Mind = Blown: 4 Amazing New Talents from Homespun Yarns
Last night at London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub, creative researcher, Thomas Ralph, took home the winning prize at Homespun’s third annual talent-nurturing competition – Homespun Yarns.
This year the editing collective partnered with Wave Music and invited filmmakers to submit their ideas for a short film inspired by Lyves’ haunting alternative electro soul track, ‘Darkest Hour’. With a record number of entries for the competition, four directors were shortlisted for funding – one more than the competition usually recognises. When it came down to the vote, it was Thomas Ralph’s powerfully current film on Britain’s youth generation that won the hearts of the Homespun Yarns voting audience, their biggest to date.
Before the winner was announced, Partner and Senior Editor at Stitch and Homespun, Tim Hardy, took to the stage to impart some heartfelt words about the competition, “When it comes down to it, this competition has been created for up and coming talent. It’s about the directors, it’s about the editors and it’s about giving them a space to work on the creative projects they’ve always wanted to be a part of. It’s such an exciting thing and we love to do it.”
Managing Director, Angela Hart, and Head Producer at Homespun, Alice Clarke, comments, “This year saw the most entries we’ve ever-had for Homespun Yarns. The standard of the films and the craft involved absolutely blew us away tonight. We can’t thank everyone enough, and most of all, Wave and Lyves for providing such beautiful inspiration for all the filmmakers this year.”
Thomas Ralph – Darkest Hour
Editor: Paul O’Reilly, Homespun
Thomas is a Creative Researcher at Caviar who spends his time “geeking out with directors, aiding their creative and building their treatments.” With close ties to the production world, he started directing his own work for bands and clients including Rayban, Forest Swords, Vessels and Scottish producer Turtle.
Edited by Paul O’Reilly at Homespun, the film presents the stark reality of British youth culture, following the EU referendum earlier this year.
“After listening to the track, with it’s beautiful, atmospheric tone, the open brief got me thinking I had an opportunity to make something out of the box.” Explains Thomas “It was the week following the EU referendum that I was brainstorming ideas - I was struck by both the divide in the country but also the media ignorance to the people most affected, the youth of Britain today. As a narrative I wanted to go document, listen to and attempt to understand their ideas, fears and hopes for the future…whatever they may be.”
However, capturing a broad reflection of Britain’s Youth for the film saw Thomas do a lot of travelling.
“Trying to portray a broad range of voices and faces meant a crazy seven days of footage. Thinking back, it was a bit of a nuts undertaking! But without a doubt the highlight of the whole project was meeting all the different kids and teenagers along the way. They each brought their own individual spark and story to the shoot. Even though the general theme was ‘dark’ and some of the kids’ stories and situations were shocking, what they brought to the precedings was far from it.”
THE RUNNERS UP
Jonathan Augustavo – Unddrcvr Lovyyuurs
Editior: Jennifer Tividad, Homespun
A seasoned music video and commercial director, Jonathan Augustavo is represented by Skunk UK. He has directed promos for artists including, DJ Fresh, Kygo and Macklemore (including Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ breakthrough music video for ‘Thrift Shop’)
Jonathan entered Homespun with the intention of pushing his storytelling abilities and building his narrative reel.Coming across an image by chance, an ethereal love story emerged as his narrative for the music video.
“What drew me to this song was the emotional complexity of it all. The yearning melody, the melancholy and hope.It felt like someone reaching for something, like someone who has loved and lost and wants to love again. It is powerful and beautiful and I couldn’t help but be inspired. I am a hopeless romantic and by some cosmic occurrence, I was listening to the track over and over and came across a picture of a ghost sitting on a couch on my computer. At that moment, the idea felt right. It felt like this ghost was the one whom this song was speaking for.”
For Jonathan, the challenges of filming the expressive emotions of love, on a character which had no face, was no walk in the park.
“There were no shortcuts or words to hide behind. The narrative and the motions had to tell the whole story.However, finding I was able to tell a story with no face really brought me joy.(It didn’t fully stop the self-doubt) but it most definitely warmed me creatively!”
Lee Thomas – Darkest Hour
Editor: Richard Woolway, Homespun
Stay at home dad and scriptwriter, Lee Thomas, has had screenplays commissioned for feature films and has written award-winning shorts but his emotive entry for Homespun marks his first project as a director. Stepping behind the camera for the first time, Lee’s entry is a short, expressive and hard-hitting film about emotional abuse, which accentuates the darker meanings of Lyves Lyrics.
“When I write scripts, I give little thought to the directorial ramifications of what I come up with. This has given me a different and invaluable perspective!” explains Lee.
According to Lee, the catalyst for the narrative of his story came from a trip to the gym, “I saw a couple wearing t-shirts with slogans which read, ‘Fight All Day, Every Day’. One partner was pushing the other to hard places, and it didn’t look like they wanted to go there.”
Stylistically, Lee attributes his visual influences to the work of Ryan Coogler and Daniel Wolfe. “I was thinking about their work a lot in pre-production. Although I am not sure my film necessarily looks like their work, it was in my mind. What was so enjoyable about being involved in this project was the opportunity to work with such talented people in the industry as a first-time director. I am enormously grateful to all the talented people who worked with me on this film.”
Thomas James - Bliss
Editor: Ben Corfield, Work
Thomas’ short film is about the estranged desire of a father chasing happiness in his darkest hour.
A director, writer and illustrator based in South London, Thomas has worked with numerous musicians, clients and cultural platforms, including Sony, Twin Magazine, The Fat White Family, & The Vinyl Factory. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the V&A, and he also runs The Chopping Block Gallery in Peckham with his brother. Thomas is signed to Black Dog Films and recently directed works for Oh Wonder and HoneyBlood.
The dark short film took a different approach when it came to stylistic inspiration.
“After listening to the song it was the lyrics and the haunting vocals which inspired my film. It made me think about loss and grief - what it can drive people to. I used the song as an inspiration for the narrative rather than a soundtrack. I wanted the emotion to come through visually.”
Category: Music video , Short films
Genre: Documentary , Editing , Music & Sound Design , Music performance , Storytelling