Re: Stock Replies to Stock Media: Love is EverythingCreators
June 7, 2021
Re: Stock Replies to Stock Media: Love is Everything
A interview series with LGBTQIA+ filmmakers & Re: Stock contributors
Re: Stock contributor & London filmmaker Sannchia Gaston discusses her Storyblocks collection, Love is Everything and shares how her unique, layered perspective has shaped her creative work.
What inspired you to get into filmmaking?
My inspiration for filmmaking came from TV in the early 2000s, specifically MTV documentaries. I would see them and want to kind of emulate and recreate it. So I would take my little webcam and my desktop computer, and create little videos, and edit them on Windows Movie Maker.
Why does representation matter in storytelling and media?
Representation is very important. I feel like representation says, “I can.” Representation says, “I exist,” and ultimately breeds hope. I believe representation is super important in storytelling, because with storytelling, outside of fantasy, you’re almost mirroring reality. So if we’re not representing, and mirroring, and including everyone in that, then we are slyly saying that certain groups of people don’t exist, or that they don’t matter? So, yeah, representation is super important for that kind of validation. And it’s important to have representation in front of and behind the camera.
What excited you about this partnership with Storyblocks?
I think the stock industry has come a long way, but I do still think there is work to do. I believe campaigns like this though are super important and help the cause. I was super excited about this partnership with Storyblocks because I knew that what I wanted to create didn’t exist on the platform. So, my collection is called Everything is Love. It’s about love, the love between two Black, gay men. Love is huge, it’s big, it’s multifaceted, and we are far, far too often shown an image of a specific type of love, whether that be more in the heteronormative vein or something palatable with two females. So I wanted to do something that wasn’t that. It’s a love that I see, it’s a love that exists, and if it exists, then it needs to be seen.
What’s the theme behind your collection? What inspired the story behind it?
I really enjoy documentary filmmaking, and part of the reason is that I get to create and capture candid moments. So for this collection, I actually filmed a real couple, because I wanted to capture those real, intimate, and loving moments between the two of them.
What groups do you feel are underrepresented or stereotyped in the media, and why do you think this underrepresentation exists in the media?
Trans people are underrepresented in media and Black people as a whole, in all intersections. Black people are definitely, definitely stereotyped a lot. Why do I think that this stereotype and representation exists, I don’t know, we’ve got to go back into history. History that speaks volumes, but we’re coming away from that, slowly but surely.
To make sure that that isn’t a lack of representation or stereotypes within the media, we need to have people telling their stories. I think that’s the answer; people need to tell their stories. That’s it. You need to have your Black directors, Black writers, and whatever marginalized community that isn’t being represented well, to tell their stories.
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’d give to people that are wanting to be more thoughtful when it comes to representation in their work is to ask them to think about people whose story you are telling. Do your research, ask questions, and definitely be sensitive.
How has your lived experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community shaped your work for the better?
I think my experience as a Black, gay female has shaped my experience as a creative because it’s given me a very unique view. I guess, as with everybody else that’s how we tell, and share authentic and great stories. Stories come from our lived experience, observations, and research.
Intersectionality is an important part of representation – what does an intersectional representation of the LGBTQIA+ community look like to you, and how did you incorporate it into your work?
Intersectionality is important because even though there is an umbrella of, let’s say, being gay, a gay Black female and a gay white female have two very different lived experiences. I would have liked to have seen me, basically, when I was younger, because you go through life trying to be palatable, trying to fit a specific way of what is, “normal” or what a woman should be, or what a Black woman should be. So, yeah, intersections are important because of that. And the representation of my specific intersectionalities is important because of that. So hopefully someone sees me, and that gives them hope, and believes that they can.
What would you say to younger video creators that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
To the younger video creatives in the LGBTQIA+ community, I would say: create unapologetically and create for yourself. Create for the generation that is going to come after you to see that, you did the thing, and you existed, and it’s okay.