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Jamie [12] as Gollum - Lord of the Rings - halfling project - first shootJamie [12] as Gollum - Lord of the Rings - halfling project - first shoot

If on a casting you have someone say 12 years old you always address and maintain contact with the parents. They in turn obviously ask any questions and check your feedback and online presence.

That done your ready to arrange the place date and time of the shoot.

With very young performer's I prefer at or as close to their home as possible. However on the halfling project most travel to a location.

The 16+ age group often do have contact directly - if and when parental consent has been established. More often than not parents of this age group keep a distance from the shoot itself but are there.

That said I welcome parents to be involved solongs in doing so it's not upsetting the shoot progress. Indeed they can be really useful and recently I added a small camcorder to the shoot kit they can use to shoot what's happening.

One of the big issues for many is what to include and not include in a shoot, and frankly that depends on the performer. The image above of Jamie is a case in point both he and his mother were quite happy with shirtless - but many parents are not, and that is understandable, but hardly practical in today's industry of advertising and drama.

My rule is everything we shoot must be justifiable and within context.

The shot of Jamie as Gollum [his idea by the way] would not have worked as well in more dressed costume as Gollum is associated with the film version.

No one should be in any doubt of the shoot context.

It is much harder with 17 years olds shall we say.

Here many are very independent, know their own mind and don't want to restrict their work potential. They therefore look at shoot contexts marked as over 18 as something they can do, and you can see their point often. 

It is important perhaps to make clear here the term "over 18" in relation to my work in no way is "adult" content - I would never allow it and do not shoot it. It simply means "only consent of performer required" and may include stronger themes or context suited to that age.


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