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!