Thursday, 29 July 2010

How we made our adoption film

As we launch our new adoption film, BAAF’s PR and; Media Manager, explains how the concept for the video was developed.

If a picture can tell a thousands words, then video can tell even more. With an issue like adoption, that carries so many emotions, it is the perfect vehicle. Yet making a film about adoption isn’t necessarily new or groundbreaking. Therefore we asked ourselves how we could bring a new lease of life to the format, to ensure we captured people’s imaginations.

While many films of this type use a string of adoption experts in ‘talking heads’ format, we though it could be more powerful if we simply had the children talking. After all, adoption is a service for them. We were lucky enough to know a family who had adopted three children, all of whom have flourished. The children represented a mix of those who traditionally wait longest – sibling groups, older children and boys. Through their stories we could show people that adoption isn’t about new born babies ‘given up’ for adoption, but about children with complex backgrounds and a range of needs.

I also really liked the fact that each of the children, even the two sisters, had such different stories to tell. And their unique personalities really shone through in their interviews. They had the courage to speak honestly about their problems – from jealousy and rivalry, to bickering and fighting. But there was also no doubt that they loved each other very much, and they helped each other through any problems.

When making a film about adoption, you are often faced with the problem of how to illustrate life before the adoption. There may be photos here and there, but they never show the whole picture. So we came up with the idea of using animation. It was the perfect tool as it gave us images where we had none, and was an easy solution to protecting identities.

The feedback we’ve had from our film so far has been really positive, with orders from adoption agencies pouring in. However we hope that it isn’t just professionals who use it. We want it to become a valuable resource for our Adoption Champions, who will be running events in their local communities during National Adoption Week. They can use the video to illustrate the real voices of children who need permanent and loving families. We believe it will have a powerful effect on prospective adopters.

To become an Adoption Champion yourself visit our website.

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