Movie-making at Beard Elementary: The green screen, plus stop-motion animation

Before you skip to the adorable videography below: 1st to 3rd graders at Beard Elementary in Norridge worked with teaching artists Jesse Avina (media arts) and Gwen Tulin (theater) on these multi-disciplinary projects this winter. For optimal enjoyment, a bit of explanation…

1. Jesse’s class video: “In this 4-week digital media residency we explored animal morphology and gestures. Each student was asked to decide on an animal and create two masks based on that creature. The bottom mask would consist of the animal’s mouth and nose (decorated with markers on a white bandana), while the top would be made from half a paper plate and include the eyes and ears (markers, yarn, and feathers were used on the top portion). Next, students created an artistic rendering of their chosen animal’s habitat with markers, colored pencils, and stickers and the teaching artist photographed the work. Lastly, students performed as their animal (clawing, jumping, stalking, pouncing) in front of a green screen and their habitats were used as background in the video pieces.”

Visual art + theater/performance + film and media:

2. Gwen’s video: After discussing the parts of a story (beginning, middle and end, etc), students viewed various claymations and stop-motion animations. Each student constructed a clay character and a 2-dimensional environment for that character. They used storyboarding techniques to plan prior to filming, and then Gwen helped them to photograph and animate these short stop-motions!

Storytelling + character development + animation:

Thanks to Jesse and Gwen for this fantastic documentation!