What can be imagined can be brought to life

Movie Tom.Com explores the limits of short movie-making for the classroom. The medium should serve the message. Digital methods now allow educators to quickly create custom sequences to suit their curriculum.

This is all recent enough not to have sunk in. For example, the old Hollywood technique of ‘rear projection’ only became possible when current computer screens no longer flickered. Combine this with puppetry, among the fastest methods because the actor can read the script off-camera in real time rather than memorize it.  This deceptively  ‘simple’  (rear projection  used to require huge sound stages) combination allows rapid production of movies with exotic and/or moving sets – and this is just one of the many techniques now enhanced and simplified with digital methods.

Rather than relying on canned avatars and sets, current and traditional tools can be combined to create scenes bounded only by the imagination. Characters and props differing in size, colouring and texture (for example an avatar, a paper cutout doll, clip art, an oil painting, a plastic doll, and a toy prop ..) might be brought to life together in scenes by using blue screen, voice-synch animation, natural media emulation, colour effects, and shadow puppetry. Voices and sounds can be matched or differentiated with pitch-shifting, multitracking, and vocoding. And text should not be forgotten.

The object of this site is to show by example how such things can now be done vastly more quickly than would have been possible a few years ago. The key point is that the curriculum no longer has to follow the resource.  If you need something specific there will now probably be some way to create it – and in minutes rather than days.


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