Toy Store was a video labor-of-love. Created because of the unfortunate limitations on schools during the height of COVID-19. As a result, Ms. Leigh’s 5th-grade class of 2021 would be the first in over 10 years to be unable to perform the school’s Classic Toy Store play live for their parents. So a plan was quickly hatched to record nearly 100 students’ performances individually, hoping they could be edited back together for a simulated group performance.

I was grateful to ensure this memory was not lost by virtually working with “technology challenged” (their words) teachers to shoot, direct and upload each individual child. Then over a few short weeks, I reconstructed the audio, additional video, and sound effects to best recreate the lost live performance’s magic. We capped it all off with a YouTube Premiere that kids, parents, teachers, and extended family around the country could watch. Making it the most widely attended performance ever of the play.

The result was even sweeter when Ms. Leigh announced her retirement at the end of the school year. Knowing those kids didn’t miss out on the experience made it all worth it.