Animated films Club exists for already five years at the British International School – Belgrade. Every year, the culmination of Club’s work is the students’ film premiere at the venerable institution – The Museum of the Yugoslav Cinematheque with whom the school successfully cooperates for years now. This year’s premiere was held on June 12th 2016. The students have the opportunity to see their animated movies on the real, large movie screen together with their parents and friends. This school year, 2015/16, twenty-four children, ages 6-11, learned how to make animated films within Animation Club. They worked hard and created around a hundred animated shorts films. For some of the students this was the fifth straight year to create the animated films within the club, and it showed as their films become more complex in their stories and the precision of their techniques dramatically improved. Some of them worked on a one film for entire two semesters and created impressive animated films that used the sophisticated cinematic language and told longer stories.
The technique the students used is stop – motion animation that requires a lot of discipline and patience. Every movement in the film requires that the figure should be filmed, then slightly moved and then filmed again. It’s a meticulous process. The children work in pairs or groups of three, which helps them, to learn how to work together creatively. During the process, they learn how media is created, so this is also a media literacy class in a way. A hands – on participation in the process empowers them to be better understood the media and their effect.
The students were discovering film techniques such as close-up, change of plans and subjective point of view. These are film language elements that are not familiar even to many adults. Children also discovered how music emotionally contributes to their films and how to use the film-editing program so they can add music, sound effects and film titles to their animated films. Even the youngest children were able to tell their stories through the animated film, which gave them a sense of creative power.
When children experience the possibility of expressing through such a sophisticated media such as animated film – that gives them the confidence and mentally enables them to do everything else they imagine.