Workshop II (Summer Holiday Report)

The summer holidays had ended several weeks ago and I still owe you some results from my workshops So, here it is:

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The text is completely in German. There are only a few spoken sentences mostly referring to the observed action.

I had two courses, and the video above was made by the younger kids. Their age ranged from 9 to 11. Altogether, the kids worked about 15 hours on that film. And yet I’m still stunned what they had archieved.

We started moving a simple wooden puppet so they could get a feeling on how generally animation works and how to use the computer and the software.

Two things happenend: first they were surprised how much work animation actually is and second, how much fun it is to watch the puppets coming to life.

I kept the setup simple trying not to concern them with too much technical stuff: We had an DV cam which we eventually used to record audio effects after filming. There were also two Ikea desk lamps and my tiny iBook with all the required software. And we had several cables we stuck to the floor with gaffer tape to avoid stumbling and after this, completely resetting our studio.

I tried to encourage the kids to tell a story together because I want to motivate them to bundle their energy. If anyone needed a pause, the others took over. Younger children often don’t have too much stamina. This worked pretty good but we then had to face another problem…

The girls wanted to tell a pet story and the nine year old buy wanted to do an AC/DC concert. But we managed to put these opposites together as you can see above. The boy really was a fan and I hope AC/DC won’t see a problem here. I just couldn’t persuade him to use some other (rights free) music.

The kids had a great time and so had I. I love working with children because they tend to be totally free in their creative decisions. They just do things without struggling so much.

And despite the simple equipment their ideas were wonderful and realisable. They often found solutions on their own. And I learned from them again as well. My most favourite insight of that week is that we need to play to develope solutions. I am too often too worried about seriousity.

What are your experiences with kids and arts? Did you ever do (animation or art) workshops with kids? What did they teach you? I’d love to read your experiences.

03. September 2009 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. ok, how completely wonderful was that?! You all did a wonderful job! I LOVE the way the painted background and puppets look! So sweet the voices in any language.

    Two years ago I gave a friend’s children, aged 7 and 5, a one-day stop motion workshop. It was very involved for children that young but I wanted, like you, to give them the taste animation all the way through.

    Films here: [http://www.vimeo.com/160040](http://www.vimeo.com/160040)
    [http://www.vimeo.com/160029](http://www.vimeo.com/160029)

  2. Very well done! And the girl saying “Los Socke, hol den Ball!” seems to me very talented as a voice actress.

  3. Hi Shelley,

    the kids did all theirselves, I just guided them or focussed their work if necessary. I too love the background!

    Like you, they animated paper puppets. It seems to be the an easy and yet lovely way to get them started.

    I absolutely enjoyed the second part of Thea’s animation, when the puppet is bending.

    Ah, and I changed the links into links here to have them clickable. ;) You could use [Markdown syntanx](http://www.dictatorcms.com/markdown) here.

    Nils, thanks!
    They all had very different talents, one girl was great with her voice, another a born director. We had two great painters as well as you had seen… I just take pleasure in watching them work.

  4. Very nicely done. And I guess the guys from AC/DC will find it very cool that some nine to eleven year old animated to their music a little clip. I really liked the crowd animation – very smartly solved ! And then the bouncing ball in the beginning. And the guitar solo with the guitar player bending backwards. And everything. Very nicely done, very cool !

  5. I’ll pass your compliments to the kids, *they* did an amazing job here.