Behind the Fan-Film: Jason Beware 2

Now that Jason Beware 2 has been out in the wild for a few months I figured I would offer a little behind the scenes look at how this fun project came together.

Back when we created the first video for Jason Beware we had no idea what we were doing. We went to a park, dressed up as some creepy characters and did a couple shots on an iPhone. I think the idea was originally just to do a photography session with the kids dressed up but it kind of turned into it’s own thing and we made a very short movie with no lines and really no plot.

A year went by and my son asked if we were ever going to do another movie and I said “absolutely!” So we got to work on the sequel. I had an idea of how we could make the sequel really a prequel that tied into the first movie so I got to work writing the script. Before I knew it, I had written a nice draft that actually could work with our zero budget, non-technical skill, and amateur child actors. By April 2021 I had the script finished and started planning the production, however there was just one issue. I had 1 extra role than I had actors and that’s when I thought of a cool idea. Secure a popular actor or celebrity to perform this extra role. It was a voice only role, so I figured it could possibly be easier for someone to lend their voice than it would be to schedule them to be on set. So I started my search.

I began my search by just reaching out the easiest way possible, social media. So I crafted a message that I could send to various people with the hope of getting someone to reply and hopefully join our cast. I must have sent out a dozen or so messages to different voice actors, screen actors, YouTube stars, and more. I casted a wide net and I wasn’t very confident that I would even get a reply, and I was right.

A little bit after my contact blitz I learned about a website called Cameo. On this website there are dozens upon dozens of celebrities that will send you a video message for a fee. I thought, maybe this is how I can make this happen. So I got myself a budget of $20 and found who I thought would be an amazing additional to the cast, George Hardy from Troll 2. His Cameo was only $20 and it looked like he was pretty responsive to previous orders, so I figured why not, let’s try it out. I will admit, I was very disappointed in Cameo’s interface, you are very limited in what you can send to the actor. You only get so many characters to type out what you want. So I had to convey a message of what I am trying to do, as well as send him the script, all in under 150 characters. I figured this wasn’t going to go well, but I got to try for the sake of the fan-film. I trimmed as much from the lines I needed as possible and sent the message. The next day George Hardy sent his Cameo, and it was nothing like what I thought we would get. What I was sent though, is still amazing and something that we will cherish forever.


It’s George Hardy from Troll 2! I reached out via #cameo to see if he would do a part for our Friday the 13th fan-film Jason Beware 2! #excellence

♬ original sound – dadSTL

Now a month after the script had been finish I was dead set on making this happen. At this point I got the bright idea to start reaching out to former Friday the 13th actors, writers, and directors. First I started with some of the actors like Adrienne King, Derek Mears, Warrington Gillette, and several others. I never got a response from anyone and I was feeling a bit defeated until I tried one more, Victor Miller. He was the screenwriter for the original movie and I had read that he had also done some voice work. So I reached out and not even 20 minutes later I had a reply! Mr. Miller agreed to help with our fan-film. So I sent over the small part and by the end of the day Victor had already recorded and sent his part back to me!

After three months of searching for an actor for this very small role. We were finally ready to make this movie happen.

Everything really started to come together once that piece of the puzzle was found. I gathered up props and did some scouting for a nice creepy shooting location and made a plan for it all to happen. Luckily for me, my other actors and actresses had been practicing their lines this whole time. So when the time finally came for a table read, they were ready!

Because of how organized I was with everything, and how prepared the kids were, we only had two days of shooting! The kids did great, from the acting, to helping with set design, handling clapsticks, props, and other behind-the-scenes stuff, I am very proud of them all and the work they put into the movie.

Editing took a bit longer to finish up. I knew I would need some sound design for post-production, so I reached out to my cousin to see if his aspiring beat making son would like to produce some scary music for the fan-film. I wanted to create some creepy tunes as well to really round out this production.

After about a month in the editing bay, things were looking good and I could see a target goal of August 13th, 2021 for a release date. It was going to be Friday the 13th after all. With the final things left to do being designing the movie poster and planning a premier party, I would say things were just rolling right along.

Our party was a success and the fan-film has been getting some views. We are all extremely proud of the work we all put into making this and we all honestly cannot wait to make another. My wife and I even decided to get little Oscar awards to give to the kids for things like best actor, best death, etc. They loved getting them and also enjoyed the goodie bags with fake weapons, Jason mask, and candy!

