Future Me…

I went through a lot of old footage I’d taken throughout the past couple of years and thought I’d collect some clips together as a reminder to what you were like back in the day and to offer you some advice which I know you’ll forget! Check out the video for some awesome memories and stuff.

Free blogging: Days like these…

When I get especially emotional about something, I write. Not because I get to share my feelings to the world or whatever…I don’t care much for publisisation. Some people like to vent in shouting or crying or even watching TV. Well my release is writing. And what a better way to write than in a free blogging exercise! I think it’s good to update on feelings and thoughts as well as creative stuff. It allows you to look back and see where you’ve come from or remember a certain time period in your life.

I’ve been having a bit of a bad week. I’m ill, my fuse box has gone in my room so I have no power, my phone’s broken and I’m not gonna lie I’m feeling a bit homesick. It’s weird, I never felt it really until now. Like of course I missed my family and friends but I was always busy, trying to settle down, taking my mind off things. It’s like being shot with this sudden realisation that everything has changed, that you don’t have the familiar faces and home that you once knew. My friend and I were discussing this – the feeling, it’s like literally being shot, it hurts. It’s hard seeing my friends here going home and spending time with their loved ones when I can’t. It gets lonely. It’s times like this I wish I lived a little closer to home! Skyping is no substitute for actually being there. It’s not even big things I miss as much either! It’s the little things like playing pokemon boardgames until about 2 in the morning with friends or casually teasing my dog or portstewart strand (my favourite beach at home) and the way I always freeze when I go up there. Things that I didn’t really appreciate until I couldn’t do them or be there. My friend was saying how it’s kind of like mourning a loss. Like you know everyone and everything is still there waiting for you at home and when you go back it’ll all be exactly the same, but at the same time they aren’t present in your life at the moment. They’ve vanished. It’s hard not to feel you’ve lost them in some aspects. And in the ‘right now’ that feels terrible.

I know I’ll be over it soon and I’m very happy here, loving every minute. This happens to a lot of people who move away from home, even those who don’t move that far. If anything it allows me to think in new creative ways which I’m always grateful for. We’ll see how things turn out!

My mum’s been really liking this song recently and I dunno I just thought I’d post it…I guess it reminds me of all of them now that she’s mentioned it.

You light the spark in my bonfire heart

Always learning…

I’ve learnt a lot in the last year, both professionally and creatively. Particularly how these relate to me, how they fit into my life and the way I respond to both aspects. For me possibly the most important thing has been improving my confidence in everything I do. It really all started just over a year ago. I was looking around universities and was planning to go to this particular one for an open day, but I didn’t really know anyone else going and didn’t want to awkwardly walk around like a loner! So my reserved self intended not to go. But then after thinking about it, I decided that wasn”t a very good attitude to have at all and was like ‘I really can’t go on like this.’ I’d overheard a girl in my year talking about wanting to go to the open day as well, but I didn’t know her at all really and normally my awkward self would have just left it, but for some reason I had a ‘spark of genius’ and thought about maybe going with her so that we could both be lost and confused around the uni together. So I contacted her on Facebook to see if she would come with me…in fact here’s the actual message that started it off!

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And so we ended up going together…and becoming amazing friends afterwards, even to this day. I was so happy because I had gone so far out of my comfort zone and things had turned out so brilliantly.

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                                                                                     Still the best of friends on holiday in Amsterdam this year!

From that day onwards I’ve been encouraged to go further out of my comfort zone without being so worried about how things will turn out or how others will react to me or my work. For example, for the book that Leanna and I had designed in a horror-like style (seen in a previous post) I was initially slightly worried about people being offended or classmates/lecturers assuming that we were weirdos/ psychos (haha), as well as religion being a touchy subject sometimes, but I decided to let that slide because it was OUR idea. We should be able to work without worrying about the thoughts of others so much. I’m not much of a horror person anymore, so looking up symbols and researching creepy stuff took me out of my comfort zone, as well as having to display it in front of the entire class afterwards. However it was received quite positively (for a scary, old book!) and further proving the idea of leaving comfort behind.

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Even with making friends and meeting new people, I have been feeling a lot more confident. This is a great skill that is required in practically all jobs and every other part of life, so therefore it’s a good thing I’m learning to work with it better every day! Communication and team skills are essential, particularly in the film business. I surprised myself with how quickly I have settled here, it feels like I’ve been here a lot longer than a month (which is a good thing, promise!) and I put that down to purely having the confidence to meet new people and form good relationships relatively quickly. Something ‘a year ago Lauren’ probably wouldn’t have thought she could.

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                                                                                                 New friends and I are very close!

Before now, showing my work, feeling and ideas has always proven to be a hard and awkward situation with me, particularly when directly talking to other people. But over the past few months and especially these few weeks, it’s suddenly become a lot easier. I’ve been learning to share my ideas and get helpful and informative feedback, which is always good to hear! It’s nice to here responses or comments to my work, the positive inspires me to keep going and the more critical can only improve me. It’s a win win situation!

