intro to all of Belac's movies 3/2012
I love Mondays! I love movie-making class! I'm so glad it's Monday!
Ever since Belac began this class, a few weeks ago, he has made half a dozen stop animation films at home. It's a painstaking progress he relishes in and some of his stories have required 250+ photos. A couple of weeks ago, he showed me his first homemade movie. Alien Conquest, I read. I watched as a little lego man approached the evil ship. He neared with briefcase in hand. But then - to my surprise - the movie cut to the evil ship and I saw this tiny man getting closer and closer from the edge of the table. Then he cut back to the man until finally both pieces were in view of each other and more within one frame. With some heaving and winding up, the tiny man smacked the evil ship with his little brief case, and the evil ship fell over. The End. Pictures by Belac Snowflake. Black out. I made my husband watch. Isn't that incredible? Maybe he was taught to do that but the fact that he is showing an event from multiple perspectives is just awesome!
This afternoon, Belac was literally counting down the minutes with his stopwatch and making sure he had the new movies he wanted to show his media teacher. I watched Belac run into the lab like it was an emergency. A stranger laughed at the sight saying 'that's amazing!' Yes, I chuckled, it's always a long wait for Mondays.
It's weird to think how in other classes, camp and school, Belac has needed additional adult support. Like his whole entire life. And yet somehow, here, in an area which he has high interest and big dreams, he manages well enough on his own. Without prompting, he is interested in other kids' movies and then wants to share his own. He pays attention because he wants to make bigger and better movies. He also has been dying to make movies with humans and I understand, for the first time since the start of class, felt particularly compelled to be in a collaborative project which necessitated his acting in a clip with 3 other boys. He had to steal a hat off of some other kids' head and run away.... It's seriously better than any therapy or social skills where he is prodded and prompted every step of the way. Here, however awkwardly and immaturely, he is constantly putting his social skills into practice because of his strong interest and desire, already in place. Not because a hovering adult is always redirecting him or forcing him to care about something just because you're supposed to.
Of course, I am in close contact with the teachers. There's a detailed letter describing Belac's quirks on file, which the center has permission to show anyone of his teachers. And it goes without saying that the teachers are simply spectacular. I am just so happy for Belac. He vanishes into his room everyday to make up another movie or to make some drawings to animate. He has something he loves that helps him relate with his peers. He carries his camera around everywhere. He's having the time of his life and honestly, I've never seen him so happy.