Please vote for us, Confonnit!

Hey Kids!

Do you remember reading Under the Blood Red Sun last year?  Do you remember the bookmarks we got from the movie producer, Dana Hankins?  Do you remember our Literary Tea Party and dressing up as characters from the novel?  Do you remember the author, Graham Salisbury, and the producer, Dana Hankins, commenting on our blog?  All very exciting moments for us!  Fortunately, the folks who made this movie remember how much we enjoyed the novel, and they have not only voted for our blog, but they have invited all their Facebook friends to vote for us as well!  Super cool, right?!


The movie is recently released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital Downloads. We plan to watch the movie as part of our blogging party celebrating our 20,000th visitor! Time to roll out the red carpet for Under the Blood Red Sun!  Check out the trailer, too.

What do you think is the best part, and the hardest part, about making a movie?



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85 thoughts on “Please vote for us, Confonnit!

  1. What exciting news!!! Although the blog does deserve every accolade!!! We are so fortunate our children are learning about writing through blogging, what fun!
    I think the hardest part of movie making for kids would have to be doing their requires schoolwork while also having to memorize lines and film at different hours of the day, I imagine it would be quite exhausting.

    I wish the Hey Kids blog lots of luck! Now it’s time to vote!

    • Hey Mrs. Donofrio! I haven’t read the book but just seeing that movie trailer I want to read the book. I even want to see the movie. I think the hardest part about making a movie is getting everything just right. I’ve made movie trailers before with I movie. Its fun! Really fun. Have you ever made a movie trailer or movie just for fun like me?

      • Hi Shane,
        I have also used iMovie before, and like you, I think it is fun also! You have given me a good idea for a future project, especially now that we all have our own iPads! I think you will enjoy the movie when we see it, hopefully next month sometime. We are pretty close to 20,000 visitors!
        ~Mrs. Donofrio

  2. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I miss you so much, and I hope you are doing well and that Mr. Donofrio is making a good recovery.

    I think the best part of making a movie is experiencing something you have never done. And you might get to play a character that might idolize. You also get to meet new people. Have you ever wonder how a movie come together? Well it’s not just the actors that do the magic, there are people who do lighting, set designing, costumes, and so much more. Even if you are in movie you are still getting to learn a lot about the behind the scene action.

    The worst part of making a movie is memorizing your lines first off. And if the character suits you. You have to like the character you have and try to be the character the best you can. You also have to wake up really early. Well I don’t think there’s any other worst part about making a movie.

    I think it would be really cool if we took a field trip to see how a movie is made and the process of how much work it takes to make onr movie

    I hope Mr. Donofrio is feels better and that you come back soon. Miss you a bunch.
    – Hugs From Christine

    • Hi Chrissy,
      I sure miss you kids, too. Thank you for asking about Mr. Donofrio. He is doing well. The surgery was a complete success, and he is nearly fully recovered now, too. I think it would be great to take a field trip to see how a movie is made. I don’t know if I can arrange that, but perhaps the director of Under the Blood Red Sun would Skype with us, and we could ask her a few questions about making the film. I will inquire of her. Great idea, Chrissy!
      Will you see any movies over the Christmas vacation? I think I might see Unbroken, which is also partly about WWII.
      See you soon!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    It is awesome that we have them, and their Facebook friends voting for us. I hope we win, there is also a lot of good blogs out there, but I love ours! I’m also looking forward to our 20,000 visitor! 586 more visitors to go (As of when I read this post) The hardest part to me would be getting actors to come, study lines, and trying to hurt their feelings when they do a good, sort-of good, or terrible job, or saying that you didn’t get the part. I also think that studying the lines, and rehearsal would be hard. The best part is the after-party when hopefully most people leave good comments on the movie, and say how good of a job you did. If you ever made a movie, how long do you think the movie would be?

    • Hi Shawn,
      I also think the after-party would be great fun, especially if it were in Hawaii as with Under the Blood Red Sun! How long would my movie be? I guess it would be about the standard two hours. A few movies are quite a bit longer, like the Hobbit movies. Also, there was a movie made called Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck that was about 3 hours long. Would you ever like to work in the movie industry, Shawn?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  4. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    I loved your very exciting post. I thought it was really cool that we get to watch Under The Blood Red Sun when our blog reaches 20,000 visitors.( so anyone reading this comment, please tell your friends to visit our blog.) I really enjoyed the book.

    To answer your very colorful question, I think the hardest part about making a movie is:
    1. Finding all of the people for the movie and have to watch them try out.
    2. Waiting for every one to memorize their lines.
    3. Filming the movie and getting the camera in all the right angles.

    It would be very hard to do this kind of work. For me it would be like an Aegean task. Don’t you think? I mean you would have to have a whole plane load of patience (which is not one of my greatest qualities.)

    I think that the best part about making a movie is that you get to meet new people. You get to have a whole bundle of new friends. You also get to smile from one ear to another when you are done and watching the movie. You must feel as proud as a kangaroo watching its children hop for the first time. This is a little of topic, but do you know what a kangaroo’s children are called. Do they even have a name?

    Thank you again for writing such an inspiring post.


    • Hi Emmalee,
      What has been interesting for me is reading all the comments on this post. You kids have really thought about many different jobs relating to movie making. I have read about the difficulties in creating authentic costumes, in computerized special effects, in memorizing lines, and now you have mentioned camera work. While movie making seems so glamorous and fun, you kids are right; it involves hard work and a lot of stress, too. It’s easy to get lost in the story when you are watching the movie and forget about all the work behind the scenes.
      I think kangaroo children are called “joeys”. Does that sound familiar to you now?
      I loved the way you incorporated figures of speech in your writing. You are really stretching your imagination. Great job.
      Will you go to the movies over Christmas vacation? What movies that are out now would you like to see?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I think that the best part of making a movie is making friends on set and how kids will become less shy and try to get more involved with social skills and being able to have the great experience. The worst part of making a movie is that it’s very time consuming; For example, kids have school during the day, and most likely the directors or whoever is in charge will make them come during the day to film so they wouldn’t be focusing on schoolwork as much,and the fact that some people who watch that movie might not enjoy it as much as others, and so they write very nasty reviews and such. If the child actor who was in the movie saw that review, they probably would not be able to handle the critisysom. But overall I feel like being apart of a movie would be a great experience but if you are a kid you should probably wait until summer because it is very time consuming.
    Do you think that the child actors/actresses would be offended by the critisysom or hate feedback to the movie that they were in?
    Can’t wait for you to come back to school!

