Alex Zane and his 5-year-old daughter Matilda are bringing iconic movie scenes to life in a brand new way. The daddy daughter duo have posted dozens upon dozens of homemade photo re-creations of famous films, with Matilda in the starring role. Sometimes her giant stuffed fox makes a cameo appearance as well.
Their Instagram page, Tot for Tot Remakes, has become quite the viral sensation and is getting a lot of love online, thanks in no small part to the incredible attention to detail put into every image.
Like many parents, Alex was forced to think of creative ways to provide entertainment for his family during the early days of the pandemic, including an indoor (toy) car wash. When Matilda suddenly jumped on top of the Cozy Coupe, Alex immediately had a vision of Michael J. Fox in “Teen Wolf” and then instructed her on how to perform air guitar before snapping a photo.
Alex was “quick to admit” he’s not a professional photographer in his interview with TODAY. But luckily, this lawyer-slash-father-slash-movie-nerd had a friend who was. He sent the snapshot to Andrew Kelly, who sprinkled enough digital wizardry to make this happen:
Voila! Toddler Wolf. And thus, Tot for Tot Remakes was born. Trust me, it only gets more intricate from here.
In an exclusive interview with Movie Metropolis, Alex broke down what goes into the process. Turns out there’s just as much going on behind the scenes in the re-creation as there was in the original film.
First, there’s the movie selection, which a) can be taken in three quick photographs, lest the 5-year-old star loses her focus and need to be “bribed back to set,” and b) needs to be confined to very simple actions like sleeping, being dead, screaming, standing or sitting still. Because, again, 5-year-old.
When it comes to budgeting, Alex told TODAY that they spend $5 or less on any props. In this “Wizard of Oz” photo, for instance, the dress is made out of napkins. Talk about resourcefulness.
Then, there’s actually taking the photos, which hopefully are “decent and funny enough” to get Kelly’s seal of approval. Kelly will then add backgrounds, effects and all those magical photo editing things, and send them back to Alex to post for all the internet to enjoy.
That might sound simple enough, but Alex told People it consists of “probably 350 texts back and forth for each recreation.” The things we do for our art!
For Alex, this passion project not only became a special bonding opportunity with his daughter, it also helped him remember “how enjoyable life can be when you apply some time and creativity to anything.” He hopes that their posts might offer a “distraction for a few people to help during these difficult times.”
Alex added that the two favorites so far have been “The Shining” and “Bridesmaids,” the latter especially because Matilda loved the dress and wore it for two days straight.
When I say Alex and Matilda have re-created a ton of movies, I am not exaggerating. Listing titles such as “E.T.,” “Love Actually,” “Titanic,” “Star Wars,” “Free Willy,” “Lord of The Rings,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Great Gatsby” and “The Matrix” (twice!) doesn’t even scratch the surface.
I would have been very sad if Matilda hadn’t attempted “Matilda,” but the Zanes did not disappoint.
Who knows what kind of movie magic Alex and Matilda will create next. For sure they’ll be having fun while doing it.