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There Is No Planet B: A stop-motion animation by young artist Mia

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Young artist Mia created this stop motion animation film during our City as Studio online film-making residency in February 2021. Over the course of the residency, the group of young people aged between 16 and 19 explored DIY film and music-making techniques to create work about the issues they care about.

Mia shares her experience of the residency and what she learned about film-making and how empowering it can be to work collaboratively on creative projects.

Film, words and images by Mia

At the beginning of the residency, I was nervous, and these nerves didn’t go away. But by putting us out of our comfort zones, we were given the opportunity to see both the world and film in a completely different light. Each day we tackled a new challenge, a new way of thinking or approaching film. On Monday we looked at camera angles, Tuesday it was stop motion, then artist research, sound and finally collaboration through Zoom. 

We also learned technical skills, though of course this was limited by a computer screen and the materials within our homes. We were forced to think outside the box, and to come up with different ways to get the results we wanted. The images below show behind the scenes of my films, the stop motion in response to climate change and the collaborative film. The latter in response the theme of the course: Citizen of the Universe. I enjoyed manipulating the Zoom square we were given, making it smaller and moving my face so different features could be seen.

Although this was limited by Zoom, getting to meet other passionate and creative people was a really exciting opportunity. We were encouraged by the leaders of the residency to discuss and talk, which meant we got to know each other far more than I thought we would be able to. This connection meant we felt comfortable sharing our work with each other. Particularly on the final day this was really empowering, the chat section was streaming in with advice and compliments for every film shown.

It was also a great insight into what can be created with film. As someone who studies A-level art but with little prior experience with film, I have certainly developed far more of an appreciation and desire to develop my film skills further. If I were to do it again, I would have more confidence to be open during the whole process. I was so inspired by the vulnerability of the other participants’ films, and I wished I had the conviction to do this too. 

Find out more about City as Studio, here.