North London artists get creative at The Orfanage

May 27, 2021

Recording equipment at The Orfanage

In his short documentary, Liam Rodney< talks to The Orfanage founder, Lewis Cordwell about the benefits of being in an artistic collective

My short documentary focuses on an interview with Lewis Cordwell, a beatmaker, producer and session musician from north London. He plays the guitar, bass and six-string.

Lewis set up The Orfanage, comprised of music-makers, producers, singers, photographers and filmmakers. It serves as an online networking family where people can share ideas, safely connect and find out about opportunities in the creative industries.

Lewis feels passionate that everyone deserves a decent chance. Without friends or family already established in the industry to support him, he knows how difficult it is to break into this world.

My love for filmmaking, photography and music inspired and motivated me to make this documentary. The Orfanage allowed me to meet and work with people from different creative disciplines. They all have interesting stories to tell which we can learn and benefit from.

Taking photos of people at work and recording their experiences gives them a chance to express themselves, which can then be shared with a larger audience.

This documentary is part of my final major media project at Barnet Southgate College. It plays a big part in my final grade for the year. It’s also an important piece for my portfolio for getting a place at university.

A typical day for me includes filming and editing videos with my friends or organising photoshoots for creative projects.

I aspire to become a great artist one day, documenting different cultures and giving people a platform to tell their stories

Taking portrait photos and pictures of people going about their business on the streets gives me the best connection with life. Lately, I’ve been excited by documentary filmmaking after watching the Louis Theroux series ‘Life on the Edge’ and other indie docs on Youtube.

I get a bit restless when I don’t have a project on the go and I have to be careful not to slip down the social media rabbit hole. You can read more about this in my article for Exposure.

During the lockdown, a very challenging time for most young people, I started to experiment with self-portraits and, after a period of feeling a bit lost, went on to teach myself more about film editing.

I feel brighter about my future as I’ve found purpose in what I do and I’ve got used to the uncertainty of the world during the pandemic. Being active has been essential to my learning and creativity. I want to go to university to study film and journalism. I aspire to become a great artist one day, documenting different cultures and giving people a platform to tell their stories.

My advice to any creative reading this would be to work hard and make as much content as possible. The more material you create the more mistakes you’ll make and the more you’ll learn. Also, I’ve really benefitted from preparing and planning as part of my creative process. There’s great value in having a plan. You can of course diversify from it but without an end goal, it’s easy to get confused.

Just to remind you that everyone is welcome at The Orfanage!

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, distributed by CommUNITY Barnet Giving has helped us with this work. Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible.

Liam Rodney is a student at Barnet, Southgate college studying Media. He has always loved to jot stuff down to sort out what he thinks and how he feels. Liam has been writing more during lockdown.

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