“I am a former teacher who always believed that young people learn and retain more through experiential learning opportunities and by personalizing their education,” says Bryan Goldmintz, chief executive imaginator at The Director’s Cut. “Digital opportunities like stop motion animation purvey this ambition.”
The Director’s Cut began as an after-school program, and after its vehement success, it launched into the in-class field trip market to help fulfill the media literacy curriculum. Bryan says that many teachers wanted a program like this for their classroom, but because of technology inhibitions and their inexperience using technology in the classroom, they felt much more comfortable having filmmakers come in to facilitate the fun with their students.
The team at the Director’s Cut gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively with others in tons of different workshops, some of the most popular involving iStopMotion. The students work in small film crews to create a stop motion animation film, each about 30-45 seconds long. The Director’s Cut brings a true Hollywood setting to the classroom, complete with preproduction, production and postproduction. And at the end, everyone receives their films on a USB bracelet so they can watch them later or post them online.
“We use iStopMotion as our production tool, taking the students through the process, explaining frame rates and the relevance of math to understanding stop motion and filmmaking,” Bryan explains. “I discovered iStopMotion many years ago and after testing it, I found it to be the most definitive software pack, enabling young people to integrate their creativity and imagination seamlessly into the Apple hub, where we work with iMovie for postproduction.”
Recently, students have created everything from movies about a man eating popcorn to people being shrunk into LEGO characters. Each student is given a job, and the environment is collaborative – students direct, click and animate their way to their very own masterpiece.
“Along with teaching them the principles of technology, working with iStopMotion also promotes collaborative thinking and supportive decision-making,” Bryan says.
The Director’s Cut has partnered with some familiar faces, including Crayola and Warner Brothers, to bring this unique kind of learning to the classroom. The latter actually worked with them to promote the LEGO Movie.
“We provided classrooms with the opportunity to create stop motion animation films using LEGO,” Bryan says. “The winning classrooms attended our LEGO film festival at Cineplex theaters. Over 400 students got to see their film and also got a surprise by being one of the first in Canada to see the LEGO movie.”
The Director’s Cut has shown just how important it is for educators to see different learning strategies, and today, learning with technology is more important than ever.
“Students are provided with opportunities for authentic cross-curricular learning,” Bryan says. “It provides opportunities for students to showcase their digital voice effectively.”
To see how students are showcasing their own digital voice, visit the Director’s Cut here and sign up for a workshop today!