For many years I have done my dad-ly duties by documenting the various family events such as birthdays, vacations, and sports games. I have more digital pictures than I care to count, and I will admit that I am quite fond of making music videos of the family events and posting them on Youtube (www.youtube.com/user/stevengholt).
I have even helped my kids a few times with their school video projects, and if you are a parent then you know what that means… you end up doing more of the project than your kid. It shouldn’t be that way, of course, but we want our kids to make a good grade, right? And if we are honest about it, all the other parents in town are doing their kids’ projects, so it really is a competition between parents and I am certainly not going to let another dad show me up. Doing video can be difficult for many people, so those video projects in the past almost required that I do most of the work anyway. But that changed recently, and I must admit, I am quite the proud papa.
Things started to change when my son, Harrison, got his iPod Touch with a camera. He started making goofy videos at home and uploading them to Facebook. They started out pretty silly, with my kids just goofing around. But then they started to have a point. They started scripting them, and they weren’t so goofy. Well, they were still goofy, but it was organized goof which is entirely different.
So when Harrison told me last week that he needed to make another video project for school, I was pretty pumped. I was excited to see just how much he would get into this. So when we sat down to talk about it, I told him that all great directors, like Steven Spielberg, did certain things when planning their films. He wanted to know what. So I told him that you have to have a screenplay to start with. You need to have good actors. And you definitely have to have a shot list. Spielberg always has a shot list.
So we sat at the kitchen table and wrote up our screenplay (Ha), which no doubt Spielberg would never approve of, and wrote down our shot list. We enlisted one of his brothers to join the production and bribed one of the dogs with treats to be the star of the show. We planned out our jokes, the punch lines, the scene locations around the house, the props we would need, and we got busy.
My son was a real pro. He came up with the best punch lines, he evaluated the best lighting locations, and he gave me some great bloopers to work with. He transformed into Spielberg right before my very eyes. Well… sortof. He did great, and we made some great memories in the process.
To see our final result, “How To Wash A Dog”, go here. And post a comment if you like it!