I created a collage of all the feedback I have gotten in the past year for me to go back and look at :

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 17.49.24So basically summing up what I’ve learnt : Be crazy, be wild, feel uncomfortable at times and try new things always!

this is NOT a love story

Okay so you may be asking why I decided to pick this scene to analyse. I mean it doesn’t particularly seem that ‘meaningful’ or overly dramatic at first glance, right? I find this scene strangely relatable, like I’m sure a lot of you do as well. We’ve all been in that situation where we’ve been looking forward to an event or excited about a certain idea…and then things don’t turn out like you planned. And it’s disappointing. This is what drew me into the scene and I felt a real connection with Joseph Gordon – Levitt’s character as he yearns for his expectation, rather than the reality.

Technically, the split screen effect provides the perfect representation of ‘expectation vs reality’ and this is something that should really connect with the audience. It’s a very simple idea, however very effective at displaying the nature of the scene and the feelings of the protagonist. Camera angles are consistent and generally pretty similar between both screens meaning the focus is mainly put on to the different scenarios that are occurring in each, forcing us to play a sort of obvious ‘spot of the difference.’

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     Similar camera angles and scenarios 

There is text at the bottom, telling the audience which is the expectation and which is reality, and this stays on screen through the entirety of the scene, providing a constant reminder of how reality actually is and not letting us slip into any hopeful ideas for the characters.

The music, Us by Regina Spector, is heard creating a saddening tone to the scene which highlights the disappointment of the reality. Diegetic sound can also be heard, such as the conversations and general noise of the party, which keeps the scene life like and making the situation so much more real and therefore even more relatable.

I thought this was an interesting scene, because it does not conform to the normal stereotype of romance films. Likewise it fits in with the style and narrative of the rest of the movie perfectly, maintaining a quirkiness and recognisable style. As stated at the beginning of the film, ‘This is not a love story’ and this scene displays this one line in a beautiful, yet slightly depressing manner.

= Settling in

Remember my friend Marc from a few posts ago? Well he’s written this really awesome post about his experiences so far at uni and since we are doing our ‘creative journeys’ here, I thought it’d be cool to share someone else’s from another area. It’s a great insight into the big move that both of us have had to go through coming from Northern Ireland and I suggest you take a look!

Creative Journey: Innovators of the Future!

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In DFSA, and many art related courses, innovation is a key element of the course. We as artists/ film makers are constantly looking for new ways to approach and do things, and with technology improving at an ever increasing rate, more and more things are becoming possible to do. It was mentioned some point throughout my course that we were going to be ‘Innovators of the Future‘ and to me this sounded super cool. Kind of like we were becoming superheroes or something, and that got me very excited about the year! Over the past 2 weeks I’ve felt myself changing as well and becoming more innovative in terms of thinking about different ideas during every day life and tasks.

I’ve stated to work on a plan to improve myself. I’m going to work on being able to distinguish between all my ideas, the good and the bad, in order to be a great innovator. I’m always looking for ways to improve my innovative and creative skills, and if you’re reading this, you probably are too! After doing a little research in my spare time this week, I found ’10 Tips to be an effective innovator’ which I personally have found really helpful and will definitely be using as a good basis for being innovative.

Innovation may seem big and scary at first as there are no limits to where your imagination can take you. But in reality this can only benefit! All you really need to have is a simple idea and this in turn can be very effective, more so than you realise at the time of creating it. Remember that Lauren -simple but effective is just fine!

Physical Journeys?

Bit of a random personal post now. I’m bad at public transport. Simply awful. And the fact I have absolutely no sense of direction doesn’t help either. Literally when I see a train time table I’m like:

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I’m absolutely terrified of getting on public transport here and this was a concern for me for a long time before I arrived at UCA. Back home I’d maybe end up 2 or 3 hours away from home if I got on a wrong train. Here I could end up in France…and that would be…well…awkward! For those of you who don’t know me personally I know what you’re thinking. ‘Lauren you’re at uni now…I’m sure you can handle transport now!’ Well lets have a bit of a back story to this…

…Lets set the scene here. It’s 2006 and it’s home time on my first day at high school.  I’m a bit lost as to where to go in order to get home so I ask a random sixth year (NOTE: don’t ever ask random sixth formers for directions. It never ends well). Random sixth year dude points at a bus close by, but it’s just leaving. My two friends and I frantically run after it. Just our luck – the bus driver has seen us and has stopped, waiting for us to board. We sit down calmly. We made it, we’re going home! Oh no wait…things are never that simple. I over hear a girl talking about the next stop….and it’s not where we should be going. First years, scared, panicked and going in the opposite direction to home. What’s worse was the bus driver wouldn’t even let us off once we’d realised! Rude. Oh yeah… we also accidentally  left one of our friends on the bus once we did manage to get off and ended up screaming her name like she’d been murdered…

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into the distance after the bus as it drove away with her. But that’s going on to another story. If you want to know it all ended well. We went to see You, Me and Dupree (now an iconic film that reminds me of this day). 

Okay I get it. Everyone makes mistakes…we were young, innocent, naive, lost. Except the problem was occurrences like this happened frequently through the whole entirety of my high school life. There’s no one to blame but me.

Getting my first train over here this weekend! Let’s hope my friends look after me well and I don’t get lost…if not a few search warranties might be required!