Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fried Night: A Film by Michael & Sammy McCrary

Several weeks ago, my sons, Michael & Sammy, created a film titled "Fried Night" and entered it into the 2010 Louisiana Film Festival. It was screened in it yesterday; we had a great time watching it and the 29 other movies involved - all made by K-12 students around the United States.
Although their movie didn't bring home one of the cash prizes, it was an honor for their film just to be shown in the festival. The films that did win were truly deserving; those kids have great talent and imagination!

So...congrats to them...but...this is my blog so I am going to brag on my kids! Let me give a little background on "Fried Night" before I give you the link to watch it online.

Sammy is obsessed with French fries. Really. This is not a joke. My child can have an entire plate of fresh fried potatoes placed in front of him, and he will literally be sneaking around your back to steal the fries off of your plate! This kid loves nothing better. We have often joked that he eats so many French fries that if we cut him open, he would bleed ketchup! (Look for that joke to be played out in the movie!)

Michael & Sammy have recently been called "the youngest cinephiles I know" on a much-read blog here in Shreveport by a good friend at the Robinson Film Center, Chris Jay. He is so right. What he also doesn't know is that even if they haven't actually SEEN a movie, they know all about the plots because their mama has broken it down for them! Why? Oh, I want them to watch SO many movies....but I just can't let them watch the rated R stuff, not yet anyway. They want to watch "Dawn of the Dead" so badly. They yearn for "The Blair Witch Project" and other such stuff that their friends parents supposedly "let them watch" (but I probably think they just didn't know that little Johnny was watching it in his room late at night...because little Johnny promised mom & dad he was watching Curious George! Case in point as to why we only have cable on one tiny TV in the computer room in my house, and that's only to watch Lost on Tuesday night....but I digress...)

Back to my point. Michael & Sammy know a lot about cinema but are still sheltered...but somehow it all works out. Why? Because I am their filter. I am the great MOMMY FILTER! YAY! Okay, so yes, we have the internet, and I know for a fact that they have read all about the Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity movies in Wikipedia, but I don't mind. It's better than them actually watching the movies, which are full of language I would rather they didn't hear and adult situations I would rather they didn't have to process. I just want them to be kids, dagnabbit!
So in being kids, I very much encourage them to use their wonderfully creative imaginations! And they have such a great opportunity to do something awesome with it: make films! They have been making goofy little shorts and posting them on YouTube for awhile now. Michael got a Flip video camera for his birthday, which makes it easy and takes me out of the process completely! One thing that they love to do is make spoofs. After finding out about the film festival via Chris Jay while having dinner with him and his wife Sara one night, the drive home was filled with talk of what kind of movie would be made.

They had all of their usual silly little boy ideas:

"Okay, I can be a ninja and you can be a zombie!" and the like...then they trailed into making a documentary...then maybe a mockumentary. The whole French fry idea came about while we were waiting in line for cold medicine at Walgreens. It was going to be a very serious family intervention to get Sammy some help for his addiction. I can't quite remember how it turned into the whole plot that you will soon see, but I love the fact that it did, because it really works! I did help the boys a tiny bit. It was allowed for the film festival. Basically, all I did was show them how to storyboard it before they filmed, and how to polish it up in post-production. They did all of the filming, all of the lines, all of the props, camera work...the only prop I provided was making a 9:55 pm trip to McDonalds for the last cooked batch of fries for the night (they close at 10 pm.) I bought 3 large fries and they were the greasy gross ones. Do you think Sammy cared? Watch the movie for an answer to that question.

A couple of people asked me if the boys had seen the movie "Paranormal Activity" before making this movie. I told them all that no, they had not. I have seen it, and can definitely see where "Fried Night" would come off as a spoof of it. But to me, it is just a great little film straight from the imagination of two wonderful, talented & creative kids that I love more than anything in this world!

I hope you enjoy "Fried Night!"

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