    • Hi Baylee,
      I do think children, and even lots of adults, are affected by the negative criticism they read in the papers or see on tv. Do you remember the interview we saw with Taylor Smith? She said that a music critic went beyond constructive criticism and seemed “out to destroy” her career. That is why she wrote the song, Mean. I know I don’t like it when I’ve worked hard and it is not appreciated and is in fact criticized. I don’t know if I am strong enough in that way to be in the public eye. Not only is their work frequently criticized, but the way they look is often criticized. With all the benefits of being a celebrity, some of it is definitely hard. Would you ever want to be a celebrity, Baylee?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    I am very ardent to see “Under the Blood Red Sun” because I really like movies about World War II! Although I have never read the book, I have talked to people who have and they say it is amazing. I know that Pearl Harbour was attacked on December 7, 1941 by the Japenese Navy and the attack lasted about 1 to 2 hours. But one of the most exciting things for me is the Special Effects. It will be cool to see how to Director of the movie made the Explosion. When I went to Holloywood Studios, I took a tour of a movie set (which happened to be about Peral Harbour) and they showed us how everything worked. All the gun fire was generated below the water and most of the explosion were little hidden tubes with fire coming out of them. It will be fun to see how the effects people did it. Well I really liked the video and I can’t wait to see you! What is your favorite World War II movie, if you have one? What was it about?

    • Hi Daniel,
      What an interesting behind the scenes tour you had at Universal. It sounds like you learned a lot! I don’t know if I have a favorite WWII movie, but Mr. Donofrio loves these movies, so I have at least seen pieces of quite a few of them. His favorite is either Band of Brothers or The Longest Day. I think I saw the WWII movie that is used at Universal Studies. Is it Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck? There is a scene in that movie with boys playing baseball and the Japanese planes flying low overhead. That scene is exactly like Under the Blood Red Sun. Will you watch some movies over Christmas vacation?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  7. Hey Mrs.D,
    James here what I think would be the best part of making a movies is…all the actors you meet,some times the actors could be funny and awsome to work with.Also the food that is on the set mite be good to. The hardest part is knowing is people will like your movie or will you get nice reviews and comments. If you made a movies Mrs.Donofrio what would the name be and what would it be about? Hope Mr.Donofrio is better and you win best class blog.
    Your Friend,

    • Hi James,
      Thanks for your good wishes for Mr. Donofrio. He is doing well thanks to all the prayers that were said for him. If I made a movie I think it would be about the jail I used to teach in. I’m not sure what the name would be. It was located on Canterbury St., which I always thought was a little ironic because the Canterbury Tales is a famous Medieval book that is really a lot of short stories told from the perspectives of different characters. Maybe I would call the movie Canterbury Street as an allusion to the stories by Geoffrey Chaucer.
      I notice that the best part of making a movie, for you, would be working with the actors. Do you have any favorite actors, James?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  8. Hi Mrs.Donofrio

    I love talking about that movie and how they commented on the blog, I still have the book mark some where in my room. I think the best part would be seeing your self in a movie, I think that the hardes part would be memorizeing all of those lines especially in a long movie what if you mess up.
    Have you ever meet the author Mrs.Donofrio

    • Hi Eric,
      I have never met Graham Salisbury, although he did comment on our blog, so we have had a little personal connection with him. I would love to meet him in person, though. He lives in Hawaii. Have you ever met an author or been to Hawaii?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  9. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I think the best part about making a movie is knowing that your movie could be the best movie in America, or in the whole world and your laborious effort will pay of for having such a great movie. The hardest part is probably memorizing your lines and if there is one slight mistake… YOU HAVE TO REDO THE WHOLE SCENE!!!! Any who I’m very excited to hit 20,000 followers and see the movie
    Lots of Love,

    • Hi Blythe,
      I am also looking forward to seeing Under the Blood Red Sun. Is it hard for you to memorize your lines for Peter Pan at Venice Theater?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  10. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    If I made a movie I think the hardest part would be coming up with the idea for the movie. I would have to put all my creativity in to each one. Just imagine what authors have to go through just to write a book. I wonder whats their inspiration.

    I think the best part would just be to say to your self that you accomplished somthing amazing and it makes people happy.

    If you were to make a movie what would it be about?

    • HI Emmanauel,
      If I were to write a movie, I think it would be about the time I taught in a secure lock-up facility for juvenile boys in Boston. There are lots of good stories and interesting characters there. Would you ever like to write a movie?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  11. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I really enjoyed this post. It’s so cool that people on Facebook are going to vote for our blog! There is like a 500 gazillion people on Facebook. To answer your question, I think the best part about making a movie is doing all the special effects. I think it’s so cool that a green screen can look like anything you wan’t it to. The hardest part about making a movie is wrighting the script. It must be so stressful having to write something that could effect your movie.
    What do you think is the hardest part about making a movie?

    • Hi Evan,
      Although I think making movies is an overall fun job, because really it is storytelling, I think the hardest part might be coordinating and overseeing so many different jobs that are necessary to the movie’s success. Special effects- both actual and computerized-, stunt work, acting, editing, costumes, lighting, sets….there are LOTS of details that go into making a movie. Someone has to make sure every part goes smoothly and contributes to the whole. What is the best movie you ever saw?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  12. I remember that book! It wasn’t my favorite but it was a good read. You always choose the BEST books for our class to read! I hope that our visitors read them as well!

