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Last week Eelyn Lee ran a 5-day project with young people [aged 11-19] at Spotlight, a youth centre in Poplar, East London. Commissioned by the Barbican with funds from Into Film, Eelyn conceived of an exciting new collaborative film project to explore the theme of transformation.
Taking the following premise as a starting point...
What if one morning you awoke from troubled dreams to find yourself transformed right there in your bed in to your worst nightmare?
... Eelyn and a core team of 10 young people made three short stories of transformation, inspired by the opening lines of Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
Long-term collaborator Winstan Whitter worked alongside Eelyn to facilitate the filmmaking, whereby young people took roles of actor, director, camera operator, gaffer and art director. The final film will screen at a special event at the Barbican Cinema in October.
The project marks Eelyn's ongoing interest in exploring notions of monsters, transformation and fear through processes of improvisation and collaboration.
Happy to announce that Arts Council England have funded Eelyn Lee to make the second stage of her Monster Trilogy. Following extensive research along the South Essex stretch of the Thames Estuary through residencies at Metal, Eelyn will spend the rest of the summer making a 20-25 minute film on locations on Canvey Island, Benfleet Creek, Southend Pier, Thorpe Bay, Leigh-on-Sea and Tilbury Docks.
Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Monster marks Eelyn's first iteration of her two-year investigation in to improvised filmmaking. Shot during a 5-day Lab at the Barbican with a group of 18 collaborating actors and artists including BAFTA/Palme d’Or winner Anamaria Marinca [4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days], the project was supported by Arts Council England.
Eelyn is currently developing the work through a residency with Metal, an artistic lab on the Thames estuary where she is extending collaboration to local people, collecting stories of fear associated with the river.
Monster is programmed alongside Bill Morrison’s Spark of Being as part of The Modern Prometheus weekend.
After the screening Eelyn will be in conversation with Gareth Evans, Film Curator, Whitechapel.
Book Tickets here.
Last night 180 people sat in deck chairs to watch a special outdoor preview screening of Creature of the Estuary at Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury. Introduced by writer and curator, Gareth Evans [Whitechapel], the film that delves in to the estuary mud to unearth stories of fear and transformation was perfectly placed in this 19th Century defence structure, with the Thames wrapping around it's ramparts just the other side of the make-shift auditorium.
True to the 'lab spirit' used in the making of the film, Eelyn Lee and her editor Francis Morgan-Giles had only finished the film the day before presenting it to an audience at Estuary 2016. After rapturous applause Eelyn introduced some of her many collaborators including BAFTA-winning actress Anamaria Marinca and several local collaborators including vocalist Jess Sweeney from Shoeburyness; Tess McLoughlin from Leigh-on-Sea who made her screen debut as the 8-year old Rita; Carol and Steve Ellis who dive the London Wreck near Southend Pier and Bob Hoy, resident of Canvey Island.
The 22-minute film will have another preview screening locally before it's London Premiere at Whitechapel Gallery on 23rd February, 2017. It is currently being entered in to international festivals.
Read more about the making of the film on the project blog
Principal photography on Eelyn Lee's latest film, Creature of the Estuary began this week along the South Essex stretch of the Thames Estuary. Eelyn welcomes back BAFTA-winning actor Anamaria Marinca [above right] as Rada, a migrant who arrives by small boat at the end of a pier with her 8-year old daughter Rita, played by local actor and new-comer, Tess [above left].
Cinematographer Dominik Rippl will be filming for five days this week and Eelyn welcomes a team of old and new collaborators.
Follow the progress on the project blog.
Image Credit: Andy Delaney
As part of the development process for her latest film, Creature of the Estuary, Eelyn is running a series of 'Fear Labs' with residents of Benfleet and Canvey Island. Working in collaboration with Art Director Christopher Kelly who has made a selection of props, Eelyn is exploring personal stories of fear with participants before encouraging them to turn them in to monsters.
The first workshop was with a group of twelve art students from Seevic College [see results above] who are now helping Eelyn and Chris roll out the workshop to other groups including Cast and Crew, a drama workshop based on Canvey Island.
The project is part of Eelyn's 3-year exploraration of notions of monsters and fear through improvised and collaborarive filmmaking. With funding from Arts Council England, Essex County Council and Metal Eelyn is making the new film for Estuary 2016, a festival celebrating the Thames Estuary.
Follow the project blog for updates.
The venue is the laid-back and intimate 1331 Bar & Restuarant on 13, Grape Lane where the waiters serve you in the auditorium!
Check out the screening programme here.
Eelyn Lee has been selected by Artquest to put together a group of artists working at the forefront of social and collaborative practice to form a PEER FORUM. Between February and July 2016 the group will meet once a month at Peckham Platform to reflect on each other's work and exchange ideas around process driven arts practice.
With 20 years experience of collaborative working in a range of settings Eelyn has brought together a dynamic group of artists all of whom make work through varying degrees of social engagement. Over the six months they will explore how artists engage with community, histories and place and the politics that create the contexts for these.
In light of Assemble’s recent win of the Turner Prize they we will aim to take an overview of the history of community arts practice with an eye on how it could develop in the future.
Follow their discussions and find out about the artists taking part on their blog, Collaborative Arts Practice.