Luckily, I’m With Geek was able to catch up with Katie to talk about the film.
I remember I was probably around 13 years old when I discovered my interest in film-making but it was also at around this age that I began facing questions about sexuality and my own interests. I remember being emotionally attracted to a female because I held her in a huge regard, but the feelings I had were never sexual. This feeling got me thinking that there must be so many people out there who are constantly worried about what other people think about them because of society’s pressures on young people. Crossroads isn’t just about the relationship between two gay men; it is the pressure, the feelings and the emotional reactions that tell the story.
That’s what the film is really about for me – Feelings. The central idea behind Crossroads almost gets lost amongst the political and governmental climate of our times. “Emotions” and “Feelings” are senses we all share and are part of a larger scale and can sometimes be very frustrating to the person and to the recipient but they are feelings nonetheless. Crossroads aims to show the emotions that everyone feels when dealing with a situation. Grief, love, hate, anger, shock, passion, lust… They are all emotions that Crossroads aim to highlight.
With the climate of society focusing on the importance of homosexuality, how vital is your short film in showcasing these relationships?
The idea of Crossroads was one I very much wanted to bring to life because it touches on so many areas that are so prominent in our world. As far as audience reaction is concerned, people will respond to the intentions behind the themes of choice and sexuality in different ways, which is exactly what I wanted. I wanted people to think “How can a dad think that way…?” “Why on earth would the son do this…?” “What sort of father would push his own son away…?” But it is these questions that people face in reality but it is the story and reason behind those questions that are most important.
In way, part of me is happy that this film represents the “gay rights” statement, but that statement also troubles me somewhat because everyone has the right to love whoever they want to, it’s genuinely about the human condition. The person within, not the politics that underline them.
I hope that Crossroads helps people to understand the reactions some people face when facing issues they didn’t necessarily see coming though.
This is a difficult question. When writing a script, it isn’t just the case of writing a start, middle and end. It is constructing characters, creating their own personalities and giving them back stories way before even beginning the script.
I did find it very intriguing though, writing about a father that appears to hate his son because of his sexual orientation, but it is so much more than that, the emotions run so much deeper. You have to look at the back story really. I guess it was intriguing though because it is hard to imagine a father figure being so unsupportive and obstructive when it comes to something as natural as loving another human being.
When writing about Rex and his own troubles, it came to light very early on in creating his character that a lot of people go through troubling feelings. I spoke with a young man about the film who is a student and he said that he found it very difficult to “be himself” because he was an only child and that he worried that his parents would hate him if he didn’t give them grandchildren. This statement really shook me because it made me realise that a lot of families may feel that way.
How did you find your actors?
I put out various casting calls and had a couple of people interested but none that really fit the character I had in mind. I approached a few actors as well and was actually quite shocked at the reactions I got. One actor had replied to my casting call and said he would love to be a part of the film if he didn’t have to get intimate with another man and his words were, and I quote “because I’m not gay.” I found his reply quite interesting coming from an actor because he didn’t need to be gay to portray a gay character.
Nonetheless, I searched and asked around and eventually I found Liam Hallinan, an up-and-coming actor and Chris Clynes an actor from London. I gave both of them an audition and both slotted in to the role and the character like a glove. They were both hugely passionate and had a lot of background to bring to the characters.
I then found Paul Dewdney, a very well-established actor who played the father character. His story was the most tough to write because he was playing a much hated character but one that the audience would, perhaps grow to understand, and later recognise.
It was fantastic. Every single crew member had a hungry passion to create the very best with the small budget we had and it was extremely clear on set how professional and specialised they all were. We had some difficult set-ups and very early starts but because we all had the same drive and began to share the same vision so it really helped for us all to begin to develop the story and make the story matter.
Similarly, you smashed your crowdfunding campaign, were you excited to find people were enthusiastically supporting you?
Definitely! Every time I logged on to the crowd-funding site to see a few more pounds here and there I was filled with excitement. I was so chuffed to see that people from all over the place were so eager to help and to have faith in people you haven’t met before is astounding. I hope we did them justice really.
When will we be lucky enough to see this movie?
At the moment the film is in post-production but we hope that the film will be available soon for viewing. Watch this space!
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