Broadcaster, columnist and author Lisa May Young shares her experience of capturing the Scottish lockdown on film through the collaborative ‘Our Lockdown’ project.
‘Our Lockdown’ is a feature-length video diary/documentary project which tells the story of Scots living through lockdown through their own words. The film has been composed using contributions submitted by folk throughout the country, sharing their own experiences of this unique time in our lives.
The film is a collaboration between MidgieBite Media, Rainbow Lion Wellbeing, and Stories with Lisa May Young.
It all started with a conversation.
It’s March 2020 and it’s strange days. The government has told us all to stay in the house, the world has – by all accounts – shut down, and I’m working from home. The only source of information is social media, and it’s ripe with fear and uncertainty. We’ve never been here before and I’m scared and fearful.
As always in times of uncertainty, I reach for my go-to passion; creativity and storytelling. I look at the photographs of empty supermarket shelves and city centres and wonder how to respond. Then I spoke to Gavin.
“Ah,” he says, “you need to meet Lisa Dendy. She’s got a great idea.”
And so, we did, in the lockdown tradition of Zoom. Lisa wanted to create a film of lockdown experiences and take a peek behind those closed blinds and heavy curtains. We began following the yellow brick road. Lisa, Gavin Hugh, and me; a trio of creative misfits with enthusiasm and no real idea of what it would look like, the heartbeat and tension of any creative endeavour.
For me, I was in my element. Writing has always been a visual art for me with an obsession for words rolling out to describe the pictures of the story I see in my head. It’s like a film playing – with me battling to find a pen and a piece of paper quick enough to note it down. The way I’ve imagined stories since I was 5 years old.
My passion for history coincided with an interest in ancestry research spending days in Edinburgh pouring over birth certificates and old newspaper clippings. It was reading those hundred-year old sepia faded words that an obsession with recording history began. I follow the trail religiously, creating history podcasts with the Scottish Genealogy Society and Kirkcaldy Civic Society to record the nuances of genealogy and stories of the Lang Toun.
As the months passed, Lisa, Gavin and I Zoomed regularly and gathered clips. Bites of authentic and sometimes painful experiences of lockdown. I myself, contracted Covid-19 and found myself indivertibly becoming part of the story, as we set deadlines and worked hard to meet them.
Strangely, in all the uncertainty of the last year, Our Lockdown became a constant fixture in our lives.
Seeing the previews this week and working towards our charity premiere, I feel both excited and privileged. It’s been a joy to work with Lisa and Gavin over the last year. Lisa, with her empathic kindness and determination that Our Lockdown should reflect our contributors and benefit two charities; Raploch Community Partnership and the Kings Theatre Kirkcaldy. Gavin, with his visionary filmmaking and perfectionism, who has taken oddballs clips and amazingly transformed them amazingly into a beautiful feature film with ordinary folk at the forefront.
The previews have left me emotional and in awe of my fellow creative misfits, and I can’t wait for you to see it – virtually – at our charity premiere on Tuesday 11th May at 6.30pm.
Recording history is not only a passion. It’s vitally important. A hundred years from now, I know in my heart, Our Lockdown will bear witness to this unprecedented time in Scottish history.
It all started with a curious conversation, inspired to be a misfit and create.
‘Our Lockdown’ premieres on YouTube on Tuesday 11th May 2021 at 6.30pm.
You can watch the film at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIl7HpYwlo0
The filmmakers are raising funds for both the Raploch Community Partnership and the Kings Theatre Kirkcaldy. To donate to these charities, please visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ourlockdownfilm
Featured photo taken by Judith Robertson.