Inside / Outside
Lifesize Experimental Film
By Benji Thomas
In the autumn of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Hastings-based company Lifesize began to work remotely with seven young adults to produce a film, touching on the challenging experience of living under COVID-19 regulations. All the footage was recorded with mobile phones, investigating the immediate surroundings of the filmmakers, and compiled into a film that serves as a meditation on the spaces in which we’ve all been spending most of our time.
Lifesize was formed in 2019, with the aim to create a “unique and community-orientated music and arts provision” to people of all ages, including those with mental and physical challenges. Since then, the staff at Lifesize have embarked on numerous projects to bring music to the community, using it as a powerful tool to strengthen wellbeing. One of these projects is a weekly music session working with the Early Intervention Service, to support young people struggling with mental health.
Funded by Arts Council England and partnering with the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, they were able to attempt an ambitious project, pulling in a video artist and composer to help with the production of Inside / Outside. Without meeting in person, the young people collaborated to create a multi-faceted and wonderfully experimental film.
The film shifts between a range of overlapping footage, from psychedelic moving images to shots of roaming wildlife at night, and all accompanied by a meditative and moving soundtrack. Many of the shots are filmed peeking at the outside world through windows, and the last scene shows a sunset viewed through the shutters, as if to gaze longingly at the vibrant world that we were denied for much of last year. Inside / Outside provides a thoughtful perspective on what was perhaps the most disruptive part of the pandemic, and how each of us finds inspiration, solace or comfort in so many different things.
Now that our world is just beginning to open up again little by little, perhaps we can look back on projects like Inside / Outside, beauty created in the worst of times, to remind us not to take our newly regained liberties for granted.
• You can watch the short film on Vimeo by following this link: https://vimeo.com/501889524
• You can keep up with all of the fantastic projects being undertaken by Lifesize on their website, at www.lifesize.org.uk
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