Reaction To The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

Some parents taped their kids’ over-the-top reaction to this new Disney film. (SPOILER ALERT!)

It’s SAD!

Does posting something like this online contitute a poor parenting choice? The parents obviously love their kids, and think it’s sweet that they are so emotional. And they probably didn’t think this would be seen by many people. But maybe it will be traumatic for the kids. What do you think? Post thoughts in the comments.

Personally, I find this pretty funny, and I don’t think it’s such a big deal. But then again, I didn’t grow up in the internet age. People had to tease me in person.

Also, thank god I didn’t take my 4-y-o daughter to see this. She got emotional when she saw Jennifer Love Hewitt sadly plugging UNICEF over footage of starving African children from 1996.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Here’s the reaction:


Home Movie Tips 2: Carousel Films

Part two in this series of “how to” videos by a person who really doesn’t much know what they are doing. The result is something EASY for you to do, too! Woo hoo! And it actually does work…

…or it doesn’t.

Here are two of my own attempts to make a cute Carousel-themed home movie. One of them succeeds pretty well, and the other is terrible.

Look, Father! A Carousel!

Grab the Popped-Corn!

There are a few easy tricks and techniques you can use to suggest silent films of the 1930’s style. Bullet points, anyone?

  • A cherubic child, doing cute, olde timey stuff. Favorite subjects include Carousels, ice cream at the seaside, 4th of July Parades, petting puppy dogs, playing stick-and-hoop, voting for Taft, stuff like that. Avoid Justin Beiber concerts for this style of video. Though we will be muting the sound, so…
  • If you are going on a carousel,you may have to shoot it WHILE YOU HOLD THE KID. Be prepared. It’s not easy. Or you can get a second adult on, but you will need to pay for them. Shooting carousel footage from the sidelines results in a pretty terrible movie, as you will see in our second example.
  • Black and white or sepia tone on all shots and titles. I usually prefer B&W, but try both.
  • Film grain or age effect. These come prepackaged in your computer’s video editing software, probably. Experiment with different ones until you get something convincing. NOTE: I should have used the grain and effect on the dialogue text and the frame well, for consistency.
  • Sound. Mute the sound from the video, and then use something old time-y and cute or dramatic. Here we have incidental music from The Little Rascals short, played by The Beau Hunks. Solo piano works well too, as it mimics the cinema players of the time.
  • Get a bunch of shots, even if they are short ones. Telling a story is key, however basic (We arrive, we look at stuff, we leave.) Try and get shots of your arrival, establishing shots of a location when you get there, and shots of you leaving. A napping child, happily exhausted, is a classic final shot. Shoot each image for longer than you think you need, to make it easier to edit later.
  • You’ll need a silent movie frame for your dialogue. Here’s one I found on a message board, it’s the one I used in the video below. Click the photo below to link to the full-sized version. Basically you put it in your movie as you would a photo, and then put your dialogue on top of the photo as a centered subtitle, in a vintage font. Dialogue should be corny as all get out, of course.


  • No fades or effects on the edits. Use all quick cuts, and make some of them jarring!
  • End credits are useful to tag your film with the people’s names, the date, the place. Who know how long your film will survive? If your grandchildren are able to watch it, they will appreciate having that information.
  • And, of course, my #1 tip- keep it to the length of one short song, if at all possible.

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Home Movie Tips: Olde Cape Cod

When I edit together a home video, I strive for something charming and watchable. A classic format of home movies- the super-8 looking, Wonder Years-esque style of the previous generation or two- is a fun and appealing choice. Creating a video like this will allow you to consolidate a bunch of little clips into something watchable which you can easily share with friends and relatives and save for your kids to watch as they get older. It’s also a great gift for your spouse (or the grandparents) which is affordable, personal and special.

Here are a few easily executed characteristics you can use to give your short film a bit of personality.

  • Good vintage music to fit the mood, and a mute on the original sound. A single, short song also limits you to a digestible and easily watchable length film. Luckily, older songs tend to clock in at shorter lengths
  • A super-8/ film grain effect, and film defect effects if you can manage them.
  • Cute, appealing, classic shots. Get people to wave at the camera, if you can. It adds a real smile factor. Once you edit one together, you will have a sense of what kinds of shots you need for your next home movie project.

In the example below, I allowed some priceless footage of Nana reading a story to kick things off. I thought it worth keeping for the kids. By the time we are 20 seconds in, we are in super 8 mode.