Storytelling through film is something we all enjoy, whether it be going to the theatre to see a new movie or rewatching one you hold close to your heart.
The Journal sat down with Taryn Resende, ArtSci ’23, and Lauren Thomas, ArtSci ’23, to talk about what drives their passion for film and how they choose to explore it.
Resende’s interest in the movie-making industry began with her mother, who worked in film and made sure to expose her to the best children’s movies.
“I remember one that really captured what made me want to go into film was Labyrinth by director Jim Henson,” Resende said. “There’s this scene where this bubble and they do it in a way that’s used with a telescope—I found it fascinating that you can make magic possible without using digital technology like we see today.”
The movie magic we see today is often done with CGI technology—opening up easier pathways to special effects—but Resende cherishes the ‘behind the scenes’ excerpts from earlier movies that showed how those effects used to be done more practically.
Resende is frequently drawn to directors Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson.
“I love [Coppola’s] auteur, she’s an LA girl and really cool with this unique style to her. The Virgin Suicides is unreal—I absolutely love that movie and the simplistic way she creates dreaminess through a haze and curated an amazing soundtrack.”
As a Film & Media student, Resende has dedicated her academic career to learning more about the industry. She watches film by engaging with the messages and feelings emulated on the screen.
“Although we study it, watching movies is kind of like an escape from reality. Sometimes watching movies creates a spark of of inspiration you didn’t think you’d ever have.”
Resende’s mother told her the best thing about working in film is the power to influence people’s perspectives—she’s mindful of this when reflecting on potential production ideas.
“Film is my life; I remember in first year I didn’t know where to go with this passion, but now having some experience on sets as shown me that I love the creative side of film.”
Resende’s favourite movie is The Dreamers. She loves how it shows the romanticization of life, making observations on love, war, and peace as its characters come of age.
Thomas’s experience in film has been similar, albeit through a different lens.
“The Winnie the Pooh movie was probably the first one that stuck out to me when I was in kindergarten,” Thomas said. “There’s this nightmare that they show that’s very trippy and surreal.”
Thomas’s observations while watching movies made her in tune to changes in speakers, microphones, angles, and perspectives.
“There’s kind of like a threshold where you’re watching a movie. You’re just inside of the story, but whenever you realize that movies are something that are made by another person who is human just like you, it opens up a whole new, exciting and really interesting way to watch [them].
“You’re not just inside of the story, but inside of like the mechanisms of the machine how it was made by all people.”
Thomas is keen to look at how a filmmaker’s perspective shines through their creations—her favorite films unapologetically embrace such perspectives and celebrate them.
“The Bader centre released an experimental animation movie called Tori Pines for the Reel-Out Queer Film Festival—it’s weird, it’s animated, and it’s autobiographical.”
“The film follows a young girl’s perspective who grows up to be a trans man; I love how this person’s story was told, but also the innovation of the film itself.”
Thomas can’t choose a favorite project she’s worked on because to her, each one has brought her a new perspective and honed skills she takes with her to the next.
“I try to celebrate distinct perspectives of people I interviewed in my videos for The Journal, like with my video for Francisco and his art. I had the camera follow his body and movements as he painted to give the audience a glimpse into his perspective.”
Thomas stressed that no one person is more of an expert in film than another—she encourages readers to embrace the variety of perspectives found in film.
“Films really celebrate that power of being able to do something about the private thoughts in your head.”
Thomas told The Journal her personal goal is to build her auteurship—this film term refers to the recognizable, distinct stylings of a film maker.
“When people watch my films, I want them to get a sense of ‘oh Lauren made that movie!’”
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