Archive for June, 2010

KIDS FIRST! July 2010 News

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Last Chance to Sign up for the LA and NY Boot Camps

Janet DavidsonAct quickly if you haven’t already. You have until July 1, 2010, to sign up for an exciting week of hands-on media evaluation projects in either New York or Los Angeles. Janet Davidson shares some ideas of what parents can expect for their children during the week. First of all, expect a lot of fun. Davidson knows the ins and outs of filmmaking from her experiences as an actor and director in Hollywood. She is looking forward to merging her film experiences and her teaching experiences (she has taught acting classes in Santa Fe as well as Drama and Film Studies) to make film come alive for day campers.

Davidson feels that parents of children attending the Boot Camp might appreciate the fact that it will give children material to use and build on in the future. It could give them a motivation towards a career. No matter what career choice a child has, it’s important to be analytical about anything in life, and that’s what this camp is about.. it will help children analyze material and come forward with their beliefs. With increased verbal skills, the children learn to have the courage to talk to adults and share their opinions. It encourages curiosity.

During the course of the camp, children will learn to interview actors and directors one on one and for a red carpet experience. They will learn why it’s important to judge films, and learn about all the components involved in making a good film from directing to acting to lighting and storytelling. The kids will learn about teamwork as they experience a mock film set and make their own movies. This will teach them firsthand what it’s like to be an actor and producer. They will come to understand the process and realize that all the pieces work together, and they can pull apart, or mesh to create a powerful film. At the end of the day, they will critique their own work. Campers will also have the opportunity to visit a real filmmaking or animation studio.

To make sure your children don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity, check out the KIDS FIRST! Boot Camp webpage and sign up. But act soon because the July 1 deadline is just around the corner.

 


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KIDS FIRST! has a Facebook Fan page where you can share information about children’s media. To participate, go to the KIDS FIRST! Facebook Page and click on “Like.”

Goodnight Moon Comes to DVD With American Sign Language as an Integral Part of the Story

Good Night Moon & More Great Bedtime Stories – the American Sign Language version from New Video is a fantastic DVD on so many levels. Good Night Moon takes a classic, simple story and makes it come alive through gentle animation. As the story is read aloud, the words to the story show up on the screen, encouraging children to read. While it’s read, a woman signs the story using American Sign Language (ASL).

This title makes it fun to learn to read and to sign at the same time. It’s perfect for children with Down’s Syndrome or children who are hearing impaired, and can encourage other children to learn ASL so they can communicate with children who sign. It can promote discussion on different means of communication.

Bonus Features include an area where children can take a quiz to see what they remember about the story. Another feature is a quiz section that has children testing their knowledge of sign language and signing letters. If you have Internet access, a third Bonus Feature allows you to download activities related to ASL and the story. KIDS FIRST! Child Juror Comments: Kids liked copying the signs. They liked seeing one of their favorite books on the screen. They enjoyed the rhyming. They thought their friends would like it because they do sign language even though they aren’t good yet. Find this wonderful title in stores beginning on July 27th, or pre-order the title on Amazon.

Are You a Winner? These DVDs Want to be Yours

Enter our July sweepstakes chance to win a free copy of one of the following fantastic KIDS FIRST! titles: Veggie Tales; Sweetpea Beauty, Goodnight Moon, To Save a Life, The 13 Ghosts of Schooby-Doo, Sesame Street: 20 Years and Still Counting and Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door (with one special copy autographed by Jackie Chan).

Congratulations to our May winners: Chris, Melissa, Sheila, Christina, Gilda, Shana, Cindy, Leslie, Michelle, Nancy, MaryGrace, Charice, Peter, Cathy, Marilyn, Denise, Eddy, Elizabeth, Erica, Christina, Dania, Bonnie, James , Valerie and Pat.

 


Featured Blog Posts

Granny Ranny’s Coming Attractions

Toy Story 3 – Funny, Clever and Full of Adventure
After 11 years, the wait is finally over for fans of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story franchise with the release of Toy Story 3. It… – Read More!

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest
A panel of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and content experts will serve as final judges in the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, a national-local contest designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning … Read More!

Ann’s Marketing Memes

From WorldKids in Mumbai, Three Films to Captivate You

From our wonderful film partners at WorldKids in Mumbai, India come three extraordinary tales of everyday life. I am captivated by the … – Read More!

 

 


 


Lauren’s Critics’ Corner

3 Reasons to Become a KIDS FIRST! Juror Now

1. The training is still FREE
2. Summer’s coming and you’ll need some indoor air-conditioned activities
3. You can provide a fun summer … – Read More!


