Creating a Hollywood-Style Movie Trailer

What was your driving question?

How might students use technology, their bodies and the physical world around them (including the local community) to create a Hollywood-style trailer for a fictitious new movie?

Grades Involved


How did this project connect to your local or regional community?

Some of the filming was done in the local community.

What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?

Project Description

It was so rewarding watching our nine middle school drama project students dive into the plethora of roles needed to execute a Hollywood -style movie trailer using iMovie! Some students were only comfortable acting behind our fabulous student-made monster mask, while others wanted to be ‘on camera’ as much as possible, and others still gravitated toward filming or operating ‘special effects’ such as flickering lights. In the end, after three days of filming all over the school (including the walk-in freezer!) we had far more scenes than was possible to use. Students were excited to choose one scene of their very own to make ‘the final cut.’ Watching the trailer together during the cast party was an apt reward for a job extremely well done!

How did this positively impact the community? How was it shared?

The short film was shared with the school community via announcements and will be highlighted in our Celebration of Learning event for the community later in the year. It is also likely to receive recognition in our Meadows Valley Short Film Contest.

Reflection: What was the biggest challenge? What was the most rewarding aspect of this project?

In the beginning, it was challenging agreeing upon a movie genre, (and then challenging for those who did not get their first choice to overcome their disappointment and dive into the ‘scary movie’ genre. Once we began filming, this all quickly subsided.) The most rewarding aspect for the students and myself I believe was the filming and film editing process–getting permission to hide in janitor’s closets and film in the school kitchen, etc…. And of course watching it all come together in the end was extremely rewarding as well!

Any advice for a teacher or student that is implementing a PBE project for the first time?

Come ready to be exhausted and have fun! Expect some bumps in the road that will feel more than worth it in the end.