The Clip Club

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

The Iron Giant

I think this is a lovely large scale animation – using people and big props, lying on the floor – created by Year 4 children at Sunnyhill Primary School in Streatham, South London. It’s a retelling of The Iron Man made as part of London Connected Learning Centre’s Cultural Campus 2014. Those of you who have done some animation and editing before will know how much work this was! The children were supported by artist/animator Reza Ben Gajra:


The Iron Man by Sunnyhill Primary School – Cultural Campus from LondonCLC on Vimeo.

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 – http://outofthebox.xube.co.uk/2014/07/11/boxing-clever/

Year 8 – Boxed In – http://outofthebox.xube.co.uk/2014/07/11/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:

 

 

 

 

School Screening Q & A – July 2014

Congratulations to all the Clubbers on their successful screening event! We manage to get all 3 films into a tight assembly schedule: we go first instead of second in the line-up and have to squeeze the 3 films and the Q and A into 20 minutes. [Dual2 and Carla aren’t able to make it]. The films are well received with questions about the effects, how much fun it was and the time it took.

Here’s the post with links to the films.

 

 

Run School Run! 1 & 2 + Making of – on Youtube

Just to remind you – here’s the first film: Run School Run!:

Here’s our new sequel Run School Run! 2:

And here’s ‘The making of’ & Bloopers:

Final session and party

It’s the last session…. 😦

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:

DSCF4686

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 keep 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…

TEAM / FUN / EDITING …

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 out  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.

Clubbers’ Screening of edited version & ‘Making of’

Earlier in the week I finished the edited version of ‘Run School Run! 2′ and edited a ‘Making of’ film. So this session is all about our first viewing of the film as a group. It comes after a long day of rehearsing for the summer Year 6 production of Bugsy Malone, so people are a bit frazzled. It’s still great to see everyone turn up despite being tired and excited about all the other things that happen at the end of the summer term. Wizard23 has a football engagement so he’ll see the finished version later.

I film the group watching both films. It’s satisfying to see everyone smiling and enjoying the final cut with the soundtrack. At one point people are shouting: ‘My shot!’ as they watch the edited clips roll by. People notice that new unseen clips – like Clara’s close-up – have made it into the film as well as new sound effects like the beating heart.

Gman has a great idea about including the clip of Dual2 running and screaming. This is the clip that has caused the most hilarity. It doesn’t quite make sense to include it in the final film but it’s fine to add to the end of  the ‘Making of’ – after the credits… to put a smile on everyone’s face. Gman, who deserves special credit for this, runs to the computer to add it to the end and then the group decides to split it in 2 and reverse the action, distorting the sound.

This kind of spontaneous group editing seems to show how safe and comfortable everyone feels when it comes to taking creative risk collectively. I was a bit disappointed at having to finish the final edit myself because of timing, but the fun we have at the end of this session more than makes up for it, in fact it may have set it up.

Dual2 asks about the possibility of taking the project home and ‘having it on his phone’. This is a great idea but sadly not practical in terms of shifting all the iMovie source files over to his mobile phone. I told him there’s an iMovie app – paid for – that he could experiment with at home, using new footage.

Looking forward to screening the first film , the sequel and the ‘Making of’ to the school very soon!!

Tagxedo hand print

Here’s another Wordle type thing that makes an image of all the words on the blog. The more the word appears on the blog, the bigger the text. It’s interesting to see Making come up as the biggest word. Click on the image for a bigger picture.

tagxedo-clipclub-words

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.  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.

 

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…

Green screen and split screen adventures

Cara shoots the climax ‘meet scene’ again, and again, and again. She would have shot it yet again if we’d had the time. We find it’s really important to keep the camera still, but we don’t have a tripod for the iPad. The last time we shoot it Mr. P comes up with a makeshift tripod/trolley thing to keep the camera steady, whilst Clara shifts position in front of the camera to become the Clone on the other side of the 2-shot. See below one of the takes.

Nimbus watches the Youtube clip from the last post whilst the others are filming and figures out how to make the split screen work. In this process, because of the blue bits in Clara’s school uniform, other unexpected effects are discovered that make Clara body look like it’s semi-disappearing or that her body has been cut in half and absorbed by the Clone?…. maybe we could use this effect somehow?

