Coaching kids to create quality video? Help! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-12-2012, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I know this is a hardware forum, so please forgive me for straying from the normal thread content about camcorders and associated equipment.

I have an opportunity this summer to work with my granddaughters on a "video summer school". They are 10 and 12 years old, very bright, charming and a lot of fun. Both have done a couple of videos on their own. The 10 year old put some clips in a PowerPoint show on the Wright Brothers for a class assignment and the other did a documentary on "Grandma's Beef Stew". Sharing an $800 camcorder with a kid can be interesting.

My original plan was to take a couple of afternoons a week and work through various on line training programs from places like lynda.com. I tested it on them and they were excited. My goal was not for them to master the tools, but more to understand what tools are available and what they can do.

I ran my plan past a friend who works at Adobe. He has children the same age as my grandchildren and is frustrated because, with all of his contacts and assets, he can't find quality kid video training. So, he raised the bar!

We had a "meeting" during a camping trip last weekend at a picnic table. The Adobe executive, me and my two grandchildren discussed the plan. He proposed that, in exchange for a CS6 package, we should create some kid targeted training with the emphasis on "story telling". He sent me an example of a vimeo that took actual clips from a famous hollywood comedy and turned it into a short horror story using story telling techniques and editing. His point was that it is about the story telling, not the equipment or software.

So the goal is far beyond my original survey course of video tools. Now, two kids and I are going to try to find ways to teach other kids how to make something interesting and watchable.

As soon as school is out, we will have our first "brainstorm" and try to come up with a plan.

The purpose of this post is to appeal to you for ideas, and any examples, of what might work that focuses on learning "story telling with video".

And, not as important, but I may need a new laptop with better graphics support! Ideas on that too would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Bill
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-12-2012, 05:55 PM
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Great idea, Bill! Before you get started, you might want to take a look at a few books and DVDs on similar topics to see what's already been done, e.g:

Elementary
"Movie Making Fun for Kids" (DVD)
co-branded with minimoviemakers.com website

Middle Grades
"Kids Guide to Movie Making: How kids can produce and direct their own movies that audiences will love" (Paperback)

High School
"Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts (Paperback)

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-13-2012, 07:05 AM
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My experience with teaching kids is from sports, not filmmaking - but I think it's most important to make the activity fun. If kids enjoy it, then they'll spend the effort/time to become good at it.

I think you should just let them shoot. Try to teach editing by being selective in the shots, not post production. Teach them how to hold the camera steady and frame a shot. Teach them how to be in front of the camera. Teach them to post to Youtube so the videos can be shared. Then when they're hooked slowly introduce them to the more tedious aspects of film making. Don't bore them with lots of classroom stuff at first.
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