Essex County Council have awarded Eelyn Lee a grant of £2000 to create a series of moving image portraits on and around Canvey Island.
Next year Eelyn will collaborate with residents from Canvey Island and Benfleet to make a series of film portraits of local people. Capturing their dreams, memories and stories of fear associated with the estuary, the films will be projected in local outdoor sites before featuring in the Estuary Festival 2016.
As a development of Monster, her experiment in improvised filmmaking which began with a 5-day Lab at the Barbican last December, Eelyn will continue to explore notions of fear. She is particulalrly interested in hearing about how the storm of 1953 plays a role in the collective memory of the area and how living below sea-level effects the pysche of a place.
For the third year running Eelyn Lee will be delivering the BFI Film Academy at the Barbican. Eelyn has designed a creative approach to guiding 15-19 year old filmmakers through a collaborative process to make micro shorts inspired by seminal British films.
To coincide with the 2016 commemorations marking 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare this year we will be making two short Shakespeare-inspired films.
Watch one of last year's films inspired by Hitchcock's Rear Window here.
Pleased to announce that An Ealing Trilogy will screen at Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt [above] next week as part of Les Rencontres Internationales, a festival of new cinema and contemporary art.
An Ealing Trilogy was made through Eelyn Lee's commission by the National Portrait Gallery, London and was made in collaboration with young people from Brentside High School, Ealing.
The film will screen as part of the 'Role Reversal' programme on Wednesday 24th June at 9pm. More details here
Anamaria Marinca in Monster
This year Eelyn Lee is looking forward to developing her feature-length film, MONSTER. Following last year's successful first stage of development supported by the Barbican and Arts Council England, Eelyn is now seeking support to take the project in to an estuary setting.
In December 2014 Eelyn led a team of collaborating artists, performers and musicians through a 5-day lab in the Barbican's studio theatre, exploring new ways of making moving image work through processes of improvisation.
Three working days later, Eelyn and the 'Monster Team' showcased three edited scenes filmed during the lab. Writer and curator Gareth Evans [Whitechapel Gallery] who presented the event said,
"...The idea that we would see something translated so profoundly from a theatrical space to a cinematic one in just a handful of days is really extraordinary... the process starts ironically in a theatre space and becomes more cinematic as it goes on. A wonderful paradox..."
Taking it's inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Monster explores notions of demons, fear and otherness, using the setting of the estuary as location.
Eelyn is currently looking to transfer the process, characters and stories to a real setting along the Thames Estuary. Please get in touch if you would like to join the conversation, particularly if you have links with the estuary.
Read Gareth Evans's article about the 5-day lab here.
Left: Gareth Evans during the lab / Right: Filming during the lab
Last week writer, editor, producer, presenter and programmer, Gareth Evans visited the Monster Lab, an experimental 5-day process led by Eelyn Lee to find new ways of making improvised film. Tonight he will be hosting a conversation with Eelyn Lee and her team of collaborators about their experiences, ideas and reflections in the Barbican Cinema 2. Read his own thoughts on their adventures in to devised filmmaking in this poignant and beautifully written guest blog. Here's an extract:
'.... Eelyn Lee and her Pit Lab ensemble are into their fourth day when I drop by, stacking up the hours without weather like their constantly shifting cardboard set, in freighted ventilation, cabled glow, a black walled box for 18, but strangely self-sufficient and like some ‘lord of the flies’ outcrop, seeming to run by its own unspoken rules and rituals, everyone getting on with something, and those who seem least active at a given moment still holding microphones on high stems, waiting for voices but maybe conjuring them too, sonic priestesses, aural conductors of the subterranean air....
...It’s about strangers in town (think Clint, Kitano, Kasper Hauser; think Dogville and the dunes of Kobo Abe). It’s about upheaval in the estuary, about monsters and the triggers they drag in with them, like a net full of old explosives just waiting to go off. It’s about work and love, and conflict and then death; but mostly it’s about the fear that comes from meeting with the ‘other’, from the monsters that we make through instinct and such ignorance; and it takes place in the estuary that took us on its boats to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that gifted us the toothsome Count, that traffics migrants in, blind with terror in some sealed container. In short, it’s about now, and now again, and then again some more...'
Read the full article here