Monday, 27 March 2017


A few months ago I was presented with the opportunity to create the storyboards for a student project at the University I had graduated from. Having always storyboarded my own projects, and used to drawing what I could see inside my own mind, I jumped at the chance to help visualise someone else's film.

Everybody sees things differently.

We imagine, we visualise in different ways. Maybe because our brains are wired differently, maybe because we all rely on different experiences or the things we've read. A wide shot to one person might be a close to another; or someone might prefer a high-angled birds eye view, whilst another a fish-eye lens effect. There are endless ways to visualise a story and we are all unique when it comes to this.

So being tasked with aiding in the visualisation of someone else's film is by no means an easy feat. One must be able to see inside the director's mind, understand their vision and translate that into something that will reach and interact with their audience. From my little experience there will be times when the director may have difficulty in conveying their thoughts and will seek suggestions and alternatives to the shots they have planned. Or they may know exactly what he/she wants and will be able to describe it to you shot for shot.

Working on 'The Chess Player' I was given the privilege of working with a director who knew exactly what she wanted, and was able to communicate her ideas for the film. It was on an extremely wet and windy day that we decided to meet up to go over the script and visualise the storyboards together. Packing my pens and pencils in my bag I set out on the train into the bustling city of Birmingham, amidst the stalls and lights being put up for the forthcoming infamous German Christmas Market, and headed straight for the library.

Nicoleta (the director) then presented me with a sketchbook with all her storyboard sketches in, explaining how she wanted each shot and what she was trying to portray in each scene. This was like a breath of fresh for me, and I was soon able to set to work on drawing up her ideas.

For the storyboards I used pencil, 0.1 and 0.3 fine line pens and a grey felt-tip pen (having not yet purchased any digital drawing software). Usually I would have drawn up four boards to an A4 page, but decided to draw six for this project. Occasionally, when I was unsure about a certain shot, I would message Nicoleta to confirm how she wanted it framed or what movement the camera was taking, to make sure her idea was being fully communicated. There were about 15 pages with a total of 83 individual boards. Once completed I met up with Nicoleta and handed them over. Job done; all I had to do then was wait to see the finished film.

I very much enjoyed working in this way - being able to draw up a frame from a rough sketch and converse with the Director. With an understanding of what she could see I was able to draw out her idea, not my own, and it was interesting to gain insight into her visualisation process.

You can view the finished film here: The Chess Player

Thursday, 16 March 2017

REVIEW: Doctor Who Series 10 trailer

Andddd the Doctor is back! New places, new companions, new time zones, new characters... what could possibly happen? Quick-cut clips with a good mix of comedic and dramatic glimpses has set the world's Whovian hearts beating once again in anticipation for Series 10, and sadly the last series with Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor.

The new trailer bounded onto our TV screens on Monday night, jam-packed with crazy special effects and a preview of the many adventures that the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his two companions, Nardole (Matt Lucas) and newbie Bill (Pearl Mackie), will encounter in the new series.

So, what have the BBC and Stephen Moffat got up their sleeves for us this time? Let's take a look:

1. There will be pyramids.
Could these large triangular landmarks be the infamous classic Egyptian Pyramids? Perhaps. But with a luscious green forest on its doorstep, chances are this adventure will take place sometime in the future or even on a different planet. Pyramids have popped up in the Doctor's timeline before, notably in The Dalek's Master Plan, and more recently The Rings of Akhaten. Whether it's Pharaohs, Osirians or planet-eating entities it seems that danger will inevitably be lurking nearby. Looking back at Series 4 with Tom Baker, the Doctor also encountered pyramids in Pyramids of Mars. Speaking of which...

2. The Doctor will definitely be going to Mars!
Yes, that's right. We're going to Mars again - only this time lets hope we don't encounter any water... Plus the monster we're going to meet looks suspiciously like an Ice Warrior, except perhaps with a bit of a twist this time. Maybe a female Ice Warrior?  *coughcough* Mark Gatiss. It's time to bring back some old friends.

3. Evil Emojibots?
They look a bit like the Handbots from The Girl Who Waited, except smaller and with cute little faces. But these are no ordinary faces. No, these are emoji-faces, and whilst these little robots look adorable with their little thumbs-up happy faces, it soon becomes apparent that they also have murderous-skull angry faces too. Too many faces...

4. A big spiky door.
A door that leads where, we wonder? If you look closely enough there's some familiar patterns - Gallifreyan text perhaps? Could the Doctor be revisiting the home of the Time Lords once again, or are there even darker forces at play here?

