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  • Writer's pictureJean Hogg

Project Round-Up #1

Updated: May 1, 2023


Old film camera on top of a script with notes and annotations. There is also a pair of glasses and a pen

Creative Process


I trained as a person-centred Creative Arts Tutor 15 + years ago, after a fine arts BA and a MA in Film and learning my directing craft working as an Assistant Director in TV drama.


I feel this person-centred approach runs through all the work I undertake, whether on a film set or within the creative arts. I am passionate about providing opportunities for those who often get overlooked, which may be because of a protective characteristic.


Being a dyslexic writer and director, I sometimes find it difficult to "work things out" on a page.


As a director, I often know what it is that I want to achieve, but as a writer, I need visual prompts to produce the script. Filming the improvised story in the first instance allows time for me to think and process the story visually and, from this, construct the script.


My creative process has been developed over years, in part, from studying the Meisner approach to acting. I trained alongside actors in Meisner Technique in the late 2000s and this approach has been embedded into the work I do. Whether that be at the writing stage, rehearsal or whilst filming.

The Repetition exercises were my first introduction to Meisner technique, where actors work in pairs, and put their attention on their partner actor to allow for less self-conscious performances. I am not a natural performer but this technique along with other exercises, such as independent activity, and then learning how to emotionally prepare for a scene in a healthy non-Method way gave me a great love and appreciation for the craft of acting. It also gave me confidence to direct actors, understanding a little more of their process.

I used this approach to improvisation to write two scripts over the following five years, Gone Far Away and Diamond Girls. You can see a scene of Gone Far Away here.

Focussing on the connection between two actors giving a full emotional performance within this improvised stage is an exciting and spontaneous way to work.


Team


I have been lucky enough to gain support from Access to Work to allow me to work with an assistant, Amelia Long, who helps me get organised and do my work more efficiently. Through Amelia, I have also started working with Aimee Hayward, who helps with graphics and marketing.



Jean and her twin sister laying in bed asleep with big bold text saying 'Identical'

Identical


As an identical twin, I rarely see representations of twins on screen that feel satisfactory. So I have interviewed twins over the past seven years to explore some of the myths and clichés surrounding us. This has resulted in an honest, personal and innovative film that explores the real world of being a twin. The documentary feature is currently in post-production.



Twin girls staring at each other in a beautiful field of dry grass in the summer

Late Splitters


Late Splitters is a British feature film about identical twins.


Late Splitters explores the unique bond between two twins and the difficulty of carving out your identity after losing the other half of you that had always defined it.


Late Splitters was initially developed from my short film Into the Silent Land about twins swapping places whilst holidaying near a

working lighthouse in north Norfolk. This film and interviews with twins over the past seven years has brought me to where I am now. It has been what feels like a lifetime in the making, and I have recently been co-writing with the award-winning writer Vittoria Benedetti.

Outline

  • Stage 1: We will work from a well-crafted outline to improvise the story which will be filmed.

  • Stage 2: Using the filmed improvisations as inspiration, I will write the script.

  • Stage 3: A concentrated rehearsal period that will lead into the film shoot.

Why these stages?


Being a dyslexic writer and director, at times, I find it difficult to “work things out” on a page. I find collaboration crucial to enable productive discussions where we can “talk things through”.

I consider actors as essential to fuel my creative practice. Often actors will suggest something I had not thought of, which is vital to develop the action within the story. This way of co-creating is akin to how the film director Mike Figgis works.

As a director, I often know what it is that I want to achieve, but as a writer, I need visual prompts to produce the script. By filming the improvised story in the first instance, this allows time for me to think and process the story visually and from this, construct the script.

For me, it is not possible to write the same authentic and unexpected moments that are seen within the improvised story, they have to be experienced. Often, it’s about the action – a grunt, sigh, or what is not said – capturing a moment that cannot be expressed in words.


These moments get close to reality by creating an authentic world that is credible because it is specific. It focuses on the way one person sees the world. As a hero of mine Jarvis Cocker said, “[the] greatest artworks are really specific to one person”.


We start our first improvisation session on the 6th of May and plan to shoot the film in short blocks with minimal crew over the year. This will allow time for writing between filming blocks, enabling the script to develop organically from our treatment. Watch out for news on crowdfunding and ways you can get involved.


A video of people being projected onto a wall creating abstract texture and layers

I returned to visual art after my mother's death during the pandemic as a way of processing my grief. As a result, I was awarded an Arts Council Develop Your Creative Practice grant in 2021 to develop photography, sculpture and digital works.


I started working with Polaroid photography as, at the time, I wanted to work in an analogue way as it felt private and intimate. I was projecting family slide photographs initially taken by my father into my mother's house. Much later, I started to work with the Polaroid’s digitally, working with processing and coding so that these small static photographs became moving images.


I started making dresses based on two dresses my mother made for my twin sister and me affectionately called, the balloon dresses. I cut the patterns and made them out of paper as I wanted to project slides onto them. I am still developing this work now.


I have an art space at Primeyarc in Great Yarmouth and am working towards a solo exhibition.


Campbell Cloud Films CIC


Through grant applications and social Crowdfunding, we aim to enable under-represented voices to take an active part in our productions above and projects, such as In Your Shoes.


We also have a new website for Campbell Cloud Films CIC in development - sign up to be the first to find out when it goes live!



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