#MakeSomething

This is what I tell my kids. Usually after I’ve turned off the wi-fi or taken away the TV or Xbox…

“Dad, what can I do?”
“Make something!”

For seven years now I’ve actively been finding ways to get people creative with the technology that would have had me giddy with excitement when I was 12/13 years old. Specifically the little mobile devices in our pockets that pass for phones (or tablets)…

There’s no question that the internet is a huuuuuge distraction and so it’s really important to make an more of a huuuuuuuge effort to block it out and get creative!

With a few clicks you have apps to capture and edit films, including special effects. You could also paint and draw, make music… maybe even get started on writing that novel… or, here’s a thing… be ironically creative (creatively ironic?) and make a game to zombify someone else!

Animation is a great one. The ‘magic’ of having an intimate object come to life is still an enormous fascination for people – a Frankenstein complex maybe?

Next month I’ll helping visitors, young and less-young, at Dundee’s Verdant Works to bring Lego to life! Bring your own device (be sure and download iMotion (Apple) or Lapse IT (Android)) or use one of ours. There’s even a dedicated child free session in the afternoon for you Lord Business* disciples.

This’ll be a fun and active learning experience that you can take away and recreate at home.

So make a date to make something with Playful Communications and Verdant Works:

Kids and Families: 10:30 – 1pm
https://www.verdantworks.com/event/saturday-studio-animate/

18+: 2 – 4:30pm
https://www.verdantworks.com/event/intro-stop-frame-animation/

*The character who glued his models together in the Lego Movie

#MadeOnAMobile in Dumfries (Scottish Borders)

#MadeOnAMobile Dumfries

Thanks to Lindsey Mason Ross who invited me down to Dumfries in July to deliver a #MadeOnAMobile film making session to local businesses at Dumfries & Galloway Business Gateway.

#MadeOnAMobile winners Dumfries

Everyone had a great time and left inspired with a variety of ideas for promoting their businesses using video.

I’m now booking for Winter 2018 so listen to what these folks had to say about the session and have a think about if it’s for you, your team or organisation..?

Here’s what they said… 

 

 

#MadeOnAMobile – what’s it all about?

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2018 has been a whirlwind of increased demand for workshops precisely at a time when I decided to demonstrate the power of mobile film making with an hour long documentary – captured, edited and shared from a single iPad.

So I took a few hours recently to put a short film together to encapsulate what I’m up to, explain what #MadeOnAMobile is all about and demonstrate what it can do…

So if you can give me (literally) two minutes, I’ll bring you up to date…

#MadeOnAMobile @ Stirling University

I always want my workshops to be fun. I want people to learn and enjoy themselves doing it. The group from Stirling Uni were going to enjoy themselves anyway…

It was business as usual, making movies on mobile devices but this group took it to another level. It was such a fun day with some really creative films… one of which you’ll see below.

First off, this is my view of the day with quotes taken from (unsolicited) feedback taken from Twitter – yep, they’re all out in the public domain for all to see.

So here’s one of the clips from early on in the day – I wish I had a copy of the full length version they made in the afternoon – hilarious… here you go:

I really hope to go back to Stirling Uni soon – they had such a great approach to learning and I would have stayed all evening – great fun!

MadeOnAMobile at Stirling Uni 2

Open Close Movie is #MadeOnAMobile

Mobile film making is fine for making social media shorts – but what about a full length feature? Sean Baker, Michel Gondry, Steven Soderbergh – all of them Hollywood directors who have made films using an iPhone camera for a cinematic release. None of them, however, edited their films using the same device.

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” – Orson Welles

The schools, museums, public sector organisations I work with don’t always have lots of kit, if any kit at all. Tablets in particular are easier to come by and most have film editing apps. So, the limitation I gave myself was inspired by the people I’ve been training and working with. Capture and edit on a mobile device.

And if it’s okay to edit a minute or two of video on a mobile device then why not 10 minutes, 25 minutes, 45 minutes?

By most standards (British Film Institute, the Academy Awards) is “feature” length and so that was the target.

The subject of the film, Open/Close, is:

“BRINGING STREET ART TO DUNDEE, OPEN/CLOSE IS INJECTING LIFE TO THE ALLEYWAYS AND FORGOTTEN CORNERS OF THE CITY CENTRE. WORKING WITH LOCAL ARTISTS.”

Learn more about the project on the website

Open Close Movie was projected at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre cinema on 19 May 2018. 130 people turned out and generously signed my lobby poster with lots of nice comments.

The plan now is to release the film online later in the year with additional footage of a spin-off Open/Close project (in partnership with Dundee City Council) called Waste of Space; where industrial waste bins are being painted up by local artists.

So watch this space – Open Close Movie is coming to this screen soon!

 

 

 

#MadeOnAMobile @ The National Museum of Scotland

2018 hit a high point and it was only March – invited to deliver a #MadeOnAMobile workshop at the National Museum of Scotland!

It’s fair to say I’m a fan boy when it comes to NMS. It’s even in my profile pic on Twitter! The building is stunning, the collection is amazing and entrance is FREE.

My first visit was in 1998 and I’ve been a regular visitor ever since – the kids know it inside out and yet no one ever complains when we suggest ‘another’ visit. We’re due to get across soon to see the new “Rip It UP!” exhibition which charts the Scottish Pop Music scene.

So, back in March I was there to support staff in making videos to promote the exhibition and while also taking their social media audience behind the scenes of the nations largest collection of… “stuff!”

Here’s what they had to say…

So, it’s great to hear that people enjoy the training, but what really matters is when they go away, refine an idea they came up with on the day and the training becomes part of there day-to-day duties… check this out:

And if that wasn’t enough, they even wrote a blog about me… have a read here. 

I couldn’t have been more excited to be working at NMS and it’s doubly as satisfying to see the results of embedding what I taught them into their day-to-day. I’m expecting great things from NMS and really looking forward to delivering more training with their Egyptian Collections team later in the year.

Thanks to  for the cool short of my back:

#MadeOnAMobile NMS – my back

 

 

 

#MadeOnAMobile – what do the people say?

I’ve been to enough workshops to have had that experience where you walk away feeling none the wiser.

Yes, there’s a great reason for using that software/methodology/process, but I still don’t feel confident or skilled enough to do whatever was suggested.

So when I designed film making workshop of my own I was adamant that people would leave having actually done the thing that I’m teaching them. In this case, using their mobile device – smart phone or tablet – to make a short film.

Capture, edit, share. Simple as that.

So here’s a short film that I made of my #MadeOnAMobile workshop in Stirling for the College Development Network with quotes from people captured on the day…