5. Old Sonic?
This sonic Nardole has caught looks rather familiar? Could it be the same model used by Tom Baker in series four? This sonic was actually used throughout the 70s and 80s by Pertwee, Baker and Davidson. It looks like series 10 will be taking a few trips down memory lane. Which leads us to...

6. Mondasian Cybermen!
The Cybermen are back again! We may have encountered them last in Series 8's Death in Heaven, but these aren't the modern reboot. These original, creepy Cybermen with cloth faces were last seen in the 1960s alongside William Hartnell in The Tenth Planet, and have since produced many bizarre and sinister variations. The Cybermen will appear in episodes 11 and 12 of Series 10 directed by Rachel Talalay. As these monsters are his favourite, it would seem the series finale will be a fitting farewell for Peter Capaldi.

7. We've landed in 1814? Get in!
Though we originally thought we might get a bit of Victorian action, it appears the Doctor and Bill have landed in the Georgian era. And there's snow too. Could this be one of the River Thames Frost Fairs? The Frost Fairs were held in London when the river froze over between the 17th and early 19th century, and in 1814 it was said that an elephant traveled across the ice under Blackfriars Bridge! Whatever this episode holds in store we can be certain that the Doctor is going to punch someone. And hasn't the Doctor taken someone else to 1814 before? *coughcough* A Good Man Goes to War...

8. Freaky, wet-Dalek woman?
There seems to be something a bit slippery about this girl? Could be the fact she seems to have materialised completely out of water. But what is most shocking is the one word she speaks, the one word that fills the Whovian soul with excitement and dread: EXTERMINATE! So, are we looking at a race in league with the Daleks, or is she more of a Dalek-hybrid?

9. Bill is awesome.
Pearl Mackie is vibrant and fresh in the two trailers we've seen so far. Her name is Bill Potts, she serves chips, and she thinks the Tardis interior looks like a kitchen. She'll definitely keep us and the Doctor entertained. Bill seems quite a bubbly character who's full of curiosity. Here's hoping she doesn't talk the Doctor to death.

10. Missy is back!
Thank goodness. This eccentric timelady has been missing from our TV screens for far too long. Having last appeared in 'The Witch's Familiar' she's left an awful lot of questions behind that need answering. Like how on earth she managed to escape from Skaro surrounded by Daleks? We'll just have to wait and see.

One thing is for sure, Series 10 will be full of action, a good dose of Earth's history, aliens, monsters, heroes and villains. We're all in for a bit of a bumpy ride...

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 15th April 2017.
Photo Credits: Google, BBC One, The Guardian

Sunday, 12 March 2017


'When ships were made of wood, men were made of steel'

In 1789, Captain William Bligh was cast adrift with 18 crew members on the Pacific Sea, having lost his ship to his mutinous crew. What happened afterwards is a legendary maritime feat of endurance and adventure. Now, 228 years later, Channel 4 has helped recreate that voyage with a crew of 9 men who intend to retrace and recreate the epic tale of the Mutiny on the Bounty.


What is not mentioned, at least in the first episode, is why Bligh and his loyal crew were cast adrift in the first place. Captain Bligh was notorious for being a hard man, often too demanding and abusive towards his crew, and dealing out harsh punishments. It was this that led Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian and other crew members to act and take control of the ship. This documentary however, provides a more sympathetic view of Bligh's character and the hardships he faced after being forced off his ship and left for dead.

Made up of experienced seamen and complete novices, the modern-day crew faces the unpredictable wide oceans of the South Pacific in a replica 23-ft boat with Captain Bligh's diary as a guide to their journey. The Captain's words are wonderfully illustrated through 3D black and white images, establishing key words in calligraphy text to re-enforce the historical account, and blue lens flares that carry through the theme of the sea.

The documentary is narrated by Philip Glenister, whose firm yet sincere tone brings back memories of a conscientiously responsible captain who faced a mutiny himself - Captain Smollett of the Hispaniola in the Sky mini-series: Treasure Island.

The audience is given insight into each crew member's personal background, their qualifications and the role each will play on board. Following the ghostly footsteps of the men whose swell they are sailing in, the crew experience and show how Bligh and his men would have suffered at the mercy of the tides and yet pulled together for survival.

In charge is Ant Middleton, former Special Boat Service sniper, who many might recognise as being the hard, no-nonsense instructor in SAS: Who Dares Wins. His leadership and determination provide him with the best foundation and expertise as a sea captain, knowing how to keep the men working and willing to follow commands.

