Stop motion, podcast and more: the Mediascapes workshops at the primary school

At I.C. Emma Castelnuovo in Rome, the workshops based on the creative and participative practice of Transmedia Storytelling continued between April and May, this time involving a primary school class. Nine meetings in which the students were able to experiment the creation of different creative materials and media content for the composition of a short film, playing with various techniques including animation, filming and podcasting.

The workshops at the primary school were led this time by Mr. Mario Cirillo, an expert in stop motion techniques, with the support of collaborators Roberto Romano and Giacomo Pierro.
The starting point was the themes discussed in class and the construction of the narrative, where the participants went through the different narrative forms to start constructing their own stories. The stories then took shape through the origami technique, as the class chose to do. Through the use of this particular art form, which involved the class in the creation of paper origami and allowed them to express their creativity and practical skills, it was possible to bring a short story to life. The story was then digitally animated using the stop-motion technique.

In the first phase, participants learned the basics of writing for film, understanding the concept of the three-act story and the hero’s journey as applied to animation. They then worked in groups to write their story step by step, carefully choosing characters and plot twists, and then studied models to create the most useful and imaginative origami. In a process of cooperative learning, the whole class showed great creative skills and an ability to find original narrative solutions from simple clues. With the materials in place, all that remained was to create the magic!

After drafting the script, it was time to film, split between stop-motion and fiction. The students were able to photograph and film, using both professional equipment such as cameras but also digital devices that are part of their everyday lives, such as tablets. Shot after shot, moving the origami, the students understood how to animate each object. All this was accompanied by the filming of the fictional part in which they tried acting. Immersed in transmediality, they finally moved on to experimenting with podcasting in English. Between microphones and headphones, taking turns to record themselves, they decided to read short parts of the story and dialogue they had created beforehand. 

The result is a short film that combines different media languages, from stop-motion animation to fictional filming and podcasting.Each participant was able to learn the most important tools for writing and creating a story through which they could express themselves and welcome the ideas of others in a context of cooperation and collaboration.

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