I gave a film script of mine to a young director some weeks ago. She read it and liked it but had an interesting observation I’ve never heard from a reader before: “All of the characters are gay.”
Technically this is not true, the other people populating the office scenes, the mountain resort scenes, the main-drag-in-the-little town scenes, the restaurant scenes… they are not gay. But those people don’t have lines except for a few of them and the lines are small in number.
The director went on to say it seemed a little odd and an amazing coincidence, as if she, a Pittsburgh native, had gone on vacation to a mountain resort and run into three people from Pittsburgh. Mmm, sort’ve but not really. The focus of the script is a lesbian on vacation and to move the story forward, she needs to run into these other lesbians. There are other people in the background but the story isn’t going in their direction. They’re providing local color.
Am I going to change the script to reflect a more, ah, balanced view? No, I am not.
If this straight director were to visit Outfest or any other queer film festival, she would see that many of the offerings have gay folk front and center and the straight troops are relegated to the spear carrier roles.
The reason I’m making this film (and probably the motivating factor for a lot of other lesbians walking around in my [comfy Merrill hiking] shoes) is to get to see our stories on screen. It doesn’t happen often enough in the mainstream and if we’re hogging all the lines in our scripts, so be it.
Pass the popcorn.