I was engaged to put together a film workshop space and activity for Fun 4 Kids this year (2015). Fun 4 Kids is a kids festival held in Warrnambool each year during the July holidays. I was given the task of creating a film workshop that could be delivered to 25-30 kids under an hour, 5 times a day for 7 days.
The filmmaking workshops were a lot of fun and a great success and that’s why I am going to share my workshop with you. I know how handy it is when people share their workshop notes online for others to use and access.
What could be achieved in an hour? My first thought, and the idea I went with, was creating iMovie Trailers on an iPad. I chose iMovie Trailers because of the ease in which success can be achieved, the availability and accessibility of iPads and the fact that you can both film and edit and then publish films straight from the iPad. The trailers appeal equally to both boys and girls. They are achievable to make in a short period of time. They are pretty easy to make but look very professional and have great impact.
In this fun workshop, participants would learn how to film great footage on their iPad and edit it into a short Movie Trailer in iMovie. The iMovie App which is included in the iPad Apps package has a number of themed, easy-to-use Trailer templates.
A trailer follows a template to create a Hollywood-style movie advertisement. iMovie for iOS has 14 trailer templates, and each has its own musical score and graphics. Each template has a different number of text screens and shots. Each shot is typically on the screen for only a second or two, so a one-minute trailer requires about two dozen shots.
Participants chose from five movie trailer themes, including Scary, Exhibition, Swashbuckler, Fairy Tale and Expedition to create a short 60-second trailer. The workshops were held at the Warrnambool Art Gallery in a medium sized room. There was limited space so there was only room for five backdrops, therefore I chose five trailers that would appeal to kids and had backdrops created for them. The Warrnambool City Council and the Movie Makers Space sponsor, Sinclair and Wilson, had the backdrops printed on a large scale on canvas.
I set up a room full of dress-ups that were themed with the five trailers in mind. The dress-ups helped kids get into character very quickly.
I also put some extra footage on the iPads that kids could incorporate into their Trailer, such scenes filmed around Warrnambool, different landscapes and animals.
We (myself and the F4K’s organizers) were very fortunate to be heavily supported by Warrnambool Primary School, who not only granted us the use of 24 iPads for the festival workshops but also lent us 4 iMac Computers and an Apple TV/TV Screen to run the workshops, as well as technical support (The wonderful thing about Fun4Kids is the way the whole community gets behind the festival to make it a success.)
The four iMac computers were necessary because we (myself and the team of fantastic workshop volunteers) created a DVD after each workshop for the 25-30 participants. So the iMacs were used for creating and burning up to 125 DVDs a day all the while we were running workshops.
The Apple TV and Flat Screen TV came in handy at the beginning of each workshop for the workshop explanation and they were also great at the end of the workshop to play back the kids trailers direct from their iPads on the big screen for everyone to see.
We also set up a viewing gallery with four flat screen TVs playing the trailers that had been created throughout the festival on looped DVDs.
How to create an iMovie Trailer:
First create a plan of what to film and the story you want to tell:
- Choose a name for your film company “Fun4Kids Films’
- Choose a name for your movie “Pirate Destiny”
- Choose a name for your characters or use your own name
- Decide on what is going to happen (write down some captions) – remember it is a summary not a full story
- Choose some actions for your actors
How to make your trailer stand out:
- Great Acting: Don’t be shy! Its your turn to shine!
- Get into Character with costumes and props
- Tell an exciting story: Create your own captions
Use as few words as possible. Trailers are fast-paced and text is never on the screen for very long. iMovie’s templates do not leave much room for text. And, the more you write, the smaller the text becomes and harder it is to read.
The iMovie template shows what kinds of shots to include (landscape, close-ups, wide, action, etc). You can choose to use the suggested text or come up with a story of your own.
The 3 basic shots you will today are Wide Shot, Med Shot and a Close-UP. These shots relate to how far or close the camera is to the person that you are filming. So to film a Close-UP I basically stand closer and to Film a Wide Shot a stand further away.
3 Shot Types:
- Wide and Action (Establishing and Action/ Where is the action taking place?)
- Medium and 2-shots (What is going on?)
- Close-Up (Emotion/ Who is the story about?)
Wide Shot: A type of long shot that includes the human body in full, with the head near the top of the frame and the feet near the bottom.
Medium Shot: A relatively close shot, revealing the human figure from the waist up
Close –Up: A detailed view of a person or object. A framing in which the scale of the object shown is relatively large. In a close-up a person’s head, or some other similarly sized object, would fill the frame.
Filming your trailer:
- Use a tri-pod to steady your shot (demonstrate clamp & tripod)
- Shoot in landscape position with camera lens in top left corner
- Check lens is clean
- All of your filming should be done in the iPad Camera app (not within iMovie itself). To start filming, tap Camera.
- In the Camera app, tap and drag select Video to set it as the Camera mode.
- To focus the iPad on a particular person or object, tap that area on the screen.
- When you are ready to begin filming, tap the red Record button. When you are finished filming, tap the red Record button again. All of your footage will automatically save to the iOS Photos app. Later, you will use the iMovie Video Browser to bring your footage into your project.
- Film each shot for at least 8 secs (2 secs time before and after the action)
- To exit the Camera app, hit the Home button on the iPad.
Now, its time to edit your trailer…
CLICK HERE to download PDF on editing your iMovie Trailer