Aperture Cinema - Winston Salem, NC | Film Camp @ Home
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Film Camp @ Home

Last summer, we launched our first-ever summer camp. This summer, we wanted to create some camp-like activities to do at home. These “View + Do” activities will take you through some of our favorite films available on various streaming services and allow your kids to gain a deeper appreciation for the art of film!

 

We’ve divided our activities into three age groups: 7 & under, 8 – 12, and 13+ For the two older age groups, we’ve selected age-appropriate films, including the MPAA rating when available and the Common Sense rating for all films, so you can decide what films are right for you and your kids.

 

Go at your own pace, watch as much as you’d like, or apply these concepts to other favorite films!

We hope you enjoy these free resources. If you find them valuable, please consider making a donation so we can continue to foster a love of film for years to come!

Activities for Younger Kids (ages 7 & under)

Print-at-Home Letter Size Cinema!

You’re the director! Color, cut, and assemble your own cinema to create your own stories with 3 silver screen stars! Designed by John Bowhers, this kit is free to download with a suggested donation to a/perture cinema. Your download includes instructions and everything you need to get started!

3 Shot Storyboard

Movies are a series of camera shots edited together to tell a story. Often, a filmmaker will plan these shots ahead of time using a storyboard, especially for animated movies. Looking at a storyboard is like looking through photos from a vacation–you get to see the highlights of the places you visited and you get a sense of the beginning, middle, and end of your trip.

 

Take a look at this 3 shot storyboard about astronauts landing on a moon and then create your own by downloading the template below. By drawing and coloring or cutting and pasting pictures from magazines or the internet, what story can you tell in just three shots?

Activities for Older Kids (ages 8 – 12)

Characters

Movies tell stories about people. In every script, the writer has to create one character (or a set of characters) that the audience will root for or against. Why do we love the characters we love? Let’s take a closer look at some memorable characters.

 

Films include The Iron Giant / Whale Rider / Akeelah and the Bee / Jane / Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark / Selena

Camera

Shot sizes, angles, and movements are the heart of exceptional camerawork. But a good cinematographer does more than light and capture a scene. They study the scripts and communicate a character’s inner thoughts. Want to learn more about cameras?

 

Films include: Wadjda / How to Train Your Dragon / Playtime / March of the Penguins / Black Panther / Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Mise-en-Scene (Staging)

Don’t worry, it’s just a French phrase for thinking about everything that goes into a scene, a shot, or the movie as a whole. Think of it like a stage: what characters do we see and where are they placed? What’s the setting? What colors and lights do we see? Mise-en-scene is a great way to combine the other two lessons on characters and camera!

 

Films include: Missing Link / Tito and the Birds / Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Activities for teens (ages 13 +)

Characters

Creating interesting, realistic characters is an art in itself. To find the right dose of believability and novelty to mix together and form an exciting, plausible character ranks as one of the hardest tasks in screenwriting.

 

Films include: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Support the Girls / Amelie / The Painter and the Thief / The Shape of Water / The Big Sick

Camera

Establishing shots, long shots, bird’s eye view, close-ups, and extreme close-ups–these are some of the building blocks of film. But how are they used in other media, like Vine & Tik Tok?

 

Films include: Vertigo / Fantastic Mr. Fox / Portrait of a Lady of Fire / Cameraperson / Eighth Grade / The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Mise-en-Scene (Staging)

This a fancy way to say, “everything we see.” It covers characters, costumes, makeup, props, sets, lighting, color palettes–everything! Think of it as the total design of an image.

 

Films include: Spirited Away / If Beale Street Could Talk / Honeyland