INTERVIEW- Caity Lougheed: Glasgow based filmmaker talks about her punky women, dislike of realism and Jem and the Holograms visual inspiration

Caity Lougheed is an up and coming Glasgow based filmmaker. With a penchant for bright colours and ballsy characters, Caity has created a world all her own. This stylised and dream-like aesthetic she’s been creating and exploring for only one year seeps of inspiration from Petra Collins, Jem and the Holograms and 90s Riot Grrrl culture.

Her films explore women in their most confident and hilarious formats: band members, bosses, obsessive teens and best friends, with no end of punchy dialogue, often subverting the usual notions of women’s behaviour and representation. Shooting with some of her closest friends, Caity has developed a reality where women rule the world and every set looks like a 90s music video.

You can find all of her shorts including her most recent ‘LazyGurls’ on Vimeo here and keep up with her technicolor Instagram here.

SQ: Hey Caity! So you’ve said that you only started making films in the past year, what motivated you to actually start creating short films? You’ve put out so many refined shorts in such a short space of time!

Caity: Hey thank you for having me! Yeah the last couple of years have been mad. Growing up I loved drama and did things like Scottish youth theatre and Scottish opera classes. I wrote a lot and knew I wanted to make something, I just didn’t know what. Then in 2016 it ended up that the last conversation I had with my dad he told me to ‘stop talking about it and just do it’ and we lost him 3 days later. That paired with a recent heartbreak just made me kick it into gear, life is so short not to try at something. I thought I could either fall apart or I could channel that anger and pain into something, so I started writing scripts. I’m lucky enough to know great actors who are always game when I message them with an idea, and my bestie Georgia Harris is a very talented director of photography who gets me and we work well together so that’s how I’ve ended up with so much work so far!

SQ: For such a fresh filmmaker all of your films have such a distinct vision and aesthetic. What artists and filmmakers inspire you to formulate such a bright and recognisable style?

Caity: I take a lot of inspiration from pop art and cartoons! Jem and the holograms is my absolute favourite and I take a lot from that. I’m on Instagram a lot and I’ve found that photography and artwork of all kinds, even make up artistry, influences me a lot, maybe even more so than film. Petra Collins is amazing and I take a lot from her work, very dreamy and bright. Film wise I do enjoy the aesthetic of Tim Burton, as well as John Waters. If it’s trashy the chances are I love it! I love it when a set really looks like a set, reality and realism doesn’t interest me. I want it to look like a set. Amy Dellar, known as ‘Indoor Fountains’, is a filmmaker who I fangirl over. Her films are so dreamy. My
ultimate goal is to create films where you could take a snapshot of any scene and it would be a beautiful photo I would wanna hang on my wall. Not true for all my work so far but I’m working on it!

SQ: ‘LadyParts’ is your girl band mockumentary that follows a disbanded girl group in interviews as
to why they broke up. The Riot Grrrl influences are so apparent in this film but I feel like it has
spread across most of your work. Is it important to you to depict women in this punky, doesn’t-take-
any-shit kind of way?

Caity: Absolutely. I remember watching a lot of films growing up and because they were mostly male-focused films I always wondered why the women were only in supporting roles, playing the mother, sister, wife of the lead protagonist. I was just sick of it, and so many ‘classic’ films have this tortured male protagonist that I think is really done. Women are funny, women can play complex and interesting characters that don’t need to centre around a man. We are shaped by the media we consume,so if young women see these bad-ass characters, taking no shit and being independent then hopefully it can lead to them having more self confidence and sense of self. I think there’s a lot of pressure on women to be wives and mothers, and while there’s nothing wrong with that path it’s not for everyone and there’s no shame in that and it shouldn’t be called an ‘alternative lifestyle’ either! That gets to me.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/267768577″>LadyParts</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/caitylougheed”>Caity Lougheed</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

SQ: ‘Alpha’ is your longest film to date and the one that I think most clearly represents your idea of subverting the male gaze and making it women-oriented. Could you explain a bit about the film and what inspired you to make it, and the process of shooting it?

Caity : Alpha is so special to me because it was the first film I made and I made so many friends because of it. My idea was to have a simple storyline but in an alternate universe. A matriarchal world where men carried rape whistles and women were seen as the dominant sex because of their reproductive abilities. So this guy goes for a job interview and the boss is basically very creepy and makes it clear if he wants the job he’s gonna have to sleep with her. It was written in 2016 and if I could do it again on a bigger budget I might do it differently but I love it and everyone who gave
their time to work on it… they did an amazing job. Five days of shooting on a £400 budget, a lot folk worked for free and I’m so grateful to them. I was very happy when one male told me it made him uncomfortable. I said ‘good, it should’. Sexual harassment should make everyone uncomfortable, that’s how we’ll put an end to it.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/268292025″>Alpha</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/caitylougheed”>Caity Lougheed</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

SQ: If you were given the money to do a full feature right now, what would be the dream project you’d like to create?

Caity : Great question! I have a script about two best friends who end up orphaned in the same year and go on a quest to Disneyworld to scatter ashes and fulfill their parents final wishes. Its very emotional and inspired by me and my best and oldest friend, Shiv. We both lost a parent in the same year or so of one another and its a film about friendship, grief and love. Because people grieve in different ways it’s about the two of them having to grow up and face adulthood without the support of parents. Of course it would involve flying a crew and actors to Florida, which is a thing of
dreams right now. But I’m keeping it in case I win the lottery or something!

SQ: And finally, what are your hopes for the future? Any upcoming projects we should be excited
about?

Caity : my most recent film ‘Fishtail’ is on my Vimeo from the end of September. Its a dreamy short short about a young woman who self medicates to make her dreams come true! I’m very proud of it ‘cause Georgia and I worked together on it and it’s a great example of what we can do on a small budget! I’m filming ‘Junkball 2’ in January 2019, the sequel to my film Junkball. Junkball was a total DIY project and this time I know my errors from the first and this one is gonna be bigger, brighter and better. It’s about three best friends dealing with a problem that leads them to contact someone
from their past and it could threaten their entire existence. It’s a film about friendship and things ending and new beginnings. It’s by far my most ambitious project yet, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. The future looks good, as long as I can keep making bright and female focused films I’ll be happy!

 

by Chloe Leeson

Chloe Leeson is the founder of Screen Queens. She hails from the north of England (the proper north that people think is actually Scotland but isn’t). Her lifesource is Harmony Korine’s 90s Letterman interviews and Ezra Miller’s jawline. She is a costume designer for hire who spends way too much time watching bad horror movies. Her favourite films are Into The Wild, Lords of Dogtown, Stand by Me and Pan’s Labyrinth. She rants about cinema screenings @kawaiigoff and logs them on letterboxd here

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