Screen It

Term: 2 Year: 2016

Screen It is a national moving image competition designed by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to inspire and encourage young people to create their own moving image works.

Each year ACMI challenges primary and secondary school students to make their own videogames, animations or live action films in response to a theme. The theme for Screen It 2016 is Mystery, a prompt that is sure to get students’ creative juices flowing.

Screen It has targeted educational outcomes, and is linked to the Australian Curriculum. The Screen It resource kit offers teachers stimulus for introducing the theme to students and a framework for working with students in their chosen moving image form. To complement the resource, the ACMI Education team hosts a comprehensive videoconference program designed to give practical advice and creative inspiration. {}
With a focus on artistry and storytelling, Screen It offers students the chance to use a variety of creative techniques and approaches to express themselves. They can be motivated to share and experiment with a range of narrative ideas and visual styles in the pre-production process. Once they have decided on the story they want to tell, they need to map it out visually using a storyboard. Storyboarding is essential to telling an entertaining and coherent story in the form of a live action film or animation, while game design requires a visual map of the gameplay. As students sketch out their ideas, remind them to consider their audience and how they can make their work more interesting.

When students design the characters and the world that will feature in their stories, they can be encouraged to create their concept art using a range of media. In particular, animators and game makers need to think about colour, texture and tone, as they imagine what the world of their moving image work will be like and how their characters will connect with this world.

Each year, the judges of the primary and secondary animation categories of Screen It, are bowled over by the skill with which students tell their stories, as well as the many hours of work they have devoted to the animation process. Perhaps because of this huge commitment, many of these works tell their stories simply and powerfully.

Claymation and cut-out animation are techniques that produce outstanding results but there are countless techniques and materials that can be used to create an animated work. Students need to experiment to find out what best suits the story they want to tell.
As students respond to the creative challenge of expressing themselves through the moving image, they can also be motivated to think about exciting ways of connecting traditional and digital media and materials. Over the years that the Screen It competition has been held, a number of outstanding entries in each category have explored this interconnection in order to create visual interest and to surprise and delight viewers. A striking example is Doreen Primary School’s 2014 entry, Devoted Friend (

In 2015, 2,000 students participated in the competition, and every state and territory (except the ACT) was represented in the list of finalists. Visit ACMI’s website to view the winning entries and find out more information about how your school can get involved.

Supporting teachers in creative education
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