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Severn Trent Water Top Tips - A fat tramp and a tin can?
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Top Tips - A fat tramp and a tin can...

Back in 2012 a friend of my wife's saw a short video on facebook I had made with my son talking about his first day of school. She loved the film, and working in the education team at Severn Trent Water it gave her an idea. She thought the style would make a great series of short videos featuring kids promoting different Water Saving tips and other advice. She approached me about making these films and I agreed. Severn Trent came up with the Top Tips and it was up to us at Jumping Spider to make them into short entertaining clips. Coming up with the concepts was the easy part. Making the videos was a little trickier....

A fat tramp and a tin can....

I've always been aware that you should never pour fat down the sink. I think it was probably drummed into me as a kid. Not that at any point before the age of 21ish did I go anywhere near cooking oil, so I'm not sure why I was aware of this, but I was.  But I'm fully aware that young kids, old kids and probably a large percentage of male adults might be picking up a frying pan for the first time and may not have had the over diligent parenting I had as a child. So this Top Tip video has an audience of many.

The message from Severn Trent was clear. NEVER POUR FATS AND OILS DOWN THE SINK. USE A FAT TRAP OR A TIN CAN!

A tin can, I knew what that was. A fat trap? No idea. Thankfully a brief explanation for the Severn Trent team cleared it up for me in a matter of seconds.

" What's a fat trap?"

" It's a trap for fat, Matt."

"Oh yeah, thanks."

Children these days are educated to a much greater extent on the environment and our responsibility to nature than we ever were as kids. So both Landon and Riley, the stars of the video's, shook their heads in dismay when I asked the question. They knew what a fat trap was. Brats. (It's ok,  they're my kids). So onto the 'set' we went, fully aware of how fat should be discarded.

I've have 3 children aged from 6 months to 7 years. I have filmed them on many occasions, and fully understand the difficulties in working with children on video. They're not as bad as video professionals make out; you just need to know the art of bribery and when to give them a break. I have developed a rough equation for working with children in the media.

2hrs Time off x 4 Chocolate bars = 30 seconds of useable video footage.

Landon, aged 6, was up first. Once he had got over the stench of the old fat sitting right under his nose he reeled of his lines with no problem at all. Riley, aged 4, was slightly more challenging. What do you do when a kid tells you over and over again that when you dispose of used fat put it in a fat tramp? You ask him to do it again, and again and again. TRAP T.R.A.P.  traaapppp, Riley. Remember your treat!!

Eventually he got it but in the end, some clever editing made it work for the final video. Although there is a certain charitable appeal about everyone having their own fat tramp sitting in the corner of the kitchen. Open mouthed, ready and waiting for any used fats and oils to be discarded. I have a patent pending for the concept.

On this page you can see both Riley's attempt at saying Fat trap and Tin can and also the final video that went out to the public.

The video was shot near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and was made on a Canon Mark II camera. I produced, shot, lit, sound recorded and edited the film alone.

It was a unique experience working with my children on a serious video production and I hope you enjoy the films and remember the messages!

Matt

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