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This content is taken from the The British Film Institute (BFI) & Into Film's online course, Teaching Literacy Through Film. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second What we’re going to be doing this morning is, we’re going to be doing some filmmaking. Some quite simple filmmaking, but very effective. We’re going to be making a film called a Record and Playback film. The rules of Record and Playback are simple. Identify an area of the curriculum that film could enhance. Record the relevant content, or set a recording task for your students. Play it back to the class. For our Record and Playback film, the subject, or the topic, we’re going to use for our film is this book, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom. All of this knowledge and understanding that we have will come in very useful for our filmmaking task.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds Before anybody starts doing any filming, there needs to be some planning and preparation. To create your own Record and Playback film, you will need a phone, an iPad or tablet, flip cam, or other video recording device. First, plan your shoot, them film your content. I thought life in Washington DC was kind of hard, so I moved to Texas. I heard that you went to the White House. See you next week. To play back in class, you will need a cable for attaching your recording device to the computer. Alternatively, you can connect your device directly to your screen or projector, with a VGA cable.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds If you have an HDMI enabled screen, you can connect to a device directly to it for playback, either via a cable or by using AirPlay.

Record and Playback

In the previous video you will have heard Into Film staff and Simon Pile from Anson Primary in Brent discussing the benefits of filmmaking in the curriculum.

For many teachers, the idea of using film, particularly without the assistance of a filmmaker, can seem a little daunting. However, in this step we’d like to introduce you to a technique called Record and Playback which is so simple it can be used by anyone, whether or not you have any previous practical experience. This technique harks back to the days of Lumière, and requires the set up of a single shot only, requiring no editing, only playback.

Record and Playback is a method of incorporating practical filmmaking into the curriculum in a very simple way. All you need is a recording device, for example a tablet, camera or phone, and an idea. Record and Playback is a way of capturing footage that can be used for curricular learning and consolidation, and the content can be created by you or by your students.

Record and Playback involves performing two very basic actions:

  • Pressing record
  • And playing back!

There are many uses for Record and Playback as it can provide opportunities for peer teaching, exploring texts in depth, problem solving and self-evaluation.

The above film details the ways of explaining Record and Playback to your class and how to screen the result.

In the next three steps you will see some Record and Playback exemplars - some created by teachers and some by students.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

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