The Clip Club

Primary after-school club in East London, UK – we watch, talk about, shoot and edit short films and clips

Archive for the category “Research”

Xube films: Boxing Clever & Boxed In

Some readers of the blog may remember a visit we had from a local film making company called Xube and a researcher from the London Knowledge Lab – see the post here. The researchers were looking at the advantages and disadvantages of using iPads for film making in schools. Below are links to their final films – they both had the theme of ‘mysterious boxes’:

Year 5 – Boxing Clever –

Year 8 – Boxed In –

Like us, they watched a few short films and clips for inspiration on how to create tension and a mood of mystery. They looked at clips from familiar films like ET and Monsters Inc. and less familiar ones like these – The Red Balloon a French Oscar winner by Albert Lamorisse from 1956 and Room 8 a BAFTA short film winner by James W Griffiths from 2014:





Final session and party

It’s the last session…. šŸ˜¦

Michelle does some of her research stuff: setting up an audio recorder, a few photos on the tables and some post-it notes. She wants to find out what we remember about the process from way back when we first started by writing memories, words, observations on the notes. Michelle points out a photo of Gman’s that is particularly good… this one:


It’s good because of the use of the ‘rule of thirds’ (imagining the photo split into a grid of 9 squares with balanced content in each one), the interesting natural lighting, the depth of field (seeing right to the bottom of the corridor), the composition (the arrangement of everything in the frame), AND catching Clara at exactly the right moment, in a fantastic pose in the centre of the frame. This is sophisticated photography and Gman should be really proud. Clara should also be proud as it’s not just her face that’s acting, but her whole body too. Well done!

There’s much excitement as people drift in …. we’re without Leonardo, not sure why. Dual2 nearly didn’t make it, so Michelle gives him his present before all the others … turns out he does make it to the session, but he manages to keepĀ the gift a secret.

Some are happy to write on the post-it notes but Dual2 for example prefers to interview his peers with the audio recorder. People are sad to see that it’s all over and more some have wondered if they can come back to help with the next Clip Club – if that were to happen. Michelle says that would be good, but they could also set up their own Club in their new secondary schools, like DJess did.

We move onto the next phase where Michelle has prepared some words/questions/phrases on cards. The group take turns to pick one or two up at a time and talk about what the cards say eg.

I liked it when…

I now know I’m good at…

Things went well when…

Things didn’t go so well when…

I think (X) is good at…

I think the best shot was…


Examples of the things the group says: Nimbus reckons it’s made him feel more creative / Dual2 recognises that film making is a process that takes planning and lots of time / Wizard23 thinks he’s got more social skills / Clara & Cara regret the times when they messed around and could have done more work.

Michelle gives everyone a present – a Celebrations box of sweets (& Mr. P some whiskey!) to thank them for making the past couple of years such a special time. We do a collective hands thing – what’s the name of that? – and go outĀ  to take photos. Mr. P produces some pop and hoola hoops. We watch the film and the ‘Making of’ film again as Wizard23 hadn’t seen them. Much laughter at Dual2 running along the paving stones – again!

Roll on Friday 11 July 2014 – the day we screen to the school. Next post will have links to all films.

More green screen, fixing a problem

We’re all aware that there are only a couple of sessions left to us as a group and there is still much to be done. Michelle talks about her research and asks the group if they wouldn’t mind filling in or decorating an accordion style (Moleskin) notebook, as they might a journal – to surprise me with any thoughts, feelings, drawings, prints of photos, collages, patterns, writing about the Club over the past 16 months.Ā  Also perhaps thinking about accomplishments / what might be missed / remembered / the best bits/ the worst bits/ the cool bits/ the funny bits. This will help Michelle understand how everyone has felt about the process over the months.

Wizard23 and Dual2 are back so we watch the edit so far to get everyone up to date. The split screen climax shot is still not quite right – they’re not aligned perfectly. So Nimbus comes up with a possible solution – to green screen another sideways shot of the Clone and drop that over the original shot of the real Clara. Most people help set up the shot. Clara rightly complains that she’s doing her best acting at a dramatic moment in the film, whilst others are messing about and putting her off.

