Kindergarten teacher Benny Smulter presented his experienses from film and animation making with pre-school children. In Hamnparken day care center the children have made several films, within past few years. The purpose of the film project is to empower children and support their participation: children are in key role in all parts of the process, from the scriptwriting to filming, editing and sound making. When children familiarise themselves with the filmmaking process, it provides them with a more critical attitude towards media presentations. Of course an educator’s guidance is often needed when working with small children.
Making films with children takes time and it has to start with the basics: getting familiar with the equipment as well as the process of storytelling and filmmaking. Even though children learn quite quickly to use the equipment (for example editing programs), the process takes a long time, because children’s ability to concentrate is limited. That’s why the films are made in short periods.
The key element in making films with children is joy. It has to be fun for the children. Smulter also described a good experience of co-operation with local media: they had a premiere show for animation, and local press made news about it. It was a great experience for the children to feel like movie stars and to see themselves in newspaper next day.