The selection of older films in this unit opens up the potential for an introduction to the technology of film, or what is called the apparatus of film. It is fun to have a hands-on experience with the various frames or photographs that are the basis of this art form. The origin of the word “frame” can demonstrate that there is a connection between film and paintings. A film strip can be examined by the children so they can see the frames around each small picture. The small holes on each side of the frame help move the strip of photos through a film strip projector. These small holes are grabbed by little tooth like sprockets so that the pictures can be pulled through an opening that has a light source and a lens. The image is then put up on a screen so that many people can see it at once. Before the technology of film and film strips, people went to museums to see paintings and photographs. Then in 1895, the Lumiere brothers showed outdoor pictures that could capture movement. The machine that they used was able to pull a series of photos at a special speed that duplicated our movements. This special speed tricks our eyes into thinking were are capturing the motion. The truth is that every motion picture is made up of individual frames that move. The children might enjoy demonstrating slow motion, fast forward and normal motion with their bodies. Another suggestion to demonstrate the motion picture concept is to use a flip book of animated pictures. These hand-flipped booklets show children hew the illusion of motion is made as pictures flip quickly by.
A video cassette can be used to show that there are sprockets (nine little white “teeth “) that pull the film or tape through a video machine. There is also an opening in the cassette that allows another piece of the machine to pick up the sound that is recorded on the strip of tape. Although one can’t pull the video tape apart, it is useful to compare a filmstrip to a video tape. Children enjoy hearing about the “old days “ twenty-five years ago when people didn’t have video cassette recorders in their homes or schools.