Wow!! Summer is upon us! Way too fast if you ask me. With that in mind I have been wondering what to do and how to keep my teenage son busy all summer. I guess I still think of him as a baby that I must keep entertained.
Reality struck when I asked him what he wanted to do this summer and very nonchalant replied that he was going to finish up the video / movie that he was working on and then start on his website.
I am stunned and pleased all at the same time.
Alex has been quite active with all his social media. His twitter account is booming. People ask questions and the communication goes on for long amounts of time. He receives around 50 to 60 messages daily. Why is it that I cannot get ten persons to interact and he has up to 60? His youtube is the same, as well as instagram.
Did I also mention he buys, sells, trades, and collect trains and screen-used Scooby-Doo movie animation cels? The kid amazes me!! As he put it ” I have my niche”. He sure does.
His passions started when he was a baby with his first “Thomas” the tank engine set for a trip we were ready to take. Next thing I know we have a slue of trains and train tracks covering the whole living room, dining room, and hallway. What always intrigued us is that he could have 5 battery operated trains running at once and they would never meet but each track would still cross over each other. Talk about timing for you. The passion for wooden trains turned into HO trains. Well, a very different animal.
I want to share about his hobby that turned into a niche that bring lots of bright smiles to kids. The company that used to make Thomas the Tank Engine toys stopped a majority of its production, leaving a fanbase of creative kids, teens, and adults in the lurch. With the wonderful tool of the internet, concerns and upsets were vocalized. Thus giving way to creating a small world to cater to those kids. Alex being one of them, saw the need for something to be done.
Kids were looking for rare or out of production trains. He would buy them at auction houses around the world, propagate huge demand by teasing his crowd via social media. Items arrived in his hands and placed immediately on Ebay for sale. Did I mentioned all this started when he was 13 -14? The new generation just amazes me.
I receive some of his emails and parents were willing to pay a pretty penny for items that their son wanted. Amazed and so proud of him.
However, his focus went to videos. How can we create a story that can be fun for kids? With his small iPhone, he started creating videos.
We saw how much passion and love was coming out of him, that a proper video camera was in order. It became his best friend.
For his videos he dedicates hours upon hours to story manuscripts, staging, design, building the sets. He personally builds, from scratch, wood, cardboard, or what ever he can get his hands on, all the houses, sheds and what ever else he may need. Sometimes he also designs them on his computer and 3D prints them, sands, paints and conditions them to look aged (weathers). The whole process can take days. Then comes filming and editing. If you ever edited a video it is unnerving how long it can take. Add voice over for each train or person that was in the video.
His work is fantastic, but then I am his mom, so everything is always perfect. But the amount of effort and love he puts into it warms my heart.
So why a blog now this summer? He wants to share more in depth why and how of everything comes together. Nothing more than to have a journal of his progress. By writing it down he can see where he was and where he is going. To see the growth.
Meanwhile, he has also grown into HO scale trains that are AC/DC powered. My brother has a passion for them as well. Lets just say, the pandora box was opened. Now we are talking Epoque I, II or … I lost count to be honest with you. Here he is with his computer working on track layout and CAD design. He self taught himself CAD design and loves to be able to 3D print his creations on his printer. Yes he has one of those too. He also works with the percentage of angles of risers, visual and conceptual creations, modeling, and applying the fine details that you need to have the patience of a saint to paint and put together.
Can’t wait to see his writing work. I am so proud of him.
Video: Alex – “Thomas S7 Theme” by mavis M
Working on the movie and scenes from one of the video