There’s Been a Murder

I came upon this really interesting free movie-making software today, and I have been messing about with it to see what it can do. There seems to be an increasing number of these apparently frivolous sites which appeal to the frustrated Spielberg or Scorsese in all of us, some more compicated than others. What I like about Xtranormal is that it is simple to pick up and start using immediately, even for the most technically-challenged adult like myself. Based on the popular ‘freemium’ model, whereby you have access to the basic templates free, you start paying when you want more control of a bigger range of characters, settings and camera functions, although even then the charges don’t look prohibitive. I can immediately see the potential for this little tool in the secondary classroom (young people must be aged 13 and over to open an account), with kids bringing their own stories to life in the ‘text-to-movie’ module, or as a means of transcribing an existing text into the scriptwriting text boxes before ‘directing’ the movie version of their favourite story. Seems to me that however you might use it, the end result would be an increased understanding of the elements which combine to make a succesful story. I’m sure you’ll recognise my unoriginal script!

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6 thoughts on “There’s Been a Murder

  1. I do like your script! 😉

    This is really good… I’ll be recommending it to my Coram Boy class as soon as we get back after the holiday. (They’re currently working on a variety of different tasks/projects devised by themselves to do with COram Boy. They are going to LOVE this!)


  2. Thanks Neil. As you can tell, part of the appeal for me was no technical ability required whatsoever, but at the simplest level it struck me as a way of ensuring text was entered accurately into the script boxes. Not exactly rocket science, and certainly not film-making, but useful and fun nevertheless.

  3. And the great thing is, you don’t need any tech skills to use it! I can see potential for it in developing reading skills (cutting and pasting) as well as writing skills (storytelling, character, plots, genre etc.) Hope you and the kids have fun Theodora and thanks for the comment.

  4. I love this Bill, probably because, as you say, it needs no technical expertise at all. My’ assessment’ self is also considering how it could be used as a literacy assessment tool!

  5. Never thought of that Barbara, but of course you would!I was seeing it more as a potential motivator for creative writing or even as a fun way of revising or reviewing texts. Could be an interesting experiment though.

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