Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: 5 Tools for Movie Making in Your MakerSpace (Quarto Week) (MakerSpace)

One of the things my teens like to do best in my MakerSpace is to make mini movies, so I’ve been working on upping our game and finding new tools to learn new skills. Below are 5 of the various resources, apps and tools I recommend for making a variety of types of short films with tweens and teens in a MakerSpace. In addition to the tools listed below, you’ll need some type of camera. For me, I still recommend a basic tablet with a video camera. You can get a digital camera, or even a Flip camera if you would like, but a tablet takes quality stills and motion video AND is easy to access a variety of tools to use with it.

So here are 5 tools that I recommend . . .

1. How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons by Robert Blofield

Not surprisingly, the best tool and resource I have found to get our start teens ted on the right foot is a book. How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons is a concise but thorough basic introduction into simple movie making. It covers topics such as writing a script, visualizing every shot, storyboarding, lighting and sound and editing. There is a great discussion on types of shots, angles and more. It’s a pretty thorough overview and it comes in at just 62 pages, which means it’s a great guide for getting started without being overly technical. The suggested age range is ages 10 to 14, and the illustrations definitely are on the young side, but the information and presentation are good and I definitely use it with teens. (ISBN: 978-1-63322-012-6)

2. GIFfer

GIFfer is an app that is easy to use for making short animated GIFs. GIFs are the looping pictures you see all over the Internet. GIFfer allows you to easily snap and upload your own pictures and do some basic manipulation like adding filters and frames to create your GIF. This is the app I first used with my MakerSpace to make stop motion pictures, which you can read about here.

3. StopMotion

StopMotion is another app you can use to make stop motion movies. It is much more complex than GIFfer, which means you can do more things. It also means it has a much steeper learning curve. But if you seriously want to delve into the world of stop motion, this is a good place to start. I have just started using it, but you can find more information here.

4. iMovie

Yes, iMovie is yet another app. This one allows you to edit video or, if you want a template to start with, it has a fun variety of trailers that you can personalize. The trailers would be a great tool to make an “ad” for your SRC and they have a superhero themed trailer ready and waiting for you. Here is an example trailer I made in the past:

And here’s a previous post I wrote on this tool.

5. Power Director

This is The Mustache Man. This is also my niece who just turned 13 this month. She writes scripts, has her friends audition, and then makes various movies on her YouTube Channel. She is so into this process that when she received money for Christmas she used it to purchase Power Director, a video editing software program that she uses and recommends to make short films. Many computers come with Movie Maker, a Microsoft product that you can use. But if given the choice between the two, she recommend Power Director. It can cost around $70.00, but if you want to create a MakerSpace that has some good video editing software you might want to investigate it. You can find a good comparison chart of the Top 10 video editing sfotware programs here and Power Director comes out on top.

What about you? What tools are you using? Please let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

This week we will be discussing books from Quarto Publishing Group. At some point this week we will have a giveaway for a set of 5 books from the Quarto Publishing Group, including a copy of How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons by Robert Blofield. Stay tuned!

About Quarto Publishing Group

The Quarto Publishing Group (formerly Quayside Publishing Group) books have earned a reputation for style and quality in the fields of art, crafts, hobbies, food and drink, nature, lifestyle, reference and children’s. The children’s program just launched in 2014 with the creation of Walter Foster Jr., but expanded dramatically with the “coming home” of our Quarto UK imprints Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and QEB Publishing, now formally published through Quarto USA.  In addition, a number of our general and specialty book imprints, such as Quarry Books, Motorbooks, and Race Point, publish books on history, craft, art, and other topics of interest to teen readers.  Visit us know at www.quartous.com and beginning this June at www.QuartoKnows.com.


  1. Great mad skills at work here. Hope to see u directing movies in Hollywood soon. I believe this is how we nature our talents as we progress higher

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