Animagine is a 64 page teaching booklet that offers a variety of teaching activities and information to help you talk about, make and analyse film.
The number of pages might sounds weighty and time-consuming but the layout has been done well so you can pull out what you need. The document is created to be paired with a DVD of 12 films from the London International Animation Festival which they analyse in the booklet. You can buy it here if preferred (the film analysis takes up half of the booklet) but I found that I got a lot of inspiration from the other sections.
My favourite section was the teacher’s crib sheet towards the end. It breaks down different aspects of film analysis (framing, editing, movement etc) and gives you a glossary of words and definitions for each. For anyone who isn’t confident with teaching with film, this is a great starting point. It was also a comforting throwback to my A-Level days! I definitely watched things with a more critical eye back then so decided that over the weekend, I’d find different filming techniques in the TV I was watching. This could be a fun, light touch way of engaging young people in the construction of moving images.
It also struck me how widely these film techniques could be used since film could incorporate music through soundtrack, visual arts in story-boarding, literature with scripting. Not only this but you could apply many of the film techniques e.g costume, setting, lighting to the streaming resources currently being provided by theatres.
There’s a whole section on activities meant for classroom discussion but this could easily be adapted for online classrooms or work being sent home. These activities also provide a number of prompt questions such as “what do you know about this character so far?”. These analytical questions could be particularly useful for cross curricular learning – investigating the layers of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet could help students better understand the literature.
Although I didn’t watch the 12 recommended films, there were again lots of questions for analysis. For any more confident teachers, you could easily use these for application to other texts which might be more relevant to your modules or subjects.
The one thing the document didn’t do was provide a detailed guide on how to make your own animation – I thought it would be more of a step-by-step guide. Having said that, it gives an overview on three ways to make an animation which allows options depending on your teaching style and resources. There are also many other places that DO provide step-by-step guides.
This is a plentiful resource that anyone would be able to use, as film is one of the key past times at the moment, the activities provided could be easily adapted by teachers or parents to be done at home in a way that’s flexible for the student. It also reminded me why I loved studying film so much.
By Sava Radulovic