    I’ve always wanted to be a director so I have a little knowledge on this topic. The best part would be the fun days of meeting the cast, getting to know them, when you finish filming its amazing, also reading the book/script and watching come to life is pretty amazing too! The hardest part I’d say is finding characters that perfectly match the character. If you chose the wrong person it could ruin the movie. Another thing is stage design. The setting is key to every movie and tv show.

    I forgot what confonnit means. What does it mean? Do you like reading books before the movie comes out or after?

    • Hi Johnny,
      I didn’t know that you wanted to be a director! That is exciting. Would you like to go to college in Los Angeles or New York? I imagine that is where all the good schools are for cinematography. Confonnit means “Confound it!” which is like “How frustrating!” or “Darn it!” It’s added for emphasis. “I told you to do that, confound it!” or “I lost my homework, confound it!” Ojii-chan, Tommy’s grandfather, doesn’t speak perfect English so he says, “Confonnit!” when he is a bit angry. I like reading books before the movie comes out. What about you? Will you go to any movies this vacation? Will you read any books?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  13. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love the post! The trailer for the movie Under the Blood Red Sun was a great idea to put in this post. My favorite part of the trailer was when Tomi was looking out inti the sea and it was a blood red sun. I do remember the comment, the tea party, and reading Under the Blood Red Sun in sixth grade. I thought it was a great book. I think the best part about making a movie is you get paid. Also if your a kid and you are in a movie that is pretty cool to go back to school when your done filming because you get to talk about how hard and run it was to make the movie. Probably the hardest part about being in a movie is remembering your lines. If you can’t remember your lines they will probably find a new person who will. What was your favorite part of the trailer? Have a great Christmas break!

    • Hi Anthony,
      I’m glad you liked the trailer. My favorite part, although it is a sad part, is when Tommy is holding the pigeon. It is a such a memorable and moving scene because it symbolizes the innocent victims of the War. I agree with you that being in a movie as a kid would be pretty exciting, but you know what? I think grown ups would also find it exciting and want to talk about it when they go back to work! Memorizing the lines would be hard, I think, also; however, so many people are able to do it. Perhaps it becomes easier the more you do it. Have you ever been in a school play and had to memorize lines?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  14. Wow Mrs. Donofrio! This is very exciting and I’m sure that a lot of peole will vote for our blog! In my opinion, the easiest and most fun part about making a movie is having auditions and casting the actors! I think that would be interesting to see the different age groups audition and turn themselves into the character they want to be. I think that the hardest part about making a movie would be making the set and having the actors memorize their lines. That would take a lot of work because if there are multiple people in the scene, they have to all work well together and remember their cues. I am super excited to watch the movie because I loved the book so much! If you could make a movie of one of your favorite books what would it be and who would play which part?

    • Hi Raina,
      I am also super excited to see Under the Blood Red Sun. I really liked seeing the movie in progress a few times. Do you remember when we looked at the photos of the house that they used for Tommy’s home? I would like to see a movie of The Wednesday Wars because I loved the message of that movie, and I also thought some parts were so visually funny, like when Holling got on the bus wearing his Arial costume. I would love to play the part of Mrs. Baker! A part of me has always wanted to be an actress. Perhaps the boy who is in the Winter the Dolphin movie would be a good Holling. What do you think?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  15. Hi, Mrs. Donofrio!
    I loved the movie trailer in your blog post, I have never seen “Under The Blood Red Sun” before, and now I want to! I wish I was with you guys last year to meet Dana Hankins because I would love to ask her how difficult and fun it is to make a movie. What were the types of questions you guys asked Mrs. Hankins? Did you learn something about movies you never knew before?
    I watch a lot of movies on the weekends and I’ve always wondered how different it is to be making the movie instead of watching it as entertainment. The hardest part about making a movie is making sure the actors are fully on board and giving it 100% effort because if an actor or actress decides they can’t do the movie anymore, what then? Movie making is very stressful because if one bad thing happened, it could mess up the entire film. In your opinion, how much of a difference would it be making a sequel instead of a movie without being a sequel? I think it would be a lot easier producing a sequel because if your first movie was a big hit, for example, the Hunger Games, you already have the audiences’ attention. The best part about making a movie is being able to tell someone, “Yeah, that’s my movie,” because being proud of what you do is the best thing you could do. If you could make a movie, what would it be about?
    Erin Szablowski

    • Hi Erin,
      Although you weren’t here to read Under the Blood Red Sun, I’m glad you’ll be here to watch the movie with us. Perhaps you will read the sequel, The House of the Red Fish>. Movie making is like teaching in that it is both fun and stressful! The difference is that movie making is stressful probably because of the amount of money involved; teaching can be stressful because of the impact on the people involved. Since I know a lot about teaching, I guess that is what a movie I would make would be about. Have you ever seen a movie about school or teaching? Here are a few I have seen: Dead Poet’s Society, Lean on Me, Stand and Deliver, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and October Sky. Have you seen any of these? My favorite is Stand and Deliver.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  16. I want to make 2d animation movies when I’m older, so I have been studying how to make an animation movie! The hardest part is drawing all the pictures for every scene and making the characters move. A hard part for me is naming the characters,because there name has to match there personality,but the best part of making a movie is seeing it being welcome into the world. That is my dream! What is your favorite movie?

    • Hi Shannon,
      I had no idea you were interested in 2D animation. Frankly, I’m not even sure what 2D animation is? What kinds of movies or tv shows are done in 2D? How are you studying this? I always knew you wanted to write books, but I didn’t know you were interested in making movies. Of course, both of those professions involve storytelling, so they are connected. Have any movies been made about your favorite series, The Warrior Cats?
      One of my favorite movies at Christmas time is The Santa Clause” with Tim Allen. I think it’s great fun! Have you seen it?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  17. Hello Mrs. Donofrio.

    I do remember reading Under the Blood Red Sun. It probably was one of my favorite books I also liked the literary tea party. I think the best part about making a movie probably would be having go into a movie theatre. That would be awesome because then I could find out how many people watched, and how many people liked it. The hardest part would probably be picking out the cast because that would take a long time with how many good actors are around. If you made a movie what would it be about?

