Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Moviestorm in Education: Long Road College, Cambridge

Students from Long Road Sixth Form College recently completed their animation coursework videos using Moviestorm.

The Level 2 Media students were asked to come up with a short three to four minute moving image product using Moviestorm. The groups gave initial ideas into a typed proposal and from this generated storyboards and in some cases design sheets. They then moved on to producing their final videos, which can be watched here.

Two groups (3 & 4), one all boys and the other mostly girls, chose a scenario about teenage party life. Two groups (1B & 2) chose to do a music-based production, a music video and a reality music TV show. The last group (1A), ventured an ambitious first episode of a ‘Youtube’ style series.

 Long Road Media teacher Steve Thorne said:

"Great time and effort was spent adding the small details. One example was the music video group’s work to recreate the band to look the same as the real one! After working with Moviestorm again this year I think working in pairs generates the best results and group time management."
Before the final Moviestorm videos were produced, the groups of students worked on either the characters or settings and then brought them together to add the camerawork and action.

Steve chose Moviestorm to give the students the opportunity to work with a 3D animation software so they didn’t have the same limited scope of the usual video productions shooting scenes around the college. He added:

"This was their chance to use filmmaking techniques in a virtual setting. They also had complete control over every element within their production. I think the generated animations link well to game design and advanced 3D animation software packages."

"Overall it’s been a fantastic resource for the course. The students have really taken to it and enjoyed the production work very much. It’s definitely going to be built into the course more next year!" 

 The initial production stages followed the Moviestorm six-stage production process. All groups were very committed to the ‘Sims’ style character design stage and the production of the virtual settings. CEO of Moviestorm Andrew Kennedy said:
"The students at Long Road demonstrated a rapid development of filmmaking skills and final sophistication between their demos and final movies, and it is nice to see ideas that were formulated whilst they initially played with the software for the first time coming through in their final pieces. 
Steve Thorne needs to be congratulated in creating this module, as it is giving the students an opportunity to test and develop their individual filmmaking skills without the normal logistical and budgetary restrictions, from production design and casting, into scene direction and camerawork, and through to sound design and editing skills. We hope to see more collaborations and films from this group of students, and look forward to supporting Long Road Sixth Form College into the future."

Further links

Final videos here:

Demo videos here:

Flickr Album here:

Friday, 10 May 2013

2013 Harb40 Film Passion Competition

Moviestorm are pleased to promote and sponsor the film animation 2013 Harb40 Passion Competition.

The competition urges contestants to make a film set to a specific theme of passion. There are some restrictions on content, but films can be made using any animation program, video game or live action technique. The winning films receive software prizes and the creators will be interviewed on The Movies On Air Radio show.

This year's theme for both the film and story categories will be announced on the 4th of August with the submission period to be the 24th of August to the 19th of October. The winning films and stories should be announced on the 17th of November during the Machinima Expo.

The competition has received other sponsorship from Sony and Reallusion. Creator of the competition, Craig Harbison said:
"Animation programmes like Moviestorm, The Sims and iClone are taking over in the competition. One of the nice things about the prizes like Moviestorm is the winner is given a choice of a free user license or to receive credits to purchase more gaming assets and enhance their animation video skills."
Craig (Harb40) began experimenting with animation back in 2005 after playing a game called 'The Movies'. After following a website called The Movies Underground, he was introduced to other games animation tools such as Moviestorm. Today, Moviestorm is now one of his primary animation programmes. 
"Many contestants are career oriented, looking to get into either film production or animation at the professional level. The prizes of Moviestorm allow them to enhance their skills along with learning different aspects of film making including camera placement and movement, set design, storyboarding and more. They are able to move forward and be more hands on in their future endeavours."
This year, a short story writing category has been added to the competition which hopes to bring writers and screenwriters into the fold and introduce them to the world of animation. Some of them may join into the community and use Moviestorm to either make short videos to help sell their stories, lay out storyboards or even use some scenes for artists to illustrate their stories.

Further links

To find out more about the competition, visit 
Visit the competition Facebook page at
You can also follow the competition on Twitter @Harb40PassComp