Videography allows A level student to visualise emotional experiences

7th February 2019

Moving from Slovakia to England is never an easy change. However, A level student Tien Tran Thuy (known as Monica Tran), took her experience in stride and has recently been highly commended in the Moving Image Awards for her music video Suburbia.

“Creating a music video was harder than I expected, I enjoyed filming the video but it took a lot of time and effort. It was a completely new experience.”

Monica Tran

An A level student, Monica is currently studying Media, English Language and Politics. A true creative at heart, she chose those subjects based on enjoyment and her future career plans.

Creating a music video was compulsory for her course, but Monica drew inspiration from one of her favourite music artists to visually represent the meaning behind his lyrics.

“I am a fan of Troye Sivan’s music so I chose one of his songs, Suburbia. He is singing about the suburb that he grew up in and how he misses his home. I was trying to study the lyrics and visually create the meanings behind them.”

The video itself is astounding to watch, combining technical skill with creative storytelling. It shows a lone musician repeatedly rehearsing the song in the suburbs. Even without the haunting music in the background, the sequence of shots creates a story where the character’s pain is palpable.

“I’d like to thank my friend who helped me film, by agreeing to appear in it, considering it was really cold at the time of filming!”

Focusing on getting to grips with filming a video for the first time, Monica never expected to be highly commended at the prestigious WJEC Moving Images Awards. What’s more exciting, she had to adapt to a new culture as well as a completely different education system.

“I was born and raised in Bratislava, Slovakia. There, we didn’t have colleges, instead we had gymnasiums and middle schools. At the end we would take an exam that had to be passed to get into university.”

Once Monica moved to the UK, she chose Leeds Sixth Form following a recommendation from a family friend who had lived in the UK for a while.

“At the beginning it was hard to get used to a different education system compared to the one I came from, but Leeds Sixth Form has been a great experience and has provided me with excellent education.”

What’s next for Monica?

She is now preparing for her next music video shoot. Her video has a narrative about emotionally abusive relationships and she’s hoping it will deliver messages in a relatable, impactful way.

Leeds City College