Zeum Outing: Learning to Become Digital Storytellers

We spent hours a few hours at Zeum, but that wasn’t enough for my kids. Most of the time was used crafting clay figures for the claymation movie they planned to make, adding more and more clay to a metal skeleton to form different characters. My son made a snow man who contained no white clay and my daughter made a pink clay Kirby, from her favorite video game. Their story didn’t feature much more than a fight scene, but with stop motion, it still took awhile to create the brief rumble between Kirby, the snowman, an featureless person, and an elephant onlooker. The adorable elephant was made by Zeum’s marketing master, Joy Daniels, who was kind enough to take orders from my four year old. Joy is a saint.

Thankfully the elephant made it through the fight unharmed, but he didn’t survive very long at home in my son’s room. Later than night I heard my son crying because he’d ruined the eyes by trying to “fix” them. The ears didn’t last much longer than the eyes. Then there was a lost tail. Poor elephant, couldn’t see it coming.

Had the kids had more patience, they could have worked for as long as they liked on the fine details of their characters or their movie. Zeum does something awesome, which is they allow characters to be saved for a future visit. We shared a table with two brothers who planned much more detailed characters and plot for their movie. They were making fresh characters that day, but they said they had left past characters on the saved shelves and worked on the over time until everything was just right.

Prior to claymation in the Animator’s Studio, the kids had experimented with stop motion using a camera and Magna-Tiles. It was one of the many stations set up for kids to work hands on with different forms of technology. We never made it to the Music Production Lab or the digital art work area because so much time was spent in the Animator’s Studio. Once finished with clay, the kids played around with a green screen in the Main Gallery until I practically had to drag them away to give other kids a chance to use the station.

The kids loved their time at Zeum and they can’t wait to go back. Most people know about the Zeum Carousel on the corner of 4th and Howard, but toward the front of Zeum is a cool playground with giant slides and slopes that my kids loved exploring. After a few hours of focus inside Zeum, the playground was the perfect outlet for pent-up energy. It was a great day.

The Fight:

(Zeum will email your movie to you for free!)

Disclosure: Our admission into Zeum was free, but there was no stipulation that I write about the visit.

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