By Caitlin Gallagher Rattan
Despite Year Eleven’s chaotic demands and frenzy of exams and expectations, students Iris Campbell and Evie Ward were able to create an incredible thought provoking and profound short-film, delving deep into the theme of ‘Nostalgia’. A chance to reminisce on our bygone days, satisfy our craves for the past, and emotional attachment to our memories, I think Nostalgia is an incredibly, curated, fascinating and pensive creation. It has shifted my perspective on the relationship between the past and the present, holding onto my childhood memories and experiences, and who I want to be now, and in the future.
I decided to interview the creators of this inspiring production, Iris and Evie, to see what they have to say about the process of creating this short film.
Q: What is Nostalgia about?
Iris: Nostalgia is our short film that Evie and I made for our stretch and challenge project; we interviewed different people about their opinions on ageing, the past, and their memories, and we explored how that affects them.
Q: What have you learnt from creating Nostalgia?
Iris: We considered a lot of different people’s points of view and we’ve seen how people’s opinions on their past changes as they age and how their past shapes them into who they are today.
Evie: From creating nostalgia I really have a deeper insight about my thoughts and feelings about my past and possibly about how I have changed those memories to fit a better description, such as a romanticisation of the past.
Q: Talk me through your process when creating your short film, how did you put the different interviews together?
Iris: I tried to create a storyline where it moves from the introduction to nostalgia to people’s views on ageing and dying and how that affects them- and that was different people: younger people, older people. I edited them together with clips from the past, such as clips from around ten years ago, and different imagery to show what we’re talking about and evoke emotion.
Q: What was the hardest part about creating Nostalgia?
Iris: That would probably be editing it all together, because it took so long, and compiling all of the interviews. Once I had that, I had to spend lots of time combing through them and deciding which one was best.
Q: Do you think Nostalgia has changed your perception of growing older?
Iris: Yes, I think so, but for the better because I think it’s made me feel like ageing isn’t something that you should fear and it’s actually a privilege.
Evie: I would say, it’s made me feel a bit more cautious of the future, having been able to see insight on what other people older than me have thought about nostalgia and how it has affected them, and then how they’re living the future in comparison to their old lives.
Q: Has it changed your perspective on your memories from your younger years?
Evie: I wouldn’t say it’s changed my memories, it’s just made me more aware of how my mind has changed my memories throughout the years.
Q: At what age do you think you can start feeling nostalgic?
Iris: Zero! I feel like even as a baby you can feel nostalgic of the womb!
Q: Why would you recommend someone to do a stretch and challenge project?
Iris: I think it’s really interesting and it helps you stretch yourself and pursue your own interests outside of a curriculum. It is also an impressive accomplishment for a CV or a university application.
Evie: It extends your mind beyond the limitations of school work as well as allowing you to research something that you are passionate or interested about.
Q: How did you choose who to interview?
Iris: Initially, we looked at the people closest to us, but we also wanted to look further than that to expand the answers we got, therefore we talked to different teachers and young children to get a variety of answers.
Q: Do you think Nostalgia is a good thing?
Iris: Yes and no. Certainly, I think it’s good to reminisce and look back on your past, but I don’t think you should be so preoccupied with the past that you forgot your present.
Evie: I think nostalgia can be a good thing as it allows you to recall your memories in a positive light.
Q: Are we the same people without our memories?
Iris: I don’t think so, I think your past experiences shape who you are and without them you don’t have the experience of the memories that cultivate you.
Evie: I think that our memories shape us and we learn from them. Without our memories I don’t think we would be the same people as we are today.
Q: What is the main message you want to convey with Nostalgia?
Iris: That we should all learn from our past and the experiences of other people.
I also asked Niamh, who watched the short film, how watching Nostalgia impacted her and her viewpoint on it.
Niamh: I thought Nostalgia was very well made and it also made me think about my opinions on nostalgia and also it made me realise how a lot of people have similar thoughts and feelings about the past and it kind of makes me feel like nostalgia is such a communal emotion that everyone feels at some point in their life and everyone feels in their own ways, but at the end of the day it all has the same impact on us.