First of all, we extend to you a warm and official welcome to the (very secret) Zamelot Superhero Academy – lovingly known as ZSA!
Our Superhero-Spotter has identified your child (or children) as a Super(s). This means, they have the potential to become one of most powerful beings in the whole entire world.
But beware! A Super’s life is a treacherous life; even as you read, villains and monsters are already sensing their presence and are out to eliminate them… Many parents want to protect their children by running and hiding. But we say, “With great power, comes great responsibility!” So fear not – ZSA invites you to train with us and learn the ways of the Superhero.
Before training starts at the Academy on the 10th July, here is the first of a series of 4 weekly training packs written to help you help your child get excited about their new life as a Super.
Because we’re making a movie as a decoy, there’ll be industry notes on movie-making too! Plus super-fun educational resources all in 1 convenient place for you to view. If you really can’t join us this year, then please at least join us for this part of the ride. It will help you stay safe until we see you again.
If you simply read out aloud the sections “How to be a Superhero”, and “Industry Notes” to your little tyke, you should be able to finish the discussions and suggested activity within an hour. It can also be broken down into 15 or 20-minute sections, to be completed over a few days.
How to be a Superhero Part I
Kindness is King!
If there is only 1 rule for Superheroes, it would be that we need to be kind. As very powerful beings, we are easily able to destroy people, animals, plants, and our surroundings. Choosing to be kind is not always easy, but like all super powers, it is a muscle to be trained! The only difference between a Superhero and a Supervillian is Kindness. So flex those muscles and give out hugs instead of shoves. Do 1 kind thing a day until you join us at ZSA!
What can you do to be kind today?
Now for some Industry Notes
Did you know, before the director says “Action!”, a whole heap of stuff needs to be done? The director only calls “Action”, which is the signal for actors to start their scene, when we have checked and confirmed that the lights are correct, the sound is good, and the camera is ready.
Let’s talk about the camera first. When we do a home video, we usually want the camera to be “sharp”. That means the image that shows up on the camera is clear, not fuzzy and blur. However, sometimes, for artistic reasons, the director might decide s/he wants a “soft” focus. The person operating the camera needs to set it up according to what the director has decided. When using film, cameras also need a few moments to get up to proper film speed. When the camera(wo)man is ready, they usually call out “Speed”.
Lighting is very important in movie-making. Before the camera is ready, there is usually a few adjustments to the lighting sources.
Next, we check the Sound. In theatre, whenever the actors are on stage, the audience knows to be quiet so that they can hear what the actors are saying. Actors also know to speak in a loud voice on stage. In movie-making, actors usually speak in their normal voice. There are microphones near the actors that help to amplify their voices, but these are placed outside of the camera’s view. Because of this, sometimes there are people, stray animals, or traffic near your shoot location that could make noises you don’t want to have in the movie. For example, if you were shooting a scene in a haunted house, you might want it to be dark and silent until the actor meets the ghost. So if a group of school rowdy children run past the house shouting, it would spoil effect. When the Sound person is ready, they call out “Speed”.
After that, you’ll hear someone call out “Slate”, or “Mark”. This is usually an assistant, holding a slate in front of the camera. On this is marked the scene, number and the take number. The assistant then claps the sticks on the slate. That’s probably why it’s often referred to as the clapper.
And THEN the director calls “Action”. When the actors are done with their scene, they stay in character until they hear “Cut”. Of course, if the scene doesn’t go according to plan, you’ll also hear a loud “CUT!”
Try It Yourself.
Now that you know the drill for what happens during a movie-scene making, try it out yourself! You’ll need:
– Someone to play a in scene. Something simple, like signing a song, or saying their name and making funny faces. The important thing is to agree on what they will do so you’ll know when to shout “Cut”.
– A simple video camera. Anything from a camera on a mobile phone or ipad would work.
– Good listening. It’s unlikely you can get your hands on some sound equipment typically used in movie-making. However, if you listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear if the printer in the study is doing it’s “auto-cleaning” and needs to be turned off, or if the dog is barking because he wants to be let in. Whatever you can control, do so.
– A slate. It really is just a piece of board saying these:
You can easily make your own with a piece of cardboard – Paint it black, snip off a strip from the top and tape down 1 side of the strip so it can “clap”, write on the details with chalk, and you’re ready to go! Some clappers also come in the form of white boards so they can be written on with whiteboard markers and easily wiped off.
– Practice saying “Lights” – “Set”, “Camera” – “Speed”, “Sound” – “Speed”, “Scene 1, Take 1” – bring in the clapper, and… “Action!”
Recommended Reading and Films
There are sooooooo many wonderful stories and films about Superheroes it’s hard to know where to start.
This week, we bring your attention to Even Superheroes have Bad Days by Shelly Becker and illustrated by Eda Kaban.
While it is a super-easy read, we love that the story is told in rhymed couplets and it totally ties in with our Number 1 rule – Kindness. Superheroes can use their powers to help others or to harm them! We also love how diverse the illustrations of the Super and Non-supers are. Regardless of background, anyone will easily find a Superhero to relate to in this book.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl an older-kid read in old school comic strip format. Originally serialized in The Coast paper, it is now published in its entirety online. Read it here.
Although if you prefer the book version, it is also available to purchase in full-colour version from Dark Horse.
The Incredibles is an animated movie about a family of Superheroes who are forced to hide their powers and live a normal suburban life. Mr. Incredible’s desire to help people draws the entire family into a battle with his longtime enemy—Syndrome, who was once his fan and now plots to wipe out every single superhuman being on Earth with his killer robot. Watch it now, so you’re up to speed when The Incredibles 2 comes out in 2018!
If you haven’t already heard the wonderful reviews of Wonder Woman, we’re here to tell you how we can’t wait to watch this movie. Gal Gadot starrs in the title role and she was pregnant when they filmed the action-packed movie! Talk about Superpowers…
Wonder Woman was released on 7th June Wednesday in France, where it was a Tous Publics rating. Note however, it is recommended for those aged 12 and above. Here’s a link to the trailer.
Stay safe and work hard, until the next week.