Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Book Chook Makes a Movie

I have a preoccupation with story. Most of the things I love have their basis in story: books, blogs, writing fiction for kids, choral music, poetry, improvisation, graphic design, coffee with friends. In fact, we humans have been involved with story since we yarned around fires as cavemen. And as Jason Ohler says, "I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it."

Over the last year, I have become increasingly aware of how many options we have for sharing our stories with the world. We can tell tales orally, write and publish in print or on the internet, use video and audio - never before has it been so easy for us to express ourselves, and share our opinions with others. As you know, I love to find new ways technology provides for kids to communicate with an authentic audience. I've experimented with PhotoPeach, Animoto, Xtranormal, Storybird, Cartoonist at Creaza, Little Bird Tales, love2read, My Story Maker, Glogster, Myths and Legends, MakeBeliefsComix, all of them online story-makers. I've dabbled with using audio (Blabberize) and video (Dvolver), but never really had time to learn how to use movie-making software.

Pictures and sounds tell stories too. They are fascinating and accessible to kids. Not only that, but there are so many literacy skills involved in creating movies. Looking at the clips people had made about
The Spookymen recently gave me a final push. I knew I needed to drag my head out of a book, and into the 21st century. I knew I needed to stop fiddling, and start learning how to make little movies.

Last weekend, I cleared the decks chez Chook, and sat at my desk, determined to grapple with iMovie. I began by sensibly reading the instructions. Ten minutes later, my impatience took over. I decided instructions were for other birds. I would just start.

Perhaps it would have been smarter, and possibly quicker, to stay with the instructions. Hmm, there's a lesson there somewhere, no doubt.


You can see my first movie below. Yeah, I know, don't give up my day job! Blogger also seems to have added pauses which makes it even more disjointed.

Nevertheless, I proved to myself that writing a script based on images, adding voice and sound effects, then turning the images into a movie IS a way for a Book Chook to tell a story. I don't have a video camera, so I used still images. I wrote my captions onto the images, and told the story that way. I think most people would find iMovie accessible, because it allows you to drag and drop your ingredients (pics, sounds, captions etc) into the sequence you want.

What a cool way to involve kids in reading, writing and communicating! If you're like me, and you haven't tried telling a story via movie, I urge you to give it a try. Your kids will learn so much from being involved in the process. If you don't have iMovie, or Windows Movie Maker, you could try
Masher, or one of the other online web spaces I mentioned above. When you share your story with the world, don't forget to add me to the list!


video

PS Here's a link to a great example of a movie, Pink Gloves, that not only gets a message across to an audience, but raises money for a deserving cause. Employees from a hospital got together to raise breast cancer awareness, and this was the result.

27 comments:

  1. Louise Demasi08 December, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. Love your first movie! I too, am excited about all of the technology that is available today to help children connect with authentic audiences. I recently played around with iMovie to make a 'movie' of my daughter's life for her 18th birthday. She loved it and so did her guests. It was easy to use and I can see how valuable it will be to me as a teacher. Can't wait to use it in the classroom.

    Recent blog:=- Classroom chaos.

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  2. Louise, please let us know if you post about making a movie in the classroom! I know I have several readers who love to use new technologies - and me, well, I can use all the help I can get!

    Recent blog:=- The Book Chook Makes a Movie

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  3. Thanks to your inspiration and posts on Twitter, I also made a movie this weekend. I never really thought about doing this before, but like you said, it is a great vehicle to get stories out there for people. I think I am going to work on some more.

    Keep up the good work!

    Recent blog:=- Scenes From A Classroom: Episode 1

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  4. Dawn R. Morris09 December, 2009

    You're leaving no path undiscovered, huh? Very cute video! Thank you so much for sharing it. Your never-ending curiosity is an inspiration to us all.

    Recent blog:=- Picture Books for Peace, Part 5

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  5. I'm keen to see what you and your students come up with, Chase!

    Recent blog:=- The Book Chook Makes a Movie

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  6. Dawn, I would love to think it is curiosity that motivates me, but sometimes I suspect it is sheer unmitigated stubbornness!

    Recent blog:=- The Book Chook Makes a Movie

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  7. I hope my readers will follow the link above to the movie Chase and his students made. (Scenes from a Classroom: Episode 1) It is very cool - a wonderful demonstration of the possibilities in collaborative storytelling when making a movie.

    Recent blog:=- The Book Chook Makes a Movie

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  8. Ok, I think you've inspired me to give it a go too. Looks like a fun project. Will let you know when I do and will link back here :)

    Recent blog:=- Little Kids, Big Words

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  9. Rebecca Newman09 December, 2009

    I love your little movie (and Chase March's too). I must add 'conquer movie technology' to my new year's resolution list ...

    Recent blog:=- A subscription for Christmas!

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  10. You're on your way! I'm glad you decided to look at this medium. I think you're going to be great at it.

    I also love the blending of new technologies with old. I think books, particularly picture books are in for a new surge when multimedia takes off.

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  11. That's great, SquiggleMum! It's a wonderful way to involve kids in story.

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  12. Aha, I'm sensing another convert! Rebecca, the truth is, if I can do it, anyone can. And you have three little actors all raring to go!

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  13. Kim, I think you're right. it's so exciting to be alive right now! (Well, it sure beats the alternative, right?) Multimedia is more accessible now than ever before, and who knows what 2010 will bring.

    Recent blog:=- The Book Chook Makes a Movie

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  14. Hey Rebecca,

    Thanks for adding me in the brackets there. It's nice to know that people enjoy my little flick.

    Recent blog:=- Teaching Tip Tuesdays – USB Drives

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  15. indian dancer29 December, 2009

    thanks for this awesome post very useful like your writing style very distinctive and to the point.

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  16. thanks for sharing this post with readers really it good to know about it.love your site and please keep posting informative stuffs.

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  17. hindi instrumental19 January, 2010

    great to know about this information.thanks to you for sharing with the readers.well like your site.looking forward for more updates.

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  18. Thank you, indian dancer!

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  19. I'm glad to know it helped, garage.

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  20. Thank you, hindi instrumental.

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  21. Gigs in London05 February, 2010

    I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing thanks.

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  22. Why do I get the feeling all these later comments are spam?????

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  23. Donna Perugini02 March, 2010

    Your movie puts me in mind of a book trailer. I've been searching out how they are done and your blog has come the closest to a good explanation. Of course I'll have to be reading the instructions too! The sound effects were intriguing. Where did you find them?
    http://www.DonnaPerugini.blogspot.com

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  24. I really like reading blogs and seeing what the world is saying. I really liked reading your blog and I thought it was very informative.

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  25. Hi, Thanks for such a nice video. I like it most, Keep posting.

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  26. Nice article as for me. It would be great to read something more concerning this theme. The only thing it would also be great to see on this blog is some pics of some gadgets.

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  27. I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it...keep it up, lovely job..

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