Friday, December 9, 2011

Search for Sasquatch

You just never know what is going to inspire a group of kids, but if you let them run with it, the results are often very entertaining.

About a month ago, we were visiting a friend who showed us some clips from some rather, well... "interesting" TV shows. They seemed to be sort of back woods reality TV, featuring real life characters who search for bigfoot, wrestle giant snakes in the bayou, and things like that. I was amazed that this would be TV worthy, but I guess with a billion channels, you have to stretch things like the meaning of worthy.

Well, the kids all found the whole thing hilarious. Now, we all live in "the country" and are familiar with mountain folks, but we couldn't tell if the people on these shows really acted that way in everyday life, or if they were just hamming it up to be on TV. Either way, the kids found it completely entertaining and were inspired to create a spoof series of films along the lines of what they saw.

We had a sleepover, and after staying up until the wee hours eating about 12,000 pounds of leftover Halloween candy, they came up with a loose script. In the morning, they set out with camera in hand. I didn't see them for hours, but did hear some occasional "Bigfoot howls."

The result was the following three minutes of humor that I hope you'll take the short time to watch (and comment):

Of course I found this all rather amusing, but I think it's also worth noting that the kids learned quite a bit from the process. Scriptwriting, acting, character development, plot (well, sort of) and all the filming, editing etc that went into it. There was a lot of teamwork happening, and they managed it all without any adult intervention. Some might say they were playing all day (which they were) but I contend that they were educating themselves as well, and that it was a worthwhile way to spend a morning with friends.

None of the kids involved had used the movie making computer program before either, but they figured it all out on their own, and had a great time doing it. They also learned that wind sounds louder on video than in real life, and it makes your dialogue hard to understand, but alas, you can't control nature. Now they're on the hunt for a way to drown that background noise out.

Since the first episode, the kids have made two more. They are hysterical with their twisting and turning, nonsensical plot, and the wind is still giving them grief. Nevertheless, I love watching their inspirations come to life, and can't wait to see what they come up with next.