Film Makered: Sweded Cinema

by Amanda Fox


About the Author
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Amanda Fox

Amanda Fox is an award-winning teacher who has previously taught film, english, and social studies in the STEM setting and is author of Teachingland: A Survival guide to the Classroom Apocalypse. She is currently the Creative Director of STEAMPunksEdu, an after school and summer camp program that originated in Louisville, KY. Amanda speaks internationally on the power of EdTech integration, problem based learning, STEM education, and the power of video. She offers professional development to her staff and schools all over the world. Amanda is an Apple Educator, PBS Digital Innovator, ISTE Emerging Leader, and her favorite classroom tool is the iPad. 
Connect with Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaFoxSTEM
According to, Sweded cinema “takes the best and worst movies to come out of Hollywood in the past 30 years and remakes me them with an emphasis on comedy and a commitment to low-cost production (2012)”

With their lowcost, cardboard and duct tape execution, Sweded Cinema is an excellent fit for the Maker and PBL centered classroom. 
STEAMPunksEdu Sweded "The Last Jedi" Trailer, July 2018

1.Must be based on an already produced film
2.Range 1:30-8 minutes in length
3.Must not contain computer generated graphics
4.Based on films less than 35 years old
5.Special effects must be limited to camera tricks
      and arts 'n crafts (makered props and settings)
6.Sound effects created by human means
Borrowed from (they withhold no rights!)
The purpose of this project is to help students understand the basic elements of film making. In my experience, students come into film class and typically shoot everything from one angle--theatre style. By deconstructing a movie trailer and creating a detailed draft of scenes, students will begin to understand the importance of using a variety of camera shots and angles. With computer generated graphics (post-production) prohibited, the focus of the project is on preproduction and production. 

Furthermore, one of the pillars of sweding is the makered props and sets during the recreation of each scene. Leveraging design thinking, and the four C’S of STEM--creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication students work together to deconstruct scenes, reenvision them, curate a list of materials needed, design sets and costumes, and then produce and edit a short trailer. With digital media becoming a more prominent form of communicating with the world media production is a necessary skill in today’s society and film naturally lends itself to interdisciplinary connections.