Finding Depth

Finding Me is not your average "boy meets boy" love story -- few films actually are -- but the new flick sizzles, thanks in part to its emotional depth.




What challenges did you face filming some of the more sensitive scenes and what did you hope to evoke? In one of the more sensitive scenes there is a big argument between Faybien and his father, and while we were filming it -- and again, it was so home-spun how we filmed, because one of my friends was holding the boom -- the argument between the father [and Faybien] in the film was so intense that I could see my friend getting emotional. And every time we cut for another take, he would say, "I hate this movie. I am reliving what I was going through." I didn't realize it was that intense. But I was trying to touch that core … that the black community seems to have against homosexuality. It's so unnerving. It's 2009 and it's old. I can't speak of all, but a lot of the black community does not condone homosexuality and it's frightening. It's bad. So I wanted to get that emotion from the audience. The other sensitive part was [Faybien's] love interest, Lonnie. I did not want them to be these "Hey, girl!" finger-snapping, head-turning guys, and all that other stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I wanted to show experiences I had. The only difference [from other love stories] is that it is two men. We still love each other. We hold each other. I will never forget after the lovemaking scene, they are in the spooning position, and a woman came up to me after a festival screening and she said, "I didn't know gay men did that, just held each other in bed."

What do you love most about writing and directing. For writing, it's that the reader can take what you have written and create it in their mind quickly. Whatever I intended it to be may not be how they interpret it at all. It's their world, their fantasy. Directing, I love bringing what's on the paper into a motion picture -- these pictures are moving.

What's up next for you? The sequel, Finding Me: Truth . We just wrapped our first month. We're taking a break and picking up again in July. We're shooting on the weekends. It's still low-budget. Out of my pocket. I'm hoping that something changes soon.

So, what's some of the best advice you've been given about life? My dad said this to me, maybe a few months before he died…he said, "You have to make yourself happy first. If you are not happy, there is no way you can help or make anybody else happy. So you must be happy first, then tend to others." I think, in so many ways, making films is what I love and it's what makes me, not just happy -- because that's a fleeting feeling -- but it gives me peace of mind. I've finally got to where I've wanted to go.

Tags: film