Coming from the South and growing up in L.A. where it was so segregated - worse than the South in many ways - all the people in my neighborhood were from the South. So you had that Southern cultured environment. The church was very important. And there were these folk ways that were there. I was always fascinated by these Southern stories, people would share these mystified experiences of the South. I wanted to talk about folklore.
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With non-professionals, there's a lot of time you have to allocate to getting what you want with them, but also you cast based on who they are, to bring out their real personalities. So it's less about working on character and more about just getting them comfortable in front of the camera to be themselves, and understanding the process.
There are advances in technology and enabling voices, but there are issues with the stories themselves. I think people of color are still not seen as human beings. They're still associated with types, with comedy, but we're in a crisis right now, with things like Black Lives Matter. We need films that address these issues.