    • Hello Jayen,
      I’m glad to hear that Under the Blood Red Sun was one of your favorite books. It is one of mine, too. If I were to make a movie, it would probably be about the time I taught in the lock-up facility for juvenile boys in Boston. Would you like to be involved in the movie industry when you get older?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  18. Hi, Mrs Donofrio!
    I think the best part of making a movie is getting to see it finished. I can’t imagine the weight that would be lifted off your shoulders. Going to the movie premier and watching everybody’s reactions would be the best feeling. I think that finally getting to see how all the costumes, the special effects, the lighting, the backrounds, and everything else come together to show the story that you wanted to present would be amazing.
    The hardest thing, I think, would be costumes. You have to make sure that the outfits perfectly fit that time period and all the fashion trends happening then. If you were making a movie in the Old West, all of your cast members would have to be SUPER careful they didn’t accidentally wear a watch or their wedding rings, because accessories like that weren’t invented.
    In one of my favorite movies, the main character spills bleach on her nicest black dress, which then turns white. I read up on that particular scene, and I learned they had 10 other dresses made as replicas for each take of the movie, and that each dress took about a week to make. Talk about some serious work!
    I can’t wait to finally get to see Under the Blood Red Sun! I hope we hit 20,000 visitors soon!
    What is your favorite movie? Do you have a favorite scene?

    • Hi Claudia,
      I always love reading your writing or listening to you talk because you have such interesting tidbits of information. What movie had the black dress scene? What made you decide to research the costume making process for the movie? I know you are a seamstress yourself, so I am not completely surprised that your curiosity was piqued by the costumes. I often think of the costume designers in period films as well. There are certainly a lot of details that need to be perfect. Aside from being a good seamstress, one needs to be a meticulous researcher in order to be successful as a Hollywood costume designer. After reading all these comments, I keep going back to the concept of how very many people are involved in making a good movie. Even though I think the price of movies is outrageous, both in making them and in ticket costs, I guess they are an expensive proposition. It’s amazing to think of how many people are involved in a successful cardiac surgery and how many are involved in successful storytelling. Things that make you go hmmmmm.
      One of my favorite movies involved very elaborate costumes, and also had a famous dress scene. It is Gone With the Wind. In this movie, Scarlett, the main character, needs a new dress so that she can go to Atlanta and ask for money because her family is beginning to starve. The problem is, because they have no money, all her dresses look terrible. So, she pulls the curtains off the window and makes a dress out of them. Clever, huh?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  19. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Yes, I do remember reading Under the Blood Red Sun. I really liked that book. It was one of my favorite that we read that year. Sadly, I don’t remember the Literary Tea Party because I wasn’t there but It looked like a lot of fun. I think that the hardest thing about making a movie is finding the right actors and actresses for the movie. Also, I think the best part about about making the movie is watching it when you’re done because you get to see all your hard work in action. I can’t wait until our blogging party for we can watch Under the Blood Red Sun.

    Do you have a book recommendation that is similar to Under the Blood Red Sun that I can read for a book report?


    • Hi Abbey,
      I do have a recommendation for a book report book, especially since you enjoyed Under the Blood Red Sun. Would you like to read the sequel, House of the Red Fish? I haven’t read it, but think that I will give it a try, perhaps after we see the UBRS movie. Hopefully you will be at the Literary Tea Party this year.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  20. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Hey Mrs. Donofrio I loved the trailer. I can’t wait till I see that cluster blog hit 20,000 so we can watch the whole movie, it’s going to be so cool. I would think it would be awsome to be part of a movie, being able to see your self in a film being admired by your community of even the country it would be awsome. the only thing that would be hard would be being away from all your friends and family when your filming the movie, and all the pressure not to mess up. Plus if you do mess up it requires more money for the directors to shoot it again. Then you probably get fined for messing up. So what I’m getting at is that it would be fun but also really stressful. What do you think, would doing a movie be fun, stressful, or both for you?
    Your student/fellow blogger,
    Matthew D.

    • Hi Matthew,
      I agree with your assessment of movie making; I think it is both fun and stressful. Anytime huge sums of money are involved in a project, there is bound to be a lot of stress. One of the neat parts of movie making, I think, would be visiting the locations where the film is being shot. I’d love to see more of the world.
      I’m looking forward to hitting the 20,000 mark, too, Matthew!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  21. Hey Mrs. Donofrio! YES, YES I do remember all of the stuff about the book and now movie Under The Blood Red Sun. The video trailer is very interesting and it looks sad. To answer your question I think the best part about making a movie is watching it and saying, hey that’s me! I also think the hardest part is waking up sooooooooooooo early just to stand I front of a green screen and say a script you had to memorize. I’m sure that at the end it’s all worth it. Have you watched the movie yet? I hope your husband is recovering quickly and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

    Love, Hannah 😃

    • Hi Hannah!
      I love the enthusiasm in your comment! I have not seen the movie yet, but am looking forward to it when we get back to school after Christmas. Hopefully by then we will have hit the 20,000 visitor mark. I also think it would be fun to see myself on the big screen. Would you like to be a movie actress?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio
      P.S. Thank you for asking about my husband. He is doing well, as the doctors predicted. Merry Christmas to you and your family also!

  22. Hello Mrs. Donofrio!
    Unfortunately, I have not read that book yet because I did not go to this school when you read it as a class, but I will read it now! This post made me want to read this book, and I think I will enjoy it.
    I think that the hardest part about making a making a movie is getting what you envisioned in your head onto the screen and picking the right actors, places, and props to make it the way you imagined. Other difficult thing would probably be the budget cuts and keeping the viewpoint for certain audiences. For example, if you are making a movie for kids, you would keep it child friendly, or if you’re going to make a romantic movie, aliens and dinosaurs wouldn’t exactly work, would it?
    The best part would be getting the chance to see your story onto the big screen, or if someone wrote a book you would get a chance to make it happen. Some of the books I have read I would love to see in theaters. Some I have seen, like The Hunger Games (which turned out well), and Percy Jackson (which did not turn the way I imagined it). What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book? If you could make a movie, what would it be about?