At sea however, and not under a military operation, Ant's comfort zone may be stretched into unknown waters with the responsibility of leading a non-military team - especially as some of the men are not at all used to taking orders.

Another interesting character study is Chris, who, having spent time in prison, had an epiphany that it was his destiny to sail the sea and bought a boat to live on after his release. But Chris' metal is tested when the voyage truly gets underway, revealing his unwillingness to participate as a team player as well as his difficulty in obeying orders. Having succeeded in isolating himself from the rest of the crew, Chris shows himself to be irresponsible and undisciplined with a complete lack of care for his own safety - or perhaps simply ignorant of the dangers that surround him. Yet despite his attitude, and knowing some of his background, it is difficult not to root for this man and hope that he will somehow turn his outlook around and learn a few lessons throughout the voyage to better his character. It will be interesting to see if and how he changes, and how his tenuous relationship with the rest of the crew develops.

During the voyage the men filmed themselves - sometimes talking about their personal experiences, sometimes logging their thoughts, or just having a laugh. These go-pro like  shots are an unsettling ghostly reminder of In the Heart of the Sea in which Captain Pollard and his crew are left adrift after their ship is destroyed by a giant whale. Of course, there are no whales in this tale (so far), but the striking resemblance of a crew sailing the wide open ocean in a tiny vessel trying to survive against the odds is there all the same.

The crew were also accompanied by two cameramen, Dan and Sam. Occasionally the camera takes the audience out of the boat and above into the skies to reveal the wider picture, and we are presented with beautiful birds-eye shots of calm waters, hovering above the small rocking boat on its brave adventure. And yet all the while my technical mind was wondering - how on earth were these men achieving these shots? Were the cameramen sitting there in that tiny vessel flying a drone? Surely not? And how were their camera batteries going to last the entire voyage? Were they using solar power? Not likely.

Turns out there was a support ship sailing just behind them. Although a reality experiment, the producers couldn't possibly have allowed the voyage to take place without some sort of supervision lest they should encounter a real disaster. The risk assessment involved in setting 9 men on a 4,000 mile voyage across the South Pacific would already be imaginably lengthy.

'I need everyone to stay vigilant. If we say all hands on deck, everyone's up, okay? Cause when we go through it there's gonna be serious times ahead' - Ant Middleton, Captain

Provided with enough rations to last them 60 days, the men must resolves themselves to make the most of what they have. With only hard biscuits made of flour, water and salt, and a bit of dried beef to survive on it is no wonder some of the men lost up to 4st! Finding extra food would be a vital challenge.

But this documentary is not all doom and gloom. Amidst the crashing and swell of the South Pacific waves and the relentless rain, the men attempt to make light of the situation. Rishi in particular, the Quartermaster, proves himself to be quite the comedian upon referring to a sunrise as the 'teletubbie' sun! Of course there's also the classic manly banter, discussing the inability to pee and being sick. You may need a strong constitution if you wish to ensure the swear words that frequent these vast waters - before the episode has barely begun the air is as blue as the sea!

After a few stormy nights the men are left a little shaken, but their respect for each other has grown considerably. The heights of the waves, even on camera, are daunting, and on day 7 the crew are faced with even more problems: trench hand - for those faint of heart feel free to look away now. Personally this brings back memories of soaking wet walking boots and the harsh wind and rain of the Brecon Beacons on my Gold Duke of Edinburgh - I fully sympathise with these men who must endure for worse circumstances.

As the crew finally reach Bligh Water, a stretch of sea filled with high and low rocky islands, the men are filled with joy. There's hope again, and the uplifting orchestral score crescendos as dolphins are spotted off the port side; the crew's cheers and shouts of delight paint a heartening picture of the freedom that comes from sailing the seas.

We've seen mere glimpses of the trials that lie ahead for these men, and it's hard to imagine what it will be like. But the real bond between the crew and the audience is struck in one lasing image of two men clinging together in the black of the storm, hands clasped tightly around the other, eyes shut tight as they hope to make it through. Putting aside the banter, the childish attitudes and a bit of fooling around, Mutiny is not only a story of adventure packed full of hidden treasures and dangers, but a tale of 9 men who must pull and work together in the hopes of making it to the end of their voyage. It tells the story of humanity as its best and its worst, revealing the truths of our natural instinct to survive no matter the cost.

