Idea No.

8926

Movie Production -5yr- Make A Movie

Award

Date

June 2004

From

Mary in North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA

Honorable Mention

Theater Acting Play Party

My son had a "movie production" party for his fifth birthday.  His invitations were formatted and worded as a movie script might be.  The front cover read: "Congratulations!  You have been chosen to play a starring role in Joshua's Birthday Party written and produced by the Schultz family".  Inside was the "cast of characters"(A list and brief description of each of the invited guests; i.e."Joshua - the birthday boy; a bright young boy with sparkling eyes and an impish grin."). 

Next was the "synopsis"(Included "Place: Joshua's house, a middle-class home at the end of a dead end street,<our address>, in the growing town of <our town>; Time: A Saturday evening, after dinner<time>, on <date>; Playing time: approximately 2 hours).  Then was "scene 1" which was a brief description of what the house would look like and sound like before the party begins, and then the statement "The party guests enter".  Below that "To be continued" was written in bold print and a note that read "If you are unable to participate in this production, please contact the director and producer, Joshua's mom, ASAP." 

I decorated the kitchen by hanging balloons, silver stars and streamers, and cut-outs of movie film reels, clapboards, cameras and spotlights from the ceiling.  I also purchased a large mylar popcorn balloon and mounted it on the "concessions" counter.  I draped the table with a black tablecloth on which I sprinkled silver star confetti and glued the following words in silver lettering: "April 24, 1999, A star was born!"  Underneath the lettering, I placed the cake I made which was shaped like a star with my son's picture in the middle(I had his picture made into an edible image at a local bakery) and sprinkled with cake glitter.  Party plates and napkins were also arranged on either side of the cake. 

The plates and napkins were black with multi-colored stars and read "You're the star! Happy Birthday!"  We had twelve children coming that ranged in age from 18 months to 7 years old, so I wanted to keep the "movie" simple.  My son and I decided to do the 3 Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood -- everyone would be in just ONE of the "movies" in order to have enough parts for everyone.  I decided on all the casting in order to try to keep things as fair and balanced as possible.  When everyone arrived,  I told them what we would be doing and what part they would be playing.  Everyone, then got into costumes.  I kept costumes simple(i.e. pig noses were made from dixie cups, ears attached to headbands). 

Prior to the party, I printed the movie titles and credits on poster boards.  I filmed with our videorecorder the titles and then each of the children standing holding the card with their name on it.  I gave acting directives just prior to each scene.  Lines were kept simple.  I was worried there would be too much lag time for the children waiting for "their scene" and they would get bored, so I tried to move quickly.  But the kids really enjoyed themselves and were very interested in what was going on.  When we finished shooting the movies, the children were directed inside to the "concessions" for popcorn(served in striped popcorn bags, of course), candy(chocolate covered raisins, gummy bears, sour patch kids), and drinks.  They took their refreshments to the family room which was set up like a theater where they watched their production. 

Afterwards, we sang "Happy Birthday", ate cake and ice cream and opened presents.  For party favors, I passed out bags filled with individual-sized bags of microwave pocorn, mini-boxes of candy(like you'd get at a theater), sunglasses, and movie clapboard keychains. 

I would have liked to film the movies with a digital recorder and then made dvd copies to give to each of the children, but I was unable to.  It was actually a simple party, but the kids really had a lot of fun!

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