So I guess I will start from the beginning. It started one night last February about 7:00, during the usual ritual of after-dinner-but-before-bedtime boredom. Well, Mila was telling Kaitlin one of her stories–they had been coming straight out of her imagination for a few months by then–when Kaitlin picked up her iphone and just started filming. Moments later, after a little work on iMovie she then showed it to Charley and me. Our first reaction was…laughing. laughing out loud and hard. Then, it was, really? This is our kid, out two year old. Then I thought to myself…I need to put this on Instagram. I had actually wanted to start filming more movies anyway because I love them and I had gotten some really good advice from a friend (story for another time). I was kind of nervous to put it on my Instagram, not because of the reaction I thought it would get (hadn’t even thought about that yet..LOL) but because I thought it would make my feed ugly…bahahaha, I know some of you feel me!! But I did it anyway. And well it was a hit and people seemed to like it. I shared it to my Facebook page as well…and that is where it all went sort of crazy.
Within minutes of posting the first video–OK, it was actually a few weeks–but it felt like minutes because it all happened so fast, I was approached by these viral video marketing companies asking if they could share them. Without thinking much about it, I said sure!!! Apparently, it wasn’t just Charley and I who liked them, because my Facebook all of a sudden EXPLODED. I went from having 900 followers to 24k in one night. And well, so did my Instagram. This is really the 30 second version of how it all started, but, in what seems to me in the blink of an eye, Mila’s videos are now a hit and we continue to do them and it continues to be an absolute blast! I’ll admit, readily, that my family does love the recognition and the…”viralness” of the whole thing, but there’s something else. There’s another reason we continue to do them. And it’s a reason we could not have imagined in the beginning; it’s the biggest reason why: for our family, it has literally….brought us closer together. Instagram use to be just my thing, that partly annoyed everyone in the family because I was begging them to be my subjects, but now its our thing we do as a family.
So yeah we do the videos as a family. We still ask Mila to tell us stories and we film them; either that or we ask her questions to form a story. But yes in every movie we tell her to say certain things to make it all make sense or a tad more funny. And we only do it for about 15-20 minutes a week…and ONLY if Mila wants to. This is just suppose to be funny. It’s funny that a two year old scripted or not can act with so much emotion…we all continue to marvel at how appropriate her reactions are (can she really understand this concept well enough to have THOSE reactions? I think you know the answer). Its funny just hearing certain words come out of her mouth. These video have always been about making people happy–and that includes Mila, who is such a ham and honestly loves doing them (and hopefully soon, Emma). And helping viewers forget about something crappy happening in their life. Really they are just like a television program you might watch. I know sometimes I just need to turn on the TV and watch something senseless to forget about stressful things going on in my own life. And guess what…99% of tv shows are scripted. Characters being told what to say in order to make people laugh, cry, scream, or whatever.
I do get a lot of hateful messages on Facebook. Not to many on Instagram. But, yep Facebook viewers really give it to me. I don’t read any of the comments on Facebook at all ( I leave that to my friends and family, watch out for Mary my mom…she loves to give the haters a piece of her mind.) I don’t read the comments not only because they are so bad and hurtful but because I know that if I did, I would simply stop the movies. It would be a lot easier to stop than to defend myself and my family against each hateful comment. But one of the main reasons I don’t stop is because there are way more amazingly sweet comments and messages that I get that make it all worth it. I have received message from people going through a divorce or a breakup that said Mila’s little video made them laugh and feel happy that day! I have received messages from people who miss their grandkids and watching Mila’s videos help fill that void. And I have received messages from people who said that because of Mila’s video, they decided not to take their life that night. So, No. I do not have a need to read or even worry about the mean spirited comments. I’m too busy with work and family, with IG and FB and this blog…and with the videos! And besides, the sweet and meaningful…comments by far out weight the mean ones.
So this is just a brief summary about how it all happens, how we do them, why we do them, and what I hope is a clear statement that they aren’t going away anytime soon. Feel free to email me if you have questions. I’m happy to answer any that you have.