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“I think Bob loves working with kids. The first thing he did when all of our kid actors arrived is to have everyone call them by their character names. Because, in a sense, that's how we see them,” explains Mark Johnson. “I think that's given a real looseness to the production and it's a wonderful enterprise. The number one goal for all of us is to make a good movie, but the implied goal is that everybody have a good time in the process.”

“Bob was really great about picking up on the traits the kids brought,” adds producer Philip Steuer. “For example, he made Benjy the cook when he saw him juggling salt and pepper shakers. He really tailored the script to the strengths of each actor.”

“I have a background in improvisational comedy writing, so I was always looking for possibilities that hadn't been on the page,” explains Dolman. “Ryan Malgarini, who plays Benjy, is very physical and so he is now the cook. Other things like that seeped in on the way. Once Ryan said the French word I gave him, he had so much fun that I said ‘you are going to be French.’ He doesn't know anything about being French, doesn't speak a word of French, but decided to play it like he was French. Things like that evolve.”

“You couldn't see everything in the auditions. Austin Rogers, who plays Adam Simms was cast as a kind of morose boy that I thought should just stand in one place. But, it turns out he's a great physical comedian,” reveals Dolman. “When you put him on a bicycle, he can make you laugh. When he dances, he can make you laugh. So I added things when I saw the strengths in any of them. They are all quite malleable. In children, you don't see all of their strengths until they loosen up a little bit.”

The boys really responded positively to Dolman’s changes. “I think I'm a lot like my character Donny because he's a quiet, cowardly kind of kid,” explains Alexander Agate. “He's kind of a nerd. Mr. Dolman actually said to me, ‘I invite you to create your own character, I just want it to be very natural for you.’ So, Donny's basically just like me.”

“In order to direct these kids, I had to let myself have fun,” adds Dolman. “I did want to come from their place, understand their energy, so we played a lot. This was like summer camp for all of us and for all of the crew and all the parents as well. I think


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