It’s crazy that even a small project like this can take months to come together, and then when it finally does, it is amazing. This crazy cast of characters are sure to make you laugh and probably wince a little too. Our movie is creepy yet funny and definitely worth the watch.

So please, enjoy our Friday the 13th fan-film, and also be sure to like and subscribe to our Facebook page for Jason Beware, the kids love seeing the views go up, likes, shares, and comments! Anyways, without further ado, may I present, Jason Beware 2: The Origin.

Digging for Quartz Crystals in Missouri

This past weekend the kids and I went on a little adventure to Cadet, Missouri. There you can find one great spot called Haunted Ridge Rocks and while there you can literally just look on the ground and find shiny, shiny, quartz crystals.

When I asked the kids if they wanted to go digging for quartz crystals they were immediately ready to rock and roll. So we prepared our small collection of garden tools and a 5 gallon bucket to collect our treasures.

We left early in the morning to take the 90ish minute drive to our destination. Upon our arrival we found out were were not the only ones interested in finding quartz! With plenty of places to dig we had no worries about finding our loot.

It didn’t take long before we were already dropping quartz into our bucket. You can literally just look down on the ground and find that shiny material!

The owner even got out his big machine to help move around the dirt so we could find even more quartz! We ended up filling a 5 gallon bucket to the brim with quartz rocks. Some nicer pieces than others, but all in all we made out like bandits! It was a fun experience for the kids and I that I am sure they will remember for a very long time.

Now we are in the process of cleaning up our rocks so they can shine like crazy and we can display them for all to see. Got any good cleaning tips? Drop a comment below if you do! I have gotten a couple tips from Twitter, but I am always interested in hearing other ideas!

I think we will be back to Haunted Ridge to find more quartz in the future, it was a great little adventure and seeing the kids’ face when they dug up that quartz treasure was definitely worth it.

How to Save Money on School Supplies

Back to school, like Christmas is a family budget-buster today. According to a study by Huntington Bank, the Backpack Index revealed that the average cost of sending a child back to school was $1000 in 2017.

You do not need to drain your bank account and spend that much though. If you plan and start early, it will only cost you a fraction of the $ 1000 to set your kids off.

Here are strategies to help you shop for back to school as a frugal parent, whether your kids are off to college, or starting kindergarten.

Supply sweep

Round up all school and office supplies you own. If you look around, you may have plenty of these lying around your house in the desk drawers, basements bin or closets. Office and schools supplies that you own can help you save a significant amount of money.

Collect all of them in a central location like the dining room. Make a list or take pictures of what you have and carry the list or photos with you to the store when going for shopping to remember what you have.

Also, check the kids closets and dispose of worn-out clothes. Donate or sell what your child has outgrown. The sweep will give you a clear picture of what you need to buy and prevent you from getting what you already have.

Plan a supply swap

Get your neighbors and friends on board, and organize a supply swap before you go shopping. You may have things that they need, like reams of paper bought on sale but will never use. Someone else may have some packs of pencils that they would willingly trade for the paper. Family and friends with school-going children may have extra supplies that they will not mind trading in. Talk to them and sell the idea.

Shop at thrift stores and garage sales

You will find used shoes in good condition, clothing, school supplies and even backpacks in garage sales. Hit up the garage sales for all the things you need as they are a treasure trove. Though this may take time, you may get great bargains and save significantly on back to school clothes and supplies. All you need to do is to start early, and also ask family and friends to keep an eye on garage sales near them. Moms will also find great bargains on other things.

Thrift stores are also a great way to save. Many stores run back to school items sales for parents and clothing is incredibly affordable. Since many parents are after saving, the selection is picked over early, hence you need to start early.

Start shopping for clothes in mid-June to late July when the clothes selection is plenty. Put the clothes away until school start so as not to wear off the newness of the clothes.

Consignment stores

Here you will find great bargains on used clothing as their products are vetted, unlike the thrift store. You will not have to go through blouses from 1975 to get a designer cloth on a budget.

Check if consignment shops around you will have summer sales. Many organize seasonal sales. Keep watch on the back-to-school shopping season as several stores may have a mega-sale in one location.

