Posts Tagged ‘Video’
I recently had the opportunity to work with the good guys behind the Dads Doing Good campaign to provide a surprise film festival for some deserving film students. It was a lot of fun, and it was a great group of kids. This is what happened:
The “Dads Doing Good” campaign features groups of dads in the greater Los Angeles area conducting community service projects, is sponsored by Honda, and showcases the 2014 Honda Odyssey.
Participants, including Life of Dad and National Fatherhood Initiative, were paid by Honda for this campaign, and the Odysseys were loaned for the duration of the video shoots. We brought our own popcorn.
This post is sponsored by Fox Searchlight Pictures, and I hope you enjoy it.
The summers of my Arizona childhood were long and hot, stretching sideways in both directions and embracing the unsuspecting months of spring and fall with sweaty, sunburned arms. It was the lazy hug of a friend that had overstayed his welcome while pretending to be oblivious about it. Summer dragged itself across the desert, and it pulled each of us along for the ride. We soaked up every moment.
Our station wagon had folding seats in the back that faced each other, and once opened the empty space filled with the activities of going somewhere—license plate games and bingo on billboards. We were going on a camping trip and we were taking everything we had ever heard of. We packed it all in alphabetical order.
We were surrounded by windows, one an open frame outlining the belly of the car and those that sat within it, and the other three of glass that magnified the sun and left us squirming for the world to see like unschooled fish in a traveling aquarium, flopping in the dry heat and gasping for breath.
Whenever possible I rode my bike. The roads were tired dust storms of dirt and gravel, spanning miles between the dots of trees that connected where we were to where we were going and making pictures for space like dull, green stars in reverse. I had a Walkman and cassette tapes, a canteen full of tap water, and my Wayfarers on. The 80s were sewn across my pocket.
Miami Vice was a lifestyle choice:
The summer that I turned fifteen I took a job working maintenance at the local waterpark and rode my bike there more often than not. Sometimes people would offer me a ride and I would throw my bike in the trunk or truck bed while trying to spin the weather into polite conversation. Other times they would fly right by, and the sweat of my skin would catch the clouds of their dust, leaving me to cough and experiment with curse words as I watched them drive into the distance.
Sometimes, when my eyes locked on the faces of children flushed against the mouth-stained fog of their backseat windows, I felt like a pawn in somebody else’s game—I was bingo, and they were taking me on their camping trip. We would stare at each other until the clouds rolled in, and I would cough while I wondered where the hell we were going.
I was uncomfortably tall, awkwardly skinny, and I had a perm where a hat should be. My shorts were shorter and made of corduroy. I was as insecure as I was invincible.
My coworkers filled a bag of stereotypes, and being the youngest among them I idolized each accordingly. The guys on the crew were either stoned or hungover. The lifeguards were pants-stirringly pretty and college girl mean. The manager was a cartoon wrapped in bright, red flesh and he left his mouth open so the attitude could get out. After the last guest had left for the day he would put Judas Priest on the PA system, recline in a lounge chair with a beer and his shotgun, and shoot unsuspecting doves as they flew between the cotton fields that surrounded us. His dogs, apparently unable to read the stenciled warnings against it, would dive into the silent wave pool and fetch feathers with their teeth.
I was on the water slide, golden tan, and laughing loudly over three sips of lukewarm Budweiser.
By the end of summer I was well-versed in the ways to kiss a girl, and my perm had melted into curling locks that covered my ears and kept them from burning. I thought of the days ahead, which are now long since passed, and I reflected on those that had already gone by.
The next year would bring a divorce to my parents and a different job to my summer. My visits to the waterpark became few and far between. The station wagon was replaced with a car so crappy that it quickly became mine, and the rest of my youth was spent driving it from here to there, lured by smiles and the lips that made them.
Those memories, despite their distance, have returned bright and clear, but the truth is I haven’t thought about them in a very long time. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time those days crossed my mind, and if not for a recent screening of The Way, Way Back they would probably be forgotten still. I’m glad they’re back. The timing could not be better.
These days I have two young boys of my own, and I can’t help but wonder how their respective stories will be written. What will be their way, way back? What are the moments that will mold them? I can’t wait to watch, and I am in no hurry to get there.
Growing up is a long, muddy ride through the metaphors of summer, and it is worth every damn pedal.
From Fox Searchlight Pictures: THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget.
The Way, Way Back opens in theaters on July 5.
This post is sponsored by Tide and Downy. They also provided financial support to host the event discussed below.
It takes exactly 14 minutes to get from our driveway to toes in the sand. Not that we’re keeping track. Of course, when you factor in L.A. traffic, lack of parking, and the sun in your eyes it can take a little longer.
Needless to say, when Tide and Downy provided the opportunity for us to throw a beach party with our friends we took it! We had a great group of families show up for food, sand, and tide watching. It was about as beautiful of a day as you’re likely to see, which is nice.
Of course, a day of digging in sand and waves can make quite the mess—our car is still covered in the grains of beach day memories. We cleaned up the beach, both our mess and the assorted litter we found around us, and then once we rinsed ourselves off it was time to clean the blankets, towels, and assorted swimsuits from the day. That’s where Tide and Downy came in. You can probably figure out the rest.
Tide and Downy have spent the better part of June showcasing the dad’s way (#dadsway on Twitter) of parenting, and just because Father’s Day is behind us that doesn’t mean that dads are done—we’re still active and involved every single day. To help celebrate fathers Tide and Downy have used the awareness and support from this campaign to make a donation to the National Fatherhood Initiative, who also know a thing or two about engaged dads.
It’s not too late to share your story about what makes Dad uniquely him. Tell the world on Twitter at hashtag #dadsway. Dad will love it, especially after you explain to him how popular Twitter is.
I was going through a box of old photos (the box being a computer) and I realized that our family of four has changed quite a bit throughout the years. For instance, there are four of us, but just seven years ago there were only three! Crazy, right? Also, we go to Disneyland a lot.
One of the most telling timelines of our family’s progression can be found against the backdrop of Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters ride. We have moved many times over the years, but Astro Blasters has stayed true to its mission and as such the attraction allows us to measure our life against it—kind of like a wall covered in pencil marks that registers the sporadic growth of those that lean upon it, but without all the mess.
The story of us riding Astro Blasters is actually pretty amazing, and somewhat melancholy. Tricia and I looked so much younger then—I had hair! And the boys, oh, the boys… so sweet and innocent, back before the world turned them cold and bitter.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I had found the perfect topic for the new Disney Story app, so I loaded the pictures onto the camera roll of my iPhone 4 and I got to storytelling.
I know it comes up a little small on this page (that’s my blog, not the app), so for a better look at the glory of us, please click here for our Disney Story!
Spring, as you know, is when a young beagle’s heart turns to eggs. Also, roller coasters. That’s why the Easter Beagle (aka Snoopy) and his friends at Knott’s Berry Farm theme park in California (about ten minutes away from Disneyland) are hosting “Knott’s Spring Fling” with activities and decorations that the whole family will enjoy (even the dog, apparently).
My family has been invited by GigaSavvy to attend Knott’s Spring Fling, and so can you! I am giving away two (2) tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm to one (1) lucky reader. Are you feeling lucky?
To enter do this stuff: Read the rest of this entry »