There’s plenty of blame to go around, when trying to figure out exactly where DadLabs came from. Some of that blame should certainly be apportioned to this little book. Before this book came along, all the DadLabs guys were perfectly happy being teachers at a comfy little private school.
But after the publication of the first edition of Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts in 2005, Troy and I found ourselves talking to teens about making films, without ever having made one of our own, exactly. We set out to remedy that, brought in Brad and started brainstorming. How could we use what we’d learned about filmmaking to widen our classroom? What started out as weekly script development sessions for our independent feature soon devolved into beery venting about pregnant wives, colicky newborns and other things our dads never warned us about, then evolved again into strategy confabs on the idea that would guide our professional lives for the next five years: DadLabs.
And now we circle back to the little book. Because now, five years later, a second edition of FFT: POYS is on the shelves, now sporting revisions and additions that come directly from our experiences at DadLabs. When we were writing the book in 2003-04, YouTube was still a glimmer in Google’s eye. Now, it’s a force that all aspiring filmmakers must reckon with. And the new edition of the book recognizes that, and all the other bazillion changes that have taken place in the digital and filmmaking world since then.
We also have to take a moment to thank Michael and Ken at our publisher MWP. We appreciate that they have stayed behind the “Little Engine That Could” that this title has become, and we thank them for the opportunity to perform this essential update. Troy and I really hope that this slim volume goes back out into the world and lands in the right hands and does some good.
And we’ll keep tuning in to the academy awards until that day when some Kathryn Bigelow of the future stands at the podium and gushes, “it all started with this little book my mom got for me called ‘Pulling Down Your Pants’ or something.”