Skip main navigation

Why filmmaking and animation for learning?

Read about how filmmaking and animation projects can play a key role in supporting the development of essential transferable skills.
Close up of boy and a girl on an iPad in the classroom
© Into Film

Filmmaking and animation projects can play a key role in supporting the development of essential transferable skills among your pupils. Applicable right across the academic curriculum, it’s not only a fun and engaging activity but it can also make a real difference to a young person’s learning journey.

Filmmaking activities can provide young people with a means to respond creatively to the uncertainties of life in the pandemic, offering a chance to process their experiences and share their reflections through what they choose to record. Even before a scene has been filmed, pupils can tap into their emotions during activities like storyboarding, scriptwriting, or modelmaking.

Filmmaking can consolidate understanding and retention of information

The use of animation and filmmaking to stimulate creative and curricular learning engages students more deeply. This multi-sensory approach helps them to retain information for longer and contextualise their understanding of topics in real-world situations. Projects created by students in a filmic form can be reviewed as a reminder of previous learning, shared with other learners (e.g. on your school’s virtual learning environment) and can also support teacher assessment.

Filmmaking is a great team building activity

It provides a great opportunity for young people to organise their project and work within a team, building trust and respect. Filmmaking is also inclusive and helps to develop a variety of skills and abilities – creative thinking is enhanced by developing ideas; writing skills and literacy are expanded by scriptwriting; organisational skills are progressed by becoming a part of, or leading, a crew; and presentation and performance skills are improved by starring in the films. In times of remote learning, sharing films is a way of allowing students to feel closer and less isolated from their peers.

Filmmaking is empowering

Making a film, however short and simple, enables young people to use their initiative and communicate their ideas creatively. Using a camera requires the filmmaker to frame the world, its characters and scenarios for their audience. Filmmaking is an absorbing, challenging and powerful creative process that can expand young people’s understanding of what is possible. It’s more than a journey; it’s an adventure!

Filmmaking tells stories visually

Learning the craft of filmmaking involves mastering the art of visual storytelling, and developing the skills of deduction, inference and translation between words and images. Mastering these skills will start with the very simple techniques explored in this three-week course and will challenge your young people to problem-solve and think conceptually.

Filmmaking develops key computing skills

Digital skills, in a constantly evolving technological landscape, are more important to young people today than ever before. In this era of multi-media technology, having technical filmmaking and editing skills can be a key catalyst for a future career and can aid cultural inclusion.

In our next step, we’ll look at the Shoot and Screen curricular framework, which will assist us in developing thinking, planning, creative and evaluation skills for filmmaking projects. Later this week, in Step 1.20, we’ll look at how film can be used as a tool for assessment.

What topics in your teaching do you think could be made more accessible and enjoyable with filmmaking and animation?

What core skills do you feel it would develop in your students?

© Into Film
This article is from the free online

Filmmaking and Animation Online and in the Classroom

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now