What’s your Fusion Doc Challenge film about?
Queer standup comedians in Seattle paint a picture of oppressive comedy culture and what we can do to change it.
How did you choose your subject?
We agreed that we wanted to tell a story true to our identities. Marginalized people in standup comedy was a topic we felt confident in doing justice. Prior to our first meeting, I took a social-justice-focused improv class from queer friends of mine, and we talked about how othering the comedy world is for anyone other than straight white males. It was a topic I had been thinking about consistently, even moreso after my partner took an improv class and came home every night with complaints about sexist, homophobic, and transphobic comments made by the teacher and other students. The team discussed other ideas before deciding on this one, but as a result of an hour-long discussion after receiving our theme and genres, this came out on top. We assumed it would be fun, and it was.
What was the hardest thing about the challenge?
We struggled in the editing stage to make the film funny. It’s about comedy, so it should be hilarious, right? Comedic timing is hard! After constructive feedback from fresh eyes, we ended up in a magical transformative editing session that pulled the whole film together into something tangible, and finally, funny.
What was the best thing about the challenge?
The best part about the challenge? Working collaboratively with team members who, let’s be real- they’re more like family now. Every challenge, I learn something new about my teammates. Also, an endless supply of avocados and toast for midnight snacking is always helpful.
What’s your biggest take away from the challenge?
Working collaboratively is so much more powerful than working alone. Following your instincts and sharing ideas is really scary, but so worth it.
What is on the docket now for your film career/What are you working on?
I’m a programmer for the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival. I also run Reel Queer Youth, a video production and media literacy program for queer youth and allies in Seattle, WA. I’ll be doing that for a while alongside my freelance filmmaking and animation career. In the future I’ll continue making films like this one, to educate the world about my community! Film is a great teacher. You can see my work on my website, and follow my Facebook for updates. I have a personal documentary in the works on Rejection as a concept and how it ties into my queer identity- “Rejection and Other Happy Endings.” “Oh, I Get It” will be running the film festival circuit in the near future; you can follow it at www.facebook.com/page.oh.i.get.it. Also check out Sara McCaslin, Co-Director, on her fancy new website!
Anything else you want your audience to know?
The interview subjects in our film are doing amazing work. We want to highlight their online and community presence so you can keep up with them.
Ijeoma Oluo is the Editor-At-Large of The Establishment. A Seattle-based Writer, Speaker, and Internet Yeller, her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Stranger, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, and more. She was named one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine. She’s also a columnist at The Seattle Globalist. We were particularly inspired by her piece on Comedy & the War on Free Speech.
Elicia Sanchez is a co-producer of three local Seattle comedy shows (Not Too Late with Elicia Sanchez, The Enematic Cinematic LIVES!! and Wine Shots: Comedy’s Happiest Hour) and the host of a comedy podcast about terrible movies entitled The Enematic Cinematic. She has written for websites Wonder and Risk, Have You Nerd?, Capeless Crusader, Autostraddle and Jezebel. In 2013, she was featured on LGBTQ pop culture website AfterEllen’s “50 Hot Women in Comedy” list, as well as Autostraddle’s, “The Alternative Hot 105.”
Kathleen Nacozy is a devoted comedy writer and improviser in Seattle. She doesn’t have a website yet, but she’s hilarious, so remember her name.
Danielle K.L. Grégoire: Storyteller, comedian, founder and former producer of the Comedy Womb (a female-focused, but non-exclusive standup comedy night). Current producer of Seattle’s Moth storySLAM.
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