Monday, November 12, 2012

A "Frankenweenie" Finale!

The students have had wonderful results creating black and white portraits during our unit on learning about value and contrast.  As a special way to end the unit, I thought it would be fun and educational to watch the original version of Tim Burton's short film "Frankenweenie".  The original is from 1984, and  featured live actors, (including Sparky the dog) all filmed in black and white.  The entire film is about a half hour long, so it was the perfect amount of time for us to go to the auditorium, watch the movie and complete a worksheet with five short answer-style questions.  The film is humorous, quirky and proved to be a wonderful tool for getting students to look for the ways value and contrast were used.  In a perfect scenario, it would have been awesome to take a field trip to the movie theatre to see the new "Frankenweenie" after viewing the original.  I am curious to see the ways that Tim Burton expanded the story line in the animated version, and the kids were also interested.  Next year, I could rent the DVD and we could really get into some great discussions about the similarities and differences of each film.  The students came away with a stronger grasp of how black and white can be used to establish mood, drama and suspense.  Ms. DeSisto's 7th grade art students and Ms. McKenney's 8th grade art students came and enjoyed watching it with us.  It was a nice way for the entire Art Department to come together to use the big screen in the auditorium to inspire our students!

An image from the new version of "Frankenweenie" shows a full range of values from white all the way to black. Just like in the original, this helped to create a sense of drama and established the spooky mood of the film.

The bull terrier in the short film must have been a really great dog with a lot of patience!

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