by Peckover Primary School
As part of our History topic on the Victorians, we studied the story of Grace Darling. The children were totally captivated by the story when we used an outdoor drama lesson to support some story writing. We decided at this moment that this story would be what we would use as the basis for our film festival entry this year!
In our school hall, we set up a green screen (attached to the wall bars!) and some very simple props such as a cardboard box in the shape of a boat, some metre rulers for oars and a PE bench set up on an incline as a slope down to the shore! Then we began filming with a DSLR camera set up on a tripod.
Following a storyboard that had been prepared with the main scenes from our previous drama work, and key points from the children's completed stories, we filmed the main events with different children acting in each scene. The children were encouraged to over exaggerate their actions so that the overall effect would come across clearer.
Back in the classroom, the children had great fun in painting wild sea scene pictures with paint! All of the outdoor backgrounds are the children's own work. (Lighthouse brickwork from free clipart).
After the filming the scenes were edited together using Adobe Premier and After Effects CC where the acting was turned into silhouettes to give a more dramatic effect. The silhouettes were then composited over the children's artwork (sea/ship pictures). We decided that we did not want to use any speaking parts, but to have the sound of crashing waves and thunder storms to highlight the danger that Grace and her father were in. Free sound effects from freesfx.co.uk were used and are credited at the end of the film.
Finally the text was added to the film, and it was taken from the various stories that the children had written previously in the classroom.
The whole movie was fresh and inventively composed and you used professional software to do it.
The silhouettes' actions were clear and easy to understand.
I think the choice of the soundtrack was not the best - it was overpowering the action - it was very dark and intense. You could have used more lyrical track to enhance the visuals and use some sound effects as well.