Check the dollar store

Dollar stores have incredible school supplies bargains and you will find basic things like pencils and notebooks, sanitizer, and Kleenex, all at discounted prices. Shop in summer months as you will never know what the stores will order and how long the items will be in stock.

Compare prices

Amazon’s ever-changing prices are a great way to save on kids electronics that most parents have to buy. Websites like camelcamelcamel track the history of the price range for every product on Amazon. Sign up for the price change alert of the particular products so that you can tell when it changes.

There are many apps to help save money by comparing prices across retailers to find out the best deal. ShopSavvy, available for Android and iOS users will let you know if a product is available at a lower price in another store when you scan the barcode. Download a barcode scanner for it to work.

Also, check your nearest drugstore or grocery store for the best prices on school supplies. You may be surprised that items are cheaper in your neighborhood when on sale than the big stores. If you have any store dollars from loyalty programs, consider using them and save.


Many parents would rather enjoy summer than think of back to school shopping for the coming school year. However, it pays to prepare early. Planning ahead will save you money as you take advantage of every sale and opportunity to save that comes your way. Find a safe way of keeping the coupons you collect through the year as they will come in handy when shopping for back to school.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Helping Small Children Stay Organized

All parents know that raising a child is a full-time job. If there are more than one of them, then it is full-time and a half job. From making sure they wake up in the morning on time, to brushing their teeth before going to bed, there are lots of tasks that need to be accomplished. Those formative years are important to instill a sense of responsibility in them, to guarantee that they will grow up to be accountable adults. While organizing the family as a whole makes things easier for everyone, kids often need special attention as they grow and develop. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by teaching children to be well-organized from an early age.

Obviously, if the child has issues such as ADD or ADHD, the task of getting them to be more organized is going to be more difficult. Learning to stay organized is a broad subject matter and encompasses a lot of things. However, there are things parents can do to make their children stay organized. The following is a brief look at some of the best methods to do so.

Make it a Routine

One of the best ways to start getting children to stay organized is to establish a routine. For example, pick a holiday like Saturday or Sunday for cleaning the room. Obviously, small children may not have the capacity to do a thorough cleaning, but they can start by easier tasks such as putting books and toys away where they belong. In fact, as far as putting away things is concerned, (which is one of the most unpopular tasks kids like to do) you can even enforce the rule of putting it away if they are done playing with it.

Time Management

Time management is an important life skill, and its never too early to get started on it. Small children do not understand the concept of time; therefore, it needs to be introduced slowly. Adults who have difficulty in being punctual most likely picked up the habit from childhood. Since children spend most of their time playing, this would be an excellent time to remind them how long they can play.


Because of their lack of understanding of time, in terms of hours and minutes, you can use other methods to remind them of the concept of time. For example, you can tell them that they can play until lunchtime, or you can play after they take a nap and so on. This is also a good time to establish deadlines. In fact, following deadlines will be one of the most important skills a child can learn. Pointing to a clock or calendar and getting them to understand the concept is highly important.


Decision Making

Whatever routine you choose, making children part of the decision-making process can be helpful. This way, they will feel like they were also in on the plan and give them a sense of responsibility as well as a sense of pride in what they do. This is because, no human, no matter what their age is, likes to be talked down to and told what to do. Decision making will also give them a sense of being part of a team and want to accomplish tasks and routines.



All adults know that there are consequences to actions. However, most small children do not know this. After all, its one thing to teach a child how to be organized but staying organized is an entirely different proposition. Most parents will go through the dilemma regarding how to discipline their children at some point in their lifetime. With small children, it never hurts to at least introduce the concept. For example, if the child is a messy eater, then introduce the concept of cleaning up after meals are eaten. As they get older, it will be easier to introduce bigger reminders such as no playing until the room is cleaned up, etc.

Daycare Centers

Daycare centers have become a modern reality, like schools and flu shots. Some care centers are accepting not only children but even babies! Since daycare centers have become a huge part of a childs upbringing, be sure to research them well by doing your due diligence, before enrolling your child into one. As with a lot of things, you get what you pay for. Some of them are very well-equipped and have the skilled staff, to teach children everything they should know, up to their age level.  This way, when it is time to enroll them in a kindergarten or school, they will be ready and confident to take on the next challenge in their lives.