize films that would be difficult to do with real equipment. And Moviestorm is not just an application. It’s a unique community of people always willing to help each other. I’ve found so many new friends from all over the world in less than two months. That’s truly amazing!”

Read more:

  • Arthur V. Kuhrmeier on Moviestorm

  • Download free mods

  • Arthur V. Kuhrmeier on Facebook

  • I Didn’t Shoot Sara Facebook group

  • I Didn’t Shoot Sara Indiegogo appeal

    (1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

  • Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >