It?s a fact: Ulmarra kids are model kids

By LEIGH PRITCHARD

MOVE over Hollywood, Ulmarra Public School students are planning to move in to your market.

In fact, they've taken the first step towards fame and fortune.

Ulmarra's composite class 4/5/6a has created an award-winning short film, Miss Moo and the Horn That Flew.

The 'claymation' won best animation at the 2004 Golden Dolphin Awards at Coffs Harbour.

Principal and teacher Sandra Armstrong said the students were highly motivated by the project.

"It is very challenging for a little school like Ulmarra," Mrs Armstrong said.

Over a semester the 20 students carried out the production process themselves ... writing the script, designing the set, filming and editing.

Set in Ulmarra, the story follows Miss Moo who lost her horn when she sneezed.

Bruce the biker helped her track down the missing horn, which was being used by a hornless rhinoceros at Taronga Park Zoo.

The five minute claymation was created by capturing 4762 frames.

The students used the same moulding clay and stop motion computer software as the creators of Wallace and Gromit and Harvey Crumpet.

The film was made through a Department and Education and Training program, Cineliteracy, and funded through the priority schools funding program.

Mrs Armstrong said film making taught students important visual and critical literacy skills.

"So much information kids take in nowadays is visual, from television and video," she said.

Mrs Armstrong said the results from the latest basic skills test, taken by Year 3 and Year 5 students each year, showed some children fell down in critical literacy.

"Children find it hard to understand that films are manipulated through digital editing," she said.

Ulmarra Public School's first production, The Phantom Energy Waster, previously won a Golden Dolphin for best screenplay and Mrs Armstrong said her class was working on a new claymation to be launched on November 23.

Miss Moo and the Horn That Flew will feature at the first Big River Public Schools Film Festival at the Grafton Community and Function Centre on June 1 at 6pm.

The festival will screen short films by local public schools -Wooli's The Man From Wooli River, Nymboida's What's Out There, Tucabia's Life's a Pun and 2004 Golden Dolphin Award winner for best film, Gillwinga's The Haunted Classroom.

Mrs Armstrong has co-ordinated the night with Wooli Public School principal Heather Wright.

Tickets to Big River Public Schools Film Festival are $2 and will be available on the night.



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