Imp in the City: Part Deux

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

When “Imp in the City” hit the KIDS FIRST! screen, the only negative critique was that it was too short, and people wanted to see more. Now they have their chance. Young Marc Carrizo and producer Dawn Westlake recently released “Imp in the City: Part Deux” to the film festival circuit.
Behind the Scenes:

In the original “The Imp in the City”, 15-yr-old Marc Carrizo choreographed

and performed his dances in his Sarria neighborhood of Barcelona on Dec. 6th, 2009.
He had just lost his mother to inoperable lung cancer on Nov. 21st, 2009. This film is
dedicated to her.

Marc’s mother and a child psychologist suggested that Marc get into some form of dance when it was discovered that he couldn’t read or write at age 11! Both his mom and the psychologist had been reading about how crawling for long periods helps toddlers read earlier than “non-crawlers” and about how dance can help older children learn to read. He took to breakdancing immediately, going from his first lesson into a troupe with older kids! Soon, he was reading and writing (with just a few spelling mistakes), and now he teaches break to elementary school kids at Varium in Barcelona, the premiere school there for movement, as well as choreographing and performing professionally with the Brodas Bros. troupe, and with a troupe he co-founded called Lakasitos.

About the Director
:

Dawn Westlake is the President of Ron de Cana Prods., Inc. in Los Angeles. She’s made 11 films in the US, Portugal, France and Spain since 2000 which have played on all seven continents and won 42 awards. Dawn is also an actress/writer/producer, and she’s judged film festivals in Italy and France. She is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in Italian and Portuguese. www.dawnwestlake.com.

About the Music:

Gregory Johnson moved to Los Angeles from his native Philadelphia after winning a screenplay award for his feature script Shredding Steel in late 2001. Completely self-taught, Greg is one of a new breed of finger-style guitar players that have been redefining the acoustic guitar–how it’s played and the sounds it can make. Greg is
now enjoying a career in both film composition and screenwriting. Currently, he is splitting his time between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia where he is writing an animation project and several feature projects with FX directors for Warner Bros. He won the award for Best Score on Dawn Westlake’s A Life of Death at the Inventaunfilm
Festival, Lenola, Italy in May 2006.
To hear more samples of Greg’s music: www.youtube.com/acousticlabs

KIDS FIRST! Mid June 2010 News

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – A KIDS FIRST! DVD Review

Celebrate Father’s Day in Santa Fe, New Mexico by watching “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” at Warehouse 21 at 1 p.m.This is one of many exciting activities. Read more about the Father’s Day Fiesta on the Reel Fathers website.

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” is a film our family of KIDS FIRST! jurors unanimously voted to keep in our own personal DVD library. It was too good to watch just one time. The ancient gods meet the modern world as Zeus accuses a young demi-god of stealing his lightning bolt. Never knowing he was part god, Poseidon’s son, Percy, is suddenly thrust into another world where he has exceptional powers, and must enter the depths of Hades to prevent a war among the gods. This film was particularly appealing because it clues a viewer in to the inner workings of Greek mythology, yet ties the mythology into the modern world.

Not only is the story and imagery captivating, but it also promotes a strong sense of family bonds in a very realistic way. Percy feels like his father abandoned him, and we see the relationship develop between father and son as the plot-line develops and Percy discovers that his father never abandoned him. Although gods couldn’t be with their children after birth, the father was always in Percy’s mind, helping him when he needed help. There is a poignant scene near the end where father and son come face-to-face and have a realistic confrontation.

The cinematography is so crisp, smooth and detailed that some of the evil characters were almost too scary for young viewers. Hades, in his god-form, is particularly scary, and the snakes that surrounded Medusa’s head seem incredibly lifelike. While this might make the film inappropriate for younger viewers, these aspects are part of what made the film such a success with the teen and tween audience.

The adventurous story shows how a common, somewhat dorky boy, can find something special within himself. It took his dyslexic and ADHD tendencies, and turned them into powerful weapons against the enemy. It’s a good message for viewers, seeing how things that can be perceived as negative attributes can be really be used as strengths. Viewers who watch this film might become inspired to learn more about Greek mythology.

KIDS FIRST! Child Jurors who watched it were recalling stories they knew from childhood even as the credits rolled. They began discussing what it would be like, and how they would act, if they were the young heroes in the film. A 17-year-old girl viewing the film was excited about the reminder of the stories she loved in her youth. The 10- and 13-year-old boys loved the sword fighting and special effects.

