Generator

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Generator Website Poster Image
Stellar place for young filmmakers to learn about the craft.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to create a real film storyboard using Generator's hands-on tools. They also can watch videos featuring film professionals and read detailed descriptions of film types from animation to documentary in the Learn From the Makers section. Kids can explore the Education Themes tab, where they'll learn what sorts of ideas and concepts are at the heart of a film; for example, Belonging and Identity, Ability and Disability, and Change and Resilience. Generator is chock-full of useful advice and hands-on activities that give kids a realistic (and really fun!) overview of the filmmaking process.

Positive Messages

Kids can access the same filmmaking tools as adults, using a simplified process that's not dumbed down. Kids will feel proud of their films and encouraged to keep creating.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Generator is an free, online film resource that gives kids the training and tools to make their own short films. It's from the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI), and some information is Australia-specific (most of the film experts are Aussies, and the site delves into Australian history) but still applicable to any budding filmmaker. All content is moderated, which keeps the site safe and age-appropriate.

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What's it about?

GENERATOR is a well-rounded website that gives kids the tools to make and share their own short films online while learning all about the craft of filmmaking. Through inspirational videos, step-by-step process guides, and the outstanding Storyboard Generator, where kids can create and save a detailed storyboard, kids will get a full understanding of what it takes to make a movie.

Is it any good?

Generator is one of the coolest and most detailed free filmmaking resources around. It's really comprehensive and takes into account not only the technical aspects of filmmaking but also deeper themes -- you know, the reasons people make movies in the first place. This balance makes Generator a stellar place for young filmmakers to learn about the craft. You can hear Australian animator Adam Elliot talking about empathy and the outsider in his stop-motion film Mary and Max or get schooled on exactly how to plan a film shoot step-by-step. Kids can spend hours in the hands-on Storyboard Generator tool, tinkering with camera angles and getting familar with the same process Spielberg and Coppola use to create their masterpieces.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask kids about their favorite movie. Did it make them cry? Laugh? Talk about what filmmakers do to evoke emotions in an audience.

  • Older kids might like to see what an actual screenplay looks like; many are available to peruse online, including classics such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

Website details

For kids who love filmmaking

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