Teaching Animation (10): Of Aliens And Balloons


Silent Movie.
“Do you know who or what is flying the space ships?”

From time to time I’d like to share films that were developed by some of my students in my animation workshops. This one is made by three ten to twelve years old kids who worked with me during this year’s Easter holidays.

What I like so much about it is that it’s pretty close to the early 20th century silent films. Back then all dialogue was shown in titles between the scenes.

For their film, the kids wanted to use balloons for the dialogue instead of titles, as they were normally used in comics. I pretty much liked the idea of using balloons, and so they produced this little piece in about 5 hours time.

They developed the film mostly on their own. They designed the background as well as the cut-out puppets and the balloons. The music and the sounds of the space ships* are part of the iMovie package that is delivered with the software.

I rather did the job of a midwife: I helped them at giving birth to their ideas. – Which is actually what I like best about teaching: showing others techniques and tools to solve a problem on their own.

* Yes, I know, you can’t hear sounds in space, it’s completely silent there. But with sound it’s much more fun!

Here’s the film:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

It’s not the action that I find most intriguing about this piece, but I enjoy the aesthetics pretty much. Today’s insight: Teaching is always learning as well, and I suppose a good teacher never stops exploring…

In case you aren’t familiar with the German language, here’s a translation/transcipt of what the Aliens are talking about:

Meeting of the Aliens

Marie: Hallo, I am Marie of planet Yoga.

Albert: Hi, I am Albert from the planet Hugesmall and this is my sister, Alberta.

Bernhart: Hi, I'm Bernhart from the planet Eight Arms.

(Everybody says hi to each other.)

Alberta: Look, a rocket!

Marie: Rockets are passing my planet every day.

Bernhart: We rarely see spaceships around our place.

Marie: These rockets only pollute space!

Alberta: Do you know who or what is flying those space ships?

Albert: No idea. I don't care!

Marie: You better do! Anyway, we'd better fly home. It's late.

(Everybody leaves towards his or her home.)

05. May 2011 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. sweet how the music fits (especially the timing !)

    sweet little animation with a nice punchline… the drifting of the characters is very nice… like swimming, but then… very nice !

  2. All your compliments belong to the kids because they did most of the work! – It’s nice to see their work appreciated!