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SOUTHINGTON, CT — The latest movie reproduction by a Southington family trying to raise money for Feeding America was welcomed to Earth by one of the stars in the original.
Only this time, Will Smith reverses roles.
That's right, Will Smith co-stars in Quarantine 2020 Production's YouTube re-creation of "Independence Day."
According to Dan Presser, the mastermind of the videos along with his daughter, Maddie, the encounter with Smith was certainly close and quite unexpected. Presser said he was initially contacted by Smith's production company, and the plan was to set up a video conference to discuss a segment for the Snapchat series, "Will Smith at Home."
"So we gathered as a family for a Zoom conference, connected, and there was Will Smith," Presser said. "He said he liked what we were doing, but had one problem with it — there weren't enough Will Smith movies."
So Presser, the ACC Network producer for ESPN, and Smith, the actor, devised a solution. Smith stood in front of a "green screen" and did his part, and Presser inserted it in the final production.
The most entertaining sequence is Maddie punching Smith as the Alien in a reversal from Smith's role in the original "welcome to Earth" scene in "Independence Day."
Here it is:
(Quarantine 2020 Productions)
The videos' roots date back to last spring and the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Presser said he and 4-year-old Maddie were finding themselves "bouncing off the walls." Maddie was home from preschool and, with college sports on hold, Presser was on the sidelines at the ACC Network.
Presser teamed up with Maddie to re-create a scene from the movie "The Lion King." Presser and his wife, Beth, shared it with with a few friends and relatives, and the popularity began mounting.
Soon Quarantine 2020 Productions became a YouTube channel with scenes re-created from movies such as "Pretty Woman," "Forrest Gump," "Field of Dreams," "Braveheart" and "The Shining" and shows such as the "2020 Emmy Awards."
Presser said he then figured: Why not try to raise some money for a charity with all those views? He chose Feeding America. Presser then created a donation page for Feeding America, which he has attached to the videos.
As of Monday afternoon, the total raised was $55,218.
Smith had something to do with the updated total. On his show, he presented donations of $10,000 from Shutterstock, $2,500 from Banana Republic and $2,500 from Janie and Jack.
Smith even put together a tribute video for the Pressers:
(Quarantine 2020 Productions)
Here's a peek at the Zoom conference:
This story is part of Patch's new partnership with Feeding America. Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 54 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.
(Patch Media Partner/Shutterstock)