As it happens, after we’ve wirelessly transferred the clip and imported it onto the timeline in iMovie, there are problems with the Clone’s proportion because we’re not doing it in the same location as before and the distance and angle of the camera is different. The green screen idea fixes the alignment problem because we’re no longer splitting the screen, but the Clone now looks quite small in comparison with the real Clara on the left of the screen. This is actually quite a funny effect but we’re not sure this is what we want at this point in the movie… Mr. P suggests she could be shrinking as well as disappearing….?

Wizard23 reminds people about the idea of the “Previously on Run School Run!” at the beginning of the film, I suggest we may not have time to do this but they’re welcome to take responsibility for it.

There’s more talk about how to end the film… and tie up a few loose ends.

The Headteacher has said that we can screen the film after an assembly at the end of term and do a Q & A with the audience.


Clip Club welcomes John Potter and film makers Xube Ltd

At the beginning of April the Clip Clubbers, John (Mr. P) and I were very pleased to welcome some professional film makers – Jeremy Henderson andĀ Richard Woolfenden – from a local film company called Xube (pronounced with a Z) and a researcher from The London Knowledge lab called John Potter. They wanted to get some inside information about young people’s film making and film making with ipads in particular. They are going to be working with schools in Leytonstone in a few weeks, making a couple of short films with 2 groups of 20 children (Year 5 & Year 8).

We all talked for about 40 minutes and then the visitors watched the clubbers taking some shots of the Clone walking down the stairs, for the film sequel. The children were asked about how they go about planning, shooting and editing, and the time it takes to get things done; how they make decisions; how it is to be working in a team; how they have been inspired by other short films and clips and how much the experience has affected their normal viewing habits.

We received a very nice email from John Potter about how much they had appreciated talking to the group (copied below). They were impressed by the clubbers’ detailed knowledge about film language, the process of film making and their overall enthusiasm. Mr. P and I are really very proud of how they performed and what they’ve achieved. Well done guys and thanks!

And here are some photos that Gman took of that day’s shoot – the stairs from different angles:

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John’s email to our Head Teacher, Ms. John said:

Good morning,
Please excuse the email out of the blue!
I just wanted to let you know that we had a very good visit as part of our research project for Into Film to your schoolā€™s Clip Club on Tuesday afternoon.
Michelle, John and all the children made us feel very welcome.
I think it is a unique after-school offering with a high level of commitment and fun all round and something to be really proud of. Ā Iā€™ve been working in the field for a number of years, researching childrenā€™s digital authoring of all kinds and rarely have I come across such an awareness of film language and the potential of digital technology for media work.
We came in order to learn for a film-making project in schools in Leytonstone next term, so the children were genuinely helping to pass their knowledge of working with iPads on and I hope we can come back next term to show what we were able to do with their help.
Please thank the children and everyone involved for us.
Best wishes,
Dr John Potter
London Knowledge Lab
Department of Culture, Communication and Media
Institute of Education, University of London,
23-29 Emerald StreetĀ 
Here are the photos that Richard took during our shoot – more lovely high angle staircase shots. Staircases are always really interesting spaces to film in. There is usually lots of light and opportunities to experiment with different shot types:

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Clip Club type sessions in Bordils, Spain

I thought you might like to see some of the people and other things I went to see in Barcelona in Spain a few weeks ago. I visited a primary school who, like you, watch film clips and make their own films and documentaries.

First you see Reception children walking through the town taking real and imagined photos of trees with their ‘juice-container-cameras’. The (Year 6) children by the river are interviewing an 81 year old man, Miguel, from the village who used to be the ferryman taking people, bikes and animals across the river. The young film makers scouted the location the day before and decided on that spot for the interview. You will probably recognise the things they say as they start filming, even though they’re speaking a type of Spanish called Catalan. They take footage of the interview, a few separate sound recordings and then a few different shots of Miguel walking down the path.

All the different years in the school are interviewing older folk in the village to capture and record their stories. These will then be edited together to make a documentary about their area and its history. I took some film of Year 1 children interviewing another man about the little chapel and what the hole in the wall was for.

I will work on subtitled translation at some point but wanted to show you how even Year 4s learn about: sound / light and colour/ framing and shots in foreign documentaries. The special thing about this school is that they do creative projects that involve all the Year groups. From about Year 1 they work using film and photography during normal lesson time in lots of different subjects, recording the process of making whatever they’re making. It was a real pleasure to spend 2 days there, the children and the teachers were all very busy and very happy!

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