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Thursday, June 16, 2011

1 AD - Desert Adventures

We’ve branched out a bit from our usual contemporary content packs, and gone back into history for our latest pack release. Or, if you prefer, headed off to a galaxy far, far away.

1AD is a Middle Eastern themed pack, originally designed for creating stories set in Biblical times. It includes basic buildings, robes for the male and female characters and some useful props including a withered tree, some market stalls and crates & boxes. However, it didn’t take our testing team long to come up with all sorts of other uses. As they put it:

We’ve been having a lot of fun with this pack, creating scenes such as (ahem!):
• Certain Python-esque comedy sketches involving bartering over a beard.
• Films based in the desert (the scarf from the Criminals pack is perfect for keeping the sand out)
• Dwellers on binary system planets, and their adventures in droid trading.



We also hear that there’s going to be a similar pack from Moddingstorm that will include more Biblical era costumes and more buildings. We don’t have a release date for that yet, but we’ll tell you about it as soon as it’s available.

1AD costs 500 MSP and is not available in any bundle. Get it from the Marketplace or from the Moviestorm launcher.

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Assignment: Adjectives

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: Adjectives
Create simple videos that demonstrate adjectives.

This video was created by a teacher in Trinidad and uses Moviestorm footage as well as stills and text.

Suggested techniques

Use both objects and text, in the style of Sesame Street, to help children build confidence with reading.

Create videos which encourage question and answers to test comprehension: for example, have two doors marked “red” and “yellow”, then have a red car drive into shot, pause the video, and ask which one it should go through now.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • Younger children react well to videos, and this is an entertaining way to get across basic descriptive words and reading skills.
  • The same techniques can be used for any language.

Suitability

  • Best created by teachers
  • English, literacy, foreign languages

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, June 13, 2011

Assignment: Bible Story

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: Bible Story
Present a Bible story or parable (or equivalent from another religion) as a video.

image

Suggested techniques
You can do it in modern dress and setting if period dress and sets aren’t available.

Use a voiceover, or tell the whole story in dialogue. Consider framing the story by having someone relate it, and cutting from the narrator to the story.

Add music and a title sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This allows the student to visualise the story and bring it to life.
  • By putting the story in a modern context, it encourages students to think about the moral aspect of it and extract that from the original setting, then see how that can be applied to their own lives.
  • Dramatic sequences makes for a good group project.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • Religion

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, June 10, 2011

Assignment: Weather forecast

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: Weather forecast
Do a weather forecast, using weather data drawn from public records.

As an interesting variation, the student may be required to do weather forecasts for a specific date and historical event (e.g. Hurricane Katrina, Krakatoa, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami).

image

Suggested techniques

Make it as much like a TV weather forecast as possible.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • The student has to demonstrate familiarity with the principles of meteorology and the key symbols.
  • The student also understands how weather forecasting is presented to the public.

Suitability

  • Ages 16+
  • Suitable for solo work
  • science

Downloadable resources

Click the link to download a Moviestorm movie template.

cloud.moviestorm.co.uk/Lesson_Plans/Weather%20Report.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

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Assignment: The Play’s The Thing

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 Play’s The Thing
Take a scene from a set play and present it in movie form.

image

Suggested techniques
Film it as if on a stage, or else film it as if it were a movie, and compare the difference between the two approaches.

Use modern dress if appropriate period dress is not supplied.

Add in background music to add mood.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • This requires the students to examine a scene in depth, understand staging, and create an interpretation of the work. You can then build on this in class as they explain why they chose to present the work that way.
  • It gets the students engaged, and requires them to stop thinking about drama in written form and think about it as performance.
  • It helps develop an understanding of the differences between film and stage.
  • Filming in animation allows them options that would not be possible on a classroom or school stage.
  • Dramatic performance makes for a good group project.
  • 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 groups
  • Drama, literature

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, June 06, 2011

Assignment: The Great Artists

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 Great Artists
Create a short film about a famous artist or musician. Tell the story of their life, and explain why they are historically significant.

image

Suggested techniques
Reconstruct significant moments from of their life in dramatic form. You can do it in modern dress and setting if period dress and sets aren’t available.

You can do this using an on-screen presenter, or completely with voice-over, or even have the artist narrate their own life. You could interview the artist in the style of a chat show.

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 else you can make the images go full-screen.

Create an art gallery to display their work

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

Add appropriate background music to create atmosphere, and ensure you have a striking title sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • Reconstructing events from someone’s life gives the student new insights into the artist.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Art, music

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, June 03, 2011

Assignment: Scientific visualisation

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 visualisation
Create a video explaining a scientific concept.

Suggested techniques

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

Alternatively, take a more unusual approach. This 12-year old student presented the cell as a series of interlinked rooms in a haunted house, with each organelle of the cells as a monster they had to get through.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate. Video can be sourced externally or created with Moviestorm.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • The student has to think creatively about the concept and how to present it clearly. This promotes a deep understanding of the concept and makes it more interesting.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.

Suitability

  • Ages 12+
  • Suitable for solo or group work
  • science

 

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

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