Great ideas for videotaping your dramas and skits

Great Idea #1: Tripods that can handle cellphones!

A must-have accessory for a well-equipped Drama Workshop.

I love to have a volunteer videotape dramas and skits in our Drama Workshop, and the ubiquity of cellphones with video cameras makes it do-able every Sunday.

But what I've also discovered is that having a TRIPOD really improves the quality of the video. Some adults don't have a steady hand. And the presence of the camera on the tripod seems to cue the kids to do their best.

Tripods are also great for using the time-lapsed or slo-mo feature on your camera. We've even written a few drama workshop lessons around these fun features!

cellphone-tripod-tip

The kids respond positively to being video'd. It focuses them on 'getting it right" and "doing it for real." It also gives us a great chance to reflect at the end of the lesson and have a good laugh. Parents enjoy watching their kids when we give them that option too.

Selfie stick ??   

I like to move my cellphone videocamera around in a scene, capture close-ups, pretend we're flying over the scene, etc. Having the camera on a stick or lightweight tripod allows us to use this fun "filming" technique. 

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Quick and easy playback of your drama videos from your camera or cellphone

Surprisingly, many people don't know how to get their cellphone videos or camera connected to a big screen, ...but it's really easy to do IF* you have the right cables and TV on hand. 



connectingdevice1

re: "IF"
A modern Sunday School will have various types of connectors, cables, and plugs ALREADY AVAILABLE as part of your Sunday School A-V equipment. Invariably, volunteers will forget their cables or not know how to use them.

Include "how to connect your cellphone, tablet, or tv to our TV" in your teacher training.

Tip:   
Attach a LABEL to all your plugs, cables, and connectors.
On one side write "Church" and on the other side write the device it is for (TV, Tablet, iPhone, Android phone, Projector)

labelyourcables

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Using your cellphone video camera's "special effects"


Time-Lapse Storytelling

You've probably seen the time-lapse option on your cellphone camera and wondered, "what could I do with that?"  The answer is: create fun story videos!

Here's a time-lapse video we made using legos to tell the story of the "mustard seed." We set our tripod over the top of a table, put our video camera in "time-lapse" mode, and pressed the button. A three minute "build time" on camera condensed down to about a ten second time-lapse video.  If you use a free third-party time-lapse app from the App store, instead of the default time-lapse feature on your phone, you can slow down the time-lapse  so that it plays back over 30 seconds, instead of ten seconds (for example). and you can add titles and record the audio (which iPhone's time lapse can't do).  It is literally "child's play." 

The full Mustard See lesson plan is part of the Writing Team's Kingdom Parables Lesson Set (for supporting members).  It includes a "how to."

You can time-lapse with puppets, actors moving slowly, drawings...anything you can tell a story with. 

Slow Motion & Sped Up Storytelling

It's easy to get kids to focus on dialog and acting out a story when they know you're going to do something FUN with the video. And what kid doesn't love to see and hear themselves in slow motion or talking like a chipmunk! 

Rather than use my iPhone's "slow motion" setting, I instead downloaded a free app called ClipSpeed from the iPhone app store. After studying the story of the Prodigal Son and practicing the drama, we videotaped them at REGULAR SPEED, then processed the video using the Slo speed app. The results were really fun. Of course they wanted to do the story again, so the second time we focused the camera on the OLDER SON's face, and the third time through we focused on the Father's (God's) face. Had quite a bit of discussion about how to portray the father's/God's face in the story knowing it would be close up and slo-mo where we could see EVERY expression. Super fun way to explore the story.

funactivities

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