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Director Mat Laroche's Kids Take Centre Stage for Witty Lockdown Spots

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The cleverly scripted spots from the Johnny Foreigner director follows the four and six year olds telling the public to stay home and social distance

Director Mat Laroche's Kids Take Centre Stage for Witty Lockdown Spots

Mat Laroche, one half of directing duo Chips, took his Covid Lockdown spare time to another level. He gave his two sons Wilfred (four) and Phoenix (six) a crash course in acting, stuck them in front of his Canon 5D and made some fabulously heart-warming PSA films wherein his little heroes tell the public about staying at home, social distancing, panic buying, homeschooling and a few other cheeky bonuses... The films are brilliantly scripted and slickly shot, plus there's super dialogue with astounding delivery by the youngsters. Puppa Mat, who's also an actor, truly shows his filmmaking skills in these gems despite the confinement of his four walls, with no assistance whatsoever. 

Q> How did you come up with the idea of doing these films with your sons? 

Matt> Behind every man and their sons is of course a woman (Zoe my wife and their mother) and the ideas come to us out of the blue usually during a walk or a cycle ride and we brainstorm them en famille before writing a script. Having two captive actors, a camera, nothing much to do, gulp, and such strong source material: a pandemic! made creating something a no brainer. It goes without saying that we also bake our own sourdough bread. I remember my dad making 8mm films of me playing multiple characters (a Policeman chasing Spiderman) and I could never work out how he did it. 

Q> Was it easy to get them involved or were they reluctant at first? 

Matt> Phoenix and Wilfred would doubtless rather be running amok, playing make-believe, and drawing pictures than having a bossy director sticking a camera in their face but they seem to prefer doing this than learning their times tables. They have great imaginations and a lot of the funniest bits are their own improvisations. I’m pleased to say that they have been keen from the word go and only require an affordable level of bribery to stay on set... chocolate biscuits. 

Q> What’s your trick in getting such great performances out of them? 

Matt> That’s still a work in progress, as they are getting better the more they do it. As a rule of thumb we like to start in the morning (but that’s maybe more for my benefit). Not doing too many takes but enough for them to start 'playing'. Not giving them too much to say in one go also helps. And making sure that they have been recently fed and watered. 

Find all the films here. 

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Genres: People, Comedy

Categories: Short Films and Music Videos, Short films

Johnny Foreigner, Wed, 27 May 2020 11:27:24 GMT