The Story Behind “First Crush”, An Interview With Kids and Their Romantic Love

The video First Crush was done as a story for Valentine’s Day. I approached the assistant managing editor with the idea of doing a video where I’d interview fifty 6-year-olds by asking them one question about love, and reveal the question at the end of the video after the kids had given their answers. I figured it’d be interesting to see what kids had to say about love. They were bound to have surprising stories, especially since many parents don’t expect kids that age to be thinking about things like this. (Click on the image to watch the video).

PC09 0210 CRUSH03

My challenge was how to make it work for the paper since I wanted to keep the question secret. I also wanted to make it into a package from which people could learn something. So after some research I figured the story in the paper should be about exploring first crushes, and that would point to the video online. A writer volunteered to do that portion of the story, and the editor gave the green light. The writer’s story was about whether as people, we are wired for love.
The principal at Dante elementary school in St Leonard agreed to help; she found the kids (ages 6-8). The parents had already given consent at the beginning of the year for the kids to be interviewed by the media for stories. It was difficult to find fifty children since there simply wasn’t enough time, and in retrospect I think it would’ve been too many. I got what I was expecting: some really amusing stories in response to the one question I asked.
Post production was simple; the biggest challenge was finding the music. I settled on an instrumental piece by Montreal band Plants and Animals ( and they kindly gave permission to use it. Then I had to decide if I should use the names of the kids. After consulting some colleagues and editors, I decided not to show their names in the video for their own protection.
Lessons learned. Pick the music beforehand – finding something appropriate and getting rights can take a long time.


About Phil Carpenter

Hi all. I'm a newspaper photo/video journalist at The Gazette in Montréal, Canada, and I'm just reviving my film making skills from my university days, for the online version of our paper. It's been 13years since I began shooting professionally, four years at The Gazette, and a year since I've begun shooting and producing video stories and documentary shorts. I'm enjoying it immensely. In addition I have taught photojournalism at Concordia University's school of journalism, been a guest lecturer and panelist on classes and workshops on photo and multi media journalism. View all posts by Phil Carpenter

5 responses to “The Story Behind “First Crush”, An Interview With Kids and Their Romantic Love

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