I recently finished production on one of Grad films Soul on which I was the Producer. The film is currently in the post-production stage.
Soul is an exploration of a support group for people who believe they have lost their souls. “Every morning at 9am a group gather on an urban wasteland – they are all connected by an emptiness in their lives – a lack of a human soul. Together they try to find meaning in their blank existence. However, their world is thrown into chaos by a jogger.”
You can follow the project on:
and I will post more updates here also!
Here is my latest short film Sybil which I wrote, directed and edited. It is based on an old English folktale called “Bearnshaw tower and Lady Sybil”. This is the first fiction film I have written and directed. I was inspired to make this when I saw The Tale of the Princess Kaguya at the cornerhouse a few months ago, which is based on the oldest Japanese folktale in known history. I went home and did some research into the lesser known English folklore. I came across the story of Lady Sybil and adapted it into an original, modern story. The film ended up being quite experimental. The main themes in Sybil are that of escape, fantasy and entrapment. It was important for me when writing to not give the protagonist dialogue, I wanted to give a more key focus on the sound design and visual aspects of the film which is something I really wanted to try. I did some research into how I wanted to add in the more fantasy style elements to the film visually, such as using the projector, lighting and a rotating star light for children. I was inspired by a youtube video showing how light and colour changed perceptions and shape of the human face and wanted to experiment with that.
To be honest, the film did not turn out the way I wanted due to mistakes, time and equipment failures but we did our best!
On Saturday the 28th of February my film “Translucent” was screened at the Queer as Film event in London. This was the first time the film had been shown outside of my University plus I did a Q&A afterwards. There were 7 short films shown in total all with a theme of LGBT. There was a range of funny and sad films, some silly and others far more dark and serious. Queer as Film was founded in 2009 by Robert Gershinson and Craig Ford and was hosted by comedian Tom Allen.
The event was really great, laid back and had a friendly, supportive atmosphere which made me slightly less nervous to do the Q&A after the screening! The other films shown were good, a particular favourite being “A Little bit Country” by Amy Coop which compared coming out as a country music fan to coming out as gay which was very funny and poignant.
For my film “Translucent” I got a really good response, and I’m very happy with how it went. I’m grateful to the people at Queer as Film for selecting it! Below is my Q&A.
Finally here is my short film “Translucent”. This documentary is an exploration of my family and our dynamic since my sister Diana, came out as male to female transgender. It is a personal window into our lives as an ordinary family and an insight into being a young transgender person in the 21st century.
Translucent from Emily Steele on Vimeo.
I used a pretty straightforward documentary style in my film using interviews intercut with other footage but tried to make it more visually interesting by experimenting with a digital projector. I converted twelve mini DV tapes of childhood footage that I had never seen before; I then edited together what I thought were the best images of my sister and myself. After which I used the digital projector to project these moving images directly onto my sister.
What I considered while planning this film is how few people know anyone who is transgender and especially someone who is young and transgender. I feel like the majority of people’s knowledge of trans-people comes from the media who often sensationalise their lives or tell a tragic story. I wanted to show that whilst these are valid experiences it’s not always like that and that young trans-people like my sister are accepted and that it doesn’t have to be a dramatic change to their daily lives or to their families.My film explores my personal, ordinary family in relation to me, how we have responded to my sister coming out in a supportive way but also that our family is nothing special and that this has not at all affected our family’s relationships. I wanted to give my film quite a light feel and create a positive narrative about my sister’s trans experiences.
Please let me know what you think!
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win day tickets from the ArtsCentre for the first ever Plymouth Short Film Festival. It was founded by Plymouth University Media Arts graduates William Jenkins and Ben Hancock to promote local talent.
There were four categories spread out over the day which consisted of:
- Best South West Film
- Best Documentary
- Best Student Film
- Best Fiction Film
At the end of each category you voted on a slip of paper for whichever short film you considered to be the best. Unfortunately I was only able to attend the Documentary and Student categories due to other commitments but the work I saw was amazing. A lot of the films shown were in other languages so it was good to see the festival get attention internationally. I was completely blown away by the standard of work shown particularly in the Student category. It has really motivated and inspired me in my own work.
A stand out film for me was “Born to be Mild” by Andy Oxley (which can currently be watched here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01xj6kb) which is about the “Dull Men’s Club” who participate in activities such as admiring roundabouts, collecting bricks and taking photographs of post boxes.
I hope this becomes an annual event as the festival was thoroughly enjoyable and is a great place to showcase short films in Plymouth.
Find out more here: