Private Project


Part hypothetical video-game, part everyday home video, the film delves into the life of 'Luby,' my (not-so-)alter-ego, and her search for the kingdom of ‘Loobtopia'. She undertakes a poignant journey, confronting the shadows of a childhood interrupted, and wrestling with conflicting emotions of guilt and gratitude. She is always moving, consumed by an insatiable desire for a fictional free-space: ‘Loobtopia'. Yet, resolution remains elusive, mirroring the very essence of the term 'utopia'—a place that does not exist.

Her chaotic meandering quest is accompanied by an intricately complex voice-over narration. The film looks at Luby's past and present, beginning in her formative years amidst the untamed landscapes of the South African bush. Her ‘search for utopia’ unfolds across continents, London blends into Tokyo, which blends into endless digital spaces… She is attracted to ‘The Rave’, as it’s said to be a utopia - a ‘temporary autonomous zone’. Accompanied by DIY a cappella techno, a monologue dissects the unspoken rules that govern the supposedly ‘free’ spaces of underground clubs.

Luby’s friends morph into digital sims, and their presence is both surreal and grounding. Amidst the narrative, an intriguing advertisement for 'the no-place' materialises, offering fragments of Luby's 'Favourite Things', while juxtaposed against flat snapshots of digital cityscapes and an AI generated map of ‘Loobtopia’. As the film unfurls, a crescendo of enigmatic scenes culminates in a surreal walk through nature, set against an eerie musical backdrop that harmonises with Luby's haunting sleep talking.

Seamlessly melding original footage enhanced through meticulous editing, interwoven text, AI-generated visuals, and 'the Sims' screen-recordings, the film becomes a living homage to Luby's expansive context—a frenetic world interwoven with the realms of AI, Web3, and the increasingly blurred boundaries between the digital and the tangible.

Luby, a product of her time, represents a generation propelled by video games, memes, and an internet that incessantly demands attention and validation. She has a constant pixelated headache.

Enter her metaverse: 'Loobtopia,' a realm that transcends conventional realities, offering an evocative exploration of identity, nostalgia, and the relentless pursuit of an intangible paradise.

  • Ruby Bailey
  • Ruby Bailey
  • Ruby Bailey
  • Ruby Bailey
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Autobiographical, satire, Utopian and dystopian fiction, amateur, student
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 29, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    15 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of the Arts London
Director Biography - Ruby Bailey

Born in South Africa, Ruby’s childhood unfolded on a game-farm. Days were spent in the forest, interrupted only by visits from troops of baboons or a family of rhinos… Media was restricted to Animal Planet and, sometimes, The Simpsons.

A shocking robbery forced her family to move to Johannesburg - the Big City. Suddenly, Ruby was surrounded by ‘trends’, ‘coolness’ and consumerism. As she grew up removed from this, their artifice was obvious to her.

Ruby moved from a rural farm school to a conservative religious only-girls school in the city to an international boarding school on a mountain in Eswatini, where she completed her International Baccalaureate. She then moved to London to study Fine Arts at Camberwell UAL.

With many context shifts, Ruby has always felt somewhat in a state of detached limbo. Luckily, art embraces the flaneur. In 2020 she learnt 3D modelling during a summer course at RISD. This marked the fusion of her artistic and technological interests. Pursuing her education at Camberwell UAL in London, she earned a BA Hons in Fine Art, refining her skills and continued exploring the idea of the constructed illusionary self.

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