A Graduate Filmmaker inspired by her Dad’s love of Rave Culture

Still from Mischa Baker
I came across Mischa by a chance encounter, intrigued by her influences, I found out more about what it felt like graduating in lockdown and how Blackpool and music might inform her film making.

Mischa, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Mischa Baker, I’m a filmmaker/multi-media artist/content creator, born and raised in Blackpool. Initially self-taught, then later advancing into Creative Media at Blackpool Sixth form and recently graduating from Manchester Met University with a BA Hons in Filmmaking.

My dedication to filmmaking for the past 5 years has allowed me to have the pleasure of working with the most amazing clients, from Weddings to online courses for entrepreneurs and promotional content for businesses and events. I am fortunate enough to have travelled with my passion, landing me in the most incredible places such as Bali, Indonesia. My work has allowed me to connect with people all over the world whilst learning and progressing further with my techniques along the way.

What made you decide to study film?

Undertaking acting and theatre as a child/young teenager I’ve always had an interest in working behind and in front of the camera. I soon found that I preferred being behind the camera as opposed to in front of it. Having that creative freedom and producing work that interests me, simply motivates me to progress further. It’s an ongoing labour of love and generating innovative concepts whilst studying, networking, collaborating, and being surrounded by like-minded filmmakers only inspired me more. The ability to produce a thought-provoking piece and bring light to personal stories and significant subjects through Documentary was always something that encouraged me to delve deeper into my own personal experiences and of the people around me.

 Tell us a bit about your work.

I’m enthusiastic and passionate about producing work that generates audience reaction through the use of highly visual energy within my pieces. I am particularly interested in music, movement, and emotions and how the energy surrounding a piece of experimental work has the ability to speak for itself and emit certain emotions. I am continuing to develop my immersive works which explore both digital and analogue formats such as 16mm film and archive video. The work I articulate is true to myself and my style through personal experiences, experimentation, and taking risks. The content of my work draws on subjects such as utopia/dystopia, rave, and dance culture. I consider dance music and the overall atmosphere at a ‘rave’, to have the ability to take complete control of the senses and spawn internal, transgressive energies. I have developed my ideas through experimental editing, colour experimentation, and layering of imagery. My recent works and research focus’ on creating expanded, multi-disciplinary experiences that include digital interactivity and video mapping.

What was it like to graduate during lockdown?

 Graduating during lockdown was underwhelming, to say the least. Not receiving the fulfillment of a degree show and what we had been building up to for 3 years was devastating, let alone a postponed graduation ceremony. It’s almost as if we haven’t even graduated yet. Many of my peers didn’t even begin filming their pieces, months of preparation for some, all leading up to this moment for universities to close and everything put on hold.

My graduate piece, like many others, had to be adapted to the current situation, it drove me down a more experimental route. On the plus side, this led me to discover what I enjoyed doing the most. Lockdown restricted me from exhibiting this project to grasp what the full effect would be like and delimited me from gaining a response on the piece within a space regarding the immersive. 

Did you make any work during lockdown?

Throughout the height of lockdown, I found it difficult to be motivated and generate ideas, like many creative individuals I assume. However, I produced a short film called ‘Life in Lockdown’. This was filmed during my hourly walks and included a bank of voicemails of my much-missed family and friends, discussing how they’re coping in these abnormal times.

Aside from this, I completed my graduate piece ‘Eternal Crescendo’. This piece is an immersive multilayer durational installation. It invites its audience to become part of an abstract environment by maneuvering around the piece and becoming a dancing silhouette. This piece is built on the foundations of personal internal feelings and experiences when immersed within music and the effect dance music has on the mind and body. These overwhelming, stimulating emotions are displayed through experimental editing and manipulated 16mm clear film leader. I desired to communicate my own personal experiences in a highly visual, abstract approach and interpret my indication of ‘getting lost in the music.’

Watch Life in Lockdown by Mischa Baker

Do you think being from Blackpool is important to your work?

 Absolutely, I draw on personal experiences and develop ideas through practical experimentation and extensive research. Many of these experiences stem from family, friends, and of course, my hometown, Blackpool.

Both Blackpool and family in cohesion have provided inspiration for my recent practice, specifically the 90s rave scene in Blackpool. The overall theme has stemmed from growing up around the topic as my father was a DJ and was heavily influenced and involved within the 90s rave scene. Presenting his experiences and memoirs in a visually innovative way has been something I’ve wanted to produce. I have always been engrossed by the topic and desired to research it further as it’s so personal.

Watch Eternal Crescendo here

What are your plans for the future?

 The current climate makes it’s difficult to think so far ahead, however, I will be continuing to Freelance and create unique and visually pleasing content for clients, galleries, and screenings. Working with analogue and archive formats is an area I desire to advance in, as well as experimental editing and utilising AV software to create visual energy within my pieces. I will continue to develop ideas and pull concepts from personal experiences to create immersive works. I still have the intention set on wanting to travel, whenever that may be, it would be a bonus being able to travel more whilst doing what I love in the process.

Find out more about Mischa Baker and her work here



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