Behind the Scenes on Another Birthday Video

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that a few years ago, as I tried to come up with something to get my mom for her birthday, I came up with the idea of making her something, instead. So I enlisted the family, and we made a music video to Copacabana, since Barry Manilow is one of my mom’s favorite artists.

That was a lot of fun, though for reasons I’ve forgotten, we took the next year off and did something else for her birthday. (Maybe it was the fact that we were dealing with a 10 month old baby at the time.) But we returned in 2015 with The Lion Sleeps Tonight:

And then in 2016 with Close to You:

This year, I wanted to branch out a bit. Enough with the music videos. As I brainstormed potential directions, I hit on an idea. Each year on my birthday, my mom has always told me she knew right when I was born, because it was right after The Waltons finished. She was a big Waltons fan. Go figure. I’ve known that story my entire life, so this time, I decided to adapt the opening credits of The Waltons. For those of you who might not be familiar with the source material, here it is:

I have never watched an episode of The Waltons. I’m guessing this opening scene shows all the main characters of the family coming together to celebrate Dad buying . . . a new radio? No clue. But it looked like something we could totally do up here in Maine. Of course, it’s the middle of winter right now, so we had to adapt it a bit, ending up with A Maine Edition of The Waltons:

As far as projects went, this was pretty smooth. I spent time dissecting the credit shot by shot, then figured out how to translate those for our family. As usual, the biggest obstacle was figuring out how to film everything. I wanted a shot with the whole family in it, but we didn’t have someone to hold the iPad. (I shot and edited the whole thing in iMovie on my iPad.) Denisa came up with the solution: I just backed the car up into the right spot and propped the iPad up on the top of it with some books.

Other than that, it was kid wrangling to make sure everyone stayed focused. (Hard to do when it’s a lovely day and there’s all that cool snow to play in.) Then I also discovered that the music I bought for the movie was a bit shorter than the actual theme song, so I had to toss out my timing notes and just go based on the audio cues. Yes, I realize that I obsess about this probably more than is healthy, but that’s how I roll. I wanted to get it as good as I could.

There are a couple of goofs. For example, a continuity error where Denisa should be on the porch already (in the second shot when I’m already out of the car), but it all came together well, and I’m proud of it.

In any case, happy birthday, Mom!

Leave a comment