These are some simple rules for running your movie making club

1. Have fun ! Stay away from hard unbending scripts. Look at Sesame Street, they use lots of short easy to follow skits that follow a simple story line. When put together, these short skits make a movie. Most of the time the scripts are just well filled outlines. Tell the kids where you want to go and let them wing it with a little practice.

2. Do Not Send your actors home with home work, like remember this 10 page script by next week. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

3. Allow plenty of time to practice, and allow your actors to come up with scenes and skits on their own. The last movie we made was 5 minutes long and took 8 hours to shoot. BUT everyone had a great time, except my wife, the prop lady, who had to keep blowing up balloons when they broke. But you learn these things about balloons.

4. Pick a theme or script with which everyone feels comfortable. Copies of the finished movie can be given to each kid to take back to their own families. The finished movie can be shown to the whole church, and put into the church library. Make sure that the kids can show off their work, and if you're the movie editor, make sure it comes out well enough to show off. Sometimes this means that you have to do some scenes over again. Start your script with a list of facts and details that you would like to cover in your movie, let the kids help.

5. Don't get wrapped up in expensive costumes and sets. You can arrange your movies to get around expensive things if you think about it. YOU'RE NOT IN HOLLYWOOD! No matter what you do, your movie will not look like it was made in Hollywood so you might as well have fun.

6. Also remember that this is your house, and these are your house rules. They should learn to respect your things like you will respect their things at their house.

7. On a serious note, be careful how you handle or touch the kids, sometimes the most innocent accidental bump can turn into problems. I love to have parents stick around and help! They may be opinionated, but they also see everything that happens! And from time to time, they can help tend to the kids. If you know what I mean.

July 1999