I Watched Her Dream… Aloud & I am trying my best: Two short films by young artist Lauren

Lauren joined our online film-making residency for ages 16-19 in April 2021. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the group met only online and explored DIY film-making from the confines of their own surroundings.

Discover what Lauren learnt about different approaches to film-making during the residency.

My name is Lauren, I am 19 years old and I’m from Cardiff. My main interests are in creative writing, and digital media. I’m currently developing my understanding of editing, and recording audio and video. I enjoy listening to music, and talking to my friends. I’m particularly interested in storytelling, and finding out about people’s stories and histories.

I took part in the City as a Studio film-making residency this year. The aim of the residency was to discover experimental ways to make films, and be collaborative with others with the theme of being ‘Citizen in the Universe’.

I feel that everything I sign up to has some sort of impact on me and something to learn from, even if it’s small. This was through being inspired by the art examples that were shown on the course (which was less traditional and more interesting than the art I’d seen in school) such as Gillian Wearing’s ‘Signs’ photo series or David Hall’s ‘Tap Piece’ from ‘TV Interruptions’. They made me think more about the space of the medium within art and the way it can connect to the audience on a personal level. Having open discussions about art was really inspirational.

One of my favourite sessions was looking at the online Modern Art Oxford exhibitions, writing a review, and talking about our opinions as a group. Everyone had really interesting perspectives on how they viewed art. Another session I enjoyed was when we met the Modern Art Oxford team in which we were able to ask our own questions. I asked a question about how to improve confidence in my artistic intuition, and I had great answers, which I’ve been reflecting on and taking with me since.

I really appreciated discussing my ideas with the group and getting positive feedback. Overall my confidence and ideas about art improved and reflected through activities involving discussions in the residency. I think they were really necessary for my growth, especially as I’ve been figuring out my artistic approach this year.

When making the films, the slowest and most difficult aspect was the editing. In one of the films I made, ‘I watched her dream. Aloud.’, there were multiple clips I had to split and cut together, whilst timing with the soundscape. As it was difficult to visualise, I didn’t storyboard that movie as clearly, improvising on the go. I feel like it’s similar to a scrapbook. It was a slow but rewarding process that resulted in a longer film than I expected.

This contrasted with my animation film, ‘I am trying my best’, where I storyboarded the film and created a shot list. This resulted in a much shorter film and less time to edit. I learnt that you can approach work in different ways. The outcome will be the same but the speed will differ. The films went according to my original vision, albeit in slightly different ways. I think when you create something, how you imagine it tends not to be how it turns out, even if it’s the smallest difference.

I think ‘I watched her dream. Aloud’ is the most experimental and interesting to visually look at, but ‘I am trying my best’ is the most efficient. They represent Covid in abstract ways, more so reflecting my mental state from being at home for a year. Covid has been a drastic and life-changing experience, and I think that is somewhat reflected in the films.

Find out more about City as Studio, here.

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