And now some good news, thanks to West Stockbridge 12-year-old
WEST STOCKBRIDGE — And now, for some good news: a 12-year-old girl and her film producing neighbors team up to make people smile.
Fiona Clary is a big fan of the mockumentary television sitcom "The Office."
"I absolutely love 'The Office.' I think I've watched every episode," she said in a recent phone interview.
Her favorite character is Dwight Kurt Schrute III, portrayed by actor Rainn Wilson. But it's actor and Bay State native, John Krasinski, who plays Schrute's nemesis, Jim Halpert, that's inspired Clary's latest project to help stave off stay-at-home boredom.
On March 29, Krasinski launched "SGN: Some Good News," a YouTube channel devoted to sharing exactly what its title indicates, featuring Krasinski as himself in the role of news anchor, checking in with other "Office" mates, celebrity and civilian guests as correspondents. The format went viral, with the first episode logging some 17 million views and generating all sorts of responses and fan art.
"At first I wanted to literally do an 'Office' skit, then I decided not to do that. I decided I liked the idea of making a news show," Clary said.
Asked why she wanted to something like this she said, "Doing this during a really hard, sad time, I thought it would be fun for people in the Berkshires, a cheer-up. I just want people to be cheered up by it I guess," Clary said. With the help of her mom, Sheela, Fiona crowdsourced some good news via Facebook contacts and friends.
"I just chose what I thought was funniest," Fiona said. She also persuaded her siblings to contribute to the spoof.
The Montessori School of the Berkshires student then drafted a four-page script, which she's getting school credit for, and partnered with her media savvy neighbors — director George Cox and producer i'in Purwanti Cox of Outpost Studios — to help produce the show. For Cox, the project sparked his own childhood nostalgia of running around yards with friends and a camcorder, making home movies.
"I thought it was a great way to address coronavirus morale. It spoke to my heart and I was so excited about it actually," he said. "I felt giving her the red-carpet treatment was something that I would have loved to have when I was growing up."
Cox was also encouraged by Fiona's approach. "She handed me a script like a client would. I think it's really impressive. When I was 12, I was an idiot," he said.
Fiona and her family built a set akin to Krasinski's "Some Good News" desk, and the Outpost team of two set up a camera and some lighting to film the first episode of "SFN Some Fiona News" in the Clary family's basement.
"We all wore masks, and luckily the camera had a long lens," Cox said.
"Some Fiona News" debuted on YouTube on May 1, since garnering a respectable 700-plus views.
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