DAY THREE Howdy Nimble Crew! Dexter here coming atcha' from 1925! Now normally I don't mind a bit of time travel (I don't want to boast but I'm actually Grandpa's TOP researcher - he sends me on the most dangerous trips!) but the thing is...tomorrow is my birthday! And I don't want to miss it!!! There's a parcel waiting for me and I think it's something I've wanted for AGES! So you need to help me get out of here. I've ended up in Hollywood - you know where they make ALL the movies. I took this picture just before crash landing - turns out when the famous sign first went up it said Hollywoodland rather than just Hollywood! Great factoid eh? Anyway, I got talking to this guy called Charlie...something. Can't remember his second name. He's a major film star here. But the films he makes aren't like the movies we're used to. Technology isn't that great here in 1925 so all the films are in black and white and have no talking! And poor old Charlie's had a bit of an accident look...

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Poor old Charlie's broken his leg and if he doesn't finish his new film today he'll be sacked by the studio boss and I'll be stuck here sweeping the studio floor FOREVER! So I said we'd help. Before we become silent movie stars and make our film we need to do some training! Follow the instructions below. 

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Printer to print face templates (or paper and pen to copy them)

Two forks and two pieces of fruit of potatoes 

 1. WATCH Charlie and the lion - 

how do we know how he's feeling?

2. PRACTICE using your face to show how you feel!  Click HERE for the emotions bingo cards. You can either print them and cut them up, or if you haven't got a printer just draw your own cards on a piece of paper. Choose one card at a time and make a face to show that emotion! You could take pictures of your expressions. Remember to make them really OVER THE TOP!

3. PERFORM: Now another very important part of being a silent film actor is being able to mime! Mime is when you pretend to do something without speaking. Often mime artists painted their faces white a bit like clowns. Your challenge is to learn EITHER to mime being stuck in a box and pulling on a rope (there's a video to help you!) or the whole of Charlie's crazy ballet dance mime (there's a video I've found on the time portal files for that too). Or you could try learning both! For the ballet dance get two forks and then ask a grown up to help you stick two bits of food on the end - you could use fruit or potatoes! Then watch the video and practice along till you've got it perfect. 

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Charlie says he's a bit bored and asked if we could make zoetropes to cheer him up! I said we'd give it a try. This task is quite a tricky one so if you're working with a little brother or sister you might want to make one as a team. Or, if this looks a bit tricky for you, Charlie also needs some new cartoon characters designed! So if you don't fancy the zoetrope please create a brand new cartoon character (or a few characters!) draw them and upload!

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Printer for templates:

Sides template is HERE

Base template it HERE

Animation strips are HERE

Easier version for littler fingers! 

Or you can draw these - instructions are in the video.

Card or paper (black card if you have it)



Small piece of cardboard

Glue stick


Charlie says he thinks you're ready to be part of the silent film crew - well done! Your final task is to create everything we need to make a silent film. You can take on any role you like - they're all as important as each other - or you can do ALL of them and make your own silent film masterpiece to upload. Start by watching the film about silent movie makers and then get to work. And hurry - remember, it's only a few hours till my birthday and if we don't get this done I won't get home in time!!

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Now choose your role and get to work!

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STORY-BOARDER - this is the person who draws pictures to show what will happen in the film before it is made. You can print or copy a template HERE and draw the pictures to go with the captions. Or make up your own story using a blank template HERE

COMPOSER There was no talking in silent films but there was always music and sound effects. Get some household items and make a soundtrack to the custard pie video below! You could play the video and record your sounds on a phone at the same time!

PROPS AND COSTUMES Characters are ALWAYS throwing pies at each other in silent films! Can you count how many pies are thrown in the pie film? We will definitely need some pies for our film. If you have some paper plates you can make all kinds of pies by adding paper or cotton wool. Or just cut our a circle from some cardboard, snip round the edges and fold them up to make a pie base like this:


ACTOR  Practice some freeze frames! Think of some situations for example 'A tiger just walked in!', 'Something smells bad', 'Where have the jewels gone!', 'Watch out' - then strike a pose and ask someone to take a picture - a grown up might be able to help you turn these black and white using a phone or tablet (or you might know how to do this yourself! 

DIRECTOR   OR make a whole own silent film yourself!  HERE are some story cards - you can print these out or copy them - or make your own. Decide how you are going to act out each one - if you're a solo adventurer you can pretend you are acting with other characters - Charlie did lots of acting on his own! If you're working with someone else you can both play characters or one person can film and the other can act. Remember to be as SILLY AS POSSIBLE! But also you are ACTING - so remember the fighting or falling over or throwing pies is just pretend! Lots of tablets have a black and white filter for filming.


If you're working with a grown up there are some apps they could help you use (but make sure you ask them first!) (Note for parents there is an IOS app called Silent Film Studio or Andriod app called Kamarada. Or you can just film using the app or another device!

If you want to play some music along with your acting you could play THIS:

Silent Movie MusicArtist Name
00:00 / 01:35

You are the BEST team! I showed Charlie all your work and he said he wished you all lived in 1925! I saw my chance to escape when the studio boss came down to check on Charlie - I gave him some of your zoetropes and he was so distracted by how good they were I was able to grab some tools from the stuido workshop and fix my transporter! Get some rest now, tomorrow there is more to do! 

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