Using half a mattress box, spray paint, and construction paper, I made a giant Pop-Tarts box for my Halloween costume in 1998. We had the day off of school the following Monday. Ty, Casey, and I decided to make a video. For what I assume is the first time on YouTube and the internet in general, here is the result of that group effort. Enjoy.
Special thanks to Ty, Casey, and my brother Alan. All of you still crack me up in this.
We shot everything in just a few hours, in sequence, around Ty’s house, my house, and Parley’s Park Elementary School.
We submitted it to the high school film festival and won Best Comedy, which was a devastating, outrageous insult because our intention from the beginning was to produce a chilling character study. What could have possibly prompted such a sudden turn to an insatiable thirst for murder? Who is the real monster, the Pop-Tarts Box or the young man who abandoned his friend to be bludgeoned to death in his rocking chair? Why was that boy hanging around the park pulling grass out of the ground, doesn’t he have a TV?
A few months later I tacked on the opening/closing credits & music.
I kept that Pop-Tarts box around for years. I wore it to a college freshman Halloween dance in 1999. It was received with . . . confusion.
Here’s a Halloween photo of Ty and I in 2003:
About a year later, Ty, Brad, Ryan, and I produced a sequel: The Blair Pop-Tarts project. I’ll post that one someday but not everyone knows this: in late 2003 we began development on another sequel, POP-TARTS: REFROSTED. It was going to be a huge Matrix parody, and it was hilarious. We tentatively recruited people, Ryan created a sweet motion graphics intro, and ideas for gags and jokes were flowing. But after some time, a lame-o party pooper decided not to do it after all. Who was the jerk? Me! I started evaluating the cost vs. the outcome: spending a ton of time and some money creating what was turning into a half-hour video based on a relatively inside joke, as a sequel to a video that took only a few hours to make with zero preproduction. On one hand, why should I care what a wider audience thinks as long as a circle of friends and I are enjoying ourselves? On the other hand, it was probably a good call. The essence of the Pop-Tarts we know and love is chasing and subsequently murdering people with a 2×4, and it felt to me like that concept was competing with our ideas for a straight-up Matrix parody. But really, we probably could have just simplified the script and done it anyway!
At 1:37, during the Pop-Tarts point-of-view shot, you can see the Pop-Tarts box on the ground on the left side of the screen. Was that an accidental production mistake, or was it the filmmakers’ intention to place it there, inviting viewers to contemplate their own outer “boxes” and how we and others perceive them? You decide!
I don’t remember whose idea it was for Casey to shed his jacket at 2:15. Was it slowing him down? Did he hope it would somehow slow down his attacker? And why did he take it off if he was just going to put it back on again later?
3:54: That’s right folks, it was all just an AD. I still haven’t seen my check from Kellogg’s though. Should I resubmit my invoice? Yeah, I’ll go ahead and resubmit my invoice.