2011-01-28 / School

A Stratford Carol - The Story Behind the Movie

Mrs. Laura Connolly’s fifth-grade class
Mrs. Laura Connolly’s fifth-grade class On December 23rd, the students in Mrs. Laura Connolly’s fifth-grade class brought a famous holiday classic to life on the BIG screen at their movie premiere held in Stratford Avenue’s auditorium. Their movie, entitled “A Stratford Carol,” was adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic tale, “A Christmas Carol”. During the three weeks leading up to the premiere, students explored the creative process involved in writing, directing, and starring in a short film.

The students realized that one of the most difficult tasks was finding inspiration for the film and figuring out how to adapt the story line to fit their needs. Once they settled on remaking Dickens’s classic tale about the cynical Ebenezer Scrooge and how he regained the Christmas spirit, they had to figure out how to adapt the story plot and bring it to life for all to enjoy. So many questions ran through their minds. Who would be Ebenezer Scrooge? Who would be the three spirits that visited him? How would Scrooge change in the end?

After bouncing their ideas off each other and getting some assistance from their FLES teacher, Senor Kupferman, they were able to sketch out the plot. Instead of one person starring as Scrooge, the students decided to make the entire class a bunch of scrooges or what they like to call, “bucket dippers.” They even figured out who would visit them to help change their terrible ways. That’s where Stratford’s school administrators came in handy. Mrs. Gonzalez, their assistant principal, would be the person who would warn them that since they showed such bad character in school, they would be visited by three influential people. This would lead to cameos by former Stratford Principal Miss Diane Hopkins as the “Principal of Character Past,” Mrs. Eileen Vota as the “Principal of Character Present,” and Mrs. Susan Lee, middle school assistant principal as the “Principal of Character Future.”

As they wrote their tale, they decided it would be most lyrically written in poetry form, so the students carefully put the story together stanza by stanza, rhyming along the way. After numerous revisions, the students created storyboards where they planned out each scene, gathered props and started filming. They had a blast bringing their ideas to life as they shot scenes around the school with their buddies from other classes and various teachers and administrators who volunteered their time to make the students’ ideas a reality.

Once filming was completed, the footage was handed over to Mr. Kevin Pollitt, technology whiz, who edited it down to a fifteen-minute short film. He dubbed in voices, background music, and even special effects.

“A Stratford Carol” became an instant hit and will join the likes of other smash sensations created by Mrs. Connolly’s former students including, “T’was the Week Before Vacation,” adapted from the poem, “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” and “How the Head-Honchos Stole Vacation and the Connolly’s Saved It,” adapted from Dr. Seuss’s famous “Grinch” story.

Stratford students who viewed “A Stratford Carol” commented:

“The movie was hilarious, it made us laugh. We learned that we should all be bucket fillers and spread holiday cheer!”

“We enjoyed the movie and learned that you should always fill buckets, not dip!”

“We thought the movie was great. It inspired all students to never be a bucket dipper!”

“It was a great movie. It taught us that if you are mean to people, like Scrooge was, you won’t have any friends. You can always change your personality, tough, and spread Christmas cheer!”

“The movie was hysterical and we learned a lot from it. For example, to never dip someone’s bucket, but always fill it up!”

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