The Neon Shadow is a new short film created in isolation by Tom Jackson Greaves in association with Kneehigh. Alongside the film, The Creation Club (LGBTQIA+ Individuals from Cornwall) has been exploring the themes of love and isolation through digital movement and writing workshops with the films creative team. Jessifer Hill is one of our Creation Club participants and writes about their experience of the process:
I love writing and film making, so I hoped that the Creation Club would help me get out of my creative rut and open my mind to some new techniques.
I really enjoyed the online workshops. Each one I learnt something different, from writing tasks to movement exercises. I come from a theatre background and it had the familiar format of workshop – starting with a warmup, creative exercises, discussing ideas and working collectively towards a common goal. But with a fun Kneehigh twist!
It can be quite isolating in Cornwall, even without a quarantine in place, so it was great to collaborate with other people in the LGBTQIA+ and creative community.
I learnt a lot of new writing exercises that I can use to get me in the mood for writing. I often put a lot of pressure on myself to write, so the simplicity of the tasks are a great way to ease into it. From picking five body parts that you like and making them into a poem to looking through the window and writing about the details that you see or even just free writing. It has been very beneficial for my creative process.
After completing my degree in Theatre and Performance I lost touch with performing, so it was really great for me to reconnect with that. We were encouraged to create movement pieces and I got to share mine with the group. I’ll be sure to carry on exploring my love of theatre and movement. I also enjoyed learning about how to put movement, words and objects together to create a character. I’d like to use this technique in future short films I create.
I’ve enjoyed learning new things and getting creative with such wonderful people. It’s been a privilege to be a part of the Creation Club and I’ve loved being part of the project, I can’t wait to see the film!
Jessifer shares their piece of work from the Creation Club workshops – a story based on identity and loss:
I lost them to the sea. We had a summer of romance but it wasn’t meant to be. They were from one world and I from another. Of course I’m so horribly sad, but I also understand. Neither of us were willing to give up what we have in our own worlds. It would have been a big sacrifice for one of us. We were living in a state of comprise that wasn’t going anywhere.
I’m sitting here on the warm sand as the sun beams down on me from above and the waves lap up against the shore. And it takes me back to when we first met.
I’m sunbathing with my eyes closed by a tidal pool and it’s a bright blue sky day. This hidden spot is peaceful – aside from the odd heckling seagull – due the lack of people. It’s a place only commonly known by the locals. I sit up and open my eyes to admire the view of the pool and beyond. I see something move in the water. I lean forward to get a closer look and see blue… what looks like hair? And strangely a face staring back at me. I freeze. The being glides out of the water and onto the rock next to me. It was beautiful.
“What are you?” I gasp, as my eyes and mind make sense of what is in front of me. There were so many varieties of blue in it’s tail simmering away in the sunlight.
“I’m a merperson, my name is Arrian.” They answered serenely.
“Well… you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.” I reply as the blood rushes to my cheeks.
“What are you?” Arrian says as they look me up and down in amazement.
“I am a human and my name is Sam.” I smiled. They smiled back and moved in closer.
We sat there talking for hours until the sun set and the tide made it’s way towards us. After that I visited the pool as often as I could. But we had to be careful of other people seeing us. And sometimes the tide – and a storm one time – stopped us from seeing one another. We were both infatuated and intrigued by each other. I wouldn’t have spent summer any other way. But tides change, autumn gets cold and infatuation fades. It was just too difficult and dangerous to keep going. I doubt I will share with anyone I just wanted to get my thoughts down somewhere. I heard that helps. If I’ve learnt anything from this, it’s to be open to new experiences and to enjoy every single moment.