ACTION FOR CHILDREN – ‘CHOOSE CHILDHOOD’ CASE STUDY

BRIEF:

Action For Children is a UK children’s charity committed to helping vulnerable children and young people, and their families throughout the UK.

At the beginning of the year they began working on the launch of their new campaign ‘Choose Childhood’.

“Children don’t choose their lives, but we can choose to act”

The goal of the campaign is to urge the government to Choose Childhood with a national plan for children.

To kickstart the launch of the campaign, Action For Children needed a powerful and emotive film to spread their message in an impactful way.

APPROACH:

Having worked with Action For Children in the past, we already had a great understanding of the importance of the charities work. We teamed up with Beetle TV and established the values and goals of the film, and then Director Sam Huntley was introduced to the project who had a vision to take our audience on a journey from violence and danger of a household blighted by domestic abuse to a space of security which allows children to survive.

Our approach for this film was to make it feel as real and authentic as possible. To make this happen, we conducted a casting session where we would find our Hero Child Sam Dowdy who won us over with his powerful and emotional audition. From this, we were then able to select the rest of our talent and create a strong cast to see this film through.

All of our crew involved in the shoot were all experienced with working with children, which meant we all understood the importance of making the filming process as fun and relaxing as possible and therefore prevent them from becoming too tired or burnt out.

We found that operating with a small and nimble crew, and using as much natural light as possible, we were able to shoot with minimal fuss which meant the children were able to stay focused and have a fun experience.

When it came to picking locations, we needed to find somewhere that felt generic and nondescript, but could still offer us visual variety. We decided that London would be too distinctive and recognisable on camera, and the location needed to feel more like the midlands, however we had to take into consideration the travel time of the children working on the shoot. These locations guidelines led us to Kingston, Surrey, which was only a stones throw away from London, and had enough visual variety and textures to pass off as the midlands.

OUTCOME:

With a combination of strategic thinking, a passionate and dedicated crew and a talented enthusiastic cast, we were able to give this film the justice it deserved and kickstart the launch of the ‘Choose Childhood’ campaign.

https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/how-to-help/support-our-campaigns/choose-childhood/

CREW

Director: Sam Huntley

Producer: Rupert Bryan

Executive Producer: Sally Alekna

Director of Photography: Adrian Peckitt

Production Assistant: India Sheridan

Casting Director: Louise Collins

First AD: Ben Loyd Holmes

Camera Assistant: Robyn Skead

Grip: Samuel Ogunlana

Focus Puller: Matt Ferrant

Steadicam Operator: Matt Allsop

Stunt Coordinator: Peter Pedrero

Sound Recordist: Majer Christian / Joe Worthy

Photographer: Simon Rawles

Photographer’s Assistant: Angela Brasier

Hair & Makeup Artist: Ruby Lonsdale

DIT: Thomas Hellier

Runner / Child Supervisor: Roxy Haylock

Runners: Ollie Wade Samuel Mines Sara Kloc

Production Company: MPH Film / Beetle

CAST

Hero Child: Sam Dowdy

Supporting Child One: Joseph Lagu-Shaplland

Supporting Child Two: Sasha Anderson

Girl on Wall: Nicole Karpovics

Child Playing Football One: Tilly Setterfield

Child Playing Football Two: Kieren Logendra

Child Playing Football Three: Raphael Blackwood

Child Playing Football Four: Jai Hyatt

Child Playing Football Five: Zac Woolfson

Arguing Man One: Justin Samuels

Arguing Man Two: Paul Marlon

Stunt Coordinator: Peter Pedrero

AGENCY

Account Director: Harriet Bemner

Creative Director: Lyndsay McMorrow

Creative Director: Andy Kelleher

Account Executive: Taylor Godwin

Agency: Arthur London

POST-PRODUCTION

Editor: Toby Conway-Hughes 

Edit Producer: Beanie Goldsmith 

Editing Company: Marshall Street Editors

Editor: Ben Clayton MPH Film

Edit Assistant: Thomas Hellier MPH Film

Colourist: George Neave 

Colour Producer: Alannah Currie 

Creative VFX Company: Coffee & TV

Sound Design & Mix: Jack Hallett Phil Bolland

Audio Producer: Lou Allen

Sound Studio: Factory Studios

Music Composer: John Clarke 

Music Supervisor: Sian Rogers

Music Production Company: SIREN Music

Voiceover Artist: Harvey Farrell 

Voiceover Casting Director: Ology Kids Casting