Commissioning Editor Rob Coldstream said: 'Mutiny is a hugely bold and ambitious challenge in its own right, with jaw-drop locations and stunning visuals - it's also an exciting new way of getting under the skin one of history's great adventure stories in a way that feels genuinely distinctive.'

Mutiny continues on Tuesday 14th March.
Watch the trailer here.

Photo credits: Google, The Guardian, Channel 4

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Kids & UFOs: Conclusion

To conclude:

The style of stop-motion animation is extremely flexible. If the objects are being moved instead of being animated or manipulated it means that they can go anywhere within 2D space. The simple 2D drawings themselves are childlike in appearance but also in essence as they represent the most basic form of animation.

Because of the physical involvement of having to use ones hands and fingertips to move every item bit by bit, frame by frame, it is like child's play. The animators hands set the tone of the film.

Everything was done in a way that let the children steer the direction of the film by giving them open questions they were free to interpret as well as letting them express their ideas about the subject through art. The film depended entirely on their responses and the activities were carried out in a way that ensured they were comfortable and happy during the process.

The initial audience for this film was children and the different animations, style and colours should reflect that. The simplicity of the design, though technically complex, should appeal to children and adults alike - or might at least awaken the childlike imagination inside all of us.

You can view the finished film here:

Kid's & UFO's: Digital Drawing Process

For the main body of animation, extra drawings were created using both pen and paper and then digitally drawn in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. After the drawings were made, the images were scanned into a computer and drawn over and coloured.

The fill tool was used for the main bulk of colour, and then shading added. The drawings on the left were for the 'What Do Aliens Eat?" part of the film.

The original idea was that the food drawings would appear as a tally chart every time the item was mentioned in the interviews. A 'ping' sound would then accompany it.

However after second thoughts, another idea was had:

'A trolley in a supermarket moving along and the items falling off the shelf into the basket - perhaps with an alien pushing it down the aisle?'

So, a supermarket aisle was drawn on half an A3 piece of paper. A single food item was drawn on each shelf. 

Once the image was scanned in and opened in Photoshop, each item was coloured in and then replicated on multiple layers. Spaces were left on the shelves so that the individual items could be animated. The trolley was drawn and scanned separately.

The images were then sent to the animator.

Kid's & UFO's: Title Sequence

Testing and creating the title sequence:

To achieve a childlike style many different drawing styles were looked at to see which would appeal most to children and young adults. The detailed ones were fascinating to look at, however placing too much detail into a stop motion animation would clutter the screen. Simpler drawings with black outlines - similar to the style of Rachel Ryle - were more suited.

Sketches were made and the colouring was tested. Felt-tip pens created too harsh a tone, whilst colouring crayons provided a softer layout that was pleasing to the eye.

The title sequence for 'Kids and UFO's was made up of 147 different photographs. The basic idea was this:

A girl in a rocket is launched into space from her back garden, flying past stars, planets, aliens and ufo's. The rocket then flies away to reveal the title of the film: 'Kids and UFOs'.

Drawings were created on paper, coloured in using crayons and cut out. These were then placed on a coloured background (light/dark blue and black towels) and moved frame by frame. This took about 9 hours in total.

After this, the photos were colour graded and then placed into Premiere Pro. Each photo was 00.04 seconds long. A free 'match strike' sound was then downloaded and music (Pacific Sun by Nicolai Heidlas) placed over the top as the rocket sets off.

Please see here to view the title sequence:
And here for the Behind the Scenes:

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

What are UFO's: Title Animation Influences

The title sequence for the film 'What Kid's Think about UFO's' will consist of paper stop-motion animation, in which objects will be drawn onto paper, cut out and photographed frame by frame.

Here are a few of the influences that inspired this:

1. Paper cut-outs - The drawings in this video are childlike and drawn with pencil. This is the effect the film title sequence should achieve but by adding a little extra colour and vibrancy, it should appeal more to children as well as make it more fun and engaging to watch.

2. This film uses coloured paper cut-outs in the form of animated origami. The paper unfolds and refolds to create different shapes and sequences. Added fast paced music also helps to engage the audience and moves with the piece.

3. This animation uses tiny objects to create a short narrative such as pennys, pins and different fabrics. The use of small things adds a theme of innocence to the film as well as emphasising the 'childlike' theme.

4. This animation is far more complex. The filmmakers worked to create three-dimensional sets and props made completely out of paper and then animated them frame by frame. The use of human hands in the animation again adds to the 'small objects' theme.

