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The making of

THUNDERKIDS

by Laurie Calvert Jnr and Jonathan Calvert (ages 8 and 6)
Report by Laurie Calvert Snr (Dad)

After the North Thames Regional showing on 28th November 2004, several kind people came and congratulated Laurie and Jon afterwards. The friendship they felt that day has inspired them to want to make more. Already their heads are buzzing. So what is Thunderkids all about?

This four minute movie is based on Thunderbirds. A driver (Laurie Calvert Snr - me) falls asleep whilst driving a heavy vehicle and it falls down a hole in the ground. Thunderbirds 1 and 2 with Virgil (Laurie Calvert Jnr) and Scott (Jonathan Calvert) fly to the rescue and pull it out with a towrope to save the day.

My sons Laurie Jnr and Jonathan made this film when they were 7 and 5 years old respectively. They won a 'Best Sound Film of the Year' award with this in their first entry into an IAC competition, the North Thames Regional on 28th Nov 2004. I edited the film for them under their direction and they made all of the creative decisions such as what music to use and where to put the sound effects. They made up the story as well as acted in it, flew the models and had a whole load of fun. It was F.A.B.

At the North Thames Regional, I decided to give them a quick interview for the IAC to get an insight as to how the whole thing had been for them. This is it…

Thunderkids in action Look! Dad is driving!

Dad – How long did it take to make?
Laurie – About three days filming.
Jon – Yeah.

D – What bits did you do on the film?
J – Pulling the toys on strings.
L – Acted as pilots in front of the washing machine. As Jon said, we pulled along the toys.

D – What did Dad do on the film?
J – He just drove the truck.
L – He was the driver and fell down a hole.

D - What was the best bit of the film?
J – Laurie pulling up the truck in Thunderbird 2 and Dad tipped over on his side.
L – The beginning with the music and sound effects as the truck goes over the trees.

Jonathan as Scott Laurie Calvert Jnr as Virgil

D – How did you feel during the film show?
J - Happy.
L – A bit embarrassed. I laughed at my own film (I know that feeling – Dad!).

D – How did you feel when you saw yourself projected on a big screen in front of lots of people?
J – Funny.
L – Embarrassed again. I thought everyone was going to laugh but they didn’t.

D – What was it like picking up the award?
L – I was excited and very happy. They are nice people.
J – Happy.

D – So you won Best Sound Film of the Year Award. Who chose the music?
L – Me and Jon.
J – Yeah.

At the festival The Les Germany Award

D – Who decided on the sound effects?
L – We decided what sound to have but dad edited them on.

D – What was the funniest bit?
J – When the Thunderbirds launch and wobble.
L – When Jon was acting and looking out of the window too far, out of shot.

D - What did you think of the other films in the competition?
L – Thought they were really good, especially the one with the animals (In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro). And the clown kissing people’s faces and making them white with powder (Treasure Trove).
J – Good. I liked the one with the clown. The one with the elephant butt at the end too.

D - What film idea are you going to make next?
L – I’ll have to think about that in the future.
J – A film about a little robot I would like to make. Dad I have an idea now…

And at that point we ended the interview and discussed the ideas.

Thanks to everyone at the North Thames Regional. The boys really enjoyed the day, especially seeing other people’s films and meeting everyone. They have been inspired. Thanks.

- Laurie Calvert    November 2004

Web link: www.calvertfilm.fsnet.co.uk

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