Photos Courtesy of Lamont Pierré
FREEFALL TV SERIES has just completed its preseason on YouTube. The web series is from Award-Winning Writer/Director Lamont Pierré. The show follows three guys, as they share a living situation that becomes complicated both in and outside of their beds. Pierré produced FREEFALL as an experiment and spin off to his MY BROTHERS KEEPER project. PrideIndex caught up with the busy director via email, here’s what he shared about his muse, filmmaking style and upcoming projects.
PRIDEINDEX (PI): How has audiences’ responded to “FREEFALL?”
LAMONT PIERRE (LP): Audience response has been overwhelming thus far; and very revealing about the black gay culture. I have more of an understanding of this community than I ever had before.
PI: Where did you find your muse for “FREEFALL?”
LP: I didn’t have a muse for “FREEFALL.” I just had an overwhelming desire to do a low-maintenance project where I went outside of my normal approach and processes.
PI: What do you ultimately hope to accomplish?
LP: I didn’t have any expectations with “FREEFALL.” It was a complete experiment. I had become frustrated that my previous web series MY BROTHER’S KEEPER wasn’t doing as well as I felt it deserved. So, I did this project as a way for me to answer to myself whether I was the problem or whether it was the audience and their tastes and content preferences. I answered that and other questions for myself through doing this project.
PI: Why did you release “FREEFALL” on YouTube?
LP: Because it was created to be a web series and YouTube is the best medium for that genre.
PI: Tell us about the casting process and what metrics was used to determine if an actor was right for their part?
LP: I brought Shamon (“Xavier”) from the MY BROTHER’S KEEPER project and made FREEFALL a spinoff of that series. As for the other actors, I just wanted actors who wanted to be engaged and who wasn’t afraid to tackle this type of salacious material. Thankfully I found actors who were open to whatever the ride ended up being and looking like.
PI: Was there a situation where an actor auditioned for one part but was cast in another?
PI: Preseason episodes of “FREEFALL” are approximately 10-14 minutes long. Do you plan on making longer webisodes for Season 1?
LP: The short answer to that is no. The reason is strictly budgetary. It costs more to film more. Period. This project doesn’t have much of a budget at this time. So, until then, we’ll only be able to give the audience that which we can afford to. Web series are mainly done for the exposure of the artists involved. Probably less than 5% of web series recoup their expenses simply because we’re giving the content away for free online and thus not monetizing. So, until we can find a way to monetize the show, we must keep our output expenses extremely low.
PI: Why did you make a preseason?
LP: I wasn’t sure the show was going to have an audience, so we approached the first few episodes on a trial basis. Now that the show has an audience and I have more of a clear idea of how I want the show to fit into the realm of gay online content, I want to approach the show from a different angle stylistically moving forward. Separating the first few episodes from any new ones we do allows me to do that with minimal confusion to our audience. The new episodes of “FREEFALL” will be a noticeable difference from before.
PI: How long does it take to film a webisode and how many do you plan on making for the next season?
LP: It honestly depends on how much time you’re working with. If you can afford to take your time more and spread filming over a comfortable amount of days then that dictates your schedule. For us when shooting the first episodes of “FREEFALL,” time was the variable. We had so much to do but little time to fit it into. On average we were previously shooting an entire episode in one day – at the risk of compromising quality. Moving forward, I will be allowing us to slow down and take our time more – because that urgency is no longer there – at least for me.
PI: Do you plan on introducing women or transgender characters to show as a recurrent character or guest star? If so when?
LP: There will be a more diverse selection of characters portrayed without taking the main focus from the three main characters.
PI: Why did the actors speak directly to audience?
LP: If the project is right, sometimes it’s appropriate to use a storytelling device such as breaking the fourth wall. I knew I wanted this show to feel intimate. And I wanted to show the dichotomy between the things that are said and the things that we keep in our head in our exploration of men in these various situations both sexual and non-sexual. In my opinion, in male-on-male relationships, so much relies on what’s unsaid – what’s assumed, what’s implied. I attribute that to first of all men not being the best communicators and also to men not being the best communicators in their dealings with each other. So, an important element to me with this show was also showing the audience the disparity between what was being said and what was being held back – and the problems that created.
PI: Jovanni Colon was featured as a guest star on ““FREEFALL,” do you plan on have him come back to reprise his role? Why or why not?
LP: Absolutely, you’ll see him again. We love working with him.
PI: Can we expect to see any promotion of the “FREEFALL” during pride season or at film festivals? If so when and where?
LP: I’m in talks now; just awaiting some specifics.
PI: Are you still accepting donations for the series via Indiegogo?
LP: We probably will reopen our fundraiser, this time with a longer window.
PI: What’s next for you professionally?
LP: Next for me is touring my feature film, TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY, nationally and internationally. And along with my BAND OF ARTISTS team, I’m preparing to shoot my second and third feature films later this year.
TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY, will premiere at the 2013 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles paff.org
Click here to see the Preseason episodes of FREEFALL TV SERIES.