I remember when I was a kid, we used to go outside and have adventures. Sometimes these adventures were simple, but many times they had complex plots and ran well into the night. We were not tethered to our homes in any way other than how far our parents’ voices could carry. Often, we simply gave a time when we would come home and that was it. Nowadays, kids seem to have become a bit lazy and frequently distracted by the electronics around them. But that is reality, smartphones, gadgets and gizmos are now part of our lives and sometimes we need to incorporate them in our play and our adventures.
Sometimes, these gadgets can actually inspire creativity. A video camera can actually make child game play become more adventuresome. A computer can help do research prior to embarking on a quest. Or a smartphone can keep them in touch, much the way we used to use walkie talkies.
I must admit, I’m not the world’s greatest in terms of getting my kids up and outside playing. So, when I was asked to put together an “adventure” video to help showcase a movie coming out called “Earth to Echo” (which opens July 2, 2014), I had some flashbacks to when I was a kid.
The movie “Earth to Echo” (which I have not seen yet) is about an adventure that some neighborhood friends have. The movie is all about that “final adventure” that bring these neighborhood kids together on a mission. They are contacted via their smartphones of course by a mysterious being who needs help. And the boys set out to provide this help. Here’s a preview of the movie:
So my daughters and I decided we needed to go on an adventure in order to “help Echo” (Echo is the name of the mysterious being in the movie). While I helped guide some of our movie, my daughters came up with many of the scenes and we filmed it in an afternoon and night. Here is the storyboard from our first few scenes, drawn by my youngest.
The premise of our adventure was similar. Something (Echo) chooses my daughters and contacts them via their smartphones for help. We used a GoPro Hero3+ to film everything (which we found was a bit difficult at night). But still, we felt the sense of adventure was still conveyed. Here’s our final video.
My kids really got into their “roles” (complete with self-made costumes). What I found funny was how reality and imaginative adventure sometimes collided as they scurried into hiding when neighbors walked by with their dogs. But as soon as the coast was clear, they sprang back into their roles.
We made sure we brought our adventure into the modern day, and kicked it off with a text.
Below are some of the “props” we used that my daughters converted into costumes. Watch our video to see the “magical” transformation.
In between scenes, my actresses catch up on social media.
It took pretty much a full day to brainstorm our idea and then a few hours to film. What was fun for me was getting out of the house and doing something different. And, right around dusk and the early hours of night, there is an energy in the air that really got us excited. It reminded me, as I said, of the days when I was a kid, coming home at night, exhausted and sweaty but with a smile on my face and adventures in my mind.
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HTD says: Get out and have some fun with your kids this summer! And be sure to watch Earth to Echo!