“In 2018, just after I turned thirteen, my mom signed me up for a film camp at a local private school. The moment I picked up a camera, I felt like I never wanted to put it down!”
— Lauren Havel
Recently, I had the chance to talk with an amazing young filmmaker, Lauren Havel of Lauren Grace Studios. Watch and like it on YouTube (below) or Amazon Prime.
Here’s how Lauren describes her movie, Not Broken:
“Young Winter Knight is profoundly dyslexic and equally artistic. Despair sets in as she finds herself defined not by her talents but by her disabilities. As her dyslexia begins to impact virtually every area of her life, she becomes convinced that she’s hopelessly broken. Until, that is, she discovers the purpose behind her pain.”
From my interview with Lauren and her mother Jennifer who wrote the screenplay:
Lauren: “School was just super hard because it’s kind of like everything just went in one ear and out the other. I couldn’t understand a lot of things…
Jennifer: …”I was pushing the academics and trying all these different curricula, but Lauren came to me and pulled me aside, and said, ‘Mom, this is just going in one ear and out the other. It’s not working.’ She said, ‘I want to be a filmmaker. I have all these passions, and things that I’m good at.
‘Why are we focusing on what I’m bad at? Can’t we pursue the things I’m good at?’
After she did that, it was very difficult and scary to just set aside the academics and say, okay, Lauren, this is obviously how God has created you. He’s wired you this way, and let’s run with it. But In hindsight, I think it was the best thing we ever did for Lauren.”
As a kid, Lauren enjoyed beautiful things and art.
Lauren: “I’ve begun to realize that Dyslexia has really helped me with storytelling, because the things that I learned from were stories and when my mom would read us books, and like, great classics, and it was just like, those things clicked with me. And I realized that’s how I learn and how I process things. And so I feel like dyslexia has become a real benefit to me, because it allows me to be super creative. And I don’t need to be perfect or even good at any of the other stuff.
Because I’ve been able to be gifted in like, creative endeavors, which is really a blessing.
Lauren’s start as a filmmaker came when she did a film camp over the summer at a private school. She started making little films, watched YouTube videos, and began training her eye for what she admired in films. She also joined the Tomorrow’s Filmmakers community and took their courses.
“When I first started making films, it was just for fun, I thought, like, you know, just play around with it. But I started to realize how powerful film can be to impact people and bless people, and just share with people and encourage them. And so I started making films that have messages that I really love and can get behind. And all of my films, since my first short, have been about different struggles and different things that people go through, hoping to encourage them through that.”
As a child, Lauren had directed skits for her cousins at Thanksgiving and listened to and read many classics. Her first film short after camp was put together in a few days. Few people saw it, but she was hooked on making films.
A few weeks after finishing that, she made an anti-bullying short called “I Hate Kate”. She uploaded it to YouTube (below). At first it only had a few hundred views, but some months later, her views skyrocketed. Today it’s been viewed by over 7 million. Lauren personally responded to thousands of comments she received on the film from around globe. What a powerful response to her film!
Congratulations to Lauren and her mother for bringing such meaningful and impactful movies to the world!
Lauren’s full movie Not Broken can be watched on YouTube at EncourageTV here: https://youtu.be/sCwxAxeTymc
Lauren will be posting work in progress photos for her upcoming movie, The Ground Beneath Our Feet here: https://www.instagram.com/thegroundbeneathmovie/