RESHAPING BEAUTY was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the March 2020 LGBT Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Tom Goss: I’m trying to change the way that the world sees beauty, especially in regard to people of size.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
– From writing the song, to finishing the video, I think around 6 months.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
– Everyone’s Beautiful
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
– There’s never enough time. We shot everything in a day. It was, as usual, too ambitious. Oh, and don’t use anything with glitter. I spent 2 hours cleaning the floors over and over.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
– I loved how strongly people were reacting. From my perspective there were two reactions.
1. People embracing what I’m saying. I will always represent people of size and color in my work. As a result, people come up to me and tell me how moved that imagery and message. We have seen beauty and romantic leads in one specific way for so long that we (as a society) have a hard time seeing anything other than what we have learned. I say fuck that. Let’s show the world a huge rainbow of beauty and be representational to everyone. I loved soaking in the awws and warmth of those people in the audience.
2. People being shocked by it. The truth is, I’m saying something very culturally subversive, and I love that about this project. I could tell that I was making some people uncomfortable. I like that. Growth only happens when you are pushed out of your comfort zone. They may not come up to me after the screening (like the group above), but I know the images will stick in their head and they’ll think about it when sitting at home alone. I love the sound of their laughter, it means that I’m making them uncomfortable. I know it means I’m igniting deeper thought.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
– I am attracted to men of size and color and I never see my ideas of beauty represented in mainstream media. I can complain about it, accept it, or create my own art to try to give them the representation I want. I chose the latter.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
– Oh man, I don’t know. I tend to only watch things once.
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
– It’s easy but sometimes lacking in feedback. I know that each festival gets way more submissions than they can accept, so I understand why, but more individualized feedback would be ideal.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
– Oh, I have no idea. Something Dave Matthews Band I’m sure. I spent a decade only listening to Dave Matthews Band. : )
10. What is next for you? A new film?
– I’m always writing music and making films. I released a new album in November (Territories) and have released 4 music videos (short films) since then. I have a 3 part music video series that will finish being released last month. In addition, I just finished a documentary about the writing and production of Territories. I’m currently writing, producing and curating a global song and video to help bring people together in this time of great isolation. Hopefully it’ll take people’s mind of the pandemic for a little bit and make them smile.