LACMA Art + Film Institute Winter 2014

The second iteration of LACMA's Art + Film Institute built on the success of the inaugural workshop while adapting some core parts of the 3 days.  The most exciting change was connecting the Art + Film Institute to a current exhibition of Mexican filmmaker Gabriel Figueroa.  This allowed the teachers to experience a current major film exhibition and then select a piece from it to adapt into their own Tabletop Movie.  While the first workshop focused on elementary and middle school teachers, this one worked primarily with high school teachers.

We chose the 3 panel cardboard triptych as the main Tabletop Moviemaking approach.  The 3 cardboard panels are a blank canvas for teachers to imagine their own set.  With this approach, teachers have an encounter with art making and storytelling through building.  While all teachers also storyboarded their movies and wrote scripts, the hands on approach to building sets and characters also impacted the storytelling process. 

One major adaptation to the 3 cardboard panels themselves was the addition of laser cut panels for doors and windows.  Also a denser chipboard material was used instead of corrugated cardboard.  Groups chose to knock out windows and doors or in some cases wall paper over them entirely.  

Teachers were learning how to use the iPad as a one stop shop for shooting, editing and post processing with a bundle of apps dedicated to moviemaking.  Small groups then used iMovie on iPads to shoot and edit their movies.  In addition to iMovie, the iPads were pre-installed with 8mm for film effects.  

The movie editing aspect of the workshop could have easily been expanded due to the technical nature of using apps.  However, the purpose of the workshop was to provide an introduction to the process and then teachers could go and explore more in-depth at a later date.  A series of 12 tutorial videos were created to help support the teacher in some of the more technical aspects of editing.

In each case groups starting with the same set of materials all arrived at a very different end result for their 3 panel sets and movie.  The use of materials and collage technique allowed for a high degree of customization and adaptability.  This in turn allowed small groups the ability to showcase their unique perspective and background with Tabletop Moviemaking.