A Girl For Every (other) day of the week : lessons from the unfinished projects
In 2018, I shot a comedy short film exploring the roles the ‘millennial’ generation of women are required to perform in order to navigate life in 21st Century.
Filmed on a shoe-string budget, using the help of creative friends and family, and the generous support of local businesses, and the University of Winchester’s lighting department, this quirky film demonstrates the innovative possibilities of filmmaking when working within perceived boundaries (i.e. time, money, resources). Creativity has no limits, nor does the power of belief in a story...and the overriding desire to 'make stuff'.
Using fragmentation and a variety of genre-bending techniques, A Girl for Everyday of the Week is a series of vignettes, exploring, and challenging, narrative and film conventions, and what ‘story’ means in the 21st century. Donning a variety of coats as writer, director, producer and actress, was a challenging, eye-opening, exciting and affirmative process, offering an inclusive experience of filmmaking that has been invaluable for developing as a screenwriter.
Playing with character and audience perceptions, the film aims to challenge the generational prejudice towards millennials and the desire to distinguish our roles in society as either/or. Yet, as humans, we are both/and; we are plural, fluid beings, only limited by the notion of boundaries.
As each female character is performed by the same actress (me), the audience are required to extend their suspension of disbelief, and ask themselves whether they believe these women are different people, or perhaps, the same person, performing the myriad roles we all perform throughout our daily existence. Thematically, the film’s original intention was to engage, and interact with audiences on a personal level, using the specifics to attempt to grasp the bigger picture – why are we all performing these roles? And who are we really performing them to?
As my debut filmmaking experience, I learnt some invaluable lessons and insights that have guided me throughout my creative career so far. Specifically, I learnt the power of collaboration and the importance of simply beginning a project and learning your own way because there is no one way to do things, and what works for another might not work for you. And on reflection, I've learnt that it's far more liberating to let go of perfectionist tendencies and the fear of failing, because it's the trying, the failing and the act of turning ideas into action, into practical experiences, that create the most fruitful opportunities for growth - creatively and personally. Currently, the film still remains as an almost-finished film, edited by me on Premiere Pro (back when, I taught myself through trial and error and YouTube tutorials 'how to edit a film') - it exists in its own world of unpolished playful experiment. Perhaps waiting for professional sound designers, colourists, musicians to make it a conventionally finished film. Or perhaps, it will remain on my Premiere Pro timeline, on my own timeline, which I look back to fondly and celebrate as an achievement in creative initiative, resourcefulness and imagination. Never underestimate the power in taking the first step to making something, even if you don't know what the next steps will be. You'll always find your way.
For now, here's some film stills...