Greetings from the Paris COVID-19 lockdown. It’s day 17 to be precise. Saying that the past 6 weeks have been tumultuous is an understatement: I’ve personally experienced the double whammy of anxiety over the situation in Lombardy, Italy (where my family and many friends are) and France (where I am with my husband). Since mid-February, it’s been a real struggle to concentrate and manage the simplest writing tasks – it’s as if my brain has been unable to string together even two sentences, as worry over my loved ones superseded any efforts to be productive. I couldn’t even write in my private journal! It was that bad. But this is a situation where I feel being an artist can help. True, I could not write proper sentences, but I managed to carry on with film editing projects – no trouble there. And I have been taking photos every day while confined in my apartment. Since day one of the lockdown, I felt it was important to document what #quarantinelife is like, and immortalize these unprecedented moments. I suppose this terrible experience is further proof that I am a visual person – and that art, at least for me, is cathartic and uplifting.
A few days into the Paris lockdown, I received a call from Ian Harkin, CEO of Lottie. Ian was about to launch a new doll – True Hero Lottie – inspired by 13-year-old coder Aoibheann Mangan… and he needed a video. I said yes in a heartbeat.
Some of you may recall that I have been collaborating with Lottie Dolls since 2016: I first produced and edited a video about Stargazer Lottie, inspired by a 6 year old Canadian girl, Abigail, who loved astronomy. Then the following year Lottie hired me to produce and edit a series of videos for their social media campaign #InspiredByRealKids. It always feels like an honor and a privilege to work for a company with such good values. Unlike another famous doll who shall not be named here, Lottie Dolls look like real kids, with a child-like body and an incredible array of interests, from science to exploration, art and photography. Nothing to do with oppressive beauty ideals or rampant consumerism. Lottie Dolls are incredibly wholesome, cool, and many of them have been inspired by real girls and boys (thus the name of the campaign “Inspired By Real Kids.”).
I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I will let you discover True Hero Lottie and the inspiring Aoibheann through this video I just made for Lottie. As I mentioned, it was put together during the lockdown – a true example of work while practicing social distancing… and the magic of editing (all I had were a few photos and archival videos). I hope you’ll enjoy it:
And if you’d like to take a trip down memory lane with me, here are some other videos I made for Lottie.
The story of Superhero Lottie – inspired by Lily:
The story of Taylor, an inspiring girl in STEM and Lottie ambassador:
The story of Allie, who inspired Robot Girl Lottie:
The story of Stargazer Lottie, inspired by Abigail:
Stay home & stay safe!
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