You might be looking for some silly and fun activities to do with your children this Spring and Summer. As the weather gets better and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s not hard to assume that you might become filled with creative inspiration. This could serve as a wonderful platform to spend time with your children, and enjoy the wonderful pace of the summer season before you. But what should you make?
Well, anything that you want to of course! However, there are a few things that you might enjoy doing even more so than the standard fare. You can only make enough pasta paintings before you start getting a little bored.
If you’re looking for something you can all work on, something fun and silly, consider making a home movie! This works in almost the same way as crafting a fun home play for your close relatives to watch, but you can edit this over a longer timeline, keep an even larger degree of creative control, and can distribute this to more family members who might live a relative distance away.
Also, what child’s eyes wouldn’t light up at the prospect of making their own movie? The chances are your kids are already experimenting with the video functions on their tablets and cameras so will welcome collaborating and improving their skills (we always find funny films that our kids have made- they’d make great comedy sketch show artists!). Here are a few family-friendly ways to get the ball rolling, and to keep this process as fun as possible from start to finish:
Of course, narrative plot holes and deep expositional dialogue will not matter here in the slightest. Spielberg would feel jealous at such a statement. Scripting might not be the most important thing to do in terms of a story at all. A very simple layout can often simply put the framing of the home movie within certain parameters, but it in no way dictates what the movie is to be about. You simply need a common theme such as ‘pirate movie!’ or ‘superhero film!’ or even ‘creative film!’ to know what items you might need to purchase from here on out.
You can also go through and develop some fun, silly characters with your children. Is your daughter the warrior princess, interested in finding a means to save the day and fight the bad guys? Is your son the cool scientist who hopes to develop the best superhero outfit for her? Or is your son the coolest pirate on the seven seas, hunting the buried treasure in a race against your daughter protecting it? Just remember that often, children dislike being ‘the bad guys,’ so find a happy medium in which they can celebrate their heroism together. They might not want to work together in the scope of the story, but that doesn’t mean there should be a winner and a loser. Try and allow for them to triumph somehow, even if that means filling the role of ‘the loser’ yourself!
If you’re struggling for ideas, you needn’t come up with original content. There is no academy award panel here to judge you on your artistic merit and to quantify your research. You might simply copy the story of your child’s favourite bedtime story, or to replicate a funny even that happened in the history of your family. Whatever works for you is fine. As long as you’re not profiting from the film, anything goes.
One of the most fun parts here is to find costumes. This could be anything from women’s halloween costumes to crafting the coolest cowboy outfit the world has ever seen. It could mean mixing a few themes together to create something stunning. This might be the first time the world has seen a pirate astronaut combo, something that has been needed since the dawn of time.
Have fun here! Spend the morning doing face makeup and face art, as well as purchasing some fun props. This can also be relatively cheap, as you likely already have a few toys around the house that can work here. Still, purchasing a nice new item could be a fun memento for your children to remember, such as a cowboy hat or trusty six shooter. The costumes will allow your child to fully embody the role, and get a feel for the character they want to be. This is where you will be once again stunned by the power of a child’s imagination.
Your garden is often a great place to shoot footage. You can also purchase a large background of cardboard, supported by chairs or other furnishings, and paint a fun scene here. This might be an ocean background with a pirate ship. It might also mean bringing in sofa cushions to make a fort with. It could mean heading outside and shooting footage around the climbing frame in your garden. Backdrop matters for the film, but luckily you can shoot in many more places than one, unlike a home theatre show.
This gives you a chance to ‘block’ certain scenes. Talking to your children about where they’d like to be and how the scene will play out (in the most fun, silly, non-pressure way) will allow children to choreograph their own story, and you’ll often be very surprised as to what they come up with. The creativity of children often knows no bounds, and this can be the best place to express that.
Recording & Editing
It is very likely that if you own a new smartphone, you have 4K video recording and stabilisation as a feature. However, you might like to enjoy a little retro activity here and purchase a cheap super 8 camera. This can often lead to physical editing, so be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Sometimes an old Kodak can provide that custom choppy 4:3 filter we all know and love, but be sure that you have the means to edit this footage together. You can often digitise tapes, and then use windows movie maker, find a free trial for Adobe Premiere Pro and simply collate the clips together. Here you can add a fun intro, a ‘thanks for watching’ credit roll, and some royalty free music that works best for you.
With all this in mind, you are likely to craft one of the best home movies ever made. But be sure to have fun, as your children certainly will!