SXSW nominated film, The Things You Think I'm Thinking, directed by Sherren Lee, tells the raw story of a black burn-survivor and amputee (Prince Amponsah) who goes on a date with a regularly-abled man (Jesse LaVercombe). When they decide to go back to his apartment, he must face his fears as he attempts to experience intimacy for the first time since his accident ten years ago.
Director Sherren Lee answered a few questions for the ProductionHUB community.
Tell us about your film and what lead to you being involved in the project.
Jesse LaVercombe, who also stars in the film, brought me the script and I knew I wanted to be involved in telling this story right away. We workshopped the script for a year and finally got funding from the Toronto Arts Council to make the film.
What was the most difficult part of making the film and how did you overcome it?
It was really tough to make the film happen on such a small budget, but we took a hard look at the script, streamlined as much as possible and asked our very generous and talented friends to help us out, as background and crew, etc. We joke that some of the most talented actors in Toronto were in our movie as extras—but it's true! We couldn't have done it without them.
What is something you'd like to share with other filmmakers that you learned on this production?
Indie filmmakers often have a lack of resources, so my advice is to come super prepared--know what you want and what you need, get it and move on.
Can you walk us through how you tackled pre-production and post-production?
I do a ton of prep and meet with all of my keys before the shoot to make sure everyone's on the same page before we get on set. That way, there are no surprises and ironically, it leaves us more room to experiment while on set if we know what we are looking for. I worked with editor Simone Smith, who I've been lucky to work with numerous times. She's a dear friend and collaborator and was gracious enough to also help manage the entire post process. It's a huge blessing to have her.
What can you share about your festival strategy and submissions process because the film was accepted into some major and well-known festivals?
I made a list of Top Tier festivals that I liked and submitted to all of them. I have a spreadsheet with deadlines, fees and premiere requirements to keep myself organized. It's a daunting process but really helpful once you have the list together.
Anything else you'd like to share with the ProductionHUB community?
Don't be nervous, go make your film and let the world see it. You will keep making movies forever and you will get better and better.
Genre: Drama, LGBTQ, Romance
Screening Section: Narrative Shorts Competition
Screening Category: Narrative Short
Runtime: 14:17 mins
ABOUT SHERREN LEE
Born in Taiwan, bred in Montreal, and currently located in Toronto. She’s a 2014 alumna of Noman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centr Directors' Lab and was selected as one of Women In View's 'Five in Focus' Directors in 2017. Lee is the director of award-winning short film BENJAMIN (2015) and web series "Someone Not There" (2014). She has directed on "Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries" (CBC) and on Sinking Ship Entertainment's Emmy-winning "Odd Squad" (PBS, TVO) and "Dino Dana" (Amazon, TVO & Yoopa).
She is currently working towards her first feature film, WITH MIGHT AND GRACE, and developing "Little Things," a television series based on her short Benjamin with co-creator Kathleen Hepburn.