The prospect of having to work with children on a film set could be a rather daunting task.
Time is of the essence, both in terms of being able to complete all of the required filming, but also to be able to productively work with the little ones before their minds wander off the job which can make securing the perfect shot even more difficult.
However, working with kids doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might think if you manage to master the basics of communicating with children on the film set.
So let’s take a look at some of the top tips for effectively managing children during filmingto ensure that you get the best of the children’s acting skills during filming.
Engage outside of the film set
A great tip for directing children on a film set as suggested by Timid Monster is to try and get to know the child before the cameras start recording.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be during rehearsals, but the ultimate goal is to try and engage with the child as much as possible and find out more about their interests as hobbies.
Ultimately this well help to build up common ground with the child which means that when it comes to filming, the child will feel more familiar and confident with you.
Promote positive energy
As part of engaging with the child, it’s essential that you try and make the film set a“warm and friendly environment” as highlighted by Andrew Nackmanwho received a Master of Fine Arts from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and who directed “Paulie”inbackstage’s article looking at tips for filmmaking with child actors.
Being on a film set for the first time could be quite daunting, particularly for a novice actor, therefore, try and make the child feel welcome by showing them around the set and introducing them to the other members of the film crew.
Explain to them exactly what’s going to be happening, but try and keep it fun and encouraging.
Take the shots as quickly as possible
As we’ve already mentioned, time is of the essence when filming with children, therefore, the quicker you can get the shots you need, the easier the process will be.
It doesn’t take long for kids’ attention spans to dwindle, resulting in them becoming disengaged with the task which could run the risk of you not quite getting the best shots that you might have been able to get.
Being organised will certainly help to ensure that the filming doesn’t take longer than it needs to. Therefore, try and make sure that everything is ready for when the child steps in front of the camera and avoid them having to stand around waiting for long periods of time.
Send in the professionals
To help make the process of working on a film set even easier and ensure that you make the most of the production time, why not consider sending in an expert team of baby wranglers?
Filming With Kids, for example offer a unique service to production companies, filmmakers, agencies and photographers in order to help give them give them a helping hand in getting the best out of the children they’re working with.
Getting expert assistance from professional baby wranglers could help to save you a lot of time as well as help to ensure that you’re happy with the shots during filming.
Don’t be afraid to use rewards
Kids can respond really well when there are incentives such as treats in place. Perhaps try speaking to the children’s parents and ask them what sorts of things would be appropriate whether it be food related or activities to show appreciation for their hard work.
In between shots, try and arrange plenty of quick breaks and downtime for the kids, even if it’s just a quick play time outside or a fun game, it will help to keep the kids fresh and engaged.
Lastly as suggested by Videomaker, it’s important that you thank the children for their hard work, ask them what they thought about the day and make sure that they leave the film set with a smile on their face!
Hopefully, you’ll have found these top tips for working with children on a film set useful! Just remember, getting to know more about the kids outside of rehearsals and filming as well as maintaining a friendly and welcoming manner will help go a long way in being able to manage younger actors effectively and get the best out of them.