How your kids can make a fun video with toys!

1. Select a location to shoot. Choose one that is close to a window or natural light but not in the direct sun.  Optional – or, if it’s nighttime - add lights to the sides.

2. Set the stage. Do you have a toy with a natural backdrop like a dollhouse or Playmobile set?  Great!  Or, you can make your own with some cardboard!  Simply fold the cardboard into an L shape and prop up the back with some books or tape it to the wall.  You can also grab a magazine and cut & paste some images to add elements to the scene.

3. Select your characters! Legos, transformers, trolls, dolls all make great characters.  Or, you can make your own with clay! The smaller the better.  Large stuffed animals only work if you have a big stage or if you’re going for a King Kong like effect. :)

4. Set-up the camera. The Pixlplay smartphone camera case sits nicely on a table or you can elevate it with some books.  Turn on your device and take a look.  Is the frame centered within the set?

5. Decide what app you want to use. The video feature in your native camera app works great!  Make sure you have some memory available on your device.  Don’t have a lot of memory? Delete some apps or maybe it’s better to start by taking photos of your scenes to tell your story.  You can start by filming in your native camera to start and import them into an editing app or desktop later. 

6. Optional: Draw a storyboard. Kids love to improvise, so if they want to kick you out of the room at this point, let them!  For many parents, your job stops here.  However, if they want to plan out the scene, you can help record their ideas onto a storyboard. 

7. Eliminate Noise. Announce that a movie is about to take place!

8. Optional: Rehearse the scene.

9. Action! Start filming.  Encourage clips of :30 seconds or less.  Encourage them to watch what they last recorded.  If they don’t like it, delete it right there on the spot.  Re-film the scene until they like how it came out.

10. Optional: Drop in some special effects. Want to make a character disappear? Film the character – pause the recording.  Then, start again without moving the camera and BOOM, they’ve disappeared!

11. Edit your movie. Once you’ve filmed your clips, you can edit them in iMovie or search your app store for Movie Maker for Kids.   

12. Make a Credit sheet! Write out the names, year, etc. and pull it up in front of the camera.

Most important, have fun!

These photos are courtesy of our friends at Montague Workshop.  Check them out!

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