Learning the tricks of videos

When I was a kid, someone bought me the Klutz book of Juggling, which came with three beanbags and funny instructions on how to juggle. Never would I have imagined that I could juggle, but the Klutz book led the way. You should see my students faces when we are standing in line and I start juggling a few Koosh balls. I’m not that good at it, but good enough to keep the three balls in the air for a few minutes.

Franki, over at  A Year of Reading, has been moving her way into moviemaking with students and she wrote a fantastic post the other day about the Klutz Tricky Video book, and its accompanying video site. Needless to say, I bought the book.

My two older sons have been pouring over its pages in detail, as it shows how to trick the eye of the viewer with video tricks (I love the tilted table, and the stretchy arm, and the basketball shot from far far far away.) Like so many other Klutz books, this one is for beginners, with nothing more than curiosity and a few simple tools. They even say that while a computer would be helpful for editing, it’s not necessary (you just have to know when to cut a shot and how to use sound effects).

A lot of the special effects are really stopmotion techniques, which is why I have added it to my resource list on my new Making Stopmotion Movies website.

If you know a kid who has more than a passing interest in making movies (and who doesn’t know that kid? If you don’t, you’re not looking at the kids around you close enough), then this book is a great purchase. And send them to the companion video site to see the movies described in the book, in action. At the least, you are sure to get a kick out them.

Plus, you get one of those fancy director’s chalkboards, with places to write in scenes and cuts and stuff, and you can even click down the top of it and shout out: Action! just like in the movies.

Peace (in the action),

One Comment
  1. Looks like a cool book, Kevin, and I think it will be my next purchase. I just got a Flip camera through a small school grant from the parents. I’m using it to record speeches right now, but am interested in other ways I can integrate into writing.

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