Friday 29 August 2014

Interview with Laura Jean Healey

Interview with Laura Jean Healey 

Laura Jean Healey is an artist-filmmaker who works with holographic film to produce haunting and powerful pieces, where the presence of the actor is strongly felt in the room with the audience. The Siren (2012), shot underwater in one sequence, is perhaps the most striking of all of her works to date.

Anna McNay: We met at the beginning of the year when your film, The Siren (2012), was being exhibited in the Winter Pride Art Exhibition. I then came to experience it to its full effect at the Musion Das Hologram studios. How did you come to be working in this way? What led you to Musion?

Laura Jean Healey: I originally contacted Musion late 2008. I had an idea about creating an installation, using life-like projections that would only exist within the plane of a large – floor to ceiling – mirror. A friend recommended looking into the Victorian theatre trick, Pepper’s Ghost. At the time, Musion was offering a free course introducing students to their digital reworking of Pepper’s Ghost and allowing them to experiment with their EX3 camera to create small holographic art projects. During the course, I became friends with the course leader (and now art director), Oliver Gingrich. It was Oliver who introduced my work to the directors of the company.

I then got another film job and went to work as a camera trainee on the feature film Gulliver’s Travels, where I got to work extensively with the Panavision Genesis, the camera that Musion favour for high profile projects. I had kept in touch with Oliver and was asked back to assist on a music shoot. Will-I-Am and Cheryl Cole had just released their single, 3 Words, and were supposed to be performing at a German music awards ceremony. Unfortunately, Will-I-Am was going to be touring with the Black Eyed Peas when the event was due to take place, so we filmed him performing his half of the duet and then he was projected on to the stage, next to Cole, who performed live at the event. The shoot went well and I was asked to work on several international projects, including the holographic film installation – in which a Ballerina turns into a crystal swan and then explodes into butterflies – for the Yota after show party for the premiere of Mikhailovsky’s Swan Lake at the London Coliseum; filming Portuguese music artists for the holographic stage at the Optimus Alive Festival 2010; consulting on the very first holographic opera, Telesio, for the Italian composer Franco Battiato; and assisting on the Burberry Body installation, directed by Mario Testino, at London Fashion Week 2011.

Since then, I have been working on my own projects and funding my practice by working in the film industry as a camera technician.

To read the rest of this interview, please go to: 

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