Putting together a live production for elementary-age children can be challenging. You may consider filming the next show you produce. Here are eight steps that can help in your process. 

1. Choose Your Show

Consider three or four options for your students to perform next year. Look at the possible cast members and determine how many roles are available. Select the one that will work best for your situation. Pay the licensing fees and make sure that video recording is available. 

2. Create a Filming Plan

Put your rehearsal and filming schedule together to share with those who will audition. You don’t want to find out that one of your leads will be out of town during a crucial time in your production. You may decide to video a scene or two each week or wait to film after rehearsing all the scenes. If recording throughout the semester, give yourself plenty of time to edit and shoot scenes again.

3. Hold Auditions

A few weeks before you start rehearsing, it is time to hold auditions. They can be held in person or you might have students send auditions via video. What a good way to determine how they look on camera.

4. Gather Parent Volunteers

Having other adults to help with your production will make a huge difference to you. Get as many volunteers as you can. Be clear with assignments and follow up regularly on their progress. 

5. Build Movable Scenery

Once the set design is complete, it is time to start building. Hopefully, you will have a parent that is a great carpenter. If you build your set on swivel casters with lock features, it will make moving the scenery so much easier. 

6. Give Rewards 

Students love incentives, and having treats for those who memorize their lines or arrive on time will increase their good behavior. We all like to be recognized when we do something right!

7. Be Flexible

Filming allows you to adjust when needed. One of your lead characters may get ill and be absent the day you scheduled to shoot his main scene. Be prepared with a backup plan that you can quickly rehearse and video that day instead. 

8. Have a Viewing Party

Once your recording is complete, it is time to celebrate with a viewing party. Put out some red carpet and ask everyone to dress up for their movie premiere. It will help the experience be even more memorable. 

Be sure to have fun along the way. There will be challenges that arise. If needed, step out of the room and take some deep breaths. Enjoy the journey and your students will, too.