Friday, June 05, 2009

Flashback Friday: Midnight's Ghost Stories

When I was growing up, it was pretty much the coolest thing in the world that one of my uncles made movies for a living. Or helped make movies, or worked with people who did, or something. I was never really clear on the details.

In any case, all us kids wanted to be just like him. One way we used to pretend to make movies was by writing stories vertically, in frames, on blank rolls of receipt paper. Then we rolled the paper around two pencils on each end so that only one frame showed at a time. It was kind of like a movie, if you used your imagination, a lot.

(Side note: another way we made "movies" was by drawing pictures on a flip pad - or in the bottom corner of a hymnbook in a pinch, during boring church meetings - with slight changes made so that when you flipped it quickly, it made the picture move. Fun times.)

I recently unearthed one of these movies. I reproduce it here in its entirety for your reading/viewing pleasure (click to enlarge the photos).

A few observations:

1. I like the "scary" squiggly writing. It's a nice touch.

2. There is a character named Midnight. Who could have foreseen that she'd turn evil?

3. A stop at the candy booth is a featured frame. Oh, how I loved candy.

4. Missing the bus is a crucial, terrifying plot point. What can I say? It's a real concern when you're in elementary school, as I was when I wrote this.

5. The lame "it was all just a dream" ending. Just because Dallas used it doesn't make it right.

As for the macabre subject matter of this "movie," I think you can blame it on my having been scarred by watching Flowers in the Attic a few years before.

Am I the only adolescent who spent her spare time writing horror movies on receipt paper, or flip-movies of stick figures jumping on the trampoline in the corners of hymnbooks? Come on, admit it - you did, too.


JosephJ said...

Genius! Why did I limit myself to the corners of notepads?

Then there was the "go to page 42", "go to page 71", "go to page 37", "go...", until you got to the page with the secret message. I think those fell in the same realm of boredom/creativity.

Fromagette said...

I didn't write horror films or write in hymn books (oh the horrors!), but I did try designing my very own castle. I think I even tried designing a house at one point. I wonder if I kept those...

Teresa Jane said...

WOW! I totally remember those receipt rolls. I think I always copied the ones you made when you were too cool to play with me ha ha. Remember your "Mission Impossible" movie that you made? Do you still have that?

Anonymous said...

I didn't make films, but I did used to draw comic strips with my own characters for a while...


Suzanne Bubnash said...

I bought a few adding machine paper rolls in the hope it would spark a child's imagination or keep them occupied on a slow day. Obviously it worked!

Liz Johnson said...

Hahahahahahaha I love the couple holding hands on the ferris wheel. So precious!!!

This is actually a pretty genius story, Bridget. I'd try to sell the movie rights if you can.

sarah said...

heehee! i used to draw smiley face corner flip books..if i remember correctly.

Kristen said...

I can't believe you defaced church property. Tsk tsk.


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