5.  This film also uses human hands as the main source of moving the paper. Each time the hands touch the paper it spurs on an action - whether it be that the paper changes shape or colour. The film is also extremely colourful and vibrant, which draws in the audience further.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

What are UFO's: The Boy's Interview Process

The team decided to interview a range of children between the ages of 7 and 18 upon realising that a diverse choice would provide various answers and give more insight into a child's mind and imagination.

The team went in expecting the younger children to be more imaginative and flamboyant than the older kids. But what happened in the interviews turned out to be something quite different.

Each section was approached in a specific way:

Boys Brigade
   The Boys Brigade is a uniformed organisation that is made up of 4 sections:

  • Anchor boys (5-8 years old)
  • Junior (8-11 yrs)
  • Company (11-15 yrs)
  • Senior (15-18 yrs)
To cover a more diverse range of children, the team decided to interview boys from the junior and company sections, along with two senior members. The boys seemed quite happy to be interviewed, though some were shyer than others.

Since aliens and space is seen as a 'boys subject' it was thought that these kids would have much wilder and more imaginative ideas than the girls that had been interviewed. However, this wasn't quite the case.

The boys were interviewed in pairs in the hope that this would allow them to bounce ideas off each other and draw the audience in further, as sometimes putting a kind of relationship on screen (such as friendship) can captivate the viewer more than one individual would be able to.

The interviews took place with an adult volunteer present. The process was simple:

  1. Ask the boys if they knew why they were being interviewed and what the interview was about.
  2. Explain the film to them; what's included, how it will be put together etc.
  3. Have a small chat whilst the camera's being set up.
  4. Start the interview.
If an interviewer stands up and is above the interviewee's eyesight, then a sense of intimidation is instilled. So for the younger boys (ages 8-14), the interviewer sat on the floor at the side of the camera so that they were level to, or below, the boy's eyesight. 

The questions were asked one by one and the boys were given time to think before giving their answers. Some talked to each other and the team to explore their ideas further.

The most common ideas from the boys were that:
  • Aliens came from really, really far away
  • They eat metal or planets
  • The boys would take them to play laser tag, or to Nando's
There was a large age gap between the youngest boys (8) and the eldest (aged 18). In this case, the younger boys were more imaginative whereas the older ones seemed to reply more on logic and scientific facts and conspiracy theories.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

What are UFO's: The Girl's Interview Process

The team decided to interview a range of children between the ages of 7 and 18 upon realising that a diverse choice would provide various answers and give more insight into a child's mind and imagination.

The team went in expecting the younger children to be more imaginative and flamboyant than the older kids. But what happened in the interviews turned out to be something quite different.

Each section was approached in a specific way:

Guides: GirlGuides are a uniformed organisation for girls only, aged 10-14.
   The guides were a little shy at first, but after the introductions were made they were quite happy to sit down with the team and have a chat whilst doing the first activity.

   They enjoyed creating the drawings of various UFO's and aliens, and discussed the topic in depth with their group. This allowed the team to get to know the girls more before the interviews took place.

   Each girl was interviewed individually - which after further thought proved to be a disadvantage as they worked better together. This info was then taken on to the next set of interviews. The girls sat on tables whilst the interviewers stood spaced out a little behind the camera. The Guides were quite quiet and seemed to lean towards scientific fact rather than their imagination.

Rangers: The Rangers are the senior section of GirlGuiding and are aged 14+.
   The Rangers were much more open than the Guides and weren't afraid to voice their opinions. The documentary was briefly explained to them and they were able to run the drawing activity themselves whilst the interviews took place.

   After learning that the interview process would run much more smoothy if they were in pairs, the Rangers put themselves into groups and created their own rota. The girls were sat on chairs whilst the interviewers sat on smaller chairs slightly behind the camera. Many of them had crazy ideas about UFO's and were comfortable being in front of the camera.

Brownies: The Brownies are the second youngest section of GirlGuiding, aged 8-10.
   Knowing that the Brownies were much younger than the Rangers, it was important to put extra strategies in place to put them at ease. Due to the busyness of the evening, the team wasn't able to do any activities with the girls.

   For the interview, a Guider was asked to stay and the interviewers sat on the floor slightly in front of the camera. The Brownies were asked if they knew what they were doing, were told what the documentary was and a simple chat was had before the recorder was pressed so that they could get a feel of how the interview would work.

   Some of the girls were happy to sit and talk, whilst others were extremely quiet. The Brownies interviews were approached in as friendly a manner as possible and everything was done to make sure none of them felt uncomfortable.

