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 “Sessions”

The Meeting Scene – with GreenScreen!

Well hello there! It has been ages since I last posted here! Been busy with Year 6 stuff and other things on my website. Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?

First, we watch the film that we have edited so far. In the words of 11-year-olds everywhere, ‘Shout Out’ to Michelle for editing some sound effects in to the film.

My idea, to fix the split-screen problem was to use GreenScreen to put a picture of human-Clara in the background, then have clone-Clara in front of the GreenScreen. But, and this is a big but, because the camera was too far away from the GreenScreen to fit the whole of Clara in to the shot, when we edited it in with iMovie, the Clara that was filmed today was a lot smaller than the Clara that was filmed a few sessions ago.

Finally, we discussed what the ending of Run School Run 2 will be like. But to know, you’ll just have to wait until the final film is produced…

He Dies At The End – short ‘horror’ clip

ecu-dies-at-endWe decide to get back to film clip watching and making. We watch this short horror movie by Irish film maker Damien McCarthy called He Dies At The End. Even though we know what is going to happen, it’s still scary and creepy and full of tension. Michelle records the clip clubbers’ reactions whilst watching and then some of the comments made afterwards.  Watch it and see what you think about how tension and suspense is created and maintained throughout, with the Director’s choice of images, shots and sound:

In another post I’ll put up another clip of the film director making the ‘thing’ at the end… it’d spoil the surprise if I post it here!

Filming whilst watching (in poor light):

Chat about the film afterwards:

Wizard23 filming Leonardo after watching ‘He dies at the end’:

November sessions

During November we’ve been getting to grips with the Explain Everything app on the iPads and playing with its many features: animation, camera/movie function, pinching, scrolling, panning, zooming, enlarging, drawing, designing slides, voice recording, exporting to .mov files, importing photos/images, saving to Dropbox and this kind of thing. The idea is to make some digital audiovisually illustrated stories. Here are some examples of the work we’ve been doing so far:









Playing with graphics

We look at turning words into ideas into images/symbols using an app called Adobe Ideas. The idea is to use words taken from the Tagul/Wordle images and then draw on different layers to produce a pattern or graphic that represents The Clip Club. One of the things to understand about being creative is that you’re putting new things together in ways that haven’t been seen before. This activity leads onto more creative play and here is what we came up with:

Using layered moving images (and sound) to illustrate a story is what we then watch in this animation called The Big Match about a young Belfast lad who goes for a memorable day out with his Dad:

We talk about how the film makes us feel. Some say sad, weird. Leonardo says something very insightful – that the film is an inspiration because you realise that it’s possible to illustrate a story with interesting moving images whilst listening to someone telling the story. So you don’t just have to listen, like on the radio, you can listen and watch at the same time. We also talk about what poignant meanssomething about sadness and importance. Cara makes a connection between the layers we saw in the film and the layers we looked at in the Ideas app.

Michelle asks everyone to come next week with a story of their own and perhaps an object, so we can begin to make our own memorable stories on the iPad using some of the techniques in The Big Match.

Great Job!

I think we did an excellent job on our film ‘Run School Run’! The way we crafted the ending scene was inspiring to the whole school. The amount of comments I got from my class alone was brilliant! I think we worked together wonderfully to finish the film, and we all did a good job in making it look good (even us behind the camera)!

Final session – July 2013


Film still: Wizard 23 at the end of a take, running upstairs, being filmed by Dual2 and photographed by Gman

It is decided that the final film – and the blooper clips – will be shown at the assembly in the final week of term. So Michelle gets to work polishing the edit with some iMovie sound effects. The group gets to see the final edit and suggests a few amendments which includes some accidental editing at the end of the film that we decide to keep. Wizard23 has been busy with Mr. Peppard deciding on where to put the film posters and organising a screening of the trailer on the outdoor screen as children enter the school.

We also watch Nimbus’s filmed homework: the Mentos and Coke experiment in the park. He had decided to film the experiment with family and friends rather than write about it.

Everyone is quite sad to be finishing the project and wants to carry on next year! We’ll miss DJess because she’s going to secondary school but the others can perhaps carry on and welcome some Year 5s into the group.

What a brilliant time we’ve had! Why not make some comments if you enjoyed this project!

Will post the final film and bloopers after the premiere.

Shooting final scene & editing

We split into 2 groups – one shooting the final scene and the other starting to edit in a group on the smart board. There are varying degrees of success with this strategy. A way to end the film hasn’t at this point been established but in the short time available, the final scene is created and shot – featuring Dual2 innocently reattaching the cable to the computer; this makes for a cliff-hanger ending.

The clips had already been put in a certain order on the timeline in iMovie and so the other group starts looking at how best to cut these clips to tell the story in as dramatic and engaging a way as possible. The clips are all very long at this point and it means detecting the best bits and really cutting out everything that is not necessary to the story. This is quite difficult but it’s vital to make the story move along and keep the audience with us.

At the end of the session we upload the ‘ending’ and watch the cut so far.

Run School Run! Shoot 2

We try to get more shots outside in the playground but take a long time to get going and it’s all a bit disorganised. We do however manage to get a few mid and close-up shots of Clone Ellen on the climbing frame and running away. Next time there will have to be 2 or 3 groups working to get things moving along:

1) camera crew filming the last shots

2) editing team starting on the footage we’ve got already

3) sound editor(s) collecting sounds around the school on a voice recorder

DJess comes up with a great idea about the Clone losing energy at the same time as the computer’s battery runs out – and cutting to the computer battery in the edit, gradually reducing to 0%.