    • Hi Katie,
      I have heard a number of kids say the same thing about Percy Jackson as you did. Having not read the book, I thought the movie was pretty good! How did you feel about the Harry Potter movies? Do you think the authors get to hang around the set, critiquing the way their books are told as movies? If I could make a movie, it might be about the years I taught at a juvenile lock-up facility in Boston. It was an interesting place, although truth be told, the story might need to be embellished a bit. A lot of our days were pretty routine.
      Two of my favorite books and movies are Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird. I think the movies stayed very true to the novel in both cases. Have you read any books that you think would make good movies?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  23. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I think the best part of making a movie is seeing the end result. I can only imagine sitting in your seat watching a movie you wrote, directed, or starred in! But I think the hardest part would be picking the right cast or making sure the book is accurate to the movie. Book to movie adaptations can be difficult because you are taking a novel and transforming it into a two hour movie.

    I really love that you made this post, because I was not aware that Under the Blood Red Sun was out on DVD! I really enjoyed reading this book, because it gave me a lot of information about World War II. It also showed me what it was like to be a teenager during that time. The book was not only educational but had some really funny moments such as the grandfather trying to speak English and his Japanese words. But the book wasn’t just about World War II it showed the life of a teenager, playing baseball with his friends, going to school, and family struggles.

    This was a great book choice for us to read and I am so excited to see the movie! Since you read most of the books with other classes, how many times have you read Under the Blood Red Sun? What were your favorite Japanese words the grandfather said? What was your favorite part of the book?-Sydney

    • Hi Sydney,
      This is a great comment. You actually describe the book very similarly to the way I did in another student’s comment. What is neat about the book to screenplay adaptation of Under the Blood Red Sun is that Graham Salisbury wrote both. I don’t think that happens often, but I can imagine that Graham Salisbury was very happy in that he maintained control over the script.
      I have read Under the Blood Red Sun three times. I like it every time. My absolute favorite word that Ojii-chan said was “Confonnit!” I really liked the characters of Mose and Rico, and I liked the baseball game that the Rats played in Honolulu. One of the most moving scenes was the one when Tommy had to kill the pigeons. That really sent the message home of the atrocities of war, especially on the innocent victims.
      Thanks for writing such a thoughtful comment, Sydney.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  24. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    The best part about making a movie would probably be making something for people to enjoy and that they would like to see. It must be the greatest feeling in the world when you know that someone out there enjoys your movie! The hardest part about making a movie would probably be getting actors, setting up locations, writing scripts, getting a team together, and anything esle that involves making a movie. Making a movie is hard work I’ve been told. If I were to make a movie,(which I probably won’t)I would know it’d be hard, but worth it to see the looks of people faces. What kind of movie would you make?
    – Alicia

    • Hi Alicia,
      I think you are correct in deciding that making something people enjoy is the best part of movie making. I would say it is the best part of any job: carpentry, writing, engineering, anything. It is satisfying when people appreciate and use things you have created. I would probably make a movie about teaching, perhaps in the jail where I worked for three years. I have a lot of good stories from those days. Do you think people would be interested in the story of an English teacher working in a lock-up facility for juvenile boys?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  25. Hey it’s Carson.

    I remember reading most of the book. I really liked the book and I liked the characters personalities in to book. I can’t wait to be able to see the characters in the movie! I think the best part about making a movie is the graphics designing. I think it would be cool to see shapes and images that make no sense, become a huge building falling on a T.V. I love seeing the good graphics in movies like in a action movie. I think the hardest part of making he movie, is making the setting for each chapter of the movie. I mean stuff like buildings, rooms, and stuff like that. It would also be hard if you had to film a movie in a big city like New York or Chicago. I think it would be hard, because you would have to block traffic and people so they are not in the scene. But, in the end, the movie will be worth all the money you put into making it. Do you like good graphics in movies?

    • Hey Carson,
      I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed Under the Blood Red Sun! I think the movie will be great, too, and I am also really looking forward to seeing it. Interestingly, I never really think about graphics in movies, but I know that movies do use a lot of special effects. I have heard of green screens, which, I think, do some of the effects that you are writing about. Would you ever like to be a special effects designer?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  26. Hello Mrs. Donofrio!
    To me, the best part of the movie would be watching the completed film. Imagine sitting in a movie theatre while watching a movie and thinking, ‘Wow, I created that.’ It would also be cool to see your movie become a top selling movie. How awesome would that be?
    Directing the movie has to be the hardest because it’s your job to make the movie. You have all the stress of creating a movie that people will like. If people complain, you’re blamed for it. That has to be extremely difficult.
    How did you embed a Facebook post? It’s really cool!

    • Hi Megan,
      I agree; it would be really cool to watch a movie that you had made. It’s probably like the feeling I have when I read something in the newspaper that I have written, but better. You are so astute to realize the pressure of directing. I always think of the actors and not too much of the behind the scene people, but you are right; the director is in charge. I will show you how to embed the FB post when we get back to school in January. (I actually forget how I did that already!) Would you ever like to work in the movie industry.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  27. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!

    I thought that this blog post was really good, and that the voting news is very exciting! I have not read the book, but the movie looks really good!! I think that the best part of making a movie would be the special effects, because it would be really fun to shoot and edit that footage! I also think that the hardest part of making a movie would be the set up, because they have to make the set and then cut them into pieces, almost like puzzle pieces! Then after they do that they have to get them into the studio and set up all over again so it would be time consuming. What is your opinion of what is the best or hardest part of a movie?