In the end we’re not sure if the split screen works 100% because of a lack of alignment and we still need to work out bits of the narrative to make it flow. Dual2 and Wizard23 aren’t here today, but we may need them to come back to make the story fit together.

We try some green screen filming. The screen has been set up earlier and Gman films Clone Clara settling in back ‘home’, walking across the green background. Whatever is green can be replaced with whatever we like, an image, more film perhaps? Nimbus suggests Clone Clara touches the green screen as if she’s interacting with her stuff at home. He has a go at slotting in Wizard23’s drawn backdrop of the insides of the computer on the timeline and then putting the green screen footage on top of it. As Gman points out, peeling off bits of film on the timeline to hide the bits of film not covered by the green screen, makes it looks like she’s entering a portal.

Here’s the original green screen footage and then a clip of the editing process in iMovie …  it’s a sneak preview of the final bit of the film… It’s really great the way everyone works together on this … gathering around the screen and chipping in with editing suggestions… We’ve been quick with the filming, quick with the wireless download from iPad to Macbook, quick with the import into iMovie and finally patient and careful with the second go at making it all work in the software.

Well done guys, it looks great! Just need to think about the narrative so it makes sense to the audience. Just a few more sessions to go now….

Workshop style session & split screen

It is another small group in this session. Wizard23 has football and Dual2 is elsewhere. Nimbus chooses to edit as does Leonardo, while Clara and Cara go and shoot the climax of the film – the meet scene where Clara meets her clone. Meanwhile Gman captures it all on the stills camera. Nimbus and Leonardo begin to think about the sound track – listening to the effects and samples available in the iMovie database.

It then turns out that we need to film Nimbus – The Master – having a meltdown under the stairs so Clara does some editing while this is happening. Both Cara and Gman have goes at filming – there’s a low angle pan upwards from Nimbus’s feet to head and then a high angle shot from the stairs, looking down on a crumpled Nimbus losing his sense of power and all his computer equipment. This shot reminds us of the shot earlier in the film where Nimbus was looking up and smiling, except this time he’s falling apart and things are all going wrong.

The group even get another shot done today – of the Clone’s twitching face as her batteries start to run out. Thanks to Gman for getting these shots and showing us how the film is being put together. Loving the screen in the screen!

It feels like a workshop today because people change what they are doing depending on what needs to be done. And then others take their place. I need to go to a meeting so Mr. P takes over during the remaining time. We’re also collecting some fun bloopers in a special folder in the iMovie project. Hopefully someone will feel like editing all these together at the end.

In the next session – after the half term holiday – let’s use this Youtube clip to tell us how to do a split screen effect. It would be great if someone could watch it beforehand and be prepared to tell us how to do it:

Shooting The Meet scene, editing, experimenting on the bridge

Two weeks in May:

We watch a 5 minute animation called Animatou by a Swiss animator called Claude Luyet. He was asked to make a film showing many different animation techniques and he chose to do that using the classic ‘cat and mouse’ routine. The reason I choose to show it now is because it could give us inspiration about how to end the film…?

'Animatou' short by Claude Luyet

‘Animatou’ short by Claude Luyet Source: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtwzud_animatou_shortfilms

Cara is editing with me, and Mr. P accompanies the film crew around film locations going through the shot list. This works well – I make a point of not getting involved and they organise themselves with varying levels of co-ordination. I remind Cara about editing techniques in iMovie and we cut a great sequence. Cara is very good at watching clips, choosing appropriate ones and discarding the rest. She puts the clips in the order she wants and then chops them up into another order and shorter lengths to create tension.

Gman takes a rest from taking photos [particularly like the ones from behind the window of Clara fainting, shown below] and joins the editing team the following week, and over 2 sessions we get to the bit where Clara and Wizard23 are running away from the Clone, down the corridor, passing on either side of the camera – at which point the camera man was lying on the floor propping up the iPad – good choice!. The low angle here makes the audience feel the panic in the actors’ feet as well as on their faces.

Nimbus decides that a good place for the split screen Clone/Real Clara shot might be the bridge. We’re not sure yet if we’re going to use this as we would need to get the actors outside somehow, from the inside corridor shot. Wizard23 starts a great drawing of the insides of a computer. This is because the group had seen the short animation described above and might use some of its ideas with a green screen effect. Meanwhile Clara takes advantage of the smaller group today to film some “Making of” shots.

We watch the shots filmed so far and the cut as it stands at the moment.

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