A Kid, A Camera and A Big Idea

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Movie making is no longer the realm of the big names like Baz Luhrmann, SirPeter Jackson and George Lucas.  Technology has now put the tools into thehands of our students and for six years Tropfest, the world's largest shortfilm festival, has held Trop Jr for film-makers 15 and underhttp://tropfest.com/au/trop-jr/. Producing a video is a common assessmenttask in a range of circumstances, not to mention the accessibility ofYouTube!  But while having the tools and an audience are essential, havingthe know-how or access to someone with the know-how to make the movie standabove others is the critical intermediary step.  This book provides that.Author Claire Dicarlo is both an actress and a film-maker and her passion isto get kids to tap into their imaginations, and have the courage to sharetheir stories with others through film.  While she has founded Buzz MovieMakers in Melbourne and has made over 1000 short films with children, sherealised that there were many who could not access her expertise so thisbook is the result of trying to reach them.  It is a stand-alonestep-by-step guide.

Comprising 27 chapters full of information, explanations, tips, tricks andthe stories of real kids and a DVD that puts the words into practice so thereader can see what to do, it is the ideal resource for the buddingmovie-maker, the art faculty or anyone wanting to take their movie from'home-movie" to professional.  Claire speaks directly to the reader as shewrites, starting at the very beginning of the process by having themconsider why they want to make the movie.  What is its purpose?  Is it topersuade, inform or entertain and how do they want their audience to feel asa result of viewing it.  Is it take them to a different place or a differenttime? These decisions are the foundation of any movie (or writing).   Shediscusses how to come up with a great idea, how to structure the story welland how to write a script. There is even a chapter about how to enter amovie festival and another that enables them to ensure they comply withcopyright in both production and screening. It is much more than a technicaldiary. The information is in short chunks, headings are in question formatand there are photos and illustrations throughout.  Tips, examples, casestudies and worksheets for the reader to jot down their own ideas accompanyeach chapter.While Claire's target audience is kids from 9-13 and it is written so thatthey can follow it independently to make their own film, this resource has areal appeal for those like me who would love to get students doing this,starting with a book trailer, but just don't have the expertise becausemovie-making wasn't an accessible skillset for us as we learned our teachingcraft.   There is a place for this both on the general shelves as well asthe Teachers' Resources section and there would be many parents who wouldwelcome its suggestion as a gift for their budding film-maker.

Crowd-sourced through Pozible http://www.pozible.com/project/174935 (have alook to see how much putting such a project together costs) it is anexcellent result for those who invested.

220 pages  9780987563408   Ages 10 and up

Recommended by:  Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, New South Wales Australia

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