Baumhower: The Shorties: The search for the next Katie HolmesWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | email@example.com
Most households with children have specific rules and expectations that are unique to that family. For example, some households require a certain amount of reading for the children, balanced with television watching and/or video gaming. In the Baumhower house, my children are required to provide daily “content.” They can draw, sing, take photographs, create movies, write stories or scripts and of course they can read out loud or silently as long as they give a report of some sort. They are spoiled with technology from iPods to computers but instead of them wasting time playing apps or games, I encourage them to use the devices to their fullest educational capabilities.
Recently I was invited by some members of the Sylvania Community Arts Commission (SCAC) to offer my thoughts on its upcoming Tree City Film Festival. Just imagine me, a 6-foot-5-inch man with zero social filters, wearing one of my trusted hoodies and a full scraggily beard, as I am “Lenting it Grow” once again, walking into one of Sylvania’s nicest restaurants to sit down with some of the cultural elite in our area. It was strange, to say the least. I had never been to a meeting that kept minutes or had a treasurer and a specific agenda. It was a weird feeling, like I was peeking into a grown-up’s world. After witnessing numerous discussions about the upcoming film festival, the reason for my appearance was revealed. I had an idea I wanted to share: The Shorties.
My pitch began with me holding up my iPhone.
“With the evolution of technology, this device has become our primary camera and has also replaced the dreaded camcorder. This small black rectangular gizmo is often the No. 1 requested item on children’s Christmas lists. Why don’t we encourage kids to use it as more than an Angry Birds player and experience making art in a newer way? Let’s host a 3-5 minute film festival for grades eight and lower and give kids a taste of competition in something other than sports.”
To my surprise, the idea was warmly received, and to my further surprise, I found myself leading the charge. The next day, while playing with my T-Pain microphone, the title “Shorties” was created. And yes, I say it like T-Pain every time: “The Shorties: A Celebration of Film and Technology for Kids.”
If you are looking for an exciting new challenge for your family or think your child is the next Katie Holmes or Adam Sandler, consider submitting a 3- to 5-minute film to The Shorties. The film can be anything from a scripted movie to your child singing in the dining room. The concept of The Shorties is for it to be a family project, like the Cub Scouts’ Pinewood Derby, where the children are supposed to do the majority of the work, but we all know moms and dads tend to help out a lot!
The Shorties will debut April 12, with celebrity judges and a grand prize of an iPod Touch, courtesy of the MacCafé on Talmadge Road. It will be a great gala and a unique opportunity for your child to participate in something other than the norm. The atmosphere will be festive, entertaining and different and will serve as the kickoff the weekendlong celebration of the Tree City Film Festival.
The Shorties are designed to make your child think outside the box, to create content and then share his or her vision with the world, or at least Northwest Ohio. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many kids already feel they are mini-celebrities, so why not push their creativity in a Hollywood-style competition? They of course can’t do it alone and this hopefully will create lasting memories within your family. Who knows? Maybe we will find the next Katie, Bonnie Turner or Jamie Farr.
The true winner of that night will be the arts, but let’s not go and ruin it by telling the kids.
For more information about The Shorties, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Tree City Film Festival, visit www.sylvaniaarts.org.
To friend one of Northwest Ohio’s Cultural Elite, search “Jeremy Baumhower” on Facebook and Twitter.