Holly Dagger

Juniper and Lorelai

Holly Dagger is final year Filmmaking student who has created a film surrounding love, witches and friendship.

Filmmaking - BA (Hons)


My project is a short film centred around two best friends, who happen to be witches, both wishing to find the love they desire, in whatever form that may come in. They work together to find the love they need in their lives and discover they didn't need to look very far to find it. It is a comfort story, focusing on the good vibes, fun that can be had, and the warmth that can be evoked both literally and metaphorically. Myself and my wonderful team of fellow filmmakers worked hard in order to put my vision, an idea I had been working on for over two years, into practise. Exploring different types of love, from romantic to familial, was something I was extremely invested in and focusing less on the conflict between the two and more on the fun that can be had both through the characters themselves and visually, through the set, props, costumes, makeup, and lighting.


I was inspired by the concept of 'comfort films' and the desire to create something driven by the 'vibes'. I wanted to evoke a sense of whimsy, magic, and warmth through my film, putting my love of all things autumnal, mystical, and earthy into practise. I was inspired by the likes of 'Practical Magic', and classic rom-coms, like 'When Harry met Sally', 'You've got Mail', and 'While you were sleeping'. I found all these films had the same 'vibe', the same essence to them that made them so comforting to me; whether that be Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock or the consistent themes of love, friendship, and cosiness which is seen throughout the comforting sets and locations, like small town bookstores, and warmly lit bedrooms in which they smother themselves in blankets and layers. I set out to create a female led story in which they didn't need to be pit against one another and could simply co-exist, however they film was in need of more to the story which is where the idea for the driving force came from- the spell. I wanted to included witchy elements like those seen in some of my favourite Autumn watches: 'Practical Magic', 'The Witches of Eastwick', and 'The Craft'. If my film looked like how a Fleetwood Mac album sounds, I had been successful! Filming in Winter was a challenge as I wanted the garden and nature itself to play a major role but we made the best of that we had, working in such a beautiful garden that was full of life no matter what time of year you were in.


Being a writer, I focused entirely on the 'vibes' and how I could best achieve my desire for this to be a comfort film, writing in elements like books, candles, blankets, steaming tea, and dressing them in layers upon layers (which was only partly practical). I created endless mood boards, drafted up several versions of the script, and took dozens of walks through nature, as all the best do, for inspiration. Taking on the role of director meant I had complete creative control over the film, I got to have a significant impact on the look and feel of the film, keeping the characters close and always having them lit with some warmth in the frame wherever that may come from. This project was a huge collaboration with my incredible cinematographer, who put his blood, sweat, and tears, into helping my create a film I could be proud of. The naturalistic movements, the warmth inside contrasted with the cold out, and his dedication to making me, as the director, as happy as I could possibly be with what I saw on screen.


My project was made purely out of passion and a desire to create something I could feel proud of. I wanted to take what I love to discuss and create the most and put it to the screen, having my inspirations and desires at the forefront. Creating a comfort film has been important to me since the beginning as these are some of my favourite things to watch, write, and read. I wanted all the elements I love involved, the crystals, the tarot, the magic, the herbs, the nature, the warm drinks, the books, the jumpers, the boots, the warmth, the cosiness, the closeness, the list is endless. My aims since the beginning is to enjoy what I am doing and while filmmaking isn't a walk in the park, I am certainly happy with what I was able to achieve and am thankful to have had to opportunity to explore these passions.