My sons and their best friend have made over $300 in ticket sales the past few weekends holding private showings from our basement for their just released “The b0z0 Movie”.
We can hear kids laughing and screaming with glee as they are subject to the creation of our boy’s imagination and hard work over a year’s worth of filming, editing, and pushing their own limits, and it is unbelievable to know this is the response.
With much pride I will let you in on a little secret:
This movie is a work of art and completely made by middle school boys.
It is wowing youth, adults, and the harshest of critics: teenagers and family members.
To me, as an artist, it is stunning to realize this level of moviemaking can be accomplished by anyone this age, yet to know it’s been made by my sons and their friends working together, well, it’s quite amazing.
The movie is filled with comedy stunts, painful hits, fireworks, a bit of mayhem, all based upon that genre which arrived during my high school years and rhymes with HackMass, or BackNass, or LastPass (that’s a stretch) starring Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and those guys.
Yes, THAT genre. Hahaha.
To put it mildly: This is not on brand for me as a professional, nor is it in line with much of what I teach, have taught them, or would usually approve of.
Some choice words, painful spills, a few stunts that caused injury, and questionable usage of fire, fireworks, pushing the limits in public places with silliness, makes for the reason it is a private showing by invitation only among friends.
Here is a LINK to the MOVIE TRAILER
For a few years, our oldest son, Redford, has been creating funny and bizarre videos with his friends, editing each version, writing music, asking for critiques, editing again, and even started a YouTube channel that is quite entertaining if you want to check it out and give him a few more followers. This video short below is one of my favorites…I prefer the first minute of the video over the second, but he found a framed photo of some girl at a thrift store and made up a story that she broke his heart. Ahhhh, young love.
Prior to the WORLD PREMIERE of their first full-length feature, they sat me down to watch the full movie, and were, frankly, scared to death of what I would say. I had a general idea of what I was about to witness, you hear things while they film, edit, and figure out how to make it work on screen.
As I sat there for an hour I had many emotions:
And then, at the same time:
As it ended I sat there knowing how they felt, and how much my reaction, as a father, mattered.
What should I say?
What would you say?
What would you do if this was what your children had put all of their time, effort, excitement, and literal blood, sweat, and tears into making over a year’s time?
Since none of it was illegal or too grotesque, I looked at them and said:
“My sons, this is….amazing. I’m so proud of you.
I’m concerned with a few parts, and hope you’ll steer away from doing that in the future, but you’re onto something, and this is very special.
It is really quite brilliant, as the editing, music, and capturing of so much material is comedically put together with the right pacing and structure. Everyone is going to love it.
How can I help?”
You should have seen the look of relief, surprise, and even confidence come across their faces.
From there we began promoting the first showing.
The reviews are in – as each attendee arrives, drops their phones in a bucket, and at the end are handed surveys to address what they liked, didn’t like, and want to see more of in future movies. Every audience says we wish the movie was longer because it was so good. That’s pretty cool.
As the boys read the reviews, laughing their heads off, they then clean up the mess, since they also sell popcorn, candy, soda and treats to make an even greater profit each Saturday night in their new business venture.
How does this acceptance of my son’s creation still allow me, as a father, to Keep The Promise, even if it’s not congruent with my own teachings and path?
When I was a kid I was a pretty straight arrow. Didn’t veer too much off the path I was taught, and when I finally did go “astray” I remember how my dad, very religious and staunch in his expectations of my behavior, reacted.
I had 2 “heroes” as a Junior in high school:
Dennis Rodman and Michael Jackson.
When I wasn’t painting my fingernails and drawing tattoos on my body with a magic marker before our school basketball games (and leading the team in rebounds most games) to imitate Dennis Rodman, then I was dressing in chains, leather, a fedora, donning a white glove, and grabbing myself in inappropriate ways as I figured out how to moonwalk down on the street corner while making money to go to the movies as a street dancer by imitating Michael Jackson.
These choice actions made my father bow his head and pray our home wouldn’t be struck by lightning, and that somehow I would come out of this phase of ripe destruction. The only thing he said about it was: “Son, please make good choices, and we trust you’ll ultimately make the right ones.”
As things turned out, my mimicking of those 2 performers has led me to the work ethic and performance that have afforded me a living in spreading light despite the darkness I’ve wandered through. That time of my life taught me many great lessons, as well as which side of the fence I’m on: Spreading Joy through Family Appropriate Entertainment.
And so it is – a lesson from my father, who didn’t stamp out my weirdness, now allows me to know best how to guide my own sons to keeping The Promise in my life and hopefully guiding theirs as well.
As we arm these boys with the tools (video cameras, computers for editing), confidence (belief, suggestions, helpfulness and encouragement), and expectation (aspirations for what comes next, branding and audience vs. self-values), it is our promise as parents to do all we can to do our best parenting possible: Set Clear Boundaries, Follow Through on Agreed Upon Consequences and Celebrations of Achievements, and ultimately – Get Out of the Way.
The Promise in Parenting is one I cannot teach as of yet, but we are doing our best to guide, steer, and live an example that will be worth emulating, while acknowledging the outside influences will play a very key role as well, and believing what we have taught, lived, and instilled, will eventually seep into the nature of their future creations.
And so – The b0z0 Movie rocks! They have multiple showings at $5 per person each Saturday night in our home. Perhaps someday there will be an opportunity for you to enjoy it.
Until then, how are you keeping The Promise of encouraging your child’s Signature Moves as they navigate and explore the limits of their own imagination?
Well done, my sons, we are proud of you and your efforts and look forward to all you’ll do moving forward.
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Hiker, Coach
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Coach
- World’s First & Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach the Power of Keeping Your Promise
- Author of “The Promise To The One”