Over the years we have had the pleasure of filming various commercials which involved both adult and youthful actors. Today I would like to talk about the actors that are even more youthful than teenagers. Children. From 12 years old to even months old, every commercial we have shot has had to cater to very specific needs and a thorough understanding towards the children involved in the production. For example, during our Sunwing Vacations Shoot in Punta Cana, we filmed a spot that catered towards the Kids Club. For that particular shoot the ages ranged from 4 years of age or so and on. How about for the Our Kids Network. These children started from the crawling stages of life to learning how to speak. Let me just say that we are proud and privileged with this honour of filming children. Our PGP Family actually has children of our own. Jason Palmer 3 beautiful children and so does Claudia & Ed. So to truly understand children isn’t difficult at all. The real skill comes down to balancing a tactful approach to filming exactly what you need and having the children ready to interact with our cameras. The following are some tips that we’ve found useful when filming with children:
- Establish a relationship of trust. If you are to engage into a commercial shoot with children involved, you must break the ice. Now yes, I understand that this is a no brainer. All directors must establish this stage right from the get go with all actors. What I am talking about is a more thorough relationship with children between the director and the actors. Some children may understand a bit as to what’s going on but be mindful that you are just a stranger to them and they have a lot on their minds that needs attention. So make sure they feel comfortable with you. That they can trust you. Once you establish that relationship, then proceeding with the shoot will become much easier as they trust you and you are now their friend.
- Being Ready. Depending on how young the child is, the cameras and crew must be completely ready. So in case we have a cranky unexpected child or perhaps a just fed baby, there will only be a short window of opportunity before the shots become impossible to capture. So let the child be comfortable and in their realm of happiness until all framing and all crew is ready to shoot.
- Be understanding. Things happen unexpectedly as it tends to happen with children. We have had it before where a child aces their audition but when it comes down to the actual shoot, things completely change. What if a baby needs to be fed right away and the mother needs to act quickly before the scheduled shoot time. So be understanding as children‘s needs can differ from one shoot to another.
At the end of the day, it is truly helpful that we are all parents here at PGP Studios. Having this experience has given us the edge and compassion to understand the needs of the children while filming on set.