Interview with Filmmaker Michelle Do (WE, THEM)

WE, THEM played to rave reviews at the February 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to make a bite-sized film that focused on the LGBTQ+ community since it is a community near and dear to my heart. I feel that there aren’t enough films for the community that are uplifting and really showcase the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community. We are beautiful, and no one should be encouraged to hide who they are just because their sexual orientation or gender identity deviates from being straight or cisgender. There’s beauty in embracing your own identity, and that’s what we really wanted to capture in this film.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about three months. I called Jeffrey (my partner in crime) up one morning and dragged his ass (Am I allowed to swear?) out of bed one morning because I had sat down in a coffee shop and wrote up this script within minutes and decided that I wanted to produce it. He showed up, and we planned out the initial shot list. We shot the film about two weeks later then had to do pickups a month later for some of the close-ups. Then, the rest of the time we spent editing. We wanted to take our time with the editing and not rush it because I really wanted to get it right.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Intimate and Uplifting

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Time!! We filmed at an AirBNB that we had for only one day, and the actors were both in college, so it was a lot of trying to work around everyone’s schedule. Also, if you look at the credits, there’s only the actors (Jordan and John) then Jeffrey and myself. We had to do every set-up ourselves along with hair, makeup, catering, and picking up the actors for the shoot. It was a lot, but it was definitely worth it.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Wow. It made my heart glow. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I clicked on the link to the feedback video, but I just want to extend a huge thank you to everyone in that video.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

It’s a cliché, but I’ve wanted to make films ever since I could remember. I’ve always loved films and being creative and the only thing that ever made sense for me to dedicate my life to has been film.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Oh, Little Women. For sure! Greta Gerwig please see this. She is phenomenal in how she told the story of the Little Women and I loved it so much that I just couldn’t get enough and wanted to learn from it. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it. The performances, writing, and editing are incredible.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I really like FilmFreeway. It makes it easy for a filmmaker to find festivals to submit to.

9. What is your favorite snack to eat?

Geez. I don’t know. It’s always changing, but lately I’ve been on a carrot and hummus kick!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

A lot! Jeffrey and I just finished a script we wrote together, so now we’re trying to plan for that. It’s very different from this film which is exciting. I’m going to be acting in an indie feature next weekend. Beyond that, I’m also working on pre-production for a documentary and am writing my first pilot.

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