Aaron Johnson is the creator of a popular comic called What the Duck, a witty and amusing strip that follows the exploits of a professional photographer who happens to have webbed feet and a bill. Johnson is also father to two kids, Clare and Jonas, who love to help their dad make home movies.
Granted, the Johnson home movies aren’t really like yours or mine. No, the Johnson’s home movies are far more … unique. For the past seven years, the Johnsons have been making an annual movie based on popular films. And, in a lovely turn of events, what started as amusement for their extended family has grown to entertain multitudes on the Web.
“I was a Monday morning stay-at-home dad and among our many constructive activities was sword fights with wrapping paper tubes,” says Aaron Johnson. “I decided to video tape our exploits one morning and turn it into a Star Wars spoof to show at my son’s birthday party. The rest is history.”
Each year’s movie is planned so it can be viewed during Jonas’s birthday party in early December and it’s an event that his kids look forward to, year-round. According to Johnson, “The kids love making them. After years of producing our own movies, the kids have a greater appreciation for the movies we watch, a pretty solid understanding of how films are made, and even though it’s not all fun and games – the payoff in the end is seeing the finished product and sharing it with others.”
From start to finish, it’s a family production. Johnson works in the animation field, so “having special effects in each movie is a prerequisite. Besides, good special effects can make up for a weak story – just ask Hollywood.”
Over the years, the Johnson family has taken on Star Wars, Sleeping Beauty, Indiana Jones, last year’s Ghostbusters (in the video above), and this year’s Batman. What the future holds, no one knows. “Each year the schedules get busier and the expectations get higher. We’ll have to take it one year at a time and enjoy it while it lasts.”
We sure hope so. Although, if the videos are any indication, the Johnson’s television might not hold out much longer.