That’s a good sign, but what to do now?
You always want to make a great first impression, and with video it’s a little more difficult than just taking a photo.
First of all, make sure you have the same mentality as when you are taking pictures – film your child several times and delete the ones you don’t think are good. If a child is not experienced in doing video, then the first few times are going to be “warm-ups” until you get something that is worth sending in. And just because a child is a good performer, has had experience on stage and is outgoing, it doesn’t mean they are going to be good on video, being in front of a video camera is a whole different ballgame. And most likely if an agency is requesting video, it is for talent representation, as opposed to only just printwork.
Step 1 – the “slate”
Practice with your youngster first, so they have an idea of what’s expected. At the beginning of every video, an actor says their name, age and where they are from, it’s called the “slate.” This needs to be said while looking directly into the camera, and with a warm, friendly confidence. Easy? Good, then you have step one down. Except that you need to keep the video camera running for the next step.
Step 2 – Asking questions to your child to show his/her personality.
Again, not so easy. One word answers are not the answer here…in other words, try and ask a question where your child cannot answer in just one word. For example, ask “Tell us about Grandma’s house…” instead of “Where were you this wknd?” which will give a more colorful answer, as opposed to only just the answer of the 2nd question, which will most likely be “Grandma’s House” or “at home.” Nothing too radical, as the person requesting the video just wants to see more of what the child looks like, and if he/she has a natural aptitude for the camera. Just make sure you child acts like his/her self, but with an appropriate amount of energy, which I’m sure won’t be a problem when filming a child. Just make sure they do not have too much energy, you don’t want people to think he/she is hyper.
The video should be at least 30 seconds, and no more than 2 minutes. Usually agents know within the first 15 – 20 seconds if they are interested in representing a child or not. Yes, that fast. Plus, if you send one that’s too big of a file, it may not get opened.
Good luck! And if you get representation from following this process, I would love to know so we can write a Success Story about it:
Do you have a CuteKid™?