Culture Film & TV

Meaning and Motivations: An Interview with Katie Scott on Her Short Film ‘Constructing Femininity’.

Ellie Potts is a Third Year Creative and Professional Writing Student and this years Vice-President. Featured Images are by Katie Scott.

On the 13th and 14th March 2021, Bristol Women’s Voice teamed up with The Cube Cinema to create Through Her Eyes, an International Women’s Day short film stream. 

The event showcased short films from local female creatives. With titles such as ‘Terminated, Teeth and Tinder’, ‘Borders’, ‘Shit Talk’ and ‘Red Burqa’, the film stream was rich with diversity: in experiences, in topics and in story tellers. 

Chosen to exhibit her film ‘Constructing Femininity’ was UWE’s own Katie Scott, a Media, Culture and Production student.

Constructing Femininity’ shows Katie putting on and taking off makeup in the blue light of the morning. Audio clips of powerful feminist voices and conflicting opinions of makeup are layered over the visuals.

After the film stream, I caught up with Katie to learn more about the meaning and the motivations behind her film. 

Great to catch up with you Katie! I wondered how you got involved with the ‘Through Her Eyes’ short film event? 

K- A [UWE] tutor of mine who helped me throughout making this project sent me the advert for film submissions, so I just submitted the film via email. I didn’t really expect the film to get chosen, so I was really surprised when it did. I really loved seeing the other work that was shown. It was really inspiring to be included with such amazing work. 

You’ve titled your work ‘Constructing Femininity’.  Could you unpack what the concept of the film was to you? 

K- The idea of the film was to show the ways in which femininity is constructed through everyday rituals such as doing your makeup. I wanted to highlight the patriarchal standards women are held to, and the way in which women are expected to look a certain way in order to gain the same respect and recognition men are given.

Was this a topic you really dived into with research?

K- I went into the project with a research question which was ‘how is femininity constructed within the everyday?’ and kind of ran with that, doing bits of research as I went. It was quite a personal project because I was really focussing on myself and how rituals like putting on makeup made me feel. From a personal perspective, it was a really valuable experience. 

It’s interesting that you mention how personal the project was to you because I felt the setting of your room really me feel as though you had a deep connection to the concept, as we were invited into your space.  Was the setting a deliberate choice?     

K- This wasn’t necessarily a choice. I was more working with the space I was in, because of lockdown, like most students, I spent a lot more time at my family home. 

Once you had found your concept, how did you come up with the visuals you used? 

K- I wanted to create a sense of unravelling which is why I chose to intercut the shots of me putting on make-up, with me taking it off. This [idea] was also highlighted by the repetition of some shots. 

And the audio? Were the sound clips from moments that particularly spoke to you?  

K- It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do for the audio of the video. I wanted to represent an internal monologue of all the conflicting opinions surrounding make-up, as well as some powerful feminist voices. 

As you know the ‘Through Her Eyes’ short film stream celebrated local, female creatives. I wondered what does being a woman in the filmmaking industry means for you?  

K- I’m not sure how much I consider myself as a part of the filmmaking industry yet, but I do think it’s really important for women to have platforms to use their voice and I’m really passionate that women have opportunities and spaces to create.

Is there anything you think would make the film industry better? 

K- It has to be:

  1. More representation and diversity.
  2. Platforms for more people to get involved with filmmaking.
  3. The industry being far more accessible.

On the stream event, did any of the other films speak to you? 

K- Absolutely. I felt really inspired by them all. I feel like the Roxana Vilk film ‘Hopscotch’, (http://roxanavilk.com/hopscotch) that highlighted the street harassment of women was something that really stuck a chord with me, especially in light of recent events.

(The recent events Katie is referencing here is the deeply troubling and sad murder of Sarah Everard, a 33 year old woman who was simply walking home alone.) 

I loved the film you have created and the theme it addresses. You should be so proud of your work. My last question is, what’s next? Do you have any other films in the works?  

K- At the moment, I am focusing on finishing my third year of uni, but I am currently working on a video project for one of my modules about identity in the age of social media.

That sounds like such an interesting topic. I can’t wait to check it out. Thank you so much for talking with me Katie! 

To watch Katie’s film ‘Constructing Femininity’ in full, click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCIdQnDerzU 

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