Mike Buonaiuto on how and why he created a short film for the pro-gay British group Coalition For Equal Marriage
I’ve often heard that a powerful idea can be all that matters to inspire art and for me that couldn’t be more spot on.
I watched the news like everyone else, showing thousands of British soldiers returning home from battle, reunited with their loved ones. It was then that it struck me that all those men and women fight for the UK, yet a proportion of them who just happen to be gay cannot engage in one of our country’s most celebrated traditions; marriage.
My background lies in journalism and marketing, as well as heading up production at a digital film and communication company. The idea had massive potential to work on film and inspire others but I had to get a large organization on board. I contacted the Coalition for Equal Marriage and they immediately loved the idea.
Using Twitter, together with friends and colleagues from around the world, I began to quickly build an international team of professionals. Everyone was assembled on a voluntary basis, which is completely overwhelming.
Funnily enough sourcing an RAF jet, an airfield, actors, producers, sound designers, coloring artists, authentic costumes on top of marketing the film throughout both print and online media isn’t a straightforward task. But I’ve never enjoyed things when they come easy. Together with the team we worked through a to-do list and in just two weeks we managed to be ready to shoot.
It just goes to show that if your idea is strong enough, through social media you can get talented people involved in your project and build a team to see it through to success, without a single penny being spent.
We shot on a day late in March and couldn’t have hoped for better weather. It really was stunning. It felt amazing as finally everyone who was working on the project was in the same place at the same time, even Mum and Dad popped down to be extras!
The soundtrack has been composed and mastered by these brilliant musicians in Scotland and the coloring has been completed by a design studio in LA; all arranged through Twitter.
Countless hours have been spent on the project and I’ve barely slept – but when you love what you’re doing and what you’re doing it for, why would you ever want to stop for a break?
I believe the best way to make an audience feel passionate enough to share something online is to make them feel ‘something’ in the first place. I can’t wait for the #equalmarriage film to be released on Wednesday (25 April). Then I hope the project will hit people emotionally and make them ‘feel’ enough to do something about it.
You can sign the C4EM petition here, which like my film is supported by Gay Star News, contact your MP and let the government know what you think through its formal consultation. Stonewall has advice on the government’s consultation available here.
Mike Buonaiuto, filmmaker from UK, has produced many short films for international brands and organizations, several to critical acclaim. For more information check out his site or say hello on Twitter.
The film is released on Wednesday (25 April) but you can see a trailer here: