Making Movies Make Sense

Interactive guide to film and filmmaking

Making Movies Make Sense on iPad

Making Movies Make Sense is an engaging, interactive introduction to film language and filmmaking for ages 9 to adult. This 148-page multitouch book is made for iBooks, with dozens of video clips, stills, interactive pictures, audio clips and pop-up tips and questions. It includes practical activities and links to downloads. For iPad, Mac and iPhone.

Film language

Before you start making a movie, you need to understand film language. The book explains it step-by-step, covering:

  • Shots, sequences and sound, the building blocks of film
  • Using the camera: shot size, angle, composition, special shots, movement, lens
  • Light: lighting styles, light position, three-point lighting
  • Continuity: shot-reverse shot, the 180 degree rule, action match and eyeline match
  • Sound: diegetic and non-diegetic sound, music and effects
  • Editing: continuity editing, montage, pace, transitions and effects


This section introduces equipment and explains how to plan your movie (scripting, storyboarding and organising your shoot), with an illustrated introduction to how to film as a team. Short video clips explain basic video editing techniques.


Over 20 pages of filmmaking activities help build planning, storytelling and filming skills and develop understanding of camera position, shot size, sequences and sound.


There’s a download link where you can access two sets of video ‘rushes’ to practise editing, and a set of templates to help with film planning.

About the author

Making Movies Make Sense was developed by Tom Barrance, director of Learnaboutfilm and a film educator with over 20 years’ experience of working with children, young people and adults.

Who it’s for

Making Movies Make Sense is designed for ages 9 and above. It’s also a useful introduction for educators who are new to teaching film.

You can download a free sample from the iBooks Store.

Reviews of previous editions

“Superb…should be in every school”
Jack Kenny, Agent for Change

“Every school should have this app”
iPad in Education

“A really excellent resource and very teacher friendly”
Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education, Northern Ireland Screen

“Highly engaging, comprehensive, well researched and structured”
Media Education Journal

(These reviews are of the previous DVD-ROM and app versions of the resource.)

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