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How to film a #DadAwesome Video

After 5 days with Emerson while Mom was away, I became very confident in my #DadAwesome skills.  I reinforced some of my beliefs about being a good dad and found ways to overcome parent challenges.  One of the most frustrating things during those 5 days was not Emerson the daughter; it was Emerson as a co-worker!

Working with a cute and stubborn child can be draining on the soul.  What should take you 2 minutes to film and go down the road, could take hours or even days to catch her in the right mood to say that line or do what you need her to.  I ran across this multiple times during the 5 days of filming!

Here is the main thing to remember while filming with a child:

You are on their time and schedule!  If the shot is not working, don’t force it.  Wait until they are in a better mood and more cooperative.  Set down the camera and do what she wants for a while.  When the time is right, and she is ready to take orders, you will know!

To help with your first #DadAwesome video with your cool kid(s), I have compiled a list of tips that will guarantee reduced frustration and increased Awesomeness!

  1. Planning: As I mentioned in the Dad v. Daughter Race Video post, planning is important to expedite the process.  You have a very limited window each day where your child is in the perfect mood to film.  Plan out your shots and set up the room or area before they are awake.  You should have an idea of the scene progression, what toys you need at what times, and what shots you have to get with each setup.  I would go as far as writing these down in order.  Don’t worry about a ton of detail since it will likely change as you go, but make sure you get all the basic shots for each scene/setup at once.  It would look something like this: Plan your video shots
  2. Be Flexible: The planning phase should give you a good idea of what shots you need to tell the story, but kid awesomeness can’t be planned!  When your kid says something funny or goes rogue on a scene, just roll with it and keep filming!  I planned out nearly everything in each of my videos, but all of the best parts came from Emerson running into a scene when she wasn’t supposed to or doing something unexpected!  Here are a few examples:
    1. Em takes my glasses off: 0:57– The first time I said the line “Let’s Race” and looked at her, she ripped off my glasses!
    2. Em runs funky: 2:17– I was filming another scene when she came around the corner and ruined it, but created an awesome part of the final video!
    3. Em checks on Daddy: 2:45– The plan was for me to lay on the ground and give a speech to the camera.  Emerson had other ideas!  She saw me on the floor and ran over to check on me then for some reason turned around and ran away.  This unprompted scene was by far the most commented on!  Completely unplanned and brilliant!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5q3NPY-A9M
  3. Keep the Cameras Running: You never know what you will catch them say or do!  Keep your camera running to catch those pieces of gold!
  4. Don’t Force It: As I mentioned earlier in this post, don’t ever try to force a shot with a child!  If they are not doing something you want them to, forcing them will not only fail but it will turn the rest of the day into a tantrum for both of you.  Instead, stop everything and do something they want to.  Playing or going outside for a while will get them back on your side and in a good mood. Good Mood is key for video
  5. Distraction is Key: There will be times where you need just one more minute of attention or for them to sit still (very difficult).  Make sure to have their favorite toy or a healthy snack on hand to get that extra few minutes of cooperation.
  6. Have Fun: Why else would you do it!?  Have fun with the process and make sure they do too.  Be silly and play as much as possible during filming (from the How to be #DadAwesome 4 Steps).  The time you are spending creating the memory of recording the video is more important than the video end result.  These are the moments you will look back on and get teary eyed….. trust me…. sorry, I got something in my eye…..

I am an advocate of going all out on any project, and my videos show that.  But regardless of how crazy you get with the filming or setup, the memory is most important.  Take these tips and create your movies big or small!

Take Action Today

Don’t delay!  Think of a quick 2 or 3 scene video to record with your kids and grab your phone or camera!  Doing a few scenes and putting them together shows effort, and you will appreciate it later.  For more tips on programs to help, check out the 4 Things to Remember When Filming in my Race post.

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