Open and Close
Talking of videos, did you watch the two-minute video on freeze frames that I mentioned in the previous lesson? If so, you will have heard me mention the next great idea to use with freeze frames - Open and Close. This idea improves the experience for the audience and helps to focus the attention of students making the freeze frame.
Open and Close is particularly helpful for developing a sequence of freeze frames. Let’s say that the groups have devised a short story told in three key images, or a key event from history or they are retelling a fairy tale. Once they have decided on their images they should practice moving from one to the next.
When the time comes to present the work, the first group gets up in front of the audience. Now the audience members close their eyes. When the players have the first freeze frame ready, the teacher says “Open”. The audience open their eyes for a few moments and look carefully at the scene. When they have had time to look at everyone in the group, the leader says, “Close” and the audience close their eyes again. The group moves quickly and quietly into the second image and then the audience are asked to open their eyes again. The process is repeated until all the images have been shown. This creates the amazing effect of looking at a series of photographs or a three-dimensional flip-book – which has to be seen to be believed!
The process enables the group and the audience to focus on the important images rather than any messy, shuffling movement between them. It gives the teacher a lot more control over what is shown. No rambling ten minute improvisations where everyone has forgotten their lines (and who they are)!