How do you fancy controlling and directing your own movie? Make this and you can!

You will need:
  • Cardboard box
  • Tracing paper
  • Black card
  • Thick paper or card
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Paper fastener
  • Drinking straws
This movie box is great fun. With a light source and a bit of imagination you can create a movie masterpiece.
Find yourself a large, empty cardboard box, and carefully cut away one of the big sides.
On the opposite big side, cut a hole that's a bit smaller than an A3 sheet of tracing paper, to make a sort of frame.
Next, stick a piece of A3 tracing paper onto the frame, from the inside of the box, with glue or tape.

The tracing paper will be the screen of the Movie Box.
You should now have something that looks like this!
Now decide what type of movie you want, so that you can design a set.

The choice is yours - spooky, dinosaur, space-age - or how about a fairy tale?

Make the set by drawing around the front of the box onto a piece of thick paper or card.
This makes a guide for the size of the set.

Your set design mustn't go below the bottom line, though it can be a bit wider up the sides and along the top of the screen.
Start drawing!

For a fairy tale set, how about grass at the bottom, and trees up the side?
When you're happy with the design, cut the middle out, and around the edges.
And when you've cut it out, paint it, and add on any extra detail.

You should then have something that looks like this!
The set piece goes on the front of the movie box, like this - but don't stick it in place just yet, because you'll need it to make the scenery!
Lay the set piece onto a piece of thin black card, and draw the scenery design through it, so that it's the right size.
Here, Neil has drawn a castle turret and the ground.
Once you've finished, you need to carefully cut out the scenery silhouette.
Stick it to the inside of the box with sticky tack...
...then use more sticky tack to stick the scenery to the front of the box.
Next - actors!

Cut them out of thin black card.
If you find it difficult to draw them, why not trace them from story books or magazines?
If you want part of a character to move, make that part separately.

Remember to make the moving part a bit longer at the end, where it will join.
Make a small hole in the top of the moving part...
...and push a paper fastener through.
Then pass the fastener through another hole in the body, to connect the two pieces.
Fold the paper fastener back.

The moving part should now move!
Next, snip a little way into the end of a few straws.

Separate the snipped ends like this...
...then use them these to stick the staws to the back of the characters, so that you can hold them up.
For characters with moving parts, attach a straw to each of the parts so that you can move them.
Make as many characters as you like, and you'll be ready to start the show.

Make sure that you've got a light source shining behind you, onto the screen inside the box by using a torch, lamp or by standing in front of a window.
If you use a desk light like this one, keep it a safe distance from the cardboard box and take care that the box doesn't get too hot.
Lights, camera, music, action!

Try it yourself!