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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Case study: Long Road Sixth Form College

Long Road is a college in Cambridge (UK) teaching A Levels and Diplomas to ages 16-18.  Some of the students have been using Moviestorm as part of their Level 2 Diploma, Media National Certificate. They are using Moviestorm as part of their moving image unit and short film project, and have been creating a 2-3 minute film.
Since Long Road is local to us, we dropped in one day to meet the students and find out what they were doing. Teacher Steven Thorne explained why they picked Moviestorm: “They’re not limited by college or real life constrictions. Moviestorm allows them to explore camera shots without going out with cameras and tripods. It’s quite self contained. Students don’t need to look for friends to be actors. They don’t have trouble uploading film or filling out risk assessments. It saves a lot of time, and it’s a good process that works well.”
Four groups of students showed us their work, and told us how Moviestorm was helping them.

The first group of three students was working on a drama style film featuring adult characters. The film wouldn’t have worked so well if students had taken on the roles of the adults, as it would have been unconvincing. Using Moviestorm allowed them to incorporate adults into their script, which gave them a lot more flexibility and opportunity with the stories they could tell.

A second group of students was working on a short film clearly inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The main part of this was a sequence in which skeletons rise from their graves. This would have been really hard to do well in live action, because it would have required special effects and some complex set design.  Moviestorm allows them to create these kind of characters and sequences quickly and easily.

The last two groups we spoke to were both working on action based movies. One was a gangster film, and the other was a police movie, The Wrong Raid, in which police target and raid the wrong house. Working with Moviestorm allows them to film action sequences safely and cost-effectively without needing stunt crew or special equipment.

All the groups told us they liked that Moviestorm was so easy to use. They also liked the large library of ready-made customisable props, sets and backgrounds, which meant that they could film a wide variety of movies without needing to find locations or costumes, and that they could get fairly realistic movies out of it. They compared the software to The Sims, but pointed out that Moviestorm allowed them to do a lot more and was more suited for making movies.
Teacher Steven Thorne was very happy with it, and plans to carry on using Moviestorm. “It’s very easy to use, and I’ll definitely use Moviestorm next year. Our gaming and animation students can quickly create stories using it.”

See more work from Long Road on the Creative and Media Level 2 blog.

Our thanks to Steven and all the students for inviting us.

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