Conveyor belt cinema activity for students

Conveyor Belt Cinema

Conveyor Belt Cinema

Topic: Filmmaking Careers

Empowerment Lesson Video: Filmmaking Careers


  • Small cardboard box with lid removed
  • 2 toilet paper tubes
  • 2 small dowels (see photo)
  • 2 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 paper
  • Piece of heavy weight paper
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun
  • Pushpin
  • Double-sided tape
  • Paper clip

Video Discussion:

Tell students they will be watching the video titled Filmmaking Careers. Explain that the video presents role models talking about some of the careers available in the film industry and the reasons that they chose a film career.

After viewing the video, ask students to share specific things they learned about filmmaking careers (i.e., “Directors get to share their stories with other people and make decisions about all different parts of a movie. This career sounds hard but also really interesting.”).

Activity Instructions:

  1. Start by drawing a background (example, a cityscape or landscape). The final background size should be 5.5x16”; the easiest way to do this is to use two pieces of paper and tape them together.
  2. Draw a figure of a person walking or riding a bike and cut the figure out.
  3. Using the pushpin, make two holes on either side of the long sides of the box about 6” apart. Widen the holes with a pair of scissors until the dowels fit loosely into them.
  4. Trace the end of a toilet paper tube onto the heavy weight paper four times and cut out each circle.
  5. Make a hole in the center of each of the circles large enough for the dowel to fit snugly into.
  6. Hot glue the circles onto the ends of each of the toilet paper tubes. When dry, gently push one dowel through each tube.
  7. Hot glue the dowel to both ends of the cardboard tube so that the dowel and the tube rotate together as one.
  8. Insert each end of both dowels into the holes opposite each other on the box.
  9. Wrap the background image around the tubes and stick the ends of the paper together with double-sided tape. The paper should be pulled as tight as possible.
  10. Straighten out the paperclip. Stick the still figure that you drew onto one end of the paperclip using double-sided tape.
  11. Poke the paperclip up through the bottom middle of the box so that the figure is in front of the background.
  12. Bend the paperclip so that it stays in place where you want it. You may need to hot glue it in place.
  13. Now you’re ready to watch your movie! Simply turn the dowels in one direction. To watch your movie “backwards,” turn them in the other direction!

*Adapted from