Screening films and making animations at your Into Film Club

08 Oct 2019 in Into Film Club of the Month

4 mins
Hillside Film Club members
Hillside Film Club members

Our Into Film Club of the Month for September 2019 is Hillside School in Aberdeen, Scotland. Club leader, Fiona Lindsay, told us about the inspiration behind setting up and running her successful Into Film Club, a club that not only screens films but also runs animation filmmaking sessions.

What inspired you to start your film club?

I attended a film festival and event in Glasgow that talked about the benefits of screening films and I came away thinking that this would be a great chance for children of various ages from our school to come together to watch and discuss films. We started the club in November 2017. The children initially invited to join the club were those that did not attend any extracurricular activities and we wanted to give these children an opportunity to become a member of the Film Club.

What do you enjoy about running an Into Film Club?

Seeing the children's faces as they're watching the films, the friendships that are formed and how the younger and older children interact with each other. Each session we generally have different children attending, as there is such a great demand for the club. The excitement and fun the club inspires and generates is amazing!

Have you seen film watching have a positive impact on classroom learning?

I use film a lot for comprehension purposes and as a stimulus for writing, as I feel this makes the writing context more visual and inspiring for the children and as a result the writing quality is much better than when not using film. I also like to screen films of novels that classes are reading, so we can compare the book and the film, it's such a worthwhile activity. Writing reviews of films at Film Club has inspired other children to also write reviews at home after watching films outside of the club. We've had great discussions on characters and settings in a film and sharing opinions has enhanced listening and talking skills with the film club members

I try to pick films that are totally different to what the children are used to watching - to help them experience new cultures and different languages.

Club leader, Fiona Lindsay from Hillside School in Aberdeen.

Can you tell us which films have gone down well at your club?

I try to pick films that are totally different to what the children are used to watching - to help them experience new cultures and different languages, black and white films and different genres of films. Variety is the spice of life!! Also, there has been the opportunity for members to suggest films and then vote on which film we screen. Sometimes the viewings are secret, other times we advertise what the film is going to be. Some of the most popular film titles have included: Bridge to Terabithia, Duma, Singing Ringing Tree, The Eagle Huntress and Fantasia.

You've been making animated films in your club recently, could you tell us a bit about that?

We currently have a small Film Club of eight that are focusing more on creating animated films, rather than watching full length films. Each week we have been watching short films, including a Spanish animation to help support work on planning their own animation with a partner. We have been practising taking different camera shots by developing our knowledge and understanding of camera angles, as well as learning how to use green screen and create an animation. We have also watched two animations made by previous Hillside film club members that were both runners up in Into Film's Film of the Month competition!

I will have a larger film club next term that will mainly be used for watching films, with a filming session or two included too! In 2020 I am planning to have another small group Into Film Club. I will continue to vary from having a smaller filming focused group to a larger club, which will be run over the darker nights gives the children something to do when they are not able to play outside. I will also continue to have special one-off film club showings where all recent film club members will be invited along.

How have you gone about making your animated films with your group?

We have experimented with stop frame animation and green screen using Lego, pipe cleaners and cuddly toys. We are now at the stage of writing storyboards for their own scenes. Once this has been done backgrounds and "characters" will be sourced and filming will start!

Have you used any of the Into Film resources?

We use the website for uploading reviews of the films they watch, the review writing resources on the site are super! I have used the filming power points and camera angles resources, along with the shorts and film resources.

Will you be attending the Into Film Festival this year?

I usually go to the Into Film Festival every year and this year I have booked 3 classes to go to Take One Action Shorts for Primary at The Belmont Cinema in Aberdeen as this sounded just ideal for our P6 and P7 children. It ties in with the rights of every child and the issues raised surrounding social justice are most appropriate for the age group I will be taking.

If there is one piece of advice you could give to new Into Film club leaders, what would it be?

Give children access to a variety of film genres and to films that they wouldn't likely have had the opportunity to see, to help extend their appreciation of different films and cultures.

This Article is part of: Into Film Club of the Month

Each month we celebrate one Into Film Club's achievements and talk to the club leader about how they approach their sessions.

View other Articles in this column

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