Monday, February 16, 2009

Your kids, future movie directors.

Chances are if you're a parent, you already have a digital camera.

I mean, it's the thing to do, right? As a parent (especially a new one), you should take gigs and gigs of photos of your little ones drooling, walking, sleeping or even making weird faces. I certainly do it and my flickr account can attest to that, not to mention, memory is CHEAP!

So, here's a chance to put your kids behind the lens.

How? By making a stop motion video. It's actually pretty straight forward.

Here are the tools we used:

For you Windows XP users, you could use Windows Movie Maker. It's free with Windows XP SP2 and available here.

The Creative Process (total time: about one hour)

We had the kids put together a story line based on their interests. In our case, it was SpongeBob SquarePants. I'm sure it had something to do with them coming off of a Nickelodeon Marathon... It also helped that we had SpongeBob legos. So depending on what you have to work with go with what makes them (and you) happy. I'm sure with enough prodding we could have done a Star Wars themed movie, but, I digress.

When putting together the story we guided them to keep the story line short and to about four "scenes".

We then drew out story boards, just like they've seen on the extra features of many of the DVDs they have.

And starting building props and background images.

Production Process (total time: about one hour)

Once we had all the pieces that followed the storyboards, we set up the camera on a tripod in front of our workspace.

And, followed these steps.

  1. Checked background
  2. Place Props
  3. Place / Move Characters
  4. Snapp Photo
  5. Repeat
And that was pretty much it.
Editing (total time: 30+ minutes depending on your OCD)

Editing was pretty easy, details on how that was done can be found on my other blog, which highlight using the iLife '09 Suite on the Mac. Doing it on Windows is just as easy, just drag and drop.

Publish and Share

Then post up to your favorite video sharing site and share with your friends and family. Here's the fruit of the kids' labors.

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