Making Movies with Middle Schoolers
I have done something similar. I teach yearbook, but by quarter four the yearbook is done. I wanted to get kids more excited about writing and storytelling, and so I researched "digital storytelling" and looked up a few Ken Burns documentaries. I took what I liked and told the kids that we were still working on the yearbook, but instead of simply taking photos, they were going to shoot video.
The students write typical journalism stories, but then break it down into a script, figure out where video footage and photos are going to go in their readings, and also incorporate face-to-face video interviews. My school is a PC, so we use Window Movie Maker, which isn't too bad, to create the videos.
Middle school kids come up with some amazing ideas, and they need to be trusted with activities and projects that are bigger. They can totally handle it.
I had great luck uploading videos to www.schooltube.com. It's free and a great place to host, link to and embed videos.