Taboo and The Big spell – Two new child welfare production on prime time TV
Well this weekend hailed “production psych” in the area of child welfare, with two of our productions on prime-time TV.
Taboo BBC 1 21.15 Saturday
Saturday night at 21.15 on BBC1, introduced a new genre for us. Production Psych was approached by the BBC to become involved in the new period drama starring the well renowned Tom Hardy. We were naturally excited about this opportunity and was keen to offer the production all the support they needed.
This drama included children and so duty of care was of paramount importance. The drama contained adult content and scenes which individuals under the age of 18 would be involved in. Owing to this, the assessment process was in-depth. The areas of consideration included capacity to give informed consent, level of age related maturity and level of parental involvement.
Parents have to be comfortable about the content which their children are involved in. The script will generate questions which the parent has to answer. The child will be exposed to areas which they never have before such as sex and intimacy. Terms and statements, as well as actions will be used which the child hasn’t witnessed before. This will need to be sensitively addressed by the parents and then through the psych process.
A major area of psych consideration is level of maturity. For example, a 12 year old could have the maturity of a 10 year old or a 14 year old. These children have to also attend school and so we have to be insightful about the potential of bullying. Is the child robust enough to manage the process, content and public scrutiny?
Thankfully all who we assessed passed our assessment and will be appearing on your scenes in the coming episodes. Keep watching
Taboo BBC 1 21.15 Saturday.
The Big Spell Sunday 20.00 Sky 1
This was a big production for Production Psych and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Often, we are involved remotely and so don’t get chance to be part of the team. For the big spell, I was invited on audition tour with them and was in the studio during the filming. What a fantastic team who really cared about the welfare of the children. I was also involved with liaising with Sue Perkins and Joe Lycett who presented the production.
The biggest areas of consideration for production psych was managing the child’s expectations and feelings of failure when knocked out of the competition. Children are desperate to please and have a huge sense of responsibility to do so. Anything falling short, they see as failure. For some parents, they are desperate for their child to achieve and sometimes the child reads their disappointment as them letting the parent down. Production psych had to work hard with parents and the children to manage this. I had to also liaise about editorial considerations on areas such as comfortable viewing. Children are prone to strong expressions of emotions (meltdowns as the parents called it) which are resolved in minutes with a parent hug and words of wisdom from psych. This must be editorially conveyed and not leave the viewer thinking that the child left the stage distressed and that this continued, when in fact 5 minutes after the child was running around backstage and laughing with the other children. I also helped members of the team, as to work with children is draining and as they had got to know the children throughout the process, they all became our winners.
When managing emotions with children its different than with adults. My years as the therapy adolescent lead at the Priory hospital taught me that. Offering therapy to inpatients on the adolescent ward taught me that what works for one child doesn’t work for another and so we have to be creative in our approach. Children easily become bored and frustrated so it is imperative to be creative and flexible. It is also useful to remember that emotion moves with movement and changing the environment. I recall laps around the studio and playing piggy in the middle with a stress ball joined by Joe Lycett. (taking health and safety into consideration of course) thus resolving any tears and disappointment.
It’s important to remember that the contributors must not leave with any negative psychological appraisals of their experience. I was keen to ensure that they held the view that they were all winners and that they had had a fantastic experience. All children left with new friendships with peers and endless tales of pool parties back at the hotel.
Please see a testimonial for this work in the testimonial section.
Production Psych New projects
Production Psych is currently involved in new productions. We have just completed 2 for CBBC, 1 for the BBC and 2 for channel 5. Details will be provided soon. We remain resident on Big Brother and The Only Way is Essex which we have done so for the past 5 years. Both of these will be coming back to your screens soon. We have lots of space so please contact us for your psych needs.