The Art Tool of the 21st Century

Cathy’s Tips







  1. Just shoot the footage you want, transfer it to VHS and view it or run tape direct from Camera using
    the digital projector. No editing, no downloading, no planning or storyboard.
  2. Shoot with the view to editing final product.  This will usually need a storyboard, will need to be only
    1-3mins long, require downloading to a computer through firewire, require editing using a video
    editing software.  At Crown St we have Movie Maker 2 for video editing.


What we will do today is shoot a series of responses which can later be edited into our video about
Narrative Writing.


This year we have received a grant for the development of Narrative Writing.

How do you all feel about that, what are your thoughts on this.


Topic of Video (5mins)

PIECE TO CAMERA – Narrative Writing

What are the problems with using text types?

What are the benefits of introducing narrative writing?

Why do you think this is important to Crown St at this time?

How do you enhance creative writing?

Are there any cross curriculum advantages?

Are there advantages for the NESB and indigenous students in this approach?




Position camera and lock off.  We are aiming for a portrait shot.



 In the Proportions as above.

As there will be a height difference between talent, use the winder at the side of the  tripod to
raise or lower the camera. 

Do not refocus or change the tilt of the camera. 

This will give the best result for editing.

Mark the position on the floor with tape.

Make sure the background is not busy.

Make sure there is plenty of light.

Don’t shoot toward a light source.



  1. Quiet on the set.
  2. Roll Camera
  3. Count to 5
  4. Action
  5. Cut
  6. Count to five
  7. Stop Camera



  1. Turn Camera on.
  2. Plug in Firewire cable to camera and computer
  3. Dialogue box should come up – select moviemaker, or goto movie maker.
  4. Play movie and select in and out points.
  5. Select clips and drag to timeline.
  6. Tighten up clips as required
  7. Add title
  8. Add transitions
  9. Add end credits
  10.  Add sound
  11.  May need to re trim clips to match sound track.


  1. Become familiar with the Camera – borrow it for a weekend and experiment.  (see THE CAMERA below)
    Have a fiddle around, let the kids have a fiddle around, cover the school concert, assembly or sports
  2. Make a simple video –‘Piece to camera’ with your students – about a topic your students are working
    on – book this in for a block computer lesson this term with me.
  3. Book in some time with me and possibly Tim to improve students ‘on camera performance skills’.
    (aka Public Speaking)
  4. Do a Tutorial. Sometimes tutorials will be in the help menus. Use the links below for online tutorials.
  5. Book in some PD time with me to go over editing on Movie Maker.
  6. Get serious and Make Your Own Movie.
  7. This term there will be no official computer times, block times will be booked for individual classes
    using the digital video and editing tools or digital stills cameras and photo manipulation programs.



1. Mac's are great for editing with IMOVIE.

PC’s use MovieMaker.

2. Use a firewire cable to import the video..

3. Storage on Computers at school is limited. Aim to shoot a 1-3min video only if you are editing it.
  This will be plenty for first time use.

4. The CANON Video Camera

5. A tripod, even though the cameras are small, taking good video requires a tripod.



1. Don't fiddle with:-setting time and date, in camera features

such as fadein/fadeout, sepia etc.

2. Do fiddle with lighting setups like backlight, daylight, nightime.

3. Avoid using zoom while you are filming, zoom in, frame your

shot, then shoot, preferably from a tripod.  Zooming on small cameras

will be shakey and uneven so unless this is the effect you want,


4. Avoid attempts at handheld camera movement to follow action.

Unless you want that particularly distinctive wobbly effect,

commonly called wobble-cam. Use a tripod.  If you don't have

a tripod support the camera securely on a nearby shoulder,

knee or available furniture.

5. Panning on small cameras and tripods is tricky, make sure you pan at least 3 times as slowly as you thin you should.



So you’ve fiddled around a bit with your new digital camera and

with editing, now for some serious filmmaking.  Although many folk

like to just go out and shoot, planning is essential to good video

making and saves a lot of time.  Think about the intended audience,

the message, the ‘hook’ for the video.


To start with set the parameters, I suggest a 1-3 minute movie. 

1. Choose a topic you are familiar with and want to explore.

2.    Then WRITE a script. Check out the sample shooting script pages and also tips at this site:-

3.    Make a Story board. Here is a template that might help

5.    Start the camera rolling, count to 5 in your head before beginning the action, leave the camera rolling
for 5 secs after action has finished.

6.    Close-ups(CU) and extreme close-ups(ECU) are excellent visuals for videos. They also provide good cutaways if there is a problem.

7.    Avoid panning and zooming in, they should be used rarely for a specific purpose.

8.    Use the bubble on your tripod to level your camera, shoot as much as possible using the tripod.

9.    Camera sound may not be too clear, due to background noise, distance from the camera or soft voices. A Voice over or, dubbing over the top of the images in editing can often solve this problem. Another solution is to use a ‘broom’ microphone – plug a microphone into your camera, tape it with strong tape – ‘gaffer’ tape to a broom handle, and have a ‘broom operator’ position it as close as possible to the actors – without it appearing in shot.




Everything you could ever want to know about digital Video


Digital Video in Schools

Atomic Learning Downloadable Story boards



Most digital cameras likely to be used in schools need a good amount of

light and are best used to take shots of small groups.

  1. Use a template such as the storyboard template

     to plan a series of photos  props and locations

  1. Use the photo vote form to vote for your favourite photo


  1. Demonstrate how the Camera Works (keep it simple)
  2. Demonstrate how to take a photo. Feet apart to width of shoulders, stand firmly and still. Sun behind you.
  3. Frame your picture, and ask your subjects to freeze.
  4. Use the automatic focus on the camera, (press the shutter button about halfway down),
  5. Count to 5 before moving after you have taken the picture(stops students moving too quickly after taking the photo).
  6. Then import images into your computer using the USB cable from the camera to the computer. Remember the camera will need to be switched on.
  7. A dialogue box will appear on your screen – you can choose your option – copy to folder, open folder etc.
  8. Explore these options, one of the latest options is to print images – this allows you to print full sized images of all your shots (A4 or A3) direct to your printer – it will do a fit to page or to produce a proof sheet of all the photos – great.
  9.  Use Photoshop Elements for photo manipulation.


What can you do with photos after that:-

Turn them into a PowerPoint with captions, insert  them into a word document, use them as a background image in an excel graph, use the in a movie etc.

New research shows that, contrary to popular belief, children as young as four years old show a remarkable aptitude for photography and are perfectly capable of framing a portrait shot.

Kids Photo Projects,aid,120043,00.asp

Nature of Light

The image and the Eye

Photo History

How Cameras work

Photographers through time



Digital photography and digital video. At the Adobe Digital

Kids Club — a special site created for teachers, students,

and parents — you’ll find the essential digital photography,

video, and imaging resources you need to unleash the

creative freedom that digital media products offer.

Kodak Site

Lots of tips here – check out their 1o top tips.


Free Photoshop Elements Tutorials


Learn That has a wide range of FREE tutorials including photoshop


Enough for now – go forth and enjoy.


There's no business like show business like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing, everything that traffic will allow

Nowhere could you get that happy feeling when you are stealing that extra bow


There's no people like show people, they smile when they are low

Even with a turkey that you know will fold, you may be stranded out in the cold

Still you wouldn't change it for a sack of gold, let's go on with the show


There's no people like show people, they smile when they are low

Yesterday they told you you would not go far, that night you open and there you are

Next day on your dressing room they've hung a star, let's go on with the show!! let's go on with the show!!


The Art Tool of the 21st Century - Copyright 2006 - Cathy Brown
No unauthorised reproduction or copying permitted.