A brief conversation with Xavier Burgin, the filmmaker behind the short film ‘Other’, written by Vanessa Baden Kelly.
1. When you decided to make this short film, where did you start?
Vanessa Kelly, a writer/actress on the Emmy nominated series, Giants, reached out to me to direct her piece. Our friendship came from working together on the series. She wanted to convey her feelings as a black woman in America as we watch our nation, again, gives time and attention to white supremacists. She wanted people to understand how black people have to wear one opinion around white people, while feeling another in private. So in this instance, I started out with a basic question. How do I visually convey the message she wants to talk about?
2. What kind of hurdles do you face as a filmmaker working in short film?
Short films are an amazing medium to build your portfolio and strengthen your skills. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find adequate funding for shorts. So you're always running between two decisions. Do you find a way to make a compelling short film on a next to nothing budget or do you put yourself out there (often to the same people over and over again) for funding. That's always the biggest fight when making shorts. But the great tradeoff is, you're able to keep a lot of creative control.
3. What projects are you working on next, and how can people who are interested best support or share that work?
I wrote a feature script based on my HBO short film, On Time, about a black woman who's arrested during a job interview for leaving her child in the car.. It recently won a screenplay competition from The Film Empire, so now I'm getting more execs look at it, plus bringing in funding. I finished up a feature length documentary about the history of black people in the horror film genre. It's still under wraps at the moment, but I'll be able to talk about it more at the top of next year. I'm currently in post-production on a short film starring Woody McClain (Tales, The Bobby Brown Story), Keith Powers (Famous In Love), & Nesta Cooper (Reality High). Finally, I've been reworking my viral twitter story "Tina & The Gucci Flip Flop" into an afro-futuristic look at America with the production company, Gunpowder & Sky. Anyone who wants to support can follow me on twitter @XLNB or on IG: XLNBstories.