Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


An inflatable parrot

A couple of years ago, when we had just got a new camcorder, I bought Charlotte a birthday present: “How to make a movie: The secret of Pirate Island”.

On the back, it said: “All you need is a digital camcorder, a modern computer with basic video editing software and four actors (boys or girls). We provide the rest.” Pretty cool, I thought.

However, it was put aside and never used, but recently she finally opened the box.

It contained a bunch of booklets, a pirate’s eye-patch, a treasure map, a CD, some stickers and a director’s clapboard.

When we opened the Pre-production booklet, we were surprised to read this:

Certain props are included in this box, but some other small props will be needed:

  • A clipboard
  • Plastic swords (preferably cutlasses)
  • A toy boat
  • Some pieces of wood, to create a makeshift raft
  • A broomstick, to make a mast
  • A Jolly Roger flag (skull-and-crossbones)
  • An inflatable parrot
  • A biscuit-tin
  • A supply of 2p-coins onto which you can stick the doubloons
  • Rope
  • A blindfold

It finally points out you’ll need costumes for all the actors.

Of course, given the size of the box, I didn’t expect it to contain four complete pirate costumes, but am I the only one who thinks that “We provide the rest” could lead the unsuspecting consumer into believing that you wouldn’t need to do any additional shopping?

I mean, most people probably have a biscuit tin, a broomstick and some 2p coins, so that’s perfectly OK, but I know that we own neither a Jolly Roger flag nor an inflatable parrot, and I haven’t seen our plastic swords for ages.

This is very misleading, and if the company can’t be bothered including all the unusual props, perhaps they should start selling downloadable PDF files on the Internet instead.

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