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The Long Lens – Behind the Lens

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Last Friday saw the launch of our very first Film Magazine – The Long Lens! A small group of Year 1 and Year 2 students have been working hard over the last few months to create this magazine, and their hard work has certainly paid off! With the publication of their first edition, we stepped behind the lens to meet editors Martin, Emily and Arisa…

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself!

“My name is Martin, I am moving on from Long Road and going on to study Filmmaking at university. I went to Impington Village College before LR and I take the Film Studies A-level and double Media Diploma. I took Film Studies because I had already decided I wanted to go into film before I came to LR, so it was a logical choice.”

“My name is Arisa Lester, I’ve just finished year 12, I went to St. Peter’s School in Huntingdon, and I’m currently taking A-level film, media, and English Language and Literature. I chose film studies because of my personal interest and love for film. At 13 years old, I accidentally encountered “the criterion collection” which exposed me to a new side of cinema I had never seen before. I was so infatuated with the beauty of motion pictures and the art of independent filmmaking that I vowed to make a contribution to cinema. That ultimately led me to taking film studies in order to learn more about film in its technical and theoretical aspects. I love film studies because it offers everything I need to start building up my portfolio. Film studies has taught me how to critically analyse films, I’ve learned theories around filmmaking, and it has taught me how to create. From directing, to acting, to editing, every opportunity was offered, and I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned to projects I have outside of college.”

 

For anyone who doesn’t know, what is The Long Lens all about?

“The Long Lens’ is a film magazine that tries to mix critical reviews of films and youthful perspectives on the world of cinema, functioning as a good experience to work on and informative to read.”

“The Long Lens is ultimately a magazine that revolves around film. It includes articles that look at contemporary social, cultural and historical issues in regards to film, and it celebrates the legacy of cinema. It mentions leading figures in the film industry and many film recommendations, whether it be old or unreleased.”

So, where did the idea of The Long Lens first come from?

“The idea for the magazine actually came from me [Martin]: We were in an online lesson in lockdown, doing optional film studies work, so I suggested it to be a bit more motivation as the work would actually lead to something. I got involved when my teacher set it up and asked me to be editor-in-chief, it was lockdown so I didn’t have much else to take up my time and I knew it would be a great opportunity.”

“We owe this one all to Sir. Martin Attmore!!”

Why did you decide to get involved?

“I got involved because I am someone who loves to talk about film and what better than writing an entire magazine article about my relationship with it!! Maybe it could inspire others to have a deeper look into cinema and they could find solace in it, as I did when I first indulged in it. I also got involved because as someone who claims to want to be a filmmaker, I have to start creating as early as possible, no matter what the product is, I need to build up my portfolio with as much creative work as I can.”

Creating a magazine is no easy task and you’ve clearly worked really hard to create this first edition… Where did you start? How did you find the process? Was it what you expected?

“I had never worked on a proper magazine before, so we just followed a logical process. We started by gathering writing. Writing topics were easy to think of because they are so obvious at the moment. Then we set a deadline where we wouldn’t accept any more writing and began designing. We picked a colour palette and just worked and worked on the design until we were happy.”

“Coming up with the idea for my article was not an issue given the current hot topics in the media included Black Lives Matter, and there was no question about whether or not to write about it, it’s a major topic that needs to be discussed. Writing it was a joy as I had to do research on significant black representations in cinema, and go onto promote those amazing underrated pieces of art. Designing the magazine was a different story. It took ages, but in the end we received help from a number of incredibly talented graphic designers and were able to finish off on a happy note.”

You have a really great range of articles in your first edition, in particular topical pieces on black cinema. How do you decide what you write about?

“The articles came quite naturally, we just thought about what is important to people right now, and that is things like Racial Inequality and Covid 19. These are quite easily relatable to cinema, if you think about the history of black representation and how the pandemic shut down cinemas and production. The writers just explored it in their own way.”

“It was up to each individual writer what they wanted to write about. Anyone could write about anything, as long as it wasn’t terribly controversial and they would do research on the topic.”

You are all Film students, but The Long Lens isn’t exclusively for Film Studies students to read. How would you encourage other students to pick up your magazine?

“The magazine isn’t prestige haha. It might include really long text-heavy articles, but it also offers interactive articles!! Martins illustration of Issy’s Studio Ghibli quiz is a good example. A lot of it talks about film from the perspective of the general public rather than a film student/teacher, so other students should be able to relate to a certain extent.”

So, what’s next?! When can we expect the next edition and what might we see inside?

“I believe work on the next issue will start in September, we did all of our work online, so this won’t be affected by how college is socially distanced. As for me, I’ll be going off to uni so I won’t be able to work on them, but I am looking forward to reading future issues and seeing if they can top the first one.”

“Do expect more movie recommendations!! Depending on the situation with film award festivals we might be able to cover the topic, hopefully there will be coverage on the theme of LGBTQ+ representation as we failed to include that in our first issue. The rest is confidential!! Stay tuned!!”

 

Click here to read the first edition of The Long Lens!