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Friday, December 24, 2010

High Hopes

When I first bought a computer for our boys, I had high hopes of showing them the great things they could accomplish with what really is an extremely powerful tool. Unfortunately, at first it was just a high-priced video game console to them. It took me a few months, but I finally put together a little workstation for them, with a microphone and a music-keyboard controller for computer music, which I gave to them as an early Christmas present. I honestly didn't expect such excitement in their eyes when they saw it. With the workstation, a decent video camera, a digital camera, and tons of free software off the internet, the boys now have a full-fledged amateur film production workshop.

We had already passed down to them our old digital camera a year or so prior, which Aaron promptly put to use making stop action Lego videos. I showed him the basics, but the thing that surprised me is his creative camera angles, zooms and pans . . . a sort of natural cinematographic flair. We first chose the shorter of his two films to soundtrack (although many, many photos went into even this short one).

Like the theme song? He came up with it himself, chose the "orchestra hit" sound, and even personally recorded the main melody on the workstation. I added some accompaniment for a full arrangement and showed him the ropes on how to sync a soundtrack to a video. We even added some special effects. Most of the dialogue is also his, and we wrote a little script for it. He is blossoming into a little writer, too, with a nearly complete Lego short story called "The Power Miner Peril" currently at 14 pages. Typing skills are improving bit by bit, too, thanks to free online typing lessons for both boys.

Aaron's got another Lego video he made before this, but we have yet to complete the sound-tracking for that...although now we have all the tools needed. Admittedly, Aaron is stealing the spotlight a bit over Sammy at this point, but that's only because he's a few years older. Sammy was watching and got billed as a special assistant. We'll see what comes of it all.

Incidentally Sammy is working with Aaron at this very moment building "a giant base" for all their Lego people with hopes of entering it into Lego's monthly competition. They completed two stages so far, a swimming pool and a helipad with a control tower. Apparently the pool is so popular everyone flies in for a swim. So many in fact that I think they may need an occupancy limit...

I am actually really proud because many of the Legos they are using they bought with money they earned working around the house. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the fantastic report of what the boy's have been up to. No doubt they'll be talented in their endeavors. Great ! We love the picture. Love you all.
-Nannie and Papa Romio

Anonymous said...

"The Vanderschuit Voyage" brings me such enjoyment! I love it! Your boys are so creative, and of course you, your wife, just everyone showing and spending such quality time has been undescribably awesome!!! Mahalo' for (not knowingingly) bringing me so much joy....angels do exist...