Sophia Crenna talks about her new short film, “Isobel Lola”
Being in quarantine isn’t always easy or comfortable. It can cause anxiety for some people, while others use it as a time to rest or maybe perfect their workout routine. But for creatives like Sophia, the extra time is seen as an opportunity to get creative and work on new projects.
An intimate look at her best friend, Isobel Lola is the new short film by filmmaker and high school senior Sophia Crenna that’s debuting here on Adolescent. A project born out of quarantine, Sophia’s new film is a beautifully raw piece of art that captures the innermost essence of life and friendship.
Adolescent Content: What influenced you to make this?
Sophia Crenna: I’ve known Isobel since second grade, so in many ways our experiences are intertwined. Being quarantined [has] allowed me to focus on the most prominent aspects of my life—the things that stay even in times of crisis, one of those being my best friend. Nostalgia is embedded in this film and was very much inspired by the limbo that occurs when high school ends but the next chapter hasn’t yet started. It’s a time of reflection and uncertainty. Isobel and I shared this feeling, and I wanted to capture it in a portrait of her. While Isobel and I are very similar, she has a much more romantic view of the world, which ultimately inspired me to edit the interviews into a poetic arrangement and capture her world through shots that would convey an emphasis on beauty and dreams.
Adolescent: With everything that's been happening, how have your friendships and relationships been affected?
Sophia: Surprisingly, I’ve found that I’ve grown much closer with my friends. When the world is in chaos, [it reveals] who will stay and who will let distance create barriers. There are many creative and safe ways to stay in touch with people, but it takes extra effort. When someone is willing to put in that effort, it can really strengthen your connection.
Adolescent: How did making this film make you feel? Has it changed your perspective or friendship with Isobel in any way?
Sophia: When making a portrait of someone, there’s a lot of trust involved because the representation of the subject's image is entirely in the hands of the filmmaker. Although there was a collaboration between Isobel and I, in the end, she had to trust that the film would be an authentic depiction of her. Portraiture is a very vulnerable experience, especially being interviewed, so it was really special to show her the final product and hear how much she loved it. I think both of us learned a lot about each other because when you share your creative ideas with someone else, new ideas are bound to surface.
Adolescent: What do you want people to get out of watching the film?
Sophia: While this film is specifically about Isobel’s personal growth, reflection, and memories, I hope it evokes a sense of nostalgia from the viewer. Personally, I think the best storytellers are able to make the most unique experiences relatable. Even though not everyone has shared Isobel’s specific experiences or memories, I hope some part of them, conscious or subconscious, reflects on what has shaped them into who they are.
Adolescent: What are the three things you admire most about Isobel?
Sophia: She’s the most loving, loyal, and supportive friend; she’s extremely introspective and dynamic—there are so many different sides to her, all of which are brilliant and fascinating; she has a very impressive sense of morality. Her actions are always anchored in her values.
Adolescent: Are there any other creative projects you're currently working on during quarantine?
Sophia: Because quarantine has limited my resources and input from different environments, I’ve been extremely reflective. I’ve taken so much time to do creative writing, journaling, and filmmaking. Right now, I’m working on an experimental short film [in which] I’ll attempt to deconstruct the beauty standard of clear skin.
Interview conducted by Nicole Isabel for Adolescent Content.