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Mysterious Moon (Nikon Coolpix L830)

Photograph by Hannah Parker, 13. Published in Stone Soup, October 2018.

A note from Sarah Ainsworth

Dear Stone Soup readers,

Did you know that Stone Soup has a YouTube channel?

We’ve posted a variety of videos before, including interviews with authors published in Stone Soup. However, this week I want to draw your attention to some recent videos we’ve been posting.

First, did you see the wildlife videos by blogger Sierra Glassman? One was a video about hummingbirds, and the other was a compilation of wildlife videos she shot while on vacation in Pantanal, Brazil. Not only are they interesting to watch, but they also make you think about how wildlife photography and videography is no longer solely in the hands of National Geographic photographers. You very well might have access to a camera right now! Is there something outside that you could film and make the subject of a short documentary? Even inside there may be something worthy of documentation. A pet or a plant, perhaps? Don’t feel that nature documentaries need to be shot in remote parts of the Sahara—you can make one in your own backyard!

On the fiction side of things, we published two videos this week: “Space Battle” by Christian Goh and “A Day at Camp” by Caitlin Goh. I highly recommend you to take the time to watch them. Though they were created using the same software, Christian and Caitlin take very different approaches to their short films. Christian chooses to film a science fiction story, while Caitlin gives a day-in-the-life glimpse of a character’s camp experience.

Both young filmmakers use a combination of still and moving images (photos and videos, in other words) to tell their story. They also make the choice to only feature a musical score for their films, with some sound effects, but without any spoken dialogue. Instead, the words are written on screen for viewers to read for themselves. This is not a common practice anymore, but back in the days of silent film, it was the only way to convey language on screen—besides body language, of course! Without dialogue spoken aloud, words needed to be chosen carefully, and visual representations, like the actors’ behavior, needed to express a great deal. It can be striking to look back at these old movies and see how “over”-acted they are, or how exaggerated the actors behaved. But remember, they had to make sure the audience knew what was going on! Do you think you could make a silent film with a more modern, subtle acting style?

After watching these videos, you may very well be inspired to make your own. It can be helpful to start with a small idea. Maybe you’d like to create a nature documentary like Sierra did. Or maybe you’d like to create a fiction film like the ones the Gohs made. My advice is to lay out a step-by-step plan if you want to make a movie, including script deadlines, casting ideas, locations for filming, and times for final editing (called post-production). Then, once you’re done, submit it!

Happy creating!

P.S. Don’t forget that we’ve published a screenplay in Stone Soup before! Read Oliver Jacobs’s lively “Bugs Are the Future!” here. If you write your own screenplay and are pleased with it but don’t wish to make it a visual production, feel free to submit that to Stone Soup!

Highlights from the past week online

Don’t miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

As I discussed above, we published two excellent videos this week: “Space Battle” by Christian Goh and “A Day at Camp” by Caitlin Goh. Leave a comment on the blog if you enjoy them!

From Stone Soup
July/August 2018

The Moon and My Heart

By Rebecca Beaver, 13

The moon ate my heart.
My vision was tainted.
I staggered forward, uncertain.
I heard something disappear.
I think—
I am myself.

I taste the hole in my chest.
The moon’s smile mocks me.
I know, I know
I am not myself—
I am merely a whisper
Of a husked heartbeat.

Click on this link to read more poems by Stone Soup authors on similar themes.

Stone Soup’s advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky

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