Home > Entertainment, Family, Parenting, Silly, Teaching, Video > Making movies just like Daddy

Making movies just like Daddy

My older son watched the movie Super 8 today.

It features a young filmmaker corralling his friends into making movies with him.

I found the young filmmakers adorable. My son found them enchanting, and asked all kinds of questions about filming as the movie progressed. He knew his dad “makes dogs talk” for film, but the specifics weren’t too clear to him.

He seemed fascinated by filmmaking, so I asked if he wanted to make a movie of his own.

Did he ever!

At first, I recorded when he told me to start.

I’m not totally sure what the story was. I’m not totally sure he knew what the story was, but I was delighted all the same.

He and his brother laughed when they watched the first video. Li’l D asked to make a second. I said that’d be fine We briefly discussed plot, and dialogue, and beginnings-middles-ends.

Still, his second video was the first with different characters and without a piano.

After the third, I suggested we make a very short video with a beginning, a middle and an end. We talked about what these things are. We talked about scripts.

I suggested a trip to the zoo. He suggested aliens should attack a zoo. I explained how we could set that up so he’d know when the villains should arrive.

TAKE 1: His dad called “action.” My ponies delivered their performance as promised until the aliens arrived and began … break-dancing around them? Mother and daughter pony walked around in circles, with the daughter saying, “I don’t know what’s happening here, Mommy!”

TAKE 2: Before we began filming, I suggested he try some dialogue, or even a little maniacal laughter so people watching the video would understand they were watching a villainous takedown. The aliens actually attacked the ponies and we were doing pretty well, until Li’l D leaned into frame and shouted, “Fifteen!” His dad stopped filming and said, “It’s my job to tell you when the scene is done!”

alien attack

TAKE 3: The aliens snarled and shook in the ponies’ vicinity. I interrupted filming with sterner-sounding than expected instruction, “No! They’re not attacking the ponies! They have to attack the ponies!”

(I am crying from laughter as I type this. This was so much fun!)

TAKE 4: The little dude did great. I flubbed this take with an accidental pony-toss. Oops.

TAKE 5: Li’l D brought it all together. We were done for the day.

Li’l D and I watched the five takes back to back. He beamed at all the products of his labor. To him, each video was a masterpiece. “Will people get to watch this on TV?” he asked.

“You’ve got to make a whole lot of movies before you can get one on TV, usually. I could post this on my blog, if you want.”

“Yes! Yes!” he exclaimed, bouncing. After a moment, he added, “I want to make movies like Daddy!”

“You could definitely do that. Start thinking about what you want to film next weekend, okay?”

He rattled off a dozen ideas. Next weekend will tell which wins, or if he’ll even care about films then.

I’ll almost certainly still be giggling at the sweetness of sharing his first five takes.

  1. May 31, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Beautiful! Get it all down, on paper or on video, because he likely won’t remember it five years from now. When BoyGenius was about 4 or 5 he had an entire television series in his head: Meeny and Mino. They are/were mice, cousins and friends, and “they go on adventures!” He even had the theme song pretty well written. He was all about the ideas for adventures in his head; never got to the filming stage. When this production idea came up in conversation a couple of months ago, he looked at me like I had lost my mind. He had absolutely no recollection of it. Thankfully, I have his treatment written down, along with the theme song lyrics.

    • May 31, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      For how much he doesn’t like having his picture taken, he seems to feel just fine about video! I’m glad to have discovered this, and hope it lasts for a while.

      The song bit makes me think of how much he loves making up little ditties. I really should get him to write them down, or record them for his future enjoyment.

      (So sweet about BoyGenius! ♥)

  2. Paul
    May 31, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Only a closet Monster … well done.

    • May 31, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      My husband asked me if I’d lost my mind as I typed this, I was laughing so hard. It was just such a joy, and so much fun to see those lessons being learned second by second! I’m already curious how he’ll feel watching this a decade or two down the road. 🙂

      • Paul
        May 31, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        He’ll enjoy it. When I was about 4 my Dad had just built us a new home – he did most of the work himself, so stored in our basement were left over boards and boxes of nails and hand operated construction tools like a hand drill and hand saws and such. I loved it down there and spent hours working away. A few years ago my dad passed away at 75, 53 years after he built that house. It was a short illness (an infection) and they were dosing him with antibiotics to get ready for an operation when he died suddenly in hospital. He was a kind man whose honesty and integrity had endeared him to employees and employers, allowing him to rise to general manager level with 500 employees under him at a commercial bakery by the time he retired.

        My parents had divorced when i was 16 and my Dad remarried a few years after that. My step-mom Theresa and i used to chat occasionally but I was 19 at the time and pretty much on my own (I had my first incorporated business at 21). When Dad passed away Theresa sent me some of his personal possessions as mementos: his 25 years of service gold watch, a small plastic statue that I had bought him one father’s day when I was about 8 that said World’s Best Dad. and a few other items. Included in that package was a short board that I had forgotten all about. I had made it in the basement when i was 4. I had sawed about 5 inches off a 4 inch wide board to make an elongated rectangle, then i had taken a hand drill and made eyes and a nose and with multiple holes a smile from side to side. I then gave this to my Dad as a present. He was so enamored of it that he kept it to the day he died – 53 years later. I cried when i saw it with his belongings – just like him to cherish the work of a 4 year old.

  3. May 31, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Terrific videos! Save these for a video retrospective when he wins his first Oscar. He is lucky to have you two to play/learn/love with.

    • June 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      I think that was part of my mirth yesterday! If he does try walking in his dad’s footsteps, we’ll have captured these beginnings. And if he doesn’t? We’ll share laughs together rewatching them, and that’ll be grand, too!

  4. Deb
    June 1, 2015 at 6:04 am


    • June 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Li’l D is not a morning person. Mentioning I’d posted this last night got him up and bouncing. He was thrilled to hear people had watched and enjoyed! And I was thrilled for Monday morning going much smoother than usual. Thanks. 😀

  5. June 1, 2015 at 6:08 am

    So cute, and super fun! I watched them several times 🙂

  6. June 1, 2015 at 8:30 am

    He better start working on that acceptance speech now. No doubt an Oscar is in his future! 🙂

  7. June 1, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I think you should make this a regular event – for as long as he wants to do it, anyway. Silver Screen Sunday, by Li’l D! And, by the way, Li’l D, this was great!

    • June 1, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      I can’t wait to share this with him after work, thank you! This morning, he was already thinking aloud of possibilities for next weekend. (“Rampaging baby detective” had my vote, but he dismissed the idea as quickly as he spoke it!)

  1. June 1, 2015 at 7:48 pm

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