Lorna Mills is one half of the photography and film making duo TACA Works. She works alongside her husband documenting the creative processes of artists and makers.
We interviewed Lorna about TACA Works and being able to travel globally with her job!
What made you start working in film-making?
My path to my current life as a filmmaker has been more of a meandering river than a straight road. My original degree was in Business Management at Queen’s. When I graduated I worked for my father for a few years. I moved on to a few other jobs before finally realising that a 9-5 office job would never satisfy me. I had been teaching myself coding through various online courses in my spare time and got really into it. A couple of my friends were successful web designers and I decided this could be my chance to do something more creative with my life. So I started researching courses and discovered a masters course in Applied Digital Media at Griffith College in Dublin that would allow me to learn more coding languages. I handed in my notice and left the following week!
I learned quite quickly that coding websites for a living would leave me in a similar situation to the career I’d just stepped away from and although the process gave me a thrill I realised that there were hours and hours of desk-bound work behind making something look beautiful and fit for purpose. Then I started my filmmaking module and it really was love at first lesson! I’d always had an interest in photography but not ever really taken it seriously. During the course I met Simon at Build conference in Belfast and coerced him into helping me with a poster for my Visual Communications project. He agreed! Over the next few years we started working together. I worked as a chef for a while because I was too scared of diving straight into freelance but eventually I summoned the courage to go fully freelance. It definitely is a deep dive, no two days are the same but for me a tough day’s shooting is better than any good day in an office!
What are some of the key things you like to focus on when filming the creative process?
I am naturally a really curious person so my love of filming the creative process of craftspeople and artists comes from my innate nosiness about how things are made! Crafting and making has been a constant theme in my life, I’ve always had creative projects on the go since my teens - baking, knitting, weaving, spinning, felting, writing, painting - so I’m always excited to film someone else’s creative process. We like to get across the story behind the process and to allow the viewer of our film to really understand the time and effort the maker is putting into the finished piece and the story behind their work. I think every maker’s creative process is a rich tapestry, they all draw so much on their experience, their surroundings and their materials. Even within the same disciplines their techniques can vary wildly and we like to reflect this in our films.
What are some of the most exciting places you have worked and how did you end up there?
Our trip to Morocco last year was definitely the most exciting location I’ve filmed. We were invited out by Dan Driscoll from The Anou, an online marketplace that allows artisans all over Morocco to sell their creations direct to customers all over the world. Dan had organised a route and hired a van to drive us around. We drove 2,500km, spent about 50 hours in the van with all our gear and a crazy road-loving kitten called Moon. We visited artisans all over Morocco, stayed with families and learnt so much about their work, culture and the landscape.