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Laois Libraries Lego Film Studio- a creative approach to an age-old problem Thomas Maher, Lori Moriarty

Since March of 2018, Laois libraries have been engaged in a Lego Film Studios project aimed at older children and teenagers. Funded in part by the LAI Public Libraries Project Prize and supported by our County Librarian, Bernie Foran, we have led a series of Lego stop-go animation workshops with the aim of producing short 3-5 minute films entirely created and controlled by young people from across Laois and into Kilkenny. The resulting films were then given an official screening at the Dunamaise Arts Centre early last October on a full size cinema screen. The participants were also presented with handmade Lego award statuettes. This year we are currently calling for other Library authorities to join with us in this library project and enter their film shorts created by young people in a nationwide competition.

The aim of this project is to encourage older children and young adults to come back to the library. It has developed into something much more. Apart from the skill sets the project involves (creative writing, story boarding, photography, Lego building, voice acting) and the more profound social exercises that the participants engage in (teamwork, critical thought, taking direction, finding their ‘voice’), we have seen these young adults become confident users of the library. They have gained a sense of ownership of the space and are no longer daunted by walking through the door. During our workshops we have discussed the influence of social media and internet security. In a world where this demographic are seen as the most impressionable, these participants have become creators of content and in turn start to view the media which surrounds them in a more critical way. Through this project we have gained creative, engaged and regular library patrons, making our libraries truly a space for all.

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Laois Libraries Lego Film Studio- a creative approach to an age-old problem Thomas Maher, Lori Moriarty

  1. 1. “Laois Libraries’ Lego Film Studio- A creative approach to an age-old problem” Presenters: Lori Moriarty (Laois Libraries, Branch Librarian for Durrow Library) Thomas Maher (Laois Libraries, Library Assistant for Abbeyleix Library)
  2. 2. Impetus • Encourage young adults back into the library • Take the ‘Lego Club’ model a step further • Support young people in creating content instead of just consuming ‘screen time’ • Teach them transferable skills across a broad range of disciplines • Such projects have been shown to have huge benefits for the young people involved
  3. 3. Laois Libraries Lego Studios LLLStudios The Aims: • Teach older children and young adults how to create stop-motion Lego films. • Deliver this experience at no cost to the participants within the Library. • Hold a screening of the completed films for all involved.
  4. 4. The Reality (in figures) • 1 Library Association of Ireland Project Prize Award • 70 Kids involved • 10,080 pictures taken • 56 minutes of footage filmed • Almost 2 hours of audio recorded • 9 Films Produced • 36 Weeks Production Span • Over 60 hours of work • Countless LEGO parts involved
  5. 5. • 1 talk from Maurice Joyce, a producer and artist with Cartoon Saloon. • 1 maternity leave • 1 case of glue-induced madness after creating 60 handmade Lego trophies! • 1 RTE Film crew • 1 Amazing Radio presenter, Ann Marie Kelly, and her microphone • 1 Official Screening for over 200 people at the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise.
  6. 6. The Process • First Meeting & Film Discussions • Story & Storyboards • Set Design & Building • Animation/Filming • Voice-work • Editing
  7. 7. Our Film Festival and Awards Dunamaise Arts Centre
  8. 8. From small screen to the BIG SCREEN!
  9. 9. Breakdown of Costs • €300 on rental of Dunamaise Arts Centre for Brixscars Film Awards • €500 on two iPad Minis • €40 on two iPad Cases • €160 on LEGO baseplates and minifigures
  10. 10. Results • Young people involved all wanted to sign up for it again • Confident, engaged Library users • Short stories, YouTube channels, comics • Opportunity to address online safety, responsible digital education and use • Opportunity to branch into vlogging, film making, audio recording, documentary projects
  11. 11. Thomas receiving the LAI Library Champion award from Marian Higgins
  12. 12. Nationwide Competition Deadline 3rd of September 2019 Ages 10-18 Contact Lmoriarty@Laoiscoco.ie or Tmaher@laoiscoco.ie

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