A 16-year-old boy summed it up: The visuals were stunning, and the music was fit for the story. I loved the models and animation with the monsters like the Hydra. It actually looked realistic. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie is that the story was extremely predictable (a point the younger children disagreed with). I was able to call out what was going to happen dozens of minutes before it happened, such as needing the 4th pearl to bring his mother and his friends back (the other kids did notice this, also, but it added to the drama for them and made them feel smart). I was also able to predict who would stay in Hades. This movie is great for a wide spectrum of age groups; probably between 7-16. Adults would like it, too.  Overall I think this movie was pretty good. I’d give it an  8/10.

Join the KIDS FIRST! Facebook Page

KIDS FIRST! has a Facebook Fan page where you can share information about children’s media. To participate, go to the KIDS FIRST! Facebook Page and click on “Like.”

Raven Tales Comes to the Smithsonian Channel in July

If you’re ready for a good story, then turn on your television in July of 2010 to catch the KIDS FIRST! Palmer Vision Award-winning title, “Raven Tales,” on The Smithsonian Channel. The animated series,  geared for 5 to 12-year-olds, is drawn from Native American folklore. Chris Keintz, co-author and executive producer of the series is a master of the art of narrative, the technique to telling stories.

The series tells the tales of Raven, the mythical legend supposedly responsible for the creation of the world. The stories highlight the wild and funny adventures of Raven, the most powerful, and one might add, trickiest troublemaker of First Nations Folklore. He is joined by his steadfast brother, Eagle, and the mysterious Frog. The trickster myths of the Northwest Coast form the backbone to “Raven Tales,” the first animated film to be done by an all Canadian aboriginal team.

Chris Kientz (Cherokee) is an American/Canadian animator, television producer and director. His goal of keeping the tales authentic has opened the door to a resurgence of interest in Native American legends. The characters in “Raven Tales” look like those found in Northwest Coast wood carvings, and the stories echo from antiquity. The music is hauntingly beautiful.

Keintz’s work has appeared at the Smithsonian Institution as well as animation festivals worldwide. Currently he continues this work on behalf of the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University where he is the Director of Technology Innovation. He currently serves on the New Mexico Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries to advise on digital media and tax incentives for media production and post production. He is also a consultant on animation for the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University. In addition he is a senior consultant for National Geographic Media Arts.

Look for “Raven Tales” on The Smithsonian Channel in July, and check out the “Raven Tales” website for more details on the series.

Are You a Winner? These DVDs Want to be Yours

Enter our June sweepstakes for a chance to win a free copy of one of the following fantastic KIDS FIRST! titles: Barney or Thomas On-The-Go-Pack, Jim Henson’s Dog City: The Movie, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Hidden Treasures of Wompkee World Plus a Wompkee Finger Puppet and Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door.

Congratulations to our May winners: Chris, Melissa, Sheila, Christina, Gilda, Shana, Cindy, Leslie, Michelle, Nancy, MaryGrace, Charice, Peter, Cathy, Marilyn, Denise, Eddy, Elizabeth, Erica, Christina, Dania, Bonnie, James , Valerie and Pat.

Granny Ranny’s Coming Attractions

Toy Story 3 – Funny, Clever and Full of Adventure
After 11 years, the wait is finally over for fans of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story franchise with the release of Toy Story 3.  It… – Read More!

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest
A panel of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and content experts will serve as final judges in the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, a national-local contest designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning … Read More!

Ann’s Marketing Memes

From WorldKids in Mumbai, Three Films to Captivate You
From our wonderful film partners at WorldKids in Mumbai, India come three extraordinary tales of everyday life. I am captivated by the … – Read More!

Lauren’s Critics’ Corner

3 Reasons to Become a KIDS FIRST! Juror Now
1. The training is still FREE
2. Summer’s coming and you’ll need some indoor air-conditioned activities
3. You can provide a fun summer … – Read More!

ABOUT CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!

The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. The Coalition is a voluntary collaboration comprising more than 10,000 media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide. More.

KIDS FIRST! Titles Win Big at the Talk Story Film Festival

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Kudos to our filmmakers. The Magistical won Best Animated Feature, Broken Hill won Best Foreign Film and Finn on the Fly won Best Family Film. The festival took place at the Mauna Lani Resort, Hawaii. Go to the Big Island Film Festival website to check out the other winners and learn more about the festival.

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