Arts & Culture

Interview : Lindsey Dryden

Monday 10 September
Interview : Lindsey Dryden

Lindsey Dryden, Director - September 10 at 8:30 AM

by Lizzie Ward

A director, producer and writer, Lindsey Dryden has worked on broadcast documentaries for Channel 4, BBC, History Channel, Current TV, A&E, S4C and others, since 2004, and been the recipient of film grants from the Film Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Tell us a bit about your journey as a director and filmmaker.

I've always been obsessed with stories, and making things, and music. After I did my undergraduate degree, I decided to explore working in documentaries, as it was a type of storytelling that I felt drawn to. I'm a very curious person, and 'real' stories are especially fascinating. I began directing and producing short documentaries independently – I wanted more freedom than I found TV budgets and schedules could allow: to develop my own style as a director, and to tell stories slowly, gently, yet still in a moving and dramatic way.

What inspired you to make Lost and Sound?

I started to make the film because of a personal experience I was having; the question of what might happen to music if my hearing deteriorated. 1 in 7 of us will experience deafness in our lifetime, and there is a Deaf community out there that has an amazing relationship to music. I started to research how people might re-discover music after hearing loss, found the three people who feature in the film – Holly, Nick and Emily – and eventually the film began to take shape.

How did you develop the style of the film?

I wanted to make this film the kind that I would want to watch. I wanted to combine intimate, observational filming of people to tell a personal human story, with animation to tell an unusual visual story, with sound design to tell the musical story, and a scientific approach that was both full of information and humble enough to offer some mystery and wonder as well. The animation comes from what I think music does to us all the time, and how I think it might look if we could see it: I wanted to make the unseen visible.

What do you hope Lost and Sound teaches the world about deafness and music?

I hope that people take away from the film that, while a change in your body or senses can of course be extremely difficult, it can also be hugely enriching. Deafness can be like a super-power: it can allow incredible new ways into music, ways you might not ordinarily have discovered. I think it's important for people who haven't experienced deafness to appreciate that deafness isn’t necessarily a 'worse' experience than hearing. And deafness certainly doesn't have to be the end of music!

What next? Would you consider creating more films exploring the lives of deaf people?

Absolutely. I'm developing some new projects, both film and written journalism, and I'm always keen to be in touch with people who have interesting stories to tell. We're working hard on getting this film to a big audience, and also seeking funding to make an interactive, immersive online experience around the film so that people can explore their own perception of music, whether hearing or Deaf or – like me – somewhere in between. So we're still fundraising for Lost and Sound, but also starting the next project...

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