To conclude: It is best to do activities with the group as a whole first to allow the filmmakers to integrate and mingle with them, putting both parties at ease with the other.The drawing activity could take place either before or during the interview process, and that the best results come when the girls are interviewed in pairs.
NOTE: Some of the younger girls had never heard of aliens or UFO's.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

What are UFO's - working with children

How to interview children and young adults


There is much taboo about working with children in film. As W.C. Fields once said: “Never work with children or animals.” Sometimes they are too lively or energetic for a director to cope with; they may have short attention spans; they are unpredictable.

"The audience always looks for the adorable young child or animal - they steal every scene. "many stars will never appear with animals or children in the belief that no adult can compete" has been cited in print since 1931, in a newspaer article indicating that this film tradition carried over from the stage."
       - Barry Popik (2012), "Never work with children or animals" (Show Business Adage)

But something special happens when you place a child in front of the camera, when you let them take centre stage and unleash their imagination. In taking away the pressure and the script, a filmmaker can use that unpredictability to create something wonderful.


"Consideration of the child's welfare, physical and emotional, should be at the heart of the production."
       - Channel 4, Producers Handbook, Working and Filming with under 18's guidelines.

As not all children are good at fully expressing themselves or are able to voice their ideas, it’s important to put various strategies in place to help them. Such as:

1.    Cutting up information into bite-sized chunks so that they can easily understand them and work through the interview one step at a time without using long, complicated words.
2.    Making the atmosphere comfortable, and breaking the ice before doing the interview. Sometimes an initial meeting can take place so that the child can get to know the interviewer and vice versa. Creating common ground and a sense of trust is essential.
3.    Being friendly.
4.    For younger kids using word/image cards; letting the child create their own visuals.
5.    Avoiding leading questions; asking open-ended/indirect ones that allow them to expand on their thoughts.
6.    Making sure the interview doesn’t last too long, and asking simple questions that are age specific.
7.    Familiarity - Making sure the interview takes place somewhere the child is comfortable and familiar with. It’s also important to let the child become comfortable in front of the camera; letting them play with the equipment or showing them how it all works would be a way to do this.

 "Rather than interviewing children at a clinic or office... meet children in places that are already familiar to them (e.g., homes, day cares, classrooms). When they are accommodated, youngsters are less likely to feel threatened and are more likely to engage..."
       - Effective Interviewing of children, Unique Children and Circumstances, Page 94/95.

8.    Giving them the opportunity to ask questions and expand on the subjects; listening more than talking.
9.    Consent - Making sure that you always have the child’s and the parent’s consent before any interviewing/filming takes place. No filming of children under the age of 16 should take place without parental consent.
10. Ensuring that the child understands what they’re involved in and being asked.
11. Sitting at eye-level with the child; not above them.
12. Always making sure that there’s someone else in the room that the child knows; whether it be a parent/guardian, teacher or youth leader.
13. Using first names.
14. Being aware - Ensuring the filmmaker is aware of any behavioural, mental or health conditions the child may have so that they can undertake the appropriate strategies. Just because a child is a certain age doesn’t mean that they are at that developmental age.
15. Addressing issues - Any issues the child or parent may have, any worries about problems that may arise, should be identified straight away. If the interview topic might reveal any problems, the parent should always be aware of them before giving consent. If interviewing a child about sensitive subjects, it’s important that the filmmakers understand the child’s background and that there are no issues that could potentially arise.

“A child's resilience and vulnerability can vary significantly depending on factors such as their age, gender, maturity, cultural, ethnic and religious background as well as their previous life experiences.”
-        Channel 4, Producers Handbook, Working and Filming with under 18’s guidelines.

Measures should also be taken to assess a child’s suitability, whether through initial meetings or with the child’s carer (i.e. parent/guardian, teacher, youth leader etc.) If the interview could impact on the child’s mental/emotional health, the filmmaker must undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential harm depending on the child’s age/gender, religious/cultural backgrounds and life experiences.

      Barry Popik (2012), “Never work with children or animals” (show business adage). Available at:
      Channel 4, Producers Handbook, Working and Filming with under 18’s guidelines. Available at:
      Effective Interviewing of Children: A Comprehensive Guide for Counsellors and Human Service Workers. 1999. Michael Zwiers. Patrick J. Morrissette, Unique Children and Circumstances, page 94/5. Available at:
      News Lab. (2009) How to interview children. Available at: Maria Keller-Hamela. Nobody’s Children Foundation. The Child Interview: Practise Guidelines. Available at: