• 20.10.2010
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    First things first. Watch The Writing Process movie so Tim and Moby can take you through the process of writing, step by step.

    Start to build your plot. Makes sure it has structure – a clear beginning, middle and end. Make sure your plot has a purpose and that your characters are interesting.

    Watched that movie? Have an Oscar worthy story and plot? Good. Now onto Step 2.


    Next you need to adapt your story so it can be filmed by creating a script and storyboard.

    Script writing

    Writing convincing dialogue is one of the toughest aspects of script writing. We suggest you get some great script tips from the Writing Dialogue movie.

    Remember: the script should include stage directions too. You should consider what you will need to bring your script to life – try to think of props, actors and settings. Don’t forget to include the time of day (midday and midnight are tonally two very different times!), set the location, and actions of the characters in the scene.

    This is an excellent guide to creating a professional looking movie script: How to format a screenplay .

    TOP TIP! You can learn about what it takes to make a movie from our Film making movie.


    When the script is ready, a storyboard can help you set out the main parts of the plot to record. We use storyboards when we make a new BrainPOP movie.

    TOP TIP! Download and print this blank storyboard to get started: BrainPOP UK storyboard.


    There are a few ways you could choose to approach this.

    1. Live acting: You’re going to need a camcorder or phone with a camera function to record your movie, actors, a studio space and costumes. And find someone to shout “CUT!”
    2. Green screen: You might also want to use chroma screen technology (here is a guide to using chroma key with Windows Movie Maker and a great blog post by Sheffield South Learning center).
    3. Stop motion animation: You could use claymation like Wallace and Gromit, papercraft like “Star Wars in 2 minutes” or using physical objects like the amazing “Dot. The world’s smallest stop-motion animation“. Have a read of this wonderful guide to stop motion animation for beginners on Photojojo.
    4. Audio play: If you don’t have access to a camera, you could just record your script as a podcast play – a fun challenge on its own! Try Podium.
    5. Digital animation: There are lots of amazing animation tools online. Try Anithings (animations), Zooburst (3D pop up ebooks), Xtranormal (you type and the characters talk) and Comic life (make a comic form your images) and many more. Or you may be a Flash guru.

    Do you have any tips for aspiring young Spielbergs?

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    Posted by ChrisB @ 3:48 pm

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  • 9 Responses

    • BrainPOP UK | Movie making competition | POPtalk Says:

      […] you take you from script to screen we’ve written our own 3 step plan to help get you started: Tim & Moby’s guide to making movies […]

    • Angie Says:

      Fantastic resource…popped into my twitter feed just at the right time. Many thanks Brainpop…I like the mix of video and helpsheets.

    • ChrisB Says:

      Hi Angie,

      That’s the beauty of Twitter! Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely words. Who are you on Twitter BTW?

    • Lucy Says:

      Great resource, just getting into projects with schools to help them start creating school movies etc. This will prove most helpful with some excellent links, thanks. My biggest tip is always ‘keep it simple’ I find that children have so many great ideas and they want to incorporate all of them into their movies or animations and this can then make the whole thing far too complicated. WE do a lot of work on thinking of one best idea and making that really good.
      Lucy (lj101 on twitter)

    • ChrisB Says:

      @Lucy, thanks for your comment and advice.

      “Keep it simple” is so important. It’s really a lot of work making any type of animation or movie. We’re always coming up with ideas we’d love to do but the head has to rule the heart in those situations or these things can grow out of control!

      Maybe one of your schools could use this competition as a reason to get started? Glad you found the links useful – if you have any of your own post them here and we’ll add them to the blog post.

    • Adina P. Says:

      I am starting an after-school animation club today… In my quest for resources and relevant competitions, your blog popped up. NOT surprised!! The BrainPOP team is officially the most creative – EVER! Thank you for the vast amount of resources you provide the education community! I cannot wait to share this blog post with my very excited animators! Keep up the great job!!

    • ChrisB Says:

      @Adina P

      WOW! Thank you for your kind words.

    • BrainPOP UK | Movie Competition Winners | POPtalk Says:

      […] of our Making Movies Spotlight, we asked you to Make a Tim & Moby movie. We provided a short guide to making movies and a little incentive […]

    • BrainPOP UK | Spotlight on Making Movies | POPtalk Says:

      […] Tim & Moby’s Guide to Making a Movie – Handy links and top tips from our movie making pair. […]

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