Kids Create The Vision: How We Brought Children's Concept To Life In This Campaign Video
From idea to execution, creating a video project can seem like an ambitious undertaking. Yet when we had the chance to work on a video campaign involving children, who were users of the featured service, where they were able to provide the concept for the video, it was a great opportunity for us to bring their vision to life.
I've known Mairi Damer from Word Up Communications, for a number of years however, this was the first time we have had the chance to work together. The campaign was for client, Child Protection Scotland. The goal: to reach out to kids who might need to use the service and encourage them to #SpeakUp
There was a difference in this campaign, the kids who have used the service were to take control. It was to be their vision, allowing them to develop the idea through their own experiences.
How Kids Developed the Concept
The video had to speak to kids, on platforms that they were using. TikTok & Youtube specifically. This helped direct the flow of ideas towards that centred around a dance. The dance would stop and a piece to camera would be delivered but there was a difference. All the performers were to be masked with an emoji. A smiling emoji. The central idea being what you see is not always as it appears. As the dance would stop, the mask would be lifted and the message strong. You may put on a happy face but don't be scared to Speak up, help is available if you need it.
After numerous revisions, impressive choreography and music selection we finally arrived at a concept that the kids were happy with. From there, it was just a matter of bringing their vision to life on screen!
Working with kids
Performing for most people does not come naturally. When the lights are on and the camera is on you it can be daunting. We approached a young persons theatre school in the West End of Glasgow to see if they would be interested in taking part. They said yes. A rehearsal day was set-up and the dance routine was developed and finalised with Mairi taking the lead and working through everything and finalising the script.
I was sent a recording of the rehearsal and was really delighted. The pacing and structure allowed for a straight forward shoot that could be broken into sections. This meant that no single take was going to be too demanding, I was wary of asking for too much from the kids.
From a production perspective we had decided to load an autocue for use on the day incase memorising the lines was too challenging. Of course, there was no need!
The Video Shoot
We chose to shoot at our new favourite infinity cove studio in Glasgow, Cove One Studios. A brilliant space that really had the wow factor when the kids came in and saw the infinity wall. Its bright white paint acted as the perfect backdrop to the yellow emoji masks and black hoodies that the kids were to perform in.
We started with the hardest part. Getting the timing of the wide shots right so everyone was in sync. Once these were done, everything else was flexible and could be shot ad hoc. It took a few takes but ultimately we got there. We were wary that things had to be relatively quick to keep energy levels up, the kids were fantastic.
We made sure to show them clips from the studio monitor every now and then so they could see how things were looking. It felt really important to keep them in on the process so they could see how it was going. I brought my edit suite with me also, to be able to start to piece things together, again letting them see the progress. There was an obvious burst of excitement and energy when they could see it shaping up which was amazing.
All in, the shoot took around 4 hours and topped off with some pizza to keep everyone happy. I was delighted that it was such a positive experience for all involved.
I was keen to have a high energy in the end video. The track selected was electronic and along with the robotic nature of the dance and theme of the script of all not being what it appeared, i began working with glitches and quick cuts to give it a music promo vibe. Given the platforms it was being delivered on it needed to be 60" exactly to fit into a single story so there was a bit of cutting to enable it to all fit into the time.
Along with the timings, we needed to produce both in Landscape and Vertical for mobile. This is becoming really common now with most productions looking for multi format delivery for various platforms and devises. Ordinarily it can be a case of simply resizing the footage but we needed to shoot aspects of this in a vertical format to fit the formation of the dancers into the frame.
The end result was a high energy, high impact but fun video that will really stand out online.
5 Top Tips when doing video projects with kids
Involving children in video projects can be a great way to get their creative ideas and energy onto the screen. Here are some tips for making the most of a video project with kids:
1. Give them a chance to be the boss. Let them take charge of writing the script, directing the action, and choosing the music. This will help them feel invested in the project and ensure that it reflects their vision.
2. Make it fun. If the children are enjoying themselves, it will show in the final product. So try to keep things light and playful on set.
3. Encourage Participation. Get everyone involved in front of or behind the camera, whether they’re acting, singing, or dancing. This will help create a more cohesive finished product.
4. Keep it short. Kids have shorter attention spans than adults, so try to keep your videos on the shorter side. This will help hold their interest and make sure they don’t get too bored during the process.
5. Be patient. Things will probably move at a slower pace when you’re working with kids, so just relax and go with the flow. It’s all part of the fun!