Several weeks back, I received an email from our local Apple computer store advertising a 3-morning (90 minutes/morning), movie-making workshop for kids ages 9-12...free of charge! Movie-making is something that Matthew had been expressing an interest in learning how to do and so I signed the two of us up for this week (a parent was required to accompany him). Lizzie is in basketball camp this week, so I arranged with my parents and two good friends to take Seth for these three mornings, and everyone has been happy with the arrangements!
On Wednesday, the first morning of the movie-making camp, Matthew learned to make a storyboard to reflect the different scenes he wanted to show in his 1-2 minute movie. He also learned how to use Garage Band on an ipad, and ended up creating and mixing his own music on Garage Band to reflect the different scenes of his plot.
Wednesday evening, after his first morning at Apple Camp, Matthew had to shoot his movie (based on the storyboard he'd completed), and he decided to use a Stop Motion app that I'd downloaded onto my iphone to shoot his movie. He didn't have a lot of time that evening to shoot his movie, but he gave it a good try!
Yesterday morning was the second morning of Apple camp. Matthew learned how to merge his movie with his music on iMovie, how to edit the music a little better to fit with the various scenes, how to add a few sound effects, and how to download it all onto a USB.
This morning, though it hasn't happened quite yet, is the day they present all of the kids' finished movies...and I'm not sure what else.
I was pretty impressed with Apple Camp. Although the first morning was a little rushed and could have benefitted from an additional half hour to work on storyboards and music creation, it was otherwise pretty terrific. There were a dozen kids there, working with four instructors, and I thought the instructors were pretty terrific at teaching rather than simply doing stuff for the kids. For a kid like Matthew, who has had very, very little experience on computers to date, the instructors were perfect at teaching him how to drag things here and there, and how to do some things that I found somewhat challenging to do (but which Matthew picked up pretty fast!). Even though the workshop cost me nothing, they provided the kids with a great t-shirt, a nice set of headphones and a USB bracelet with a copy of the final movie on it...and I think the memories of the Camp were worth quite a lot.
Matthew wasn't really all that happy with the final result of the movie, to be honest, but he didn't really care a whole lot about what others thought of it, and he had the perspective that this was a learning experience for him and that he'd use his new skills to do better the next time. Already yesterday evening he was asking to use my iphone with the stop animation app to start on another movie.
I personally thought his movie was a great first effort and a terrific learning experience; I have no doubt that he'll be doing this more at home and trying new and creative ways of improving upon his first attempt.
Matthew's movie (based loosely on a 900-word short story that he and his cousin wrote a couple of weeks ago, called The Great Pound Escape) is called Lost and Found. It's about a dog family (two parent dogs and their two puppies). The movie begins with the birth of the puppies (cue happy music); then shows a pound keeper (played by Seth) taking the puppies away and putting them into the jail/pound (sad music), where they're very sad; it then proceeds to a scene where the puppies escape from the pound and enjoy a few little adventures in the great outdoors (cheerful music); and ends with the puppies being reconciled to their parents (accompanied by some barking sound effects).
Here it is, for the first time: Lost and Found. Directed, edited, and produced by Matthew, starring Seth, Finn (mother dog), Oreo (father dog), and Puff and Ruff (the puppies).