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How to Direct and Film Children

30th July 2018 by CH

They say you should never work with animals or children, but filming with kids isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

Along with the compulsory performance licenses and guidelines you need to follow, here’s some extra tips to help you prepare.

Make Sure They’re Entertained

Film sets can be interesting and fun for kids to be a part of. But there’s a lot of waiting around time, whether it’s waiting for kit to be set up or just waiting for their turn on camera. It’s not unusual for your talent to be hanging around on set for a while.

To prevent frustrated and tired child actors, keep the filming time to a minimum and if they’re really young, make sure there’s a chaperone or parent with activities like colouring books and plenty of refreshments to keep everybody happy and relaxed.

Cut Back on Set Up Times

Try to avoid long filming hours. Remove unnecessary set up time. Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin from BBC’s Outnumbered would keep their shoots fast and flexible by using less lighting, no makeup department and other stages that are usually associated with film production.

Make sure you cover all of this during your pre-production process and have a good plan in place from the start.

Directing Children

Most video Producers and Directors will be very personable and have lots of experience working with different types of people, ages and backgrounds. And more often than not, if the child is used to being in front of the camera, they will be happy enough to take direction and want to improve their performance as much as you want them to.

Kids are pretty smart and can be quite attentive if you speak to them correctly and make sure actions are simple enough. Dialogue is a slightly different story, but if you have patience and a good attitude on set, you’ll be surprised by the outcome.

One thing we find particularly effective is to speak slowly and physically act out what you need them to do, so they can see what you want. Whether that’s a simple movement, an expression or a line of dialogue, it’s a good idea to be clear.

Our Latest Videos Featuring Children

Enough talking, time for some action. Here’s a couple of recent examples from some of the projects we’ve worked on that involved filming with children.

Make sure to follow our tips and you can enjoy a great end result, as children can bring a unique energy and emotion to every video.

Thames Water – Sibley Family Video ‘Why Pipes Freeze’

Royal Caribbean – ‘Cruise From Southampton’ Video

Still need a helping hand when it comes to filming with children? We’re only an email away.

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