Friday, March 30, 2007

Stepney School Animations are live!

Production Still: "How Willberforce Stopped the Slave Trade" KS2

Great news! The first series of animated films made as part of my 30 day residency through Creative Partnerships Hull and Arts Council England. are now on the Stepney school webiste! You can see animation made from 3 year olds in foundation, fables in key stage 1 and the just completed film made by year 3+4 about William Willberforce - which is already generating a good deal of excitment.

My 30 day residency at Stepney School is fast beoming one of the most extraordinary, enjoyable and inspiring adventures of my life. Animation is the art form of our age and remains virtually untapped as a teaching tool. In education, just like film, animation can be mistaken as a gimmick or a poor second cousin to live-action. What I’ve learnt is that the reverse is true. Few art forms have the power to captivate young people and facilitate creative expression like animation. To be able to connect with children through cartoons is awesome. My year 6 teacher saw the potential years ago when he invited me to make a cartoon about what I was learning in class. It’s not rocket science. But I'll let these films speak for themselves. Enjoy!
"Jack and the Beanstalk", KS1

Thursday, March 29, 2007

3 films in a day!

Last Sunday was sunny and gorgeous in Goole - perfect for making a series of films based on everything we've been looking at so far - old Goole stories, acting, film-making and special effects. Under the supervision of Duchy Parade Films Peter M Kershaw, our groups got their first experience using actual film cameras with black and white film thanks to our sponsors at Kodak! We discovered how to use a range of Super 8 cameras, set up a tripod and direct a shot on location. Our groups storyboarded, made props and special effects set pieces, rehearsed, acted, directed. In short they made their very own silent movies in a day.

EVERYBODY came away from the day with a ton of learning which will provide invaluable in preparing for the shoot proper over Spring Bank. The films are going away for developing and will have their first screening when we visit the National Media Museum at Bradford on Sunday 29th April!

This Sunday, 1st April is our last session before Easter. Peter Kershaw is taking a writing workshop at 2pm and helping our group prepare for their next challenge. Pitching a film concept to our group - our Goole Silent Movie project!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Comic Relief

Er yes, I went to school in my pyjamas and all in aid of comic relief! And we raised a lot of money in the process!! Well what can I say? Some of my favourite times since the New Year have been working with Stepney School in Hull. The 'Animated Solutions' learning programme has been developed and supported in conjunction with Creative Partnerships Hull, an Arts Council England initiative. I feel incredibly lucky to have spent time in this inspiring school who have earned an outstanding OFSTED report. The school in Beverley Road has also become the sixth city school to be awarded Beacon School status by the Government, Beacon designed to spread good practice, helping to raise standards and achievement within schools.

When I have more time, I'll write down some of the extraordinary discoveries and we've in using animation to aid the curriculum with links to some of the inspiring animation which has been developed through the programme. You can see in the background some of the work I did with year 2.
To add to the surreal experience, I was interviewed by Viking FM (in my pyjamas) about a project years 3 and 4 have spent the last two weeks working on - an animated film about William Wilberforce to mark 200 years since the ‘Abolition of the Slave Trade’ Act. Next week Creative Partnerships are bringing in percussionist Garry Hammond of The Beautiful South fame to work with the children on the sound track. I can't wait! Much more news on this project soon.