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Tips on Filming Your Teenagers

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 24 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Filming With Teenagers Video Networking

Once your children hit their teens the idea of Mum and Dad pointing a camera lens at them in the same way as they did when the children were younger is more likely to have them running for cover. The days when they would be happy for you to film them playing school sports, acting in the school play or capturing spontaneous funny moments whilst on holiday are most likely to be long gone.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have no interest in home video making. On the contrary, technology and the media have been so transformed by computers and the internet, along with mobile technology that, what may come as a surprise to some parents, is teenagers’ propensity to want to make films even more. Why? Here are some of the major influences in what provokes teenagers into capturing events on film and how you can get involved and inspire them.

Blogs and Videologs
People have, in general, become much more interested in making videos for others to watch and teenagers are no exception.

Facebook is a social networking site that has become extremely popular, especially over the past year or two, and is extremely popular with teenagers as a way of keeping in touch with their peers. Many of them will produce video diaries and upload them onto their personal Facebook space for other friends to view, so whether it’s a holiday, a sports event or even just a video of them ‘messing about’, they’re keen to share these experiences with others, so parents have the opportunity to suggest ideas for blog videos and to help in filming them occasionally.

MySpace and YouTube
MySpace has, like Facebook, become a popular phenomenon, especially amongst older teenagers who are seeking to promote a given talent. For example, you might be involved in a band or are an aspiring actor and the likes of My Space and You Tube are an ideal method of showcasing your talents to a much wider audience in the hope of your particular talent being picked up by professional talent scouts.

At the very least, it allows you and your talent exposure to viewers all over the world and not just to those in your neighbourhood who know you personally. As a parent, you are far more likely to get involved in video projects with your teen if there’s a real sense of purpose to the project as opposed to simply wanting them to pose in front of the camera whilst you’re on holiday.

In other words, the days of filming frivolity tend to dwindle once kids become teenagers so, if you want to engage them, you need to be able to give your filming some meaning and these social networking websites offer an ideal opportunity. A MySpace site is also a great way of parents and teenagers to keep in touch with friends and relatives who live in another part of the country and even abroad to share videos of themselves with loved ones far away.

Supporting Causes
Making videos when you’re a teenager is not solely a domain for actors and musicians, however. Many children begin to feel a real sense of injustice in the world and can become passionate about certain causes as they become teens.

Videologs affiliated to particular causes can enable teens to raise their concerns and promote ideas or to lobby politicians, for example. From a parent’s perspective, your maturity can often help them to make videos which are more adult in tone, helping your children to reach out to a much wider audience.

So, in essence, whilst the axis of making family videos tends to turn when your kids hit their teens, never has there been more opportunity and a willingness by teens to make videos, be that with a camcorder, a digital camera with recording capabilities or via their mobile phones.

Yes, some of them will still want their achievements and family memories preserved in the traditional way – things like leaving high school, those limo rides as they all go out to celebrate their last days of high school, graduation ceremonies, sporting achievements etc. However, parents who still want to capture their children’s teenage years will be far more successful if they actively get involved in the kinds of issues and interests that teenagers want to make videos about.

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