FILMMAKER Q&A – Halo Rossetti – Director, Producer, Writer, Actor

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

HR: The film is a snapshot of everyday queer, nonbinary life that I feel is lacking in mainstream depictions of our communities. Trans folks often fall victim to the “bury your gays” trope, or pop up in stories that are basically trans torture porn, or we have to first talk about the ways in which we’ve been hurt in order to exist at all. To combat these oppressions, my film centers a group of friends living a life of both interpersonal tribulation and radical joy. A slice of daily, gay-ass life. I also tend to think that joy is at the very heart of life, so when we’re in a joy state we’re connected to life. I wanted that to come across in my film.

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

HR: I conceived, plan, shot, and edited the entire film in a week.

I made this film as part of a Scene Analysis class that I took during my second year of my MFA in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. The assignment was to formally recreate one of three scenes with our own original content. I chose to formally recreate a long take from “Y tu mamá también” that showcased a moment in the life of a queer collective house.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

HR: Short films are all about leaving the audience feeling emotionally satisfied from only a small sliver of somebody’s life. This balance is difficult to strike. Too often short films feel like truncated features. To make a short film that truly feels complete requires a level of emotional satisfaction to be achieved from watching characters make a small but significant change over a short period of time. It truly is an art form, and like all art forms takes a while to master.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

HR: Getting seven of my friends to act in it with me! Also recreating the formal aspects of a very specific long take from ‘Y tu mamá también” with as much accuracy as possible, under completely different circumstances.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

HR: Just make things. Do the thing. It will be bad for a while. Your taste will be far beyond what you can make with your hands. The gap will close. Tell your inner critic to come back in the editing room, or maybe three or four or six or twelve movies in. Aim for quantity over quality for a while. Let short films be your sketchpad. Make things and work with others until you begin to find your aesthetic and your recipe; until something starts to click. Then, strap yourself in and don’t look back.