Tech + Nature Meet in DIY Stop-Motion Movies
Summer is a great time to enjoy a picnic in the park or attend an outdoor concert, but electronic devices can get in the way of fully appreciating the moment. Instead of constantly reminding your loved one to “step away from the screen,” you can encourage them to use their devices to interact with the world by creating stop-motion movies.
Stop-motion movies involve taking a series of pictures of slightly changing scenes that are combined to make a movie. Films like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” use this technology.
You can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to easily make homemade stop-motion films. Some devices may come with the necessary technology. Otherwise, simply download an app.
You can create a movie by using the app to take a series of pictures of the same scene with only small changes. For example, you could spell out the word “Hi!” on the ground using rocks. Start with one rock and take a picture. Then add a second rock and take another picture, and until you’ve created the word. Once you have all the pictures, hit play on your app to see the rocks appear one by one to spell out the message.
The light quality and abundance of outdoor colors in the summer offer excellent backdrops for creating stop-motion movies. You can have everyone in your household make their own individual films, or work together to create one. They don’t have to be long to have an impact, and preserve a memory.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Recreate Scenes
Challenge your family members to create a stop-motion film that recreates a scene from one of their favorite books or summer movies. A pile of short sticks could transform into a wizard’s wand, or some sidewalk chalk could draw sketches that come together to form a scene.
2. Become a Nature Camera Operator
For more patient movie-makers, warmer days offer opportunities to record changes in the season. Take pictures of the garden or a specific plant or flower every day for several days to track the growth over time. Or photograph an outdoor setting once a day, at the same time of day, over several weeks to record how the light changes as the days shorten. This is a great activity for your next camping trip, too.
3. Shoot on Location
Take a series of pictures of members of your household at one of your favorite summer spots, like a park, a swimming pool, or an ice cream parlor. Create a quick video that captures what you enjoy about it.
4. Create a Competition
Have different members of your household compete against each other in a mini summer film festival. See who can create the most artistic or funny film using stop-motion technology.
Once you have your mini-movies, pop some popcorn and host a screening event for everyone in the house, or play your home movies before a sleep-themed movie marathon.
In the end, creating mini-movies can help you enjoy the moments of the season AND provide your family with a nice memory keepsake.
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Check out this fun stop-motion example below!