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London College of Communication

Lara Barbier

Profession
MA Screenwriting Alumni
College
London College of Communication
Person Type
Alumni
Lara  Barbier

Biography

Lara Barbier is a graduate from MA Screenwriting, and part of the LCC Graduate Residency Programme 2019.

Interview

Which course did you graduate from?

MA Screenwriting (2014-2016).

Where are you from in the world?

Born in South East London. Grew up in North Yorkshire and Wyoming, USA. Also lived in Botswana, Scotland, Switzerland and Germany.

What have you been up to since you graduated? How has your work evolved since you left LCC?

After graduating, I began submitting short plays to various new writing nights at small theatres around London, and haven’t really stopped. These “scratch nights” are a brilliant opportunity to hear your work out loud so you can improve, to network with the writing community and to showcase your work to industry.

I’ve also been developing an original historical-drama TV series with a producer over the last few years.

In addition, I gained representation with my agent, and she has been helping develop my career, setting up lots of meetings with TV production companies, developing new ideas, as well as helping with other writing opportunities.

It was through my agent that I got an opportunity to write immersive and virtual reality (VR) scripts, which I really enjoyed.

Wanting to better explore these new storytelling mediums has led me to my residency project here at LCC.

How would you describe your practice?

Day to day, it’s solitary but with bouts of intense collaboration.

The research, planning and writing (most often) is done alone by myself, but scripts cannot be refined in isolation – in the TV industry, you will often work with a script editor and probably several execs and producers who will feedback on your work at several key stages.

In theatre, you’ll work often with the director, who may also suggest rewrites or to cut lines. Also, once you hear your work in rehearsals, you yourself will often want to make changes in collaboration with the actors and director.

For any commercial work I do, again, I will write by myself, but will work along side a creative director and/or producer to ensure I deliver what the client wants and what works for the project both creatively and technically.

What do you find most challenging/rewarding about making work?

There is nothing quite like seeing the words you write, flat and 2D, spring up off the page into 3D (be that live-action or animation). It’s always terribly humbling and exciting to see your words performed.

I’m always blown away by working with my fellow creative specialists (actors, artists, directors, designers etc.) and love how they can transform and elevate a script in so many unexpected and fantastic ways.

What do you listen to when you’re making work?

Nothing – noise of any kind is intensely distracting while I write. Unfortunately, I am not one of those writers who can sit in a coffee shop!

Where do you find your inspiration?

My undergraduate degree was History and Literature, so I think I naturally find a lot of inspiration from history – particularly the untold stories of women in history.

But inspiration can come from anywhere and nowhere – daydreaming, talking to people (or animals!), reading a book or news article, cleaning, shopping, walking...

What's your favourite place in Elephant and Castle?

The LCC Library Silent Zone – it just always felt so magic to find a truly silent space in such a noisy area like Elephant & Castle.

What does your workspace look like? Do you have a studio?

I work on my laptop from our flat, at our dining room table in the living room.

From there, I can look out across the neighbour's gardens – there’s a whole East Enders-esque soap going on between the squirrels, parakeets and several cats, which I love to watch when I take a break from the screen.

What’s the best show you saw in the last 12 months?

I saw "Angry Alan" on Saturday at Soho Theatre which I really loved, and would recommend to everyone.

Why did you apply for the LCC Graduate Residency programme?

I had a really wonderful time as a student at LCC, and I was very excited at the thought of being able to re-engage with the University again, to both give back to LCC, and to accept some support from them too.

What does the 2019 theme of Space Between mean to you?

To paraphrase Jean‑Baptiste Alphonse Karr, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. We see our modern world divided, demagogues threatening to segregate us with walls and technology shackles as much as it liberates.

It may feel like a singularly unique era but history is an ever repeating pattern, a fractal replicating itself and spiralling into infinity. Each generation is born into a world of strife and love, hate and peace, fear and hope.

If we took an average pub, coffee shop or street corner in 2019 and jumped back 50, 100 or 1000 years, the set dressing may change but the conversations might be surprisingly similar.

By creating an immersive VR installation, which can place the viewer amongst those conversations across time, culture and space, we hope to show that we have more that unites us than divides us – if we just take the time to listen.

What are the ideas that you’d like to develop whilst on the Graduate Residency?

Storytelling in VR – it’s still such a new medium, and a really exciting frontier for me, which I’m eager to experiment with.

We are keen to explore how ideas, emotions and actions have repeated time and again through history.

By exploring this repetition, these “fractals” in time, we want to find the hope in their resolution and the warnings in their fallout.


How would you like to involve the LCC students in your project?

We’d love to work with LCC students from various disciplines directly (VR, Animation, Illustration, Sound design etc), where it’s feasible with their time constraints and where it would help them.

We’d also be keen to get feedback as we iterate throughout; we don’t want to create this in isolation.

What are the main benefits you think you would get out of the residency?

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop both my writing practice and to build my skills in narrative design.

As a graduate of LCC, I’m looking forward to re‑engaging with the wider LCC community and working with current students, as well as gaining mentoring and support from LCC.

Related area

View the MA Screenwriting course page.

Find out more about the LCC Graduate Residency.

Links

Website: https://larabarbier.com/

Twitter: @LaraBarbier