Re: Stock Replies to Stock Media: The EverydayCreators
May 25, 2021
Re: Stock Replies to Stock Media: The Everyday
An interview series with LGBTQIA+ visual creators & Re: Stock contributors
This is the first blog post in a series of interviews with Re: Stock artists. The first artist we’re going to highlight is London-based cinematographer and photographer Daisy Gaston. In this interview, she talks about her inspiration for The Everyday Collection and gives her advice on how to avoid stereotypes and tokenism when telling the stories of underrepresented groups.
What inspired you to get into filmmaking?
I think what inspired me to get into filmmaking is that I love to tell stories, and film is a medium in which you can show many different elements and emotions.
What does representation mean to you? And why does representation matter in storytelling and media?
Representation to me means telling someone’s story or depicting their life in a way that’s most true to them. Representation in the media is so important. When I was growing up, I often didn’t see Black or Queer people represented in books, TV, media. So today I think it’s important to make that change.
Where do you believe the stock media industry currently lies in regards to representation?
As a director, I often have to make visual storyboards and pool visual references like stock media. At current, I’d say the stock media industry lacks in Queer images or Black love. I think it’s important that we start making a change in this area.
What excited you about this partnership with Storyblocks and why did you want to participate?
When I was contacted by Storyblocks to create imagery for Re: Stock, I was so excited. It gave me a chance to create imagery that I don’t often see: Black love and Queer love. The thing for me was being able to capture those every day, intimate moments that we don’t often see with Queer and Black love. The theme behind my collection was the everyday. What inspired me to make this was that I feel we don’t see those moments. So moments like; brushing your teeth, holding hands, and private, more intimate moments inside your house.
Creating this collection was so important for me. To create a piece of work that I see myself represented in is super important. And not only for me, but for others to be able to see that representation. During production, I’d say my favorite scenes were in the bedroom. It was very calm and consensual. It was those everyday moments that you don’t often see.
What does authenticity mean to you? And what steps do you take to make sure that you are avoiding stereotypes or tokenism when you are shooting?
I ensure that the content I put out is reflective of my own experience by just pulling from what makes the most sense to me. What do I feel like? What does my everyday look like? What don’t I often see when I look at the media?
One of the most important roles that a director can have is making sure that the crew is also diverse. Going forward in the future. I think it’s really important that in general, we think about that. When we think about what crew we have on set or the diversity represented in the team, the crew was something I massively thought about. It was one of the most important things for me. I thought about it in every aspect of the production; because if you’re going to have queer POC people on your set as your talent, they must see themselves represented outside of that.
I avoid stereotypes and tokenism when shooting by just being natural and making sure that the talent that I shoot or the people that I’m working with feel represented and feel that they’re safe in the space that they’re in.
To me, authenticity means making sure that you take inspiration from the world around you, but you stay true to everything.
What groups do you feel are underrepresented or stereotyped in the media, and why do you think this underrepresentation exists in the media?
The groups that I feel are most unrepresented in the media are women, POC, and queer people. The reason I feel that this happens is that the people within the industry are still a minority. Even myself as a director, I’m still sometimes one of the only queer POC women on the staff.
What advice do you offer to creators that are interested in becoming more thoughtful around diversity and representation in their work?
The advice that I would give to others that are trying to incorporate diversity is to ask people for help and get the crew members involved; get more POC people involved in your crew, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What are some of the challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community faces in the media as it relates to authentic representation?
I feel like some of the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community face when it comes to authenticity is it’s told by the wrong people. Queer stories are often be told by non-queer people. I think it’s important that these stories are told by queer people or people that understand the community because those are the people that live through those experiences.
How has your lived experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community shaped your work for the better?
My lived experience as a queer person has really shaped my work. I think that often in the media, we hear about the negative side of queer stories. But for me, my everyday is positive. I have had so many normal and positive experiences. Within my work, I really liked to bring that through.
What does “winning” the authenticity and representation battle for the LGBTQIA+ community look like? How do we know that we’ve made progress?
I think for me, winning the representation and authenticity battle means having more diversity within the crews. That’s for me, one of the most important parts. That’s the way that we’ll make the change. And that’s the way we’ll see that we’ve made the progress.
What would you say to younger video creators that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
I’d say to young filmmakers a part of the LGBTQ+ community, tell the stories that mean the most to you. Tell the stories about your everyday life. Tell the stories about your own experience and with that will come authenticity and the perfect example of representation.
You can check out Daisy’s Re: Stock collection, The Everyday, at the link below.