Working With Child Actors On-Set
As kids, we think our life is one big movie. From imagining fairytales to pretending to be a superhero, we feel as if the world is at our feet and we can do anything! Pure, unadulterated (pun intended!) emotions are at their peak during childhood. This is why winning performances by talented child actors feel so natural.
But behind every child actor’s successful performance is also a director carefully directing and maneuvering the child to give their best. Even working with professional adult actors can be a tasking job; so working with child actors and kids can quite challenging. But with a few simple tips, the job can be done stress-free.
Keep the Kid Engaged
If the child actor is especially young, it can be a nerve-wracking and anxious experience for them to be in front of the camera while a whole crew watches. It’s your job to keep them comfortable as soon as they arrive on set. You should be aware of what they’re feeling and work on keeping them engaged in order to get the right shots.
Don’t Act Out In Front of Them
Kids are hyper-sensitive; they can pick up on feelings very easily, especially if those feelings are of frustration and irritation. While it’s true that filmmaking can sometimes be an exasperating job, it’s important to hide any emotions of frustration and only send out positive energy.
Keep Their Needs in Mind
Like anyone else, kids have their own needs, including basic requirements such as food, water, breaks, and going to the bathroom. But also, kids can’t control their needs like adults can; watch to see if they seem distracted or irritated and ask them how you can help.
Work in Shorter Periods
Kids can’t physically or mentally withstand shooting in front of the camera for hours on end. It can be especially draining for them, affecting the work’s quality as well. In order to extract maximum focus and energy, you should consider working in shorter spurts, with breaks scheduled in between shots.
Cut Down Standing Around Time As Well
Just as continuous shooting can be draining, not doing anything for hours can be too. Don’t take so much time in between shots that they start to feel bored or disconnected. Give them breathers in between, but also keep them engaged in some way.
About Gavin Warren
Known for Two Wongs Make a White and upcoming horror flick The Descendant, Gavin Warren is a promising child actor known to be dedicated to the craft of acting. The talented child artist has a colorful portfolio already and is all set to become a big name in the industry!