Monday, March 25, 2013

The 2nd Annual 4th Grade Film Festival (Part 3: Extreme Action)

There were several genres in advertising that this year's class identified, but when it came down to writing scripts, the following are what most students chose:
Famous People
Extreme Action
Make Your Life Better

For this post, I'll be focusing on "Extreme Action." This is the genre, the children discovered, that tries to make a product more interesting by surrounding it with action. The Mountain Dew "Do The Dew" campaign has always been a good example of this. There are a couple of constants I've seen through the years with this genre. First, it is always the most popular genre to write in. Second, there is always a lot of running  and people looking at maps. I'll feature some of the ones that provided technical challenges.

For this first commercial, there were two big challenges; The first was to have the floor be part of the green screen. We used green pillows to get over this obstacle, and I was able to crop so of the floor in iMovie '11. The second challenge was climbing up the mountain. Again we used the green pillows to provide the ground, and tilted the camera 45 degrees to make it look like they were climbing. 
The scenery shots were taken from the "Planet Earth" TV series.

In this commercial, the author is selling mini-comics that he's written, in the vein of Lunch Money, by Andrew Clements. There is a lot of running and chasing in this one but the nice thing is that iMovie 'll has a "comic book" template that puts each scene in it's own comic panel.

The next is another epic commercial with a lot of running. To switch things up, we decided to run towards the camera instead of making a side-scroller. We filmed this commercial during "Pajama Day" at our school, so we changed the script slightly from the original.

The final commercial I'm featuring wouldn't have been possible a year ago... at least with my limited technical skill. That is because it has the actresses interacting with natural elements. In the original script the author wanted the actresses to be running away from a rolling bolder, ala Indiana Jones. I took a look at the boulder footage from the movie, but the camera was steady while the boulder was rolling and not moving with the boulder. That would make running away impossible if we used that footage.But thanks to the "Action Movie" app for the ipad, there was a solution. I had a lot of fun exploring this app on my own when I discovered it during Christmas Break making various mixed genre trailers.
Instead of a rolling boulder, we used a dropping boulder from the app. And it even had a lightning effect, which made that scene possible as well.

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