In November 2017, the ISA announced the winners of their national competitions and the MPW Art Department is delighted to have scooped two prizes. Henry Lloyd-Horton won the Key Stage 5 National Art competition for his sculpture Stem Cell; and Laura Foreman won the Film and Digital Art competition with her short film Days Like These. Below, Laura explains more about her prizewinning film.
With issues such as the controversial transgender bathroom bill in North Carolina and ever growing transgender visibility, the issue of gender is a particularly topical one. So I did not have to look further than the news for my inspiration for my short film “Days Like These”. When looking at this issue I began to think more about the gender norms which we uphold in this society and the repercussions that this has on our day to day lives.
There are many ways in which people have interpreted my film, believing that it is either about a transgender girl or a drag queen. He is neither. I used the film to demonstrate my belief that the gender norms instilled in us that makeup and skirts should be reserved only for women is arbitrary because the manner in which we express ourselves should not be defined by our gender. I drew the title of my film “Days Like These” from the first line of dialogue in my film and because my film was a “day in the life” of the subject subverting gender norms.
Making this film was an exposing yet inspiring experience because not only was it a topic that hit close to home but also because it was when working on this film and the photography project surrounding it that I truly felt for the first time that I had found my passion and a medium in which to express myself.
As a photography student with no experience in film, I was taking quite a gamble in deciding to make one and had as yet had little skill or confidence. Thankfully my photography teacher Sheridan gave me the support I needed and I am forever grateful. It was also her who insisted I submit my film to the competition.
Shooting the film proved to be a good laugh, sitting on the back of a bike precariously balancing my camera trying to get a good shot and the builders cat calling my model before realising that he was a boy and looking shocked was priceless.
I absolutely loved the experience of making this film and am so glad that I took the gamble and did something that is so close to my heart.