    • Hi Dominic,
      You know, you are right in that the special effects are probably difficult to do. I never thought of that before, and interestingly, so far none of the comments I’ve read have mentioned that either. You have to be really good with the computer to do special effects. I imagine that there are many other kinds of special effects that I don’t know anything about! It sure takes a lot of people to make a movie. I think the actors have some of the best parts of movie making. They don’t seem to make too many decisions; they just do what other people tell them. They get fussed over a lot- hair, make-up, clothes, etc. It appears like they can have a lot of fun, depending on the type of movie. However, I’m sure there are downsides, too. Perhaps being away from home for long periods of time, or working at odd times of the day/night. Lots of people want to be actors, though, so it must be pretty good as a whole! Do you think you would ever like to be an actor?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  28. Hi MRS Donofrio.
    I really miss you.

    I think that the easiest thing is to pick the setting do the film. But the hardest I think is to pick the charecter because they have to be the same nationality and they have to remember all the words. What do you think is the hardest thing?

    • Hi Daniel,
      I miss all you kids, too. I hope everything is going smoothly while I am away from school. You are right in that picking the actors for a movie is an important job. I think one of the hardest parts in making the movie is deciding what parts to keep in the film and what parts to leave out. I know that when I am writing something that is limited to a certain number of words, I always have a hard time deciding what sentences to cut. I always want to leave them all in because they all seem to add something necessary to telling a good story. Do you see many American movies where you live in Ukraine?
      I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and I will see you soon!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  29. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,

    I miss you so much! I hope Mr. Donofrio is getting better.

    Well, I think the hardest part about making a movie is the coming up with the idea of what the movie is going to be about. For expamle, “The Hunger Games.” Who would have ever thought that there’s only 12 districts in the world? In each district there’s only about 1,000-2,000 people. So that means there’s only about 24,000 people in the world. Isn’t that such a low amount of people? What is your favorite movie? Why?

    ~ Connor

    • Hi Connor,
      I miss you and all you kids a lot, too. Thank you for asking about Mr. Donofrio. He is getting better, slowly but surely. He is still very tired, but is walking and talking a lot better than he was last week at this time! One thing that is still going strong is his appetite! I think some of the medicines make him hungry. I am so thankful for good doctors and good friends who have helped us through this. I am also thankful to live in 2014. Modern medicine is amazing! Imagine walking and talking the day after brain surgery! It’s incredible!
      I have never seen the Hunger Games, or read the book, so I didn’t know the world population was so low in that story. You are right in your assessment that it is hard to come up with such an original idea. Once a book/movie does well, lots of people want to copy the idea. I think that is true with The Hunger Games as well was with Harry Potter and Twilight.
      One of my favorite movies was Star Wars; you can read Tristan’s comment to see why. Another of my favorite movies, especially at this time of the year, is It’s a Wonderful Life. I love the message of the movie, that we affect so many people through the decisions we make each day, and we can choose to help or to hurt people in small ways all the time. George Bailey wasn’t perfect- in fact, he yelled at a teacher in the movie!- but he tried his best and helped a lot of people, and when he needed help, they were all there for him. That is pretty much just how I feel right now. I have tried to help people as best I can, and now, when Mr. Donofrio is sick, I have an army of people praying for and cooking for us! You know what, Connor, it IS a wonderful life!
      Watch that movie this week with your family if you get a chance. It’s old-fashioned, and in black and white, but it’s a great movie, especially for Christmas.
      I also like Home Alone because it is so funny!
      See you soon,
      Mrs. Donofrio

  30. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    I miss you so much I can’t wait to see you after christmas break. I think the best part is when you are really in to the movie and then the plot twist comes and you get to thinking how did it end up like this. But the hardest part is trying to come up with the being of the movie and the plot twist. What is your favorite movie Mrs.Donofrio?

    • Hi Tristan,
      I miss you and all you kids so much, too. I hope you are having a good end to the year and enjoying some special school days as Christmas draws near. I agree with you that the writer has the hardest job is writing an interesting script to begin with. No actor or director can make a good movie is the script isn’t good from the outset. Charles Dickens is the best, I think, at coming up with connections at the end of the story that had clues in the middle, if you were paying really good attention. One of my favorite movies is Star Wars. It was the first PG movie I ever saw, and I saw it with my whole family at the movie theater when I was eight years old. It had recently been released, and it took the whole country by storm! My parents thought it would be okay for us kids to see it, even though we were only 8, 7 and 4 years old! I know I sure loved it! I thought Han Solo was so funny, and I loved how Princess Leia didn’t take any flak from anyone. Plus, I though ObiWan was a great teacher. Have you ever seen Star Wars, Tristan? I think there is a new show on television based on the original movie.
      What is your favorite movie?
      Merry Christmas, Tristan. I will see you in a couple of weeks!
      Mrs. Donofrio

  31. Hi Mrs. Donorfrio!
    What a great post! I wish I was in middle school last year for that book. It looks like a good movie to, but I usually like the books better. That’s great new about the voting! I think we have a really good chance of winning. Back to your questions now though, I think the best things about making a movie are:
    1. Seeing what it feels like to have someone elses personality.
    2. Working with other people.
    3. Having fun with making the movie.
    Some hard things I think for making a movie are:
    1. Memorizing lines
    2. Getting the actions right
    3. Lighting perfect
    4. Have the cameras at the right points
    5. Being comfortable with your character.
    6. Getting the props and things to make it.
    7. Auditioning
    That was one list of a few things that would be difficult, but I think there is much more. What do you think are the hard things about making a movie? Do you think it matters who plays what part? Have you ever done anything to do with a movie?
    I hope you husband feels better! We all miss you!

    • Hi Lexi,
      This is an excellent comment! You really gave it a lot of thought, as evidenced by your detailed list. Nice job! One thing I think might be hard about making a movie, especially from an actor’s perspective, is if you feel that your character might say something or do something differently than the director wants you to do. Once you are “into the character” you might feel, “my character would never do that!” but you have to do what the director says. I think that is less of a problem with good directors who make good movies, but not all movies are well done, and sometimes this could be an issue.
      The only thing I have ever had to do with a movie is watch it! That’s why I am so excited to be a little connected to the behind the scenes action of Under the Blood Red Sun. I was just thrilled to hear from the producer, Dana Hankins, and then from the author, Graham Salisbury! It has been neat to follow their progress through their website and Facebook pages, and to have personal contact with them through our blog and through the mail! I can’t wait to see the movie. I am already planning a 1040s, Hawaiian-themed blog party! It will be super fun!
      I miss you kids, too, and my husband is feeling better. Thank you for asking. It is pretty amazing how fast a human being can heal after brain surgery!
      See you in a couple of weeks,
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  32. Dear Mrs. Donfrio,

    I think the hardest part about making a movie is the characters. Why because you have to make sure they know there lines. I think the best part about making a movie is when you actually get to make up any ideas that you want if you’re the writer. What do you think about when you see a new movie?

