Curator & Art

TRASH (Thieves of Hope) or working with minors in film.

On November 18, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend the premiere of the film Trash (Thieves of hope) director Stephen Daldry, in theaters Cinesa Projections Madrid. After two hours of film, I left the room with a pleasant feeling in the stomach by the exciting experience. It was then that I decided to focus this article on such important issues as working with minors actors in film projects. Not all industry professionals accept projects that have to work with children, but why? Regardless of paternal instinct of each, we must recognize that this work is subject to determinants that make it especially difficult and stressful. When certain types of situations arise where it requires more professional effort, children may not always be a guarantee. Consider that for starters, a child must always be accompanied by an adult in production costs that means spending the double of money when hiring a transport service, catering, accommodation, etc. For one character have to keep two mouths (at least).


With regard to contracts, the child must also be represented by an adult (parent or guardian) consents sign and all that will be necessary for the project. There is a script, casting, an actor and a contract on the table now what? Parents or guardians of the minor must negotiate with the production conditions of the contract, including all aspects addressed therein (image rights, salary, etc.), which also always be subject to the rules and regulations imposed by institutions and agencies present child protection in the country where it is to make the shoot, and of course, the child must accept these conditions, which is not always easy because a strictly protective father can’t accept certain clauses that the minor, being adult, had accepted. Mom, I want to be an artist (do you let me?).


Furthermore, minors must have constant monitoring and supervision, because is the producer the responsible for the project and would face possible legal prosecution by the minor. This is something that obviously also happens with older actors age, but come on, we all know that a man of sixty does not feel the urgent need to climb a tree during breaks from filming. So how much smaller the age of the actor, more protection and monitoring need, this can even lead to incur additional costs to production if required of professional caregivers. And what happens on particularly long shoots with school classes? If the actor can’t go to a training center, study center should go to the actor, so it will be necessary to hire tutors to impart the relevant materials to the school year of the child. Anyway, this will be done as a last resort, because the best solution is to adapt the filming dates in which there is no school and children have holiday.


To prepare for her role, an actor needs to do many trials before. A further complication of the character, more time is usually required. If we, the adults tend to lose patience when something costs us, or we choked, a child (in the worst case) can want to abandon the project. That is why the director should be very careful, and even talent, when performing these assays with actors, motivating them from the beginning, without falling apart and making the experience especially fun. Remember that children may not be as strong emotionally as adults, although there are always cases pleasantly surprise us and show us otherwise. You need to know how to deal with them, convey the idea of the character well, and that under no circumstances be bored. Imagine an actor on the verge of tears because he wants to go home instead of laughing how the script says, it would be a disaster and this is one of the biggest risks when we work with minors. We must not forget that in a film everyone should be professionals, including actors, so that if they are to get into a mountain of garbage (as happens in the film Trash), they have to do it.


Finally, and for give a different tone to the article, I wish to emphasize that minors in a film always provide extraordinary positive things. Their resistance can help pull people when there are moments of rest and the inevitable laziness, for return to the fray. Their creativity is often a great help to the principal to imagine the scene. And his joy can improve a bad shooting day with just a smile, getting that this particular job become in one of the best experiences for all team members.

This article is dedicated to all children who have ever worked on a film project. Thank you for your smiles.


Andrea Guerra



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Esta entrada fue publicada en 27 noviembre, 2014 por en Andrea Guerra, Behind the cameras, Cinema, Contributors y etiquetada con , , , .