Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making Stuff With Your Kids: The Day After Halloween

It’s an interesting thing being a parent and an artist. It can be a tough balance. Working a straight job, finding time to do your thing and making time to be there for your kid. It’s not always an easy balance. But I think keeping your art strong is a good thing, Your kids like seeing you enthused about life and about your work. For me, I like making movies. It’s what I do. I don’t always get paid, but when I’m in the filmmaking zone, I’m a happy camper.

My son and I have made our share of goofy videos. Slapstick inspired homages to Buster Keaton, bizarre travelogues, obsession-based animations and the like. He’s into it. Recently I was tapped to make a music video for my wife’s psychedelic kid rock band The Sippy Cups. The song is a wistful little number called The Day After Halloween, about a post-Halloween world where a kid reminisces about the autumnal joy of Halloween. After hearing the song once, an image stuck in my head. A kid unwilling to take his costume off once Halloween was over and not wanting to give up the total awesomeness that is Halloween when you’re a kid. I saw a kid playing soccer in his ghost costume, while the rest of his team was in their uniformed finery. A concept was born.

In two short weeks me and my son banged out this video. He’s the star and worked his butt off. About 10 hours of shooting, take after take, sweaty ghost costume and all. Long discussions about comic acting, playing it straight, and the need to dress sets and wait for the light to be just right. He also made excellent editing suggestions (the placement of the pool and slide scenes for comic and lyrical timing), learned how to rock certain Final Cut shortcuts and I found out his love of watching footage capture. Now if I could teach him how to capture, deal with timecode breaks and color correct, I’d have it made.

Enjoy the video. If you got kids, feel free to share and go comment and give it some ratings over at :

YouTube (be sure to watch in high quality)


Gil said...

Absolutely wonderful.

Danny Plotnick said...

thanks gil!

Joe said...

Very very sweet! I'm jealous of Henry's instrument collection. :)