There is a wonderful app called Silent Film Studio which lets you shoot video clips on the iPad, add title cards (in that wonderful art deco style) and converts it all into a shakey, scratchy silent movie with an era-approriate piano jingle to go with it. It’s easy and a lot of fun to use.
I showed the students a couple of examples of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, so they got the idea of slapstick. You can appreciate how the 6-8 year olds really loved seeing movies of people fake slapping each other and falling about everywhere. The only thing they loved more than watching the movies was making them.
This short video I’ve done explains how you can quickly make a silent movie using the app.
I spent two sessions on this. The first was the introduction to the genre and the app, with some time for the kids to play around with it. The second session was for them to start from scratch and make their movies.
I didn’t worry much about title cards for the Prep-Gr 1s, but I did insist the Gr 2s put some thought into what should go on them. We discussed how they were used for dialoague, in place of sound, and occassionally for setting the scene.
Here is a student example.
A fun activity that taught the kids about movie making from yesteryear, but one that the kids were highly engaged in making.