    • Hi Courtney,
      I think writing a movie would be fun, too, especially after all the writing is actually done and you get to see the result on the big screen. I guess I think about the story itself when I see a new movie. Is that what you mean? Sometimes I think about how realistic the situation or the dialogue is. Do you have a favorite movie?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  33. Dear Mrs Donofrio,

    That’s so cool that they are going to tell all there Facebook friends to vote for us.That movie is very exciting,I should watch it soon.I can’t wait untill the 6th grade gets are blogs ready.I never read that book before,I should get that for Christmas.We are missing you at school.What do you think about the movie or book

    • Hi Will,
      I really liked the book Under the Blood Red Sun. It is one of my favorite books to teach. The characters are so realistic; each truly has his/her own personality. Most of the characters, even the antagonist, Billy, are round. You see them from lots of different sides and develop an understanding of why they behave as they do, even when they behave badly. The story has a lot of history in it, and it is told from an unusual point-of-view, a Japanese-American boy during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In addition to the serious parts of the novel, it has some funny parts, too: Tommy’s grandfather is a real character and his friends, the Rats, are great fun as well. The whole book is well-written with lot of imagery and figures of speech. It would be great if you get the book for Christmas and read it before we see the movie as part of our reward for hitting 20,000 visitors.
      I miss you kids, too, and look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
      God bless you, and have a good vacation!
      Mrs. Donofrio

  34. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I loved the video! It was very interesting. My class and I have not read “Under the Blood Red Sun” with you yet, but it looks like a very good book. For me, the best part about making a movie would probably be having fun on the set with the actors. I think it would make me laugh to watch the scenes with them, and helping them memorize their lines. Also watching the whole movie being put together. I agree with you, Megan, that it would be fun watching the end result. The worst part about making a movie would be controlling everyone. It might be hard to get certain actors to do certain scenes, and have everybody listen and cooperate with you. Out of all of the books you have read, which one would you like to make into a movie, and why?

    • Hi Grace,
      I love two things about your comment: one, you read other comments (Megan’s) and referenced the comment in your writing. Nicely done. That shows you are really trying to learn as much as you can and not just finish the assignment as quickly as possible. I am proud of you. Two, you asked a really interesting question. A lot of the books I have read have already been made into movies, such as Gone with the Wind, The Help, Secret Life of Bees, To Kill a Mockingbird. I have read two other books that I love, and I don’t think they are movies. One is called Where the Heart Isby Billie Letts and the other is Wish You Well by David Baldacci. I also like a lot of Anne Tyler’s books, and some of her novels have been made into movies, but not all of them. I think you will like Under the Blood Red Sun. Perhaps since we will see the movie without reading the book, when it comes time for that novel, I will have your class read the sequel, House of the Red Fish. Do you have any favorite books that have been made into movies, Grace?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  35. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,

    I think the best part of being in the movie is being in the play and making the props . Now the hardest is memorizing the lines and trying not to mess up. You don’t want to mess up cause then you have to redo all the work you and the other people in the movie have to redo it all over. No one wants to do that cause its really frustrating mostly when you are all most done with the scene. What is your favorite part of doing a play or making a movie?

    • Hi Lizzy,
      I agree with you about how hard it is to memorize all the lines for a movie or play. That’s why I am so impressed with all you kids who do Venice Theater! It is a HUGE accomplishment! I never thought about how the other actors would feel about redoing a scene, but you are right again! I bet it would be annoying. Everyone involved in a movie has to give 100%. You can’t let other people carry the work for you, the way it happens in class sometimes, right? My favorite part of being in a play is trying to feel how the character would feel, to imagine someone else’s point-of-view. We read a book last year called Walk Two Moons, and it was about walking in someone else’s shoes, seeing life from his/her perspective. Doing that helps people learn and empathize with other human beings. That’s important stuff.
      Have you even been in a play before?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  36. I think that the worst part would be making a schedule that works for everyone and for the directior. I think that would be the worst part because nowadays people are generally very very busy and directing a movie would need a schedule that would work for at least most of the cast members and other people that help make a movie.

    I think that the best part would be watching it for the final time and see all the hard work, time, and effort that people put in come together.

    ~ Emma

    • Hi Emma,
      I think watching the movie at the end would be the best part of making the movie. It’s nice to see hard work pay off! Do you think people would make time in their schedules to make a movie? I think people in the movie industry understand the time frame of making movies and realize that if they want to be in the movie, they need to clear their schedules. Perhaps that is why some people stop making movies, though; they stop wanting to devote so much of their time to being on location and filming.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  37. Hi Mrs. Donofrio
    It is amazing that the people who made the movie are voting for our class blog, but that is not a big surprise because you are such a great blogger!
    I haven’t read the book yet but now I can not wait to read it.
    I think the hardest part of making a movie is probably writing it and casting it.
    I think the writing is hard because even if it was already a book you still have to go through and figure out what to change or add. I think the casting is hard because you have so many options to chose from. I think the best part would be seeing the movie come together in the end. Who is your favorite actor?


