"Working with children, whether that is for a series for a younger audience, or whether it is an expletive-ridden comedy show really does need some thought and consideration. I have now consulted with Alison on both of these TV series and have found her knowledge and guidance of great importance to the young actors, adult actors and crew involved.
We engaged Alison at the pre-prep stage and had her valuable insight across our early drafts of scripts, then right through to the shoot itself.
Thank you Alison for your care and consideration, our dramas are all the richer for your input.
A J Sykes
Screen Academy Scotland
"Alison Cresswell brings with her a wealth of experience of working with children and how to safely have them emit the emotion needed for a scene in a way that will not cause them any stress. This is a huge safety blanket for me as a director and allows me a freedom I would not other wise have without her on board. Apart from this she also knows all the legalisation you need to know when working with young people"
The Burning Girls
Comic Relief, BBC
"Working with Alison on a very special and never done before project in Kenya was a such a positive and rewarding experience for everyone involved on the shoot. We called on Alison's expertise right from the development stages, through auditions and also on the shoot. She helped us work with, manage the expectations of, and support two 13 year old school children from the UK being filmed meeting children benefitting from Comic Relief funded projects who were living in abject poverty. As well as being a complete professional at all times, her openness and fun nature meant that we were able to get the very best out of the children in a very sensitive situation resulting in two very editorial strong and well received appeal films for our biggest Red Nose Day campaign to date".
Visible Fictions Theatre Company
"I have known Alison for more than twenty five years and relatively recently had the greatest of pleasures delivering some training alongside her.
I was not only impressed by the extensive range of knowledge she has around the area of working with young people in the performing arts industry but I admiringly watched her approachability, her professionalism and her ability to inspire, enthuse and demystify processes for the participants taking part. I cannot endorse Alison and the work she does highly enough".
Producer & Director of Production, Three Arrows Media
“Alison has a vast amount of experience and I would have no hesitation in going to her for advice on all matters relating to safe working practises with children. Undeniably a leading expert in her field, Alison is extremely approachable, fully understands the needs of productions, and is brilliant FUN to work with too.”
“Alison Cresswell is what I consider a child welfare filming consultant - pretty essential on any set where you are filming with children especially in circumstances where their physical and mental well being is potentially challenged by the editorial you are filming.
I’ve worked with Alison on a number of projects where the script has demanded some pretty horrific sequences involving children. We have filmed 2 9 year old girls being burnt at the stake, a kidnapped boy of 10 being handcuffed to a bed and having to slice his arms up with glass. A child covered in blood. Another having been murdered lying dead on an altar.
How to film these things whilst maintaining the safety and well being of the children involved? Well by employing a consultant like Alison.
In prep she will advise and oversee the psych evaluation of potential young actors to take part in the role.
In rehearsal she will advise the best way to work with child actors and help explain to them the content you wish to film in a non frightening way. She makes everyone comfortable - laying out the boundaries and parameters to ensure young actors are safe and supported whilst engaging with the needs of the film maker.
On set she’s there to see those principles put into practice. Safety of children combined with needs of the scene and Director.
I really enjoy collaborating with Alison. All children I have filmed with her have enjoyed the experience. Even at a young age they have been made aware by her at all times that this is make believe and they are storytellers. It means children are protected and participating.
In brief, as a director Alison will help you get the best performances from child actors in a safe and supportive way for all involved."