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Calling All Young Filmmakers! Join the Maker Camp Film Fest

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Calling All Young Filmmakers! Join the Maker Camp Film Fest

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What a great first week we’ve had for Maker Camp! We’re ending with the first-ever Maker Camp Film Fest this weekend, so be sure to get your videos on the Maker Camp Community by 8pm Pacific time on Friday if you want to be part of the lineup.

If you haven’t had a chance to pop over to our fantastic campground over at, here’s a little glimpse of what you’ve missed this week.

ELwirenotebookMonday we launched our Fantasy week with a bang! Kids across the face of the planet made and shared a wide variety of handcrafted sketchbooks, even ones that were adorned with electroluminescent wire! (What a bright idea!) What’s with all the beautiful narwhals? You’ll have to watch our Share video to find out!


The day ended with a really fun Q&A with the superstar Pixar Story Artist Valerie LaPointe, who may or may not have inspired a little bit of the character Joy in Pixar’s summer hit Inside Out. She had a lot of great advice for campers about using sketchbooks and drawing characters and storyboards. Be sure to read her whole Q&A for  an insider’s look to the movie-making process at Pixar.

When I draw characters, I like to think about separating shapes.  So, think about the head as an oval, the neck a rectangle, etc.. Then think about exaggerating all those shapes and see who you end up with. What if you made the head bigger? Or put the eyes farther apart? If you put the eyes in the center or closer to the top of the head? You will get some pretty funny and interesting characters.
I use a Cintiq at work and home to draw digitally. Though I still carry a sketchbook around with me all the time. You can’t replace the feel of pen or pencil on real paper! Plus its much easier to have handy for jotting things down, or drawing a random person or place with! On a computer I use Photoshop to draw in.  At home I love to spend most of my time drawing pencil on watercolor paper, then using a waterbrush pen to watercolor with.  I also love sketchbooks with watercolor paper inside them.
There are so many great artists to look at for inspiration! A few I really love are Bill Peet (an old Disney story artist and illustrator), Norman Rockwell (painter), Margaux Motin (a current French comic artist), Ronnie Del Carmen (a director I work with), … man, I could go on and on… :)
I would definitely recommend using a sketchbook!! Its the best way to get better at drawing, by drawing from real life around you….everywhere you go!

Tuesday, a delightful cardboard zoo went on a happy stampede through our campfire circle, as dozens of cardboard masks galloped across our Maker Camp Community, and campers got to ask mask-maker extraordinaire Dax Tran-Caffee all their questions.


yarnbeardWednesday, the superheroes, birds, and pirates came out in full force as our campers constructed some quick and crazy costumes and paraded them around for all the other imaginary camp cabins to see.

Today is the big day when all these things come together. Our talented camp staff share with our talented camp campers a handful of ways to transform unmoving things and turn them into lively animations. We can’t wait to see what gets posted tomorrow in the Maker Camp Community! Put together your movie, share it with us by tomorrow evening, and then get your popcorn popped for the Film Fest this weekend!

One more thing: don’t forget to join us tomorrow for our first epic field trip of the season, to videogame makers Double Fine Productions.

14 thoughts on “Calling All Young Filmmakers! Join the Maker Camp Film Fest

  1. Sherry Huss says:

    This has been an amazing week at Maker Camp! Thanks for sharing Michelle and let’s get more Campers involved next week! Tune in tomorrow for some pretty amazing animation!

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Michelle, or Binka, makes . While at Maker Media, she oversaw publications, outreach, and programming for kids, families, and schools. Before joining Maker Media in 2007, she worked at the Exploratorium, in Mitchel Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and as a curriculum designer for various publishers and educational researchers. When she’s not supporting future makers, including her two young sons, Binka does some making of her own, most often as a visual artist.

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