Sunday, 31 March 2013

Making movies

I was asked by a lovely lady at the women's ministry morning that I attend to share how to write a story and video it for your children. I enthusiastically said, Yes!"...and then panicked. I have never done this before. How does one write a story and make a video of it? This woman is a praying woman so I trusted that she must have been nudged by The Lord to challenge me. So, I went on an adventure. I invited my 4 year old in on the adventure, as he especially loves video and camera work. We tried different stories with different recording devices. We had stories with dinosaurs, teddy bears, Sesame Street characters, and homemade puppets. We tried making up a story together and sometimes the stories got a little out of hand (like when the dingo would not stop beating up the big dinosaur) and sometimes we would just end up shutting off the camera and just play on. For the class' sake, I made up the final story but let Munch pick out the characters, name them and film the story. I was so impressed with his video skills. After we were done filming, Munch said, "Mommy, that was great!" and he immediately wanted to watch it.  He also wanted to take the puppets and do his own story. (Well, what do you know? We have a whole new rainy day activity!) We probably could have made up stories for hours.
Ryan and I started making up stories for our kids when Munch was almost two. It started with a funny story about a duck and a waterslide (that is what Munch really loved at that time). It has since become adventures about airplanes and sledding down icy mountains. It has also been a way to teach values and morals to the kids without having to lecture. Sometimes, the lesson is received better when it comes through the back door (especially for my know--it-all Munch). What we have learned is that our kids love the made up stories because often we include things that they can relate to and things they love. Making this video was just adding another element to that process.
This is something that I am hoping to use for those times in the doctor's office, when I want to keep the kids attention. "Hey kids, lets watch that video we made the other day!" I am wondering if maybe it will teach the kids to become more aware and analytical of what they watch as well. For example, Ryan listens to radio differently because he has been a part of the process. I watch movies with a more critical view because I have been a part of that process. Maybe our kids will not be as passive in their relationship with media and because they have been a part of the process they will watch it differently. I am hoping.
I will share the video...reluctantly. The lighting is poor, my voice changes and you can see my head BUT this video is not for you, it's for my kids...and they LOVED it! I am getting over myself and showing it only to show you how simple it is...I hope it inspires you.

I learned some very valuable things throughout the process of making this video.
1.  Allowing the boys to be a part of the process made them more attentive and focused.
2. We, as adults, tend to need everything to be perfect and neat but our kids don't notice those things, the little ones anyway.
3. Our kids love when we get down and play with them. Munch and Bubblegum loved making the videos mainly because Mom got down on the floor and roared like a lion. I need to lighten up and play more.
4. We all have stories to tell. We know our children the best and have the best information to make their stories compelling and funny.
5. The sillier you can be the better; better for the story and better for you (I could feel my stress lifting off of me as I played).

This is my challenge to you. Take your phone, iPad, iPod, camera and make a story for your kids. Maybe you aren't comfortable with making up a story. Read them a book and film the pages...then you can show them the video on those moments you need them to be busy. Include them in the story or not. Play a little. Let me know how it goes.

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