Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Lights, Lego, action in East County

Tara Elementary students make their own stop-motion Lego movies.

  • East County
  • News
  • Share

Each time Lynita Chupps slightly moved a figure on her Lego movie set, her sister, Lisa, would take a photo using a tablet.

The movie-making duo went on and on. Move a figure a tiny bit. Take a photo. Move. Take a photo. 

Slowly but surely, the Chupps were making progress on their  stop-motion movie during their first Lego movie class Feb. 19 at Tara Elementary School.

Stop-motion is an animated filmmaking technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments and then photographed each time.

Although Lynita Chupps, a fourth grader at Tara Elementary, and Lisa Chupps, a second grader, aren’t quite sure what direction they want to take their storyline, they have four more weeks to figure it out.

“We’re kind of making it up on the way,” Lynita Chupps said.

Fifteen Tara Elementary students, ranging from second to fifth grade, are channeling their creativity into their own stop-motion Lego films during a Lego movie class that Tara resident David Hirschfeld is teaching at the school.

Hirschfeld, who moved to East County six months ago, owned Bits, Bytes and Bots Computer Adventures, a provider of technology classes for children and teens, in Memphis, Tenn.

With Tara Elementary School being close to his home, Hirschfeld contacted the school to see if they would be interested in the after-school program.

Annaleigh Bailey, a third grader, helps position a villain while her partner, Wesley Murrell, a fifth grader, holds onto the villain with fishing line.
Annaleigh Bailey, a third grader, helps position a villain while her partner, Wesley Murrell, a fifth grader, holds onto the villain with fishing line.

“The earlier they’re introduced to technology, the easier it is for them to grasp the understanding of technology, be it coding or movie making,” Hirschfeld said. “Besides the fact they thoroughly enjoy it, stop-motion movie making is creative. Every time they make a movie, it could be different than the one they previously made. The skills that they learn, they can apply to their next movie.”

Before starting their movies, students had to choose the perfect backdrop, many which were provided by Hirschfeld. Some characters were flying through space while others were trudging through the snow, horseback riding in the Grand Canyon or battling on a beach.

Students then chose their characters, such as Lego or Minecraft figures, and props.

Evan Kozmits, a fourth grader, envisioned a jungle movie because it could have a sense of adventure in the film.

Kozmits and his partner, Cooper Smith, a third grader, are coming up with their storyline as they progress through the project.

Several groups have decided to have some of their characters be “good guys” and others be “bad guys.”

Annaleigh Bailey, a third grader, and her partner Wesley Murrell, a fifth grader, had their villain, Evil Hawk, flying around to kidnap an astronaut, Lenny, in their movie, “The Adventures of Lenny and Evil.” While Murrell held Evil Hawk in the air using fishing line, Bailey took a photo and directed Murrell where to position Evil Hawk to get the sequence of shots they wanted.

“I love making a movie where everybody is going to want to see it,” Bailey said.

As students see what others are doing in their movies, Hirschfeld said they will challenge themselves to incorporate different techniques and special effects and learn from each other.

The program, which began Feb. 19,  lasts six weeks.


Related Articles