When Life Gives You Lemons: the finished documentary

I can’t quite believe how quickly this year is slipping away. My last year at Bournemouth University, today marks the hand-in for my major multimedia project, and I’m one step closer to graduating.

This project has been one of the most challenging things I’ve done during my time at university, and it has been a real test of character. Producing, editing and shooting a documentary solo is a mammoth venture, and something that I will really be able to appreciate as I go forward.

I’ve had my fair share of struggles. If two ideas packing up before I even left the mark wasn’t enough, I’ve encountered a spectrum of production issues relating to lighting, continuity, and most annoyingly – wind. You’d think those fluffy boom mics can withstand a blustery gale, but they really can’t.  Lesson learned.

I’ve also found that I’m not entirely comfortable being on camera yet. If you could see the amount of takes for my piece to camera and video diary that exist on my SD card, you’d eat your hat – or maybe some fruit, depending on who’s reading this. However, this is not beyond repair, and is something I hope will develop with experience and confidence.

I’ve also learnt to embrace my awkward oranges.
awkward oranges

Yet it’s when the final article comes together at the end, that the whole tumultuous journey seems worth it, and part of a broader learning experience. I think I can safely say that my technical capabilities have improved massively over the course of this project.

And now, as I wipe away a small tear like a proud mother, I present to you When Life Gives You Lemons: a short film by Laura McKenna. There is so much more material that could have gone into this documentary, but ultimately this is what made the final cut – and I hope you like it.


Due to timing restrictions, I couldn’t actually fit a credits sequence at the end, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my contributors: Owen Gayle, SebCam and Chloe Miles, for their patience and enthusiasm. I would also like to extend special thanks to Charlie Souter-Phillips, Kassia Wordley, James Adams and Sarah Tijou for your valiant camerawork, and getting me out of sticky situations when it looked as though no one could help me film.

What have I learned about myself from this project? Well for one, that I actually quite like blogging. Over the course of my degree, I’ve been so cautious to publish anything I’ve written online for the fear that my writing is not up to scratch. I don’t always have the best faith in myself, but I’ve come to realise that I need to be a little more fearless. Coming up with fruit puns throughout this semester has managed to keep me sane.

The element I loved most about this project , however, was interacting with my audience online, and gauging their feedback about every step of the journey. It was a really rewarding and gratifying experience, and I am so pleased that my Twitter followers have been so kind (so far!)

Now, the time has come for me to sign off from When Life Gives You Lemons. Thank you for taking the time to follow me on my journey, I hope I have provided some light relief over the last few weeks. Who knows what I’ll be putting to the test next.

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