Monday, February 13, 2012

Action Movie FX: Lights, Camera, Action… no let’s not be quiet on the set

This Very Creative post originally appeared on Cindy L Meester's blog.

I have been having fun with an app call Action Movie FX. This is a free app (with in app purchases). It comes with a Missile Attack, Demolition Rock and Car Smash. I purchased (.99) the Action Pack which included Chopper Down and Tornado Action.
First a caution: The Missile Attach is very cool but…. even though blowing up our lockers was a great scene I decided this probably did not follow our no weapons policy. So now I do not give this as an option when letting the students choose which “disaster” movie they wish to create. It has not stopped me from blowing up the dirty dishes or garbage can at home though!
The expression on the faces and laughter of my students when they see the FX effect is… ok I’m gonna say it… Priceless!
This is how the app works. You first pick the action scene. You film/record for at least 5 seconds and then let the magic begin. The movie processes for a few seconds and then it is ready to view. The scene is whatever you recorded with the bonus FX factor added.
In therapy sessions this has been a big hit (pun intended). Initially I just record the group and then show them the movie I made. They get very excited and want to watch it over and over. So then I set the scene- The kids pick the effect and then I lead them into a problem solving lesson and script writing.
“Set up or Scene” What could you be doing? Or where will you be?  Ideas have been taking a walk, playing ball, etc.
“Your Lines” What could you be talking about?  Each student has a sentence to say which they create or I help if necessary.  We also talk about the effect and how that can be talked about in their script.
Here is an example from one of my groups: (This group is from one of the autism classrooms)
Scene- sitting in a circle tossing a ball to each other
Student 1: I hear something.
Student 2: (Points up) Oh no! I see it.
Student 3: Oh no! Look!
Student 4: Watch out! Run! Hurry!
And then the helicopter crashes!
I like this app for these reasons:
  • it allows for creativity
  •  you can work on sequencing skills
  • students need to think of a logical scene or activity to be in
  • they need to listen to each other, know when it is their turn and remember their line
  • You can work on nonverbal language skills- facial expressions, where do you look when you say look
  • you can work on what would happen next, how did this happen, etc.
  • of course there is always lots of new vocabulary to learn too
  • I plan on having a student become the “director” and another one could be the “camera operator or videographer” or how about an “editor”
  • the laughter is wonderful!
  • You can also share the movies via e-mail, Facebook or in your camera roll.
  • I e-mailed the movies to their special education teacher who was able to show it to class.
  • I have e-mailed it to parents. The student’s assignment was to watch it with his family and talk about it.
So what if you don’t have an iPad. Look into a familiar storybook to act out as you read it. Look for books that have simple scripts. Below are some sites that might work. Or better yet have the kids write their own play! Just have fun!
Disclaimer: I have not looked over these sites fully:


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