Even Paul Feig Loves This Homemade 'Ghostbusters' Trailer Starring Middle School Girls

Gwynne Watkins
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

A group of middle school girls have taken on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man — and set a pretty high bar for Hollywood’s all-female Ghostbusters remake in the process. Student directors Emily Silva, Isaac Dreeben, Lizzy Embick, Mia Ventola, Sidney St. Ives, and Taryn Osborne re-created the 1984 Ghostbusters trailer as part of the Real to Reel program at RAW, which offers free after-school arts classes to kids in Lynn, Massachusetts. Re-named “GhostBOSters” to show their hometown pride, the new film is a shot-for-shot, gender-reversed remake of the original film promo (Watch the side-by-side comparison below.)

“They made their costumes by hand. Everything you see is 100 percent them,” Chris Gaines, director of the Real to Reel Film School, tells Yahoo Movies. Gaines conceived of the trailer remake project as a way to get his first-year filmmaking students excited about the art form. “It’s really eye-opening to see how much goes into those two minutes,” he says. The group spent weeks narrowing down potential trailers and settled on Ghostbusters and Rocky III (and anyone who enjoyed Sidney St. Ives’ performance as Ghostbusters’ Bill Murray should definitely check out her Mr. T.) With Gaines’ help, the kids shot both trailers in two-hour blocks over the course of four months.

Any reference to director Paul Feig’s upcoming all-female remake was purely coincidental. “I can’t say that we were thinking so much about gender; it just happened organically that the girls wanted to be the Ghostbusters, and this kid Jack wanted to be Janine the receptionist,” says Gaines. “And why not, right? They never once were like, ‘Well, I think that character should be played by a boy.’ Which I think speaks a lot to this younger generation: they just don’t see things like that.” 

The kids’ dedication shows onscreen in their fantastic lip-synched performances and inventive, no-budget special effects. Even Feig was impressed. "This is awesome," tweeted Feig, who’s currently shooting the Yahoo original web series Other Space. As for the stars of “GhostBOSters,” they have yet to realize what a big impression their trailer has made. “All of our kids, they’re not allowed to have their phones in school,” Gaines says with a laugh. “They have no idea this is happening.”

Just remember, kids: When someone asks you if you’re a filmmaker, you say yes.