At Highfield Junior School we run a popular weekly Film Club, which was started by a parent of the school (Saskia van Roomen).
The reason for starting the club was to share our love for film and to show a real variety of films that children may perhaps not see at home or at the cinema. Films are a great way to discover other cultures and to reflect on the world around us. Watching and discussing films together also develops our critical thinking and social and communication skills.
To date we have watched a wide range of films from Iranian to French films, silent, black & white and classic Hollywood films. Some of the films we have loved best are: A Town Called Panic (Belgium), The Kid (silent, Charlie Chaplin film), The Never Ending Story (American Fantasy film), Frankenweenie (Gothic Tim Burton film) to name but a few.
Everybody can review the films straight onto the Film Club website at www.filmclub.org. Two of our members have even won 'Reviewer of the Week' awards from Film Club and were each sent a special goodie bag! Why don't you log on to the website and see some of our reviews?
In July, welcomed representatives from Into Film to Highfield Junior School. Into Film is the national film education charity that organises film clubs all across the UK and we have been lucky to run one since 2014.
Claire and Alexia from Into Film came to our school to teach a select audience of teachers, teaching assistants, pupils and ex-pupils the fundamentals of animation. In a whirlwind session we learned about various animation techniques using plastacine, paper, silhouette cut-outs and a lightbox.
We looked at early animation and delved deeper into the history of how filmmakers first started to understand and create the illusion of movement. It all comes down to a phenomenon called ‘Persistence of Vision’: when you see slightly different images in quick succession, it is the persistence of vision filling in the gap between each image and allowing for the illusion of motion.
An easy way to see this at work is by creating your own flipbook. You can make one using a block of sticky notes and a pencil. Here is a useful tutorial: http://bit.ly/1NCLq6Y
After the theoretical part came the practical part of the session. We all split into groups and had a go at making stop-motion animation. It certainly is much harder than it looks! It takes real teamwork and problem solving skills to make even the shortest animation. After about an hour of hard work we managed to come up with some lovely little films.
This past year the children in Film Club have made a number of animations that are uploaded here too. Do you like what you see? Come and join us next year at Film Club!
Some work can be seen here: