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Emily Millar & Noirin Drumm, Film Producer & Director

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Film producer and director Emily Millar and Noirin Drumm

Emily (left) and Noirin (right) are the producer-director duo behind the film “See No Evil”.

Ahead of the release of their film See No Evil, we met producer-director duet behind the project, Emily Millar and Noirin Drumm.

Arts University students Emily and Noirin got in touch with us to discuss their upcoming film See No Evil. After all, it has been filmed here in Bournemouth. In our interview, we talked about the message the film tries to send, and what inspires the duo. Among other things…

WHERE ARE YOU BOTH FROM ORIGINALLY?

NOIRIN: I’m from Northern Ireland — I grew up there. And I’ve been in Bournemouth for three or four years. While I’m studying here.

EMILY: And I’m originally from Petersfield. I’ve been in Bournemouth studying film production for four years now. This is my fourth and final year.

WHAT FIRST GOT YOU INTERESTED IN FILM?

E: My mum loves Tom Cruise. Like adores him. I always have that memory. We were always watching Mission: Impossible and quite actiony movies. That was my first introduction to movies – the high-end Tom Cruise ones. And through that, it had become a thing for us to sit as a family and watch a movie. I felt like it’s such a personal experience — creating something that people can watch and have so many feelings from. It’s an industry that I’ve always wanted to go into and explore.

N: For me, I don’t think there is an “origin point”. It has just always constantly been a part of who I am. I have adored films since I was a young child, but it never occurred to me that it was an obtainable career. But once I had grown up and read into it more, heard of some of my friends doing it; I felt, “I have to do this!” And I’m so glad that I did.

WHOSE STYLES DO YOU FEEL INSPIRE YOU?

N: Two artists who I am constantly inspired by are Lynne Ramsay and Andrei Tarkovsky. They are both very visual storytellers – they prefer showing as opposed to telling. Minimal dialogue. I really love that style and try to incorporate it into my own work.

E: With me, being on the production side, I’m looking at other films and their locations and so on. A Location Manager called Sue Quinn is inspiring to me. She was the lady who managed to land a helicopter in Trafalgar Square for Mission: Impossible, which is impossible to do! I find that very inspiring – how she breaks those conventions of what locations can be.

WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA FOR SEE NO EVIL?

N: Emily came to me with the concept. She told me that she would like to make a film based in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, but that came from the perspective of the Punk Movement. That was very up-and-coming during the later half of the ’70s. And when I came to researching that, I found there wasn’t that much documentation of this era. It was so important, I felt it needed to be realised on screen. It’s such an important moment in history that has been so unrecognised for its contribution towards forging an organic peace process. Between clashing communities in Northern Ireland.

WHAT MESSAGE IS SEE NO EVIL TRYING TO SEND?

N: When I was writing it, I really wanted to get across the importance of this Punk Movement. For so many, when they hear the word “punk”, they think of the music. It’s just a style or an aesthetic. But that really wasn’t what it was in Northern Ireland. It was so integral to youth and revitalising the night life and the sense of community. That’s what I really want to communicate with the film.

I also like the contrast with British Punk in that it was an ideology for people who just wanted to rebel and stray from the status quo. Whereas, in Northern Ireland, they were living in a war zone. It was fundamental; they had a new music in which they were writing about their harsh circumstances. That they were trying to get away from that; set themselves apart from that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES BOURNEMOUTH SUCH AN IDEAL FILMING LOCATION?

E: I think, for us, when the script came out, we had to mention it to our tutors. And their first reaction was, “It’s based in Ireland; how are you going to portray this?” You always have locations in mind; what Noirin envisions, what the members of our production team envision. It’s about finding the fitting one. Bournemouth offers such a variety of landscapes. You have greenery, you have the ocean, you have high cliffs, you have the town, the old towns like Boscombe. Also around Bournemouth: places like Salisbury and Southampton. There’s so many different locations to offer in such an urban country, which was actually ideal for us to recreate Northern Ireland. We have so many options, it’s actually quite difficult to narrow it down to exactly what we want!

IF YOU COULD PRODUCE/DIRECT YOUR DREAM FILM WITH NO BUDGET LIMITS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

E: Personally, I really love high-end drama – movie and TV. The Crown roughly spends around £1 million per episode. I would definitely go into the film industry; I came to university to study film but also to study producing, which I can also use in TV. For a film, I would love to go big-budget — that’s always great for a producer when you can go wild and have no limitations, but the end goal would be to make high-end TV dramas like The Crown and Happy Valley, things like that.

N: Having researched more into The Troubles – the time that See No Evil is set – I would love to make a film from a female perspective. In my research, I looked at films that were made during that era about that era and after it, I feel it’s lacking that point-of-view. I think it would be really interesting to have a female-driven story from the age when they were immersed in paramilitary activities (or not). That’s something to explore.

IF YOU HAD ANY ADVICE FOR ANY LIKE-MINDED CREATIVES, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

E: The thing we find with being creative is that you have to get people to take you seriously. Especially coming from a student perspective. When you’re making a film with quite an important message as we are, and you have something personal enough and strong enough that you believe in, I think you will always do what you need to do to make that happen. But with people being standoffish and disinterested, I think the key is to have passion. Be passionate and organised. Show some enthusiasm for what you’re doing. If you can sell that to someone and get your passion across in that enthusiasm, then it will work.

N: When you’re struggling with a project – when you get those walls up against you – to have that passion behind you, you will push through. It makes it so much easier and more enjoyable. Also, don’t be afraid to be ambitious with stories and content. Always push the boundaries of what you can do and your limitations.

E: I think See No Evil is a really good example of that. Straight away, we dealt with issues like making our locations look like Northern Ireland. Obviously our cast all needed to be Irish-speaking. With challenges like that – it is an ambitious project. But because Noirin and I had the passion and determination and the belief in it, to us it was just the crazy process. Our tutors saw it as the challenge.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM OR END GOAL?

E: When making See No Evil, our tutor told us that this was almost our ticket in. With the film, our end goal would be to get it around the festivals and really spread the message. But personally, my end goal would be to start a location company on the South Coast. Helping photography companies, film and TV production companies find these locations. Instead of them flying to Ireland or Scotland, we could find it for them cheaper down on the South Coast. Obviously, I’m going to do the whole London thing; get that experience, then come back down south and start that business.

N: I want to continue writing and directing, creating shorts. The dream would be creating feature productions. I always have a few feature-length ideas on the back burner.

Find out more about See No Evil on its Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, support the production with a donation via this Crowdfunder link.

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Hannah Elkins, Musician

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Musician Hannah Elkins
Photo courtesy of Hannah Elkins

Ahead of releasing her first single, we had a chat with musician Hannah Elkins. Where did her journey in music begin and what are her hopes for the future?

Dividing her time between the hustle-and-bustle of London and the Bournemouth music scene, we were lucky to have a few words with musician and singer Hannah Elkins. As she goes to release her first single, it seemed like a good time to hear about her beginnings in music…

ARE YOU FROM THE BOURNEMOUTH AREA?

Yeah – I grew up in Bournemouth. I studied at Leeds University, and then came back to Bournemouth, before moving to London last summer. But most of my life has been spent in the area.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DECIDE THAT MUSIC WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?

My mum is a singer herself. She’s very musical and runs a choir in Bournemouth. So, in a way, I had no choice. I grew up singing and it was just what I knew to do. But it was really at secondary school that I realised that it was what I wanted to do for a career, and what I went to study at university.

DO YOU MODEL YOUR STYLE ON ANY ARTISTS IN PARTICULAR?

My favourite artist is Lianne La Havas. She has very delicate, beautiful vocals, with quite hard guitar sounds. For me, it was the first time I had heard that kind of contrast in music, which I fell in love with. Another one is Jessie Ware. I just found out that she was classically trained, and I studied classical singing at university. I think that’s why I love her stuff so much – you can hear she’s just got this amazing voice in there. She’s a huge inspiration to me.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST GIG…

I started writing my own music probably quite late in comparison to others. A lot of them, you hear they started writing when they were 12. For me, that didn’t happen until I went to university. Because I studied classical singing, and then I went for a year abroad in the Netherlands to learn to play piano. And it really changed my perspective of music and how I wanted to approach it.

So I started sitting at the piano and writing my own stuff. And then when I went back for my final year at Leeds, I just thought, “I’ve got to do this!” Took a lot of courage, but I booked my first gig at Hyde Park Book Club. Lovely little intimate venue – it was actually quite terrifying because it was so intimate. We had about 70 people in this room. I just rocked up with my notepad (with my lyrics on it) in one hand and my little keyboard and sat in front of these people, who were the most attentive audience I’ve ever had. And that was it – I was hooked.

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING FIRST SINGLE…

It’s called After the Midnight. I don’t have a set writing method with any of my music. Normally, I’ll find this idea, work around it and build the song, but with this one, I had just a chorus – two lines and two chords that I knew I loved. Had no idea where I was going with it. Even when I stepped into the studio, I didn’t have the song in full! Bit risky, I know, but I like a challenge. I don’t know if I’d recommend it…

So, I worked with my friends Elliot Wenman, who plays guitar, and Niko Battistini, who is a Bournemouth-based producer. With those two, I created this song.

When I started writing this, I had started a different mind state of how I wanted to write. So, it was included in a couple of other songs I had written. There was the theme of this midnight, the stars, the universe; it just fit into this collection that I was working on at the time.

WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO LAUNCH YOUR SINGLE SPECIFICALLY IN BOURNEMOUTH?

I am really excited to come back and do the launch here. That’s because After the Midnight has been a collaboration with a lot of Bournemouth musicians and artists. The artwork was done by a girl called Amy Leonard, who is studying at the Arts University. She’s done some brilliant artwork for me. Plus the photography has been done by Alice Parmenter, who’s also Bournemouth-based. And then, as I mentioned earlier, the production from Niko. There’s such talent in Bournemouth, and that’s where this single has come from.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE BOURNEMOUTH MUSIC SCENE?

In Bournemouth, there is this real market of music-lovers. There is something called Sofar Sounds, which is run in Bournemouth. I performed for them a couple of years ago, and then I volunteered for their team afterwards. It’s a brilliant event where they basically get three acts and take them to an intimate venue. Audiences can apply for tickets, and they don’t know where the venue will be or what the lineup is until they’re emailed a few days before. They tell you at the beginning of the gig that they want you to pay attention to the artists and give them that respect, which I think can be lost in some of the bigger venues. London, for example, can be slightly saturated.

WHAT IS THE DREAM OR END GOAL FOR YOU AS A MUSICIAN

Ultimately, it’s to write music that people can relate to and want to listen to. As long as there’s someone there who is listening and says that they like it — that’s the dream, really.

Read more amazing and inspiring stories from the talent of Bournemouth in our Humans section. And find out more about Hannah on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Stephanie Wyatt, Miss Earth 2019

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Learn more about Stephanie Wyatt, 19, from Dorset, as she has been crowned the new Miss Earth 2019…

At the end of last month, Stephanie Wyatt was crowned Miss Earth England 2019 at the Arden Hotel in Birmingham, sponsored by Millennium Balti in Leamington Spa. She got in touch with Humans of Bournemouth with full details on her story and what it’s like to be “Miss Earth.”

WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES AS MISS EARTH?

As Miss Earth, I will be representing England on an international platform of millions of people around the world. Since I have also been rewarded with the title of ‘Beauties of a Cause Eco-Ambassador’ for my accomplishments, my duties include working with environmental, eco-activities and other social causes.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVOCACY?

My main aim is to advocate the preservation and restoration of Mother Earth. From a young age, I remember being exposed to the harsh reality around me and knew I had to make a change. When I found out that I could make a difference, I knew I had to carry on doing what I was doing.

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A STIGMA ON PAGEANTS?

Despite the stigmas, Miss Earth is different to your everyday beauty pageant. It is an environmentally-focused competition. A platform for change. For example, one of our challenges that was judged was to create an “eco-warrior” outfit. I decided to make mine completely out of real flowers. I believe that we are sending out a message here, showing the public that we all have a responsibility to preserve and attend to what the world we live in needs. Which fights against any stigmas.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO THE MISS EARTH FINAL?

I am extremely honoured to be put in the position to attend the final. Which is the third-most prestigious platform in the world to represent England. I’m also privileged to meet so many like-minded women. I’d like to thank the Miss Earth England organisation and I hope that I will do my country proud. This really is a dream come true for me.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PROJECTS BESIDES FROM MISS EARTH?

I want to be socially and environmentally responsible for our earth. That’s why I created my own project in 2017. I investigated how I could tackle the world’s second-largest polluting industry, which is clothing. I thought of several ways to reduce this problem and also need those in need at the same time. That’s why I decided to aid those whom are struggle with period poverty. My first steps to making a difference were deciding to set up workshops at my local library, where the public could donate their unwanted clothes. Once generous individuals had donated, I was then able to up-cycle them into re-usable sanitary wear for girls in Kenya. This can make a big transformation on a girl’s life in Kenya since they can go to school now in comfort and not have to worry about their period getting in the way of their education.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO DURING YOUR REIGN AS MISS EARTH?

I hope to set up a lot more like-minded projects, similar to what I have done before. I’m particularly interested in helping Third World countries; they are one of the main reasons why I put my heart and soul into the work I do.

Find out more about the Miss Earth pageant on their Facebook page. And for more inspiring stories about the locals of Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas, check out our Humans section.

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Jack Lenton, Personal Trainer

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Personal Trainer Jack Lenton

Meet Jack Lenton. His lifestyle is his career. As a personal trainer, he owns his own business and is able to train clients worldwide.

Learn more about how he decided to become a personal trainer and how his passion for fitness began. Jack also desires to help others develop their own career in the fitness industry…

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM BOURNEMOUTH?

No, I grew up in the south of Somerset. Then I decided to go to Exeter University, so I lived there for a while. After that I lived in America for 18 months. I’ve lived in Bournemouth for the past year. My girlfriend lived here, so it made sense for me to move here with her.

WHAT DOES YOUR PROFESSION INVOLVE?

My day-to-day job is mainly online coaching and training. I also employ people to help with my business and coaching — I love being able to give people the chance to do what they love as a job. We mainly coach one-to-one sessions, giving the clients personal advice on themselves and how their body works and what suits them. Nevertheless, we also coach in groups as well; they don’t tend to be any more than 40 people. An individual’s ability determines what group they are put in. As a group, they will be supported as much as possibly needed.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO FITNESS?

Fitness was the only thing that kept my attention; I didn’t really enjoy school. All my efforts went into fitness and sports instead of education. Therefore, when choosing a university course, exercising science caught my eye. It was the only course that for fulfilled my desires at the time.

WERE YOU INTO SPORTS AT SCHOOL?

Of course! It wasn’t weightlifting or strength training — I was too young for any of that. I tended to play more standard sports such as football, basketball and I tried a bit of trampolining. As a kid, just being active was my priority. Fitness has always been a key aspect of my life.

WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIVE A STRICT LIFESTYLE IN TERMS OF FITNESS?

I have made my fitness lifestyle strict because that is the how I prefer it. My mental and physical health has improved by working out daily. Although it never limits me in terms of my lifestyle, since I enjoy it so much, it’s more of a hobby than a chore.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO START SEEING RESULTS ON YOUR OWN BODY?

I was looking at photos of myself the other day. From when I was about a year into my training and my body was so different. It took me about two years to see a massive progress. For a long while, I wasn’t very sure on what worked on my body type in terms on fitness wise. I found that, I noticed what I was doing wrong before finding what I was doing right. Over the years, I’ve increased how much I train. Before fitness and training was part of my daily routine, I was working out about five times a week. My personality is quite addictive, so that certainly helped keep myself on track.

IS SOCIAL MEDIA IMPORTANT TOWARDS YOUR CAREER AS A PERSONAL TRAINER?

Social media makes a significant impact on my career since it allows me to coach worldwide. My personal trainer career is no longer restricted to local people; because of social media, anyone can reach out to me. It also benefits me in terms of meeting like-minded individuals from anywhere and everywhere. Those who share the same passions as me and are part of the fitness community.

WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL?

Right now, I hope to carry on what I’m doing and making money from it. I also hope to keep employing more and more people for my business. This means I can help them gain experience and earn money from doing something they love as a career, just like me.

Don’t forget to check out Jack’s Instagram and website to learn more about his coaching!

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