The group spent a session watching extracts from The Little Fugitive, The 400 Blows and others from the DVD, including the clip ‘Five’, along with some of the still images. There was much discussion about uncontrollable human actions after watching the clip on the fairground ride in The 400 blows and how some actions jumping, falling, blinking, eating, drinking, sneezing were ‘real’ and couldn’t be acted. In the light of this, it was interesting to watch the children’s responses to playing in the snow in some of their Task 3 films – lots of hand shaking and plunging hands into pockets to try and keep warm. Fortunately, my ‘uncontrollable human action’ of a dramatic, undignified slide on the ice with a handful of filming equipment wasn’t captured on camera! However, it did (strangely) keep the spirits up in the group on a bitterly cold filming session.The children also discussed how the spinning camera on the gravity wheel in The 400 Blows seemed to make the scene more real as it was from the viewpoint of the main character. Real settings, real people and weather were discussed after watching The Little Fugitive so it was great for the children to have the snow to capture the following week.
The clip ‘Five’, with the geese marching in procession across the beach, provoked much discussion – was it real or set up – what was outside of the shot – was someone guiding the geese to turn around? It also got the children thinking of the setting up of a shot – they talked about the line of sand, sea and then the line of geese. I think Grace and Natasha’s march across the snowy cricket pitch in their Task 3 film was inspired by this clip – I really like the bleak long shot of the white cricket pitch and white sight screen with their little red coated figures wandering across.
The children are becoming more independent and discerning in their choices of what and where to film now – we found some of the still images on the DVD quite useful when discussing shot composition and the choices a photographer or film maker make when setting up a shot. I liked Alfie’s choice of capturing the two adjacent shops with very different contents – guns and toys – and slowly revealing it with medium and long shots. Not sure if we’ve quite captured the ‘wandering’ element and eyeline shots in our Task 3 films but here’s a selection of our efforts: