I'm working on a spec pilot for a one-hour drama. It's got kids as regular cast members. Is this a problem? The show is going to be a serious procedural with major character-driven arcs. This is not "Seventh Heaven." What do you think the youngest age should be for these kids?
There are, of course, shows starring nothing but kids. Lots of shows have kids as regular characters. Kids are harder to work with than adults, but they are not a production obstacle. (And you can pay them in peanut butter and jelly!)
That said, the younger they are, the less time they can spend on set, but more importantly, the harder it is to get acting out of them, and the less they can contribute to the story. Unless there's a good reason for it, I'd stay away from child characters who are younger than 8. (Which means they'll be played by stunted ten year olds.)
The real pain is animals. Anything you want a dog to do, except run out of frame, requires specific training. Hard to do on a TV schedule. And cats? Forget it.
This isn't a comment for this post but a request for you to check the link to your blogfu. I've been trying to check it out since yesterday and it's not connecting.
I'm writing a short with a class of schoolboys in it at the moment. Thanks for this post, now I'm going for 12 year olds instead of 8 year olds. And I'm REALLY glad I didn't go with my original idea of a classroom full of dogs.
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