Interview with Filmmaker Jamiel Laurence (COLLECTIVE STASIS)

COLLECTIVE STASIS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the June 2021 EXPERIMENTAL Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

COLLECTIVE STASIS is really an expression of the anxiety and fear of the unknown that myself and my friends/family and colleagues were feeling in response to the initial severe lockdown across the UK at the time.

I decided to make the film as a way to keep going, continue my practice and create a way for me to see my friends at a safe distance and communicating our feelings through dance.

It had a pseudo nature documentary at a result as I really wanted to capture a moment in time – A dancers routine during isolation.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I shot over 10 hours of footage across the 9 locations, which in this case were peoples house windows. I then spent over 3 weeks curating the shots for the final film as I wanted to keep that feeling of unease going until the last moment.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Collective Stasis!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I had to introduce learning online through recorded tutorials, and create the material for the film in the lockdown setting, which at the time was very new. I had 2x2m of dance floor to work with, but I knew that if the narrative message was strong enough then even a very extracted version of my idea would work.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

This is the first time that I have witnessed someone I have not met take the time to breakdown one of my works in detail, outside of anonymous YouTube commentators or 1 word responses.

This film is quite hard to swallow for my immediate circle of movement heavy choreographers and dance artists, and the feedback confirmed for me what the public reception for work like this might be going forwards.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I was capturing my danced work in the studio in a way that led to a friend telling me that things were looking very cinematic. I think that growing up with an eye for cinema and TV, I have naturally evolved my choreographic practice to include filmmaking as a way to speak my artistic voice traditional stage settings.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Star Wars. The good ones!!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

FilmFreeway has become an ideal way to make submissions easy to make, especially for those of us self producing.

9. What is your favorite meal?

One made with care and attention to detail.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I have just retired from a 12 year career as a soloist of Scottish Ballet, and right now I’m taking this opportunity to say yes to everything! Check out JamielLaurence.com for regular updates on all that i’m up to.

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