From: Flick Harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Mar 18 2009 - 16:27:08 PDT
I agree 15 cams is too much for 15 kids - unless they're making
experimental films, ha ha. Group work is essential, for production
work 3-5 is good per group. Having 15 computers is good, though, so
they can all be cutting their own scenes or bits or whole other
versions of the project - nothing lamer than 1 (guy) cutting while 4
(girls?) read books and insist they are either helping or not needed,
but never, never should they take a turn editing because "he's better."
Save the cost of 10 cams, invest in a projector and speakers for the
teacher computer, so they can group-screen sample vids or one
Mac has educational rates for computers on their site. Imovie is pre-
installed, but final cut is great if the kids are older. 6-8 year
olds can barely conceptualize the difference between raw footage in
the bins of imovie versus the actual movie they're creating, the
difference between scrubbing through the footage and explaining it
verbally (what I call kid-benshi) versus showing it in a darkened room
from beginning to end etc. "It *IS* finished!" they scream as you ask
why they've left ten minutes of their feet in the middle of their
magic trick. "It's building up to it!"
In other words, final cut is too much for youngies, maybe 9-12's can
get it but do they really need to? Are they going to learn more by
getting frustrated with erroneous capture settings, reel numbers, low-
res playback in a small window, complex interface? Maybe the answer
is yes, but think about it first.
It would be nice to get cameras with zoom / focus controls instead of
the stupid menu-driven manual focus I've seen, and mic jacks would be
useful too so you can teach them sound. Maybe that's all high-end
You might also think about sound playback - headphones for private
editing (so teacher doesn't die of brain explosion) versus speakers so
teacher can keep an eye on the room. I can never decide which is
Also a scanner to incorporate hand-drawn titles, imagery, etc might be
And photoshop, at least at one station, is almost essential, unless
you can figure out gimp (free via linux). Never tried it myself.
And lights. If you want them to get really good stuff. China balls /
300W bulbs from the hardware store, and cheap stands will be ok and
improve things considerably.
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On 18-Mar-09, at 1:16 PM, Ken Paul Rosenthal wrote:
> I've been seeking work through the public school system and have
> been asked to ballpark what building a media lab would cost for 15
> Apart from sitting down and parceling the cost out item by item, I
> was hoping someone might have a general figure they could offer me
> off the of their head as follows:
> 15 x 1-chip video cameras
> 15 x computers
> 1 x Laptop for teacher station
> Final Cut
> Thanks, Ken
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.