Main menu from Making Movies Make Sense

Making Movies Make Sense is the all-new interactive resource to help you run film viewing and filmmaking activities with children and young people.

Making Movies Make Sense has all the information you need as a teacher/facilitator to run filmmaking and viewing activities with your kids. It will help children between 7 and 16 to learn more about films and filmmaking. You can buy it on DVD-ROM for Mac or PC, and as an iPad app. You can sample Making Movies Make Sense by downloading the free lite version of the iPad app.

“Superb…should be in every school”
Jack Kenny, Agent for Change

“Every school should have this app”
iPad in Education

“A really excellent resource and very teacher friendly”
Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education, Northern Ireland Screen

“Highly engaging, comprehensive, well researched and structured”
Media Education Journal

Key principles - Framing - Extreme close up

Making Movies Make Sense shows you

  • what equipment you need to get started with filmmaking
  • Key principles: using the camera, plus simple lighting, sound and editing principles and techniques
  • making a film step by step: planning, filming, editing best practice
  • practical activities for classroom and out-of-school contexts
  • what films to use in your film viewing activities

Making Movies Make Sense is illustrated with dozens of specially shot video clips and still images. The DVD-ROM version also includes printable PDFs and unedited films for users to edit.

Making Movies Make Sense is available as an interactive DVD-ROM for Mac and Windows, or as an iPad app. You can copy the resource from the DVD-ROM onto individual computers. Click here for system requirements.

The price of the DVD-ROM version includes a school site licence so you can install and use it on all the computers on a single school site.

Review of Making Movies Make Sense

How do you go about teaching film-making in your English class? Many teachers of English and Drama (and indeed, some more querulous teachers of Media Studies) want to improve their teaching of texts and concepts by doing some digital video work, but often never get round to it. Either the technical know-how, or the equipment, or a combination of logistical factors, put them off.

Making Movies Make Sense is an interactive resource designed to combat these kinds of fears. Targeted specifically at teachers working with KS2 and KS3 students, it is a really excellent resource that aims to guide both groups through the processes of film-making in a clear, user-friendly sort of way. Available in desktop (Mac and Windows), iPad and Android versions, the resource provides an easily navigable route through the process of making a short film with students, beginning with some basic principles of film and then moving on through pre-production, production and editing.

This route involves a number of ‘stops’ along the way, where students can look at clips and still images that are used as examples in order to illustrate concepts such as shot distances, transitions and pre-production tasks. These examples could be presented to class on an interactive whiteboard quite easily, without any need for teacher adaptation. The text that supports each clip is brief but clear, and the video clip examples are of high quality. They also use students in the same age group as the target audience for the resource – it’s important in encouraging younger students in particular that this kind of film-making task is not beyond them.

For teachers, one of the most attractive things about the resource will be the wide range of printable resources that come with it. Blank and exemplar storyboards, call sheets and shot logs are all included in the resource as PDFs, and indeed the detail with which these resources are presented would not disgrace a level 2 BTEC production course. There is also helpful advice about equipment and its use, with a basic guide to using both iMovie (for Mac) and Moviemaker (for Windows). Indeed there are many other excellent features to the resource which can only be briefly mentioned here, such as the ‘Suggested Viewin’g section, which links suggestions for films that can be used to teach a particular technique to a website where they can be purchased, or some of the innovative classroom games that are included, such as ‘The Props Game’ and
‘Film Detectives’.

This is all useful material for teachers and students – doubtless accumulated over many years through the collective expertise of Tom Barrance from Media Education Wales and his collaborators at Cineclub. In purchasing this resource, the classroom teacher will be getting a rather well distilled version of that experience, and for those who want to take the plunge in using film with KS2 and KS3 students that is a very valuable thing.

Steve Connolly
Media education consultant
from NATE online magazine | Teaching English | Issue 2