Hairy Tales: A New Paradigm of Collaboration with Children

Ms Susan McCauley
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The conference session will review the practice based research into creative digital production processes and functions undertaken by the presenter over several years as part of PHD research in the Animation and Interactive Media Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Excerpts of three key case study productions will be screened, including some background material showing production processes.

The case studies will demonstrate how digital technologies can be used in collaborations in formal communities such as schools, and in informal communities such as community based art centres. The case studies are innovative video works that reflect equally the ideas, and art of children and the skills of a multimedia production team. These are works made by children for other children. They are not works made for children by adults.

This bottom-up approach uses children as key creative members of a multimedia production team. It explores alternative models of multimedia production and an expanded notion of what collaboration can be. The research program has analysed how this approach can influence functionality of a production team alongside all the ususal constraints of limited production time, imminent deadlines and tight budgets.

These case studies involved mixing studio arts of painting drawing and screenprinting,with theatre skills, storytelling and digital media practices such compositing, superimposition and animation. Low cost domestic equipment was used to deliver high production values in a low- tech environment. The makers had to think flexibly to work in classrooms and other non purpose built spaces during production. Themes in these works range from a re-telling of the Oscar Wilde story of The Happy Prince, to a group devised story of being lost in the Australian bush and being rescued by a magical emu, to the series Twelve Tuff Tales where each child creates a story about an unfortunate incident in their lives.

The three case studies used were made under different circumstances to test the production methodology being theorised. These include a small village school in Ireland, a class of refugee children in a primary school and a group participating in a contemporary art program at Artplay - the Childrens Contemporary Art Centre in Melbourne.

Keywords: children, creative producer,, collaboration, multimedia production creative paradigms
Stream: Technology in Community, Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Hairy Tales

Ms Susan McCauley

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Culture and Languages,
Faculty of Arts, Victoria University


Ref: T06P0020