Safety Tips for Kids

The starting point for this work was a personal archive of newspaper clippings. I was interested in the visual and textual language of headlines and photographs presented by the media when children were murdered or missing: a powerful juxtaposition of the terminology of fear and images of innocence.  Stranger danger is the media’s buzz word, but statistics show that a child is 20 times more likely to be murdered by one of their parents than by a stranger – every six weeks in the UK, a man or a woman kills their child.

This experimental film presents an ironic look at the way newspapers report childrens’ deaths: accidents, bad mothers, angry fathers and the bogeyman. With an inventive combination of still photography and live action, the film sweeps around Britain to create a chilling comment on death, news reporting and the family.

‘Newspaper articles about the murder and disappearance of English children are the starting point of this critical discussion about abuse and the dependence of children.’
EMAF tour programme 2004

Safety Tips for Kids was funded by Animate, Arts Council England and Channel 4. Technically we would describe the film as ‘beyond live action’ rather than animation and it is created from hundreds of manipulated photographs. We shot on a variety of different formats ranging from the Linhof Technorama camera with it’s huge 6x17cm negative down to a tiny digital camera attached to a keyring.

Screenings & Comment

Screenings

Channel 4 Television, UK. October 2003
Chicago International Documentary Festival, USA. April 2004
European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany. April 2004
Seattle International Documentary Festival, Seattle Art Museum, USA
COURTisane festival of film, video & new media, Ghent, Belgium. 2004
Hamburg Short Film Festival, Germany. June 2004
Split Film Festival, Croatia. June 2004
Odense Film Festival, Denmark. August 2004
VIPER festival of film, video & new media, Basel, Switzerland. 2004
Brief Encounters Short Film Festival, Bristol, UK. 2004
Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Germany. Nov 2004
Goethe Institute, Kyoto, Japan. Oct 2004
Goethe Institute, Bogota, Colombia. Oct 2004
Medienhaus, Hannover, Germany. October 2004
Cultural Center, Chicago, USA. October 2004
Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, USA. October 2004
Profile Intermedia 7, Bremen, Germany. December 2004
Dom Kulture, Belgrade, Serbia. December 1004
Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt, Utrecht, Netherlands. January 2005
Festival International du Court Metrage, Lille, France. March 2005
Center for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona. March 2005
Contemporary Artc Centre, Warsaw, Poland. April 2005
Annexia Festival, Goethe Institute, Toulouse, France. May 2005
NOASS Video, “World Video Art” programme, Riga, Latvia. May 2005
Muu, Mostra de Curtas Metragens, Portugal. June 2005
Shadow Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands. November 2005
VPRO, Netherlands national television, Nachtpodium. Nov 25th 2005
Filmbar, Hildesheim, Germany. November 2005
Galerie Adler, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 1/9/07 to 13/10/07 www.galerieadler.com
Suffragette City, The Spare Room Gallery. London. 07/08

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