Lately we’ve been glued to our screens thanks to the work of film writer/director/producer Lucy Luscombe, who has recently garnered accolades such as the BFI Future Film Award and Outstanding Female Talent Award at Underwire Festival for her work. From the trials and tribulations of a young gymnast in Candy Girl to late night occurrences in a Dalston kebab shop in Again Sometime, the CSM graduate’s films offers a captivatingly honest insight into the everyday challenges of human existence.
Twin spoke to the promising talent about her earnest beginnings, the inspirational factor of failure and the future of the British film industry…
What initially sparked your interest in film?
I’ve always been interested in ‘moments’; creating or recreating them. I remember finding a lot of fleeting situations/moments significant growing up and sounding pretty spacey when trying to explain why. In film you can take that moment, light it, slow it down, blow it up and say ‘that’s why’. Equally, if you’re told ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ a lot, film is a good place to sweat it.
What was the first piece of cinematic work you ever made?
I made a lot of questionable video art at St Martins: a lot of raw meat, wedding dresses and Bataille. Pretty earnest stuff. A highlight was ‘My womb/ the mosh pit (Beat down)’. Not sure how cinematic it was.
Sum up your style of directing in three words.
One. More. Take.
How has working as an actress informed your work?
I know how to talk to people and get the performance I need. I don’t force anything because I know what that feels like as a performer. I’m better at reading the person when they walk through the door and knowing what they can give me or what they can’t – that’s the foundation and the performance is the surprise.
From late nights in Dalston to coming-of-age flicks, there is a very personal sense to your work. How much of your films would you say is autobiographical and where do you get the inspiration for your work from?
I’d like to think my work is quite human and that comes from a personal place or from listening to people, properly. I suppose I’ve also always been fascinated by failure – it’s managed to seep through a lot of pieces and like anyone who’s serious about making art and making sacrifices for it, they’ll know that’s personal.
Since your early beginnings, how have you seen the London film industry develop?
The old gatekeepers have lost a bit of dough and there are new exciting funding bodies who want to make interesting work, whether it’s through brave brands or online magazines. Specifically in features, where once you needed a lot of money, there is now cheap equipment that allows you to tell the story you want without going through a funding application process that wants to know everything from your grandparents’ ethnicity to your sexual orientation. Theres a ‘get up and go’ mindset emerging, most notably from filmmakers such as Tom Schkolnik (The Comedian). Sure, there’s an issue with quality control but there are great curators out there . If you wanted to make ‘The Fast and the Furious UK edition’, however, I think the British film industry would be a bad place to start.
In the day and age of rom coms and reality television, how important do you think it is for film to tackle serious subject matter such as human existence, identity and disillusion?
There has always been banal entertainment and who am I to tell Joe Bloggs what he should watch when he gets home, I don’t know what kind of day he’s had, and if it’s been pretty shitty I wouldn’t judge him for watching TOWIE to switch off. Film/television/theatre/musicals can offer an interlude to be numbed or moved, enlightened or educated. My interest lies in questions of human existence, identity and disillusion, but that’s my privilege and laughing at Kim Kardashian’s swollen ankles is Joe Bloggs’s.
What are your future projects, goals and plans?
I’ve got some music videos and a fashion film coming out which I’m pretty excited about. There’s also a beautiful short story I’m adapting to keep me fresh while developing a feature.