Academic Outreach

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Posted on: September 14th, 2015 by annek

I look forward to the Oxford Film Festival so I can indulge my love of animated short films. I am awed by the filmmakers who use vivid colors and cartoon characters to tell their stories in 10 minutes or less.  So, when I came across a cheap and easy way to make animated films I jumped at the chance to try it out on the new Academic Honesty tutorial.  GoAnimate is a web-based animation studio with a large library of images and sounds, allowing an instructor with big ideas and limited time short-cuts to create their first film.

GoAnimate has two options for the prospective filmmaker; GoAnimate for Schools and GoAnimate Business.  GoAnimate for schools is a lower cost for instructors who are happy with a limited library and some other restrictions on the use of the product or who want their students to make animations.  Under this plan the cost for 1 instructor is only $59/year, and increases to $299/year for 1 instructor and 30 students.  GoAnimate Business has 3 plans. The lowest cost is the GoPublish plan [$39/month] that limits the quality of the HD video and includes a GoAnimate logo on the final product.  I selected the GoPremium plan [$79/month] that allowed for full HD quality (1080p) of the video and the option to replace the company’s logo on the final product.

The film making process was easy, with drag and drop options for creating the animation and a wide variety of poses and actions pre-made for the characters.  For the voices, we asked two members of the UM community to record all the voices of the characters, but GoAnimate also offers the option of recording from your desk or contracting with voice actors.   They also offer copyright free background music.  GoAnimate provides everything you might need to create a great animated short except the idea!

Hope you enjoy our film. Click on this link for the Research Help Tutorial.

Some suggestions on how to write your Screenplay

The first step to creating a film is the script. I recommend that you write the ending first.  What do you want your viewers to learn by the last frame?  Break that into smaller steps, and you have your outline for your script.  Next, start the process of expanding the outline into text. I recommend that you use two columns during this step, one for the visual component and the second for the narration.  When writing the narration, keep the language clear and concise, as if you are having a conversation with a friend. Read the script out loud. Does it make sense, does it flow well? Rewrite it until you feel comfortable with how it sounds.  Start filming, Mr. DeMille!

Example of a script