Saturday 3 March 2012

Create and exploit silent movies for language practice

The recent success of the film 'The Artist' seems to have created a lot of interest in silent black and white movies again. These kinds of movies are great for using with students as the visual aspect makes the context very clear and they show how video can communicate without language and focus students on the non verbal aspects of communication.

Now you can create your own silent movies using the Artistifier and any clip that you can find on YouTube.

To create a silent movie, just pick a clip and copy the URL. Then go to: and paste in the URL and click on 'Artistify'.

The film will then start to play as a black and white silent movie on the webpage. Next give the movie a title and add your name as director.

Now as you watch the movie you can pause it and click on the 'Captions' line to add dialogue or description to the movie. When you click a small box will appear and you can type in the commentary.

When you play the clip the commentary will appear in the movie.

When you have finished adding commentary to the clip, just click on save and you will get a link to your silent movie. The movie with them play in your browser. Be sure to save the URL of your movie so that you can share it with your students.

Here's an example that I started: It comes from a movie clip on YouTube that I found here: Lot Like Love

So how can we use this with our students?
  • We can just create a silent version of a movie clip and get the students to watch and then describe what they saw and what they think was happening. They could write this up as a summary and then compare with the original clip on YouTube.
  • We can ask students to watch and suggest / write dialogue.
  • We can ask students to discuss what they think the characters are thinking or feeling. See if they can justify by describing what they see in the movie.
  • We can get the students to pick their own clips and create their own silent movie and type in their own dialogues and descriptions. They can share these and select the best one for an award.

The Artistifier is a useful creative site, but like most things built on the popularity of a single movie, it might not be around for very long, so make the best use of it you can while it's there. I hope you enjoy it.

Related links:


Nik Peachey


Akifa said...

Wonderful tool. I am going to share with my students. Thanks a lot for posting it.

Candan Büge said...

Great tool! thanks for sharing!