Week Thirty-One: Movie Makers

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October 15, 2015 by WittyLibrarian

moviemakersProgram Title: Movie Makers

Target Age Range: Tweens, grades 4-6 and Teens, grades 7 and up

Program Length: 2 120 minute sessions, held over the course of 2 days

Brief Description: This two-day program allows you to write, film, and star in your own short movie, and edit it in the next day.


Video recording devices

Small whiteboards and markers (paper would work, too)

Computers with movie editing software (iMovie or MovieMaker)

Plot and Storyboard Handout


Various props; anything that looks fun.

Advanced Preparation:

Gathering various props, anything that looked like it could be fun.

Printing out Plot and Storyboard Handout

Cost: $-$$$ 0-100 +

Note: The price of this program is dependent on the availability of recording equipment. If you need to purchase equipment, the cost is high. We were able to borrow a tablet to record with, and as well as a flip camera, from a fellow staff member. Our only cost for this program was the cost of whiteboards, which we found at a dollar store.

Regarding software: Windows Movie Maker is usually a free download option and iMovie comes on all iMacs.

Program Outline:

First session:

  1. Introduction of all participants.
  2. Explanation of what the two sessions will consist of.
  3. Explanation of plotting and storyboarding. We found the following sources useful: Storyboarding Your Film on dummies.com, How to Plot a Story from wikihow.com and How to Make an Adventure Movie With Your Kids by Ron Vitale on mykidsaventures.com.
  4. Split kids into groups.
  5. Allow groups 20 minutes to plot their film, using a handout to help guide them
  6. Film for the remainder of the program.

Second Session:

  1. If needed, groups finished filming.
  2. Groups edited their films.
  3. 20 minutes to the end of program, screen the films for all the groups to see.


  • Explanation of plotting and storyboarding

After providing a brief explanation of both plotting and storyboarding, we all worked together on dissecting a current movie into all its parts.

  • Filming

Each group had a librarian follow them around filming, and groups filmed inside the library, as well as locations immediately outside the library. We made sure guardians knew that filming would take place both inside and outside the library. Also, each group was given a whiteboard and marker to use as a scene marker.

Note: No instruction was needed on how to use the recording devices. All participants were able to quickly figure out for themselves how the devices worked.

  • Editing

Although we were prepared to teach participants how to use the software (tutorials are available both on Apple.com for iMovie and Microsoft.com for Movie Maker), no instruction was needed. All participants were familiar with the software, and both iMovie and Movie Maker are intuitive to use, with extensive help features. We have offered this program on multiple occasions and have never needed to explain how the software works.

  • Film screening

For the film screening, we invited the guardians to come in and watch the final product.


Plot and Storyboard Handout

Resources Used:

Storyboarding Your Film on dummies.com

How to Plot a Story from wikihow.com 

How to Make an Adventure Movie With Your Kids by Ron Vitale on mykidsaventures.com

Additional Resources:

Getting started with Windows Movie Maker on Microsoft.com

iMovie Help on Apple.com

What we would do differently:

This program runs smoothly as planned, and there is very little that we would change. Namely, the largest change we have made in this program is noting in our program advertisements that the library reserves the right to use and post the films where we best see fit, allowing us to share it on our website and social media.

Beyond that, while the two sessions of 120 minutes works well for a tween audience, teens would benefit from a third session. The teens’ films were elaborately plotted and filmed, and a third day would allow for maximum creativity.

Adaptation for older/younger audience:

This program was initially planned for a tween audience, but was easily adapted for teens. As noted previously, extending the program to a three day session would make this an ideal teen program. This program would not adapt well for a younger audience, however; 4th grade is the youngest to feasibly offer this program to.

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