Broderbund Software's Lights! Camera! Action!! The radiant Fann Fatale skips joyfully into Sam Shovel-Private Eye's office, reaches into her purse and pulls out a macaroni collage picture frame of her precious and furry feline, Malcolm. CUT!! You have just entered the studio for the filming of a scene in Broderbund Software's new Write, Camera, Action! The newest member to the Active Mind Series offers rich animation, a colorful cast of characters and exciting dialogue in a new CD-ROM focused on improving literacy through integrated reading and writing activities.
Write, Camera, Action! encourages children ages 8 to 12 to develop their reading and expressive writing skills on an interactive and comical Hollywood movie set. Golden Fox Studios is the setting for the "The Case of the Maltese Malcolm," a mystery about a well-to-do and precious cat that is missing. The player, hired as the new director, must finalize the film and bring it to its blockbuster premiere. Children edit scripts, direct rehearsals, write news stories and movie bits and record dialogue to create box office success and see their film rise on the Billboard charts. The product encourages vocabulary growth and breaks down storytelling and character development into easy to understand activities and offers a gentle introduction into the world of creative writing.
"I can't think of a more entertaining way to develop children's reading and writing skills than by writing, directing and creating their very own movie," said Laurie Strand, Executive Publisher Broderbund's Education Studio. "Write, Camera, Action! encourages children to have fun with movie-making, but more importantly, enables them to explore the possibilities of their writing and creative expression."
The Back Lot -- On the Back Lot of the Golden Fox Studios, kids expand their creative expression by writing, editing and directing their Hollywood film. Their input on the dialogue, mood, set, sound effects and character action of the film will be immediately played back to them as they direct the rehearsal and shoot the scenes. Because it is a mystery, children must place clues and target them, consistently, towards a specific character.
The Studio Office -- This area is the writing center for Write, Camera, Action! As the premiere approaches, children promote their film by writing and creating movie synopses, news stories and publicity posters which they can print out in their very own newspaper. Also included are dozens of script starters and movie ideas that encourage kids to write their own scripts from scratch. The more writing activities that the child completes, the more fanfare she will have at her premiere and the higher the product will move up the Billboard charts.
Audio Dubbing Booth -- Write, Camera, Action! allows children to step into the Audio Dubbing Booth and re-record dialogue, music and sound effects using their own voice or that of their friends. It also lets children change the dialogue and narrations so that they can create their own original script.
The Screening Room -- Children can check closeups, quick cuts and music by previewing finished scenes from their film in the screening room. Using the play, stop, rewind and fast forward interface, kids can double check their selections before they finalize the scene.
Box Office Success and the Billboard -- Box office success is based on a variety of factors. Children must align the clues, finish the script editing and premiere the film -- and a minimal box office success will follow. Increased success is based on participation in the writing activities and recording new dialogue. When players release their film, their points are internally tallied, the review is generated and their film is ranked on the Billboard.
Help is always available -- Throughout the production of the film, help is always available. Bailey, the Assistant Director, pops up at various times throughout production to let the child know that there may be a problem with his script consistency or to encourage the child to complete more writing exercises. Along with Bailey's help, the child is also assisted by a Director's Notebook. This notebook is filled with information about the film, such as which scenes need to be filmed or edited, which clues have been placed in the script and to whom they point, and what writing exercises have been completed.
Active Mind Series
The Active Mind Series is an innovative line of software that motivates children to develop essential learning skills. Each product is developed in conjunction with educational specialists to provide an enriching educational experience. Write, Camera, Action! is the fifth title in this series. Other titles in the series include the recently released Logical Journey of the Zoombinis(TM), James Discovers Math(TM), The Playroom(R), Reading Galaxy(TM) and Math Workshop(TM).
School Version with Teacher's Guide
The school version of Write, Camera, Action! was prepared by Broderbund's Educational Marketing Division, classroom teachers and educators. This edition will release in September as a Windows/Mac hybrid disk. The educational version and teacher's guide are designed to provide numerous ways to integrate the program into school curriculum. Eighteen activities have detailed plans for further learning away from the computer, as well as activities to support learning while on the computer.
Reading Galaxy becomes the sixth member of the Active Mind Series
Reading Galaxy helps children ages 8 to 12 develop their reading comprehension and problem solving skills through a game show format that incorporates excerpts and synopses from 30 favorite works of children's literature. The player's goal is to outsmart a panel of "Alien Guest Celebrities" on an interstellar game show by using knowledge of the books and authors in question. The product features over 400 passages from children's classics and Newbery award winners, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, and more. Initially released as Alien Tales, the product remains unchanged and true to the critical acclaim it originally received. It becomes the sixth member of the Active Mind Series because of its emphasis on reading comprehension, literary appreciation, spelling, vocabulary building, reading strategies and logical thinking.
Write, Camera, Action! and Reading Galaxy are currently shipping for approximately $40.
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