The Shapiro Files

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Melody Makes a Movie!

My 3-year-old daughter Melody has become very used to the sight of her mother in our home office working on video projects for her business Life Visions Productions. So it shouldn't have surprised that one day seemingly out of the blue she said to me, "I want to make a movie like Mommy." My response: "Sure, we could do that." Over the course of the day following that exchange, Melody began to outline the story of a young princess kidnapped by a grumpy wizard.

With the certainty you can only find in little kids (well, I suppose politicians as well), Melody declared that Julianne (our 2-year-old) would play the princess in peril, Marcie would play the Mommy Fairy, I would play the Grumpy Wizard ("because only boys can be grumpy wizards" she explained), and she would be the heroine, Fairy Melody.

We shot the little movie in short bursts of fast and furious activity over a couple of days. You have to work very fast with kids as young as mine because they lose interest quickly. In fact, even at that frantic pace, we lost Julianne after just one scene. Once we completed the forest sequence that opens the movie, she didn't want to have anything more to do with the project. So I did the best I could to edit around her absence. After my final edit was done, it still wasn't good enough for Melody and we ended up doing some re-shoots a week later. It turns out she's already a better filmmaker than me because the new ending is much better!

And now, without further ado, here it is:

Here's a direct link to the video on YouTube, where you can see it at a larger size and even in near-HD if your Internet connection and computing speed supports it.

By the way, be sure to keep watching after the closing credits. I put together a montage of silly dancing and funny outtakes in the spirit of closing title sequences in movies like Something About Mary and Cannonball Run.

Oh, and on a final note, we showed a rough cut of the movie to Marcie's local cousins last week. They enjoyed it so much that my two oldest nieces, Jianna and Kaylie, asked me to help them make a movie of their own with a plot that's pretty much exactly the same as Melody's. So if that all comes together, you can look forward to another video addition to The Shapiro Files.


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