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Hollywood's History of FAKING IT

The Evolution of GREENSCREEN Compositing


Go inside the history of the travelling mattes (now called chromakey) and learn the history of visual trickery used by filmmakers from the earliest filmmakers through to the modern day.


Filmmaker IQ has a lot of great Filmmaking videos. I particularly liked Hollywood's History of Faking It you students will love it too. This is a great site for insights into movie making. Even young students will enjoy some of the excerpts form the old Movies.



Green Screen Movies

Weather News Video by Students

"Robots Attack!" Kids News Report

A Kindergarten Reading of The Pigeon Wants a Puppy


   Easy-to-Use Green Screen by DoInk App(costs about $4.50) Enables 
   Creation of Green Screen Effects on iPhone and iPad Watch the Video



Green Screen by Do Ink-The Basics


Writing the weather story for a forecast - Video

Green Screen Weather Report Lesson Plan

Download Images for City Backdrops - All images from Pixabay


Stop Motion app
FREE for iphone and ipad.

Download it now. I played with it for a whole weekend. No instructions needed

your students will be able to figure it out for themselves. A tripod of some sort is suitable. I rigged a simple one up for my iPhone using one of one of the car hands free devices and masking tape. It worked a treat. So simple and easy.


Take a look at the great lesson on TED ED - Animation basics: Homemade special effects

And some great Animation Movies like Luminaris


 iMovie is such a great program. So intuitive and easy to use.  
  It is easy to start, and the results can be well a MIRACLE. I love   
  programs that offer easy start up, and immediate productivity, but also extension into 
  more complex and challenging options as expertise grows.

Just recently I worked with some young people attending the President's Secret Garden event in Malta. In about an hour they had written a a short story, taken a series of photos, added them to a iMovie trailer in iMovie, added end credits and produced a short video. We discussed a the purpose of the video, the types of photos needed, introducing terms such as close-up, establishing shot, extreme close-up etc. The results looked amazing, you can take a look at it here:- The President's Wish.


The kids loved the results. They are keen to do more. We will progress to shooting video, planning STORYBOARDS and writing scripts, doing voice overs and adding sound effects we record and music we make in garage band as their expertise develops. Developing their understanding of the language of film and concepts about visual imagery - you might like to try PLANNING A PICTURE.


You could of course provide a detailed linear set of instructions for iMovie but if we are truly trying to develop life long learners, let students discover how to use iMovie for themselves, ask smart questions, google up video tutorials, ask each other for help and work out how to use it. iMovie is great for this as it is soooo intuitive.


Take a look at the Virtual Teacher page on Visual Literacy for some great ideas.


Check out the pdf on Introduce Yourself.


I have setup the Virtual Teacher YouTube Channel so any great movies you make send them along and I will upload them here. You can send them via Dropbox or Showbie.


Take a look at the Virtual Teacher Visual Literacy Page for more ideas

The Language of Film
Basic Camera Shots


EWS - Extreme Wide Shot -  A shot taken from a sufficient distance to show a landscape, a building, or a large crowd. this shot shows the setting


WS -  Wide Shot -  Shows one or two people in full figure or several people from the waist up.


MS - Medium Shot - Shows head to waist


MCU - Medium Close-Up chest and head


CU - Close-up -  A shot of one face or object that fills the screen completely.


ECU - Extreme close-up   A shot of a small object or part of a face that fills the screen.


Camera Angles with Zach King Great little video covering a range of different shots, camera angles.



Camera Angles

High Angle   The camera looks down at what is being photographed.


Eye Level   A shot that approximates human vision; a camera presents an object so that the line between camera and object is parallel to the ground.


Low Angle   The camera looks up at what is being photographed.



Camera Movement

Panning   The camera is fixed moves horizontally on a fixed base. Panning Camera Move Video


Tilting   The camera is fixed and moves up or down, vertically. Tilting Camera Move Video

Never say pan up or down  - pan means panorama.


Tracking The camera moves on a wheeled truck (or dolly), or is hand held, but stays on the same plane or angle.


Zoom Not a camera movement but a shift in the focal length of the camera lens to give the impression that the camera is getting closer to or farther from an object. There is a great Zoom effect in the iPad Air Ad


Great Resources

Using Film Language in one minute In a good film,  the audience understands the story that the filmmaker is trying to show them, and feels what the filmmaker means them to feel. To make a good film, you need to know about film language


Glossary of Film Terms - This Glossary is great and has some video samples as well.


Amusing Video about taking The Perfect Gram - taking the perfect picture.

© Cathy Brown 1998 - 2018