Run School Run! Shoot 1

photoWe manage to get 4 shots done in this session, which is great. First we discuss the plot to refresh our memories and look at the photo-storyboard on the blog. We run through a few filming techniques eg. the importance of camera position and angle and the various roles of the film crew. Everyone will have a go at each job. Let’s remember the order of events:

The Director thinks about the shots in this scene and where best to position the camera and the actors. (Is the camera fixed? Does the camera move? do the actors move? If so, how?)The Assistant Director (AD) gets everyone into position behind the camera and shouts: “All quiet!”
The Director positions the actors in the scene and where the camera should be placed
The Camera operative says: “Camera rolling!”
The Clapper says: “Scene 1, Take 1”
The Director says: “Action!” and then “Cut!” at the end of the shot

For example the first shot was allocated like this:


Setting: Library
Close up shot of the computer on a table with iMovie opened on it. We see an image of Clara on the screen, the film is in the middle of being edited. Do a couple of shots from different angles. Important not to move the computer between takes.

Director: Leonardo

Assistant Director (AD): Dual2

Camera: Nimbus

Clapper: Cara

The others without a specific role are encouraged to watch, listen and learn so they know what they’re doing the next time.


Setting: Library
Clone of Clara ‘comes out of’ the computer. This will be a series of shots done separately later (like the Alma sequence) but we need Clone Clara just after she has come out and walking towards the door. Take 2 or 3 different shots of the same scene from different angles

Director: Wizard23

AD: Leonardo

Camera: Dual2

Clapper: Gman

Scene 3

Setting: Around the School
Clone Clara wandering round school, looking at things, touching objects and looking scary. Take 3 different shots in different locations and angles.

Director: Nimbus

AD: Cara

Camera: Gman

Clapper: Wizard23

It was an excellent try at a first shoot, and here are a few bloopers – because it’s fun! and also, we can see what we can do a bit better next time.

Storyline and shooting the storyboard

Here’s the storyline:

A Macbook is left on a table in the library with iMovie opened on a project. Footage of Clara is being edited.

Something happens and a clone of Clara comes out of the computer (the ‘Alma sequence’ of shots).

She goes off wandering round the school.

Wizard23 & Clara come back to the library and continue working on their film.

Clone Clara finally finds them.

Wizard23 hears something, turns round and sees both Claras.

Clone Clara reaches out to grab Wizard23 to get him out of the way.

Wizard23 and Clara are in shock and try to defend themselves. Wizard23 runs away.

Clone Clara doesn’t go after them, she touches the computer to get back into the iMovie programme to get ‘home’… (another ‘Alma sequence’ of shots).

Nimbus set up some nice shots and Gman used his photographic eye to take some great photos to capture the rough plot outline. There was some brilliant acting and great support from the rest of the team. Thanks guys!

Here’s a slideshow of the storyboard:

Here’s a test series of shots to show you how the ‘Alma sequence’ might work once the stills/effects/sounds are decided on.

Alma Chat

Here’s a recording (13 minutes) of a chat we had about the shots and sounds we remembered from the previous session, after watching the short Spanish animation called Alma:

The group were really good at remembering small details, especially about the sounds. We will probably use some of these ideas in our film.

I’m afraid the recording is really low (technical issue…) so needs to be listened to with head phones or big speakers…

Alma Analysis Session

I’m still thinking about last week – analysing Rodrigo’s Blaas’ short animated film – Alma – almost frame by frame – it was an explosive session.

Bursting with great ideas and discussions about the intentions of the film maker, narrative, camera distance, positioning and movement, symbolism, sound, editing, artistry, mood and light…. Wizard23 and Dual2 wrote down many of the techniques used in Alma, some of which we may use in our own film to create drama and suspense.


Film techniques used in Alma to create drama and suspense

I particularly liked Clara’s suggestion that the front of the shop looked like a menacing face into which Alma was being drawn. Mr. P noticed that the ECU of the dolls’ head with Alma’s reflection inside it could symbolise her being inside the dolls’ head later. This idea comes back again seeing the inside of the shop out of Alma’s doll’s eyes when she’s sitting on the shelf.

The clipclubbers also made comments on the sound effects and the creepy music. Often sounds are heard before you see what’s making the sound. There’s a good point of view sequence of shots when Alma is looking for her doll and the camera moves quickly from left to right, as if it was her head searching this way and that. We noted that there were about 40 separate frames that made up the amazing 2 second sequence when Alma got ‘absorbed’ into the the doll. A couple of these frames reminded me of Gman’s flash photos of Wizard23 lying on the floor.

There are lots of activities we could follow up with here.. Some experimental scriptwriting/poetry: from the point of view of the next doll-victim? a conversation between the twin dolls when they see Alma coming in the shop? the thoughts of the little boy trying to escape? more on Alma’s confusion? something exploring the ‘thoughts’ of the shop itself.

If we had time we could also storyboard and film a reconstruction of a section of the film trying out camera shots, always bearing in mind that no shot must go to waste – there must always be a reason for a choice of shot. Another idea might be to improvise this – in silence – with them taking it in turns to be the director placing camera, people and props accordingly.

However, I think that the next session should be about discussing and starting to storyboard our film.

Post Navigation