    • Hi Sophia,
      Thank you for your kind words about the class blog. It’s easier to do things well when you enjoy doing them!
      If you are looking for a good book to read over the Christmas vacation, Under the Blood Red Sun would be a good choice. We will see the movie soon as part of our blogging party to celebrate 20,000 visitors! Yahoo!
      I agree that casting would be hard. Do you think that the casting directors asks specific actors to audition, or does the director just announce auditions and see everyone who shows up? I used to have favorite actors, but I so rarely watch tv or go to the movies anymore, I’m not sure that I have a favorite.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  38. Hello Mrs.Donofrio,

    This was a really nice blog post, and I got to say its amazing that our blog got nominated. I haven’t heard of this book and movie, but they both sound very interesting. To me the best part of making a movie is filming the movie. Just imagine sitting in your directors chair watching the camera men film the actors and soon your movie will be on the big screens. The hardest part of making a movie would probably be choosing the actors for the parts. There would probably alot of people who would want to audition for the movie, and you don’t want to let anyone be upset that they didn’t get the part. If you were a director and made a movie, what would it be about?

    • Hi Kyle,
      I think you will like the movie when we see it in class; the book was outstanding. Did you happen to go to Graham Salisbury’s website when you were reading the post to look at any of his other books? He is a great writer, and he wrote the screenplay as well as the book, Under the Blood Red Sun. If I were to make a movie, it might be about the time I taught in a lock-up facility for juvenile boys in Boston. I worked there for three years. I have lots of interesting stories about the kids I taught there. Do you think you would ever like to work in the movie industry?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  39. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Even though I have not yet read the book the movie trailer was very interesting and made me want to go see the movie. I think that the best part about making a movie would be casting. You get to bring the characters that you have created to life. Your could ask anyone you wanting to be in the movie: Angelina Jole, Josh Dallas, or Jennifer Laurence. The list is endless!
    Although there is a lot of fun going into making a movie there are some difficulties. The hardest part of making a movie for me would be getting all of the sets ready. If studying for a couple of tests stresses you out, think about planning for 2 to 30 different sets. All in all ,I think that making a movie would be sublime. If you would have the chance to cast a movie who would you choose to be in your movie?
    Tell Mr. Donofrio I hope he feels better.

    • Hi Reanne,
      Thanks for your well wishes for Mr. Donofrio. He is definitely on the mend.
      I love the way you used a vocabulary word in your comment. Good going, Reanne! You used nice sentence variety, too.
      I never really thought about getting the sets ready, but you are right. That would be hard. I do think about the sets when I watch the Epiphany production at Venice Theater. It is a lot of work.
      I’m not sure who I would cast in a movie I made; it depends what it would be about, I guess. But if possible, it would be great if there were a part for me! I would love to be in a movie! Would you?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  40. I love you post Mrs. Donofrio, and I really like movies! Every Friday my family and I watch a movie that we all agree on, along with a T.V. Series we watch ever Monday called Scorpion. Any ways the best part about making a movie is to see what an amazing job you did and see how all your work paid of. The hardest part is doing all the art and special effects.

    If you want to know more about scorpion reply thanks.

    • Hi Jacob,
      It’s great that your family watches movies together. It’s nice to spend time all doing something you enjoy. I have not ever heard of Scorpion, so yes, if you’d like to fill me in more on another comment, that would be great! I agree with you that the best part is watching the movie at the end. Hopefully, when all the hard work is over, you are happy with the end result. There are so many different jobs in creating a movie, and you listed a couple of them: art and special effects. It’s nice to think that whatever your talent, you can probably find work on a movie set!
      Will your family watch a Christmas movie this Friday?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  41. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I can’t believe your blog was nominated. That is wonderful!
    The worst part of making a movie would probably be having to memorize all your lines. I am not very good at memorizing lines, so that would be hard for me to do.
    The best part of making a movie would be meeting new people, and getting to say that you were actually in the movie ( if it became popular). I would hope that the movie I was in would become popular!
    If you made a movie would you like it to be popular or quiet?
    ~ Brianne

    • HI Brianne,
      I also think memorizing all the lines would be tough. Do you think they memorize the whole movie at once, or do you think they do a little at a time, so that the day they memorize only the scene they are shooting that day. Theater actors need to memorize the whole play at once. I think that is really difficult.
      I can see pros and cons to being in a popular and a quiet movie. I think the recognition that comes with a popular movie is both fun and not-so-fun. In the beginning it would probably be neat to be recognized on the street and to do interviews and all of that, but perhaps after awhile, it would start to bother me to have people always watching and commenting on how I dressed, what I ate, and whom I was with.
      Do you have a favorite star that is in the public eye a lot? What do you think the benefits/detriments of being famous are?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  42. Hey Mrs.Donofrio! I loved your post, and the video! The movie looks extremely interesting . It also seams like a learning experience. The book “Under the Blood Red Sun” seams very good also. I haven’t read it myself, but I bet it’s great.

    I think the best part about making a movie would be when you finally finish, and you get to go see the movie yourself! That would make me feel highly proud of myself. Especially if everyone liked it. Wouldn’t that be awesome? The hardest part of making a movie is probably, well, making it. Even though I’ve never made an actual movie, I believe it would be pretty hard. How I know that is, because movies start being made way before they come out. As I said, I’ve never made an actual movie,but I have made an iMovie. They are very fun and awesome! You can change the color of the picture, and lots of other stuff that would take forever to explain.
    Have you ever made an iMovie? If you have, what was it about?

    • Dear Cooper,
      I agree with your appraisal of movie making, and I think it is true with all worthwhile endeavors; the hard part is the work involved, and the fun part is enjoying the final product. Making the dinner and cleaning the kitchen…not so fun. Eating the meal? Delicious! Practicing for hours and hours for gymnastics…perhaps not always fun. Winning the medal? Fantastic!
      I have made an iMovie before, but it was very short and done just so I could learn how it all works. I think I made it about Field Day, but I’m not even sure now. One of the things about all creative processes, including iMovie and real movies, is that there are so many choices that it often takes me a long time just to decide what option is best. Sometimes the thought of the time involved prevents me from forging ahead. That is something I need to work on.
      I think the movie Under the Blood Red Sun took about two years from start to finish; we will be able to ask the producer, Dana Hankins, in person when we Skype her.
      What iMovies have you made? After you make them, do you watch them with your friends and family? How long does it take you to make an iMovie?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

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