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Dartford dad sends daughter into space to escape lockdown

A dad from Dartford used his expertise in tech-wizardry to send his daughter into space to escape the coronavirus lockdown.

But friends of four-year-old Nia Song shouldn't worry about not seeing her again - her trip to the moon was just a virtual one, which videographer dad Kai helped create last month to keep her and the family entertained.

Nia Song stars in a film about a girl going to the moon, made by her dad Kai
Nia Song stars in a film about a girl going to the moon, made by her dad Kai

The film - which also stars mum Lauren, 36 - uses special effects to take Nia on an incredible rocket trip to the moon and back; and it's proved a big hit, gaining more than 1,300 views on YouTube and even winning online film awards.

Dad Kai, who is now looking to make a book using the film as a template, said the idea arose when he found himself short of work in lockdown.

"I work part time for a company in London but I also freelance," he said. "All the freelance work has dried up - everything booked for this year has been rebooked for 2021.

"There's a lot of people out there in worse situations - at least we've got some income coming in, but we've just had to tighten our belts.

"Lauren is an English teacher, teaching ESOL, so she's been able to do that online."

Kai explained the family found some escapism from the situation through making the film.

"I didn't have anything to do," he added. "Nia was at home and couldn't go anywhere, so we thought why don't we film something that we can do for a bit of family fun.

"It wasn't just filming - it was building the rocket and making the props. We reached out to family and friends and people started to buy us space-themed books and toys which we threw into the video. It took a couple of weeks in between work."

Since then the project has been selected for honours with online film awards and festivals including Social Distance Film Festival, the First-Time Filmmaker Sessions competition, and the London Seasonal Short Film Festival.

And having produced some images with an artistic friend, Kai is now looking into producing a book based on the film, if a kickstarter campaign can generate enough interest.

It also proved to be chance to showcase Nia's acting talents - so maybe Rocket Girl will prove to be the first credit in a long and and illustrious film career.

"Nia was really up for it," added Kai. "She took it really seriously. She'll be earning more than me in a couple of years."

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