Life after the Leaving: “You have to be a bit of a chancer.”
19-year-old Laura Gaynor is going into her second year of cinema and TV production in IADT Dun Laoghaire. A native of Strandhill, Co Sligo, she is a filmmaker, vlogger and radio presenter.
“I was really quite young when I knew I wanted to make films. I was always into English and drawing and I guess those things lend themselves to that a bit. I mean, you don’t need much equipment. You can make a film on a phone.
“My first proper short was called A Piece of Cake. I entered it into a competition on RTÉ and it won a public vote which meant it was broadcast – that was a big boost. That particular short was a cartoon. Now I’m more into live action but I like using animation as a part of film.
“I wasn’t that settled in school. When I found film, I got busy. It helped a lot to keep things interesting. I knew exactly what course I wanted to apply for when it came to college. I had to submit portfolios and go for interviews but I got it. There are very few courses in this field that start from the beginning in terms of what you need to know and that’s what I needed.
“Dublin has a lot of opportunities if you’re willing to stick your neck out and ask for what you want. I get involved in a lot of stuff. I started presenting a show on Irish language station Raidió na Life and that led to an opportunity to co-host a show on RTÉ’s digital station 2XM called More Cowbell.
“I post vlogs, I make short films. I called the Fresh Film Festival when I heard they get TV advertising spots and offered to make them an ad. They called me back eventually and said yes (I think I wore them down). I do promos for businesses. I guess a lot of work comes my way because I work a lot. You can’t make a short and then sit back and wait for stuff to come to you.
“I like being busy. I’m involved with Young Global Advocates and I’m on the Spunout.ie action panel.
“I think the biggest thing to remember in terms of getting what you want is never to be afraid to ask. You have to be a bit of a chancer. You just never know who’ll say yes.”
– In conversation with Gráinne Faller