Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 3, 1974

I went to this thing called mini courses. I took a course on making movies. We got some real fags in that group. We will make cartoons and everything. Goodnight.

This was Sixth Grade. I remember, this little class was taught by Mrs. Dowler, the school librarian (who was also my reading teacher who had us read Newberry award books and gave us a shiny star for each one read on a big piece of public oak tag. Kind of silly for Sixth Grade. But alas, it did encourage people to read. Wrinkle in Time. From the Mixed Up Files..., Miracle on Maple Hill, It's Like This Cat, Etc.)

So, this mini course took place over four Friday afternoons, or something like that. There were about eight kids in the group. We all made plans for our movies, little outlines. Eventually, when it came time to actually write and make the movies, the other kids lost interest (and there was no grade for this class) and I was the only kid who actually wrote one. It was about a lemon-aide stand. When customers came and drank the juice, they would fall down and then come back up as a monster. The monster was literally a warty, green Halloween mask. Richie Brown, the handsome and hip future football star, played the role of the lemon-aide salesman. He was a great actor and I was so glad to be filming him there on the front lawn of Washington Avenue Elementary School in Suffern, New York. The movie ended with Richie wondering why everyone he sold the lemon-aide to was turning into monsters. So, he drank some of his own product, fell down, came back up with the Halloween mask on and then ran off as a monster. He actually played the monster better than anyone else. The End.

We shot the whole thing. The only thing the little class ever did was shoot this one film, such genius that it was. Mrs. Dowler sent it off to have the film processed. We all couldn't wait to see how it turned out. Mrs. Dowler said the film didn't develop correctly. We did something wrong during the shooting. And she had no idea what it was. I guess we had some sort of aperture set incorrectly. I was very annoyed with her and wondered how someone could teach a course and completely mess it up.

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