For International Transgender Day of Visibility this year, photographer and filmmaker Braden Summers has released a new short film titled, Frame of Mind: Elevate. Summers has previously shot campaigns for French Tourism and Marriott, and has made an award-winning short film, Rebel in Rising, starring Francesca Eastwood. I was able to catch up with Summers to discuss his new film and see what’s next for the rising star.
You have your new short film Frame of Mind: Elevate premiering today, what can you tell us about it?
Well, the film is centered around an elevator, because, to me, it was a really interesting way to show how a group of strangers in a very small space, and in a very small amount of time, all interact with each other. I thought it was so fascinating to let the audience watch how that played out. When each character sees our trans protagonist, there’s a wide range of reactions – from mundane, to negative, to positive, to silly, to warm, all in a little three-minute film.
As someone who doesn’t identify as trans, what inspired you to create the movie?
I’ve just watched so many of my trans friends go through these experiences, and I wanted to do something that really exposed those moments. So, me and the other writer of the film got together with some of my trans friends, and we asked them how we could help. We asked, what struggles are you going through, what are the types of glances you’ve gotten, do you ever push back, and how does it feel… We wanted to hear everyone’s story so badly.
Did you have any trepidations about making a film surrounding a trans person?
The only real fear I had was about making the movie authentic. You know, I fully understand that I’m a gay man, not a trans person, so going into this, I knew I wanted to make something that would respect the community and hopefully help the community too.
What’s next for the film? Will it be screening anywhere?
Yeah! So, we’re launching the movie online today for Trans Visibility Day and we’ve started sending it around to film festivals. We’re even trying to get it picked up by museums, libraries, and schools. The main goal of the movie is to have it be seen and to have people feel a response from watching it. I hope they see something they haven’t seen or noticed before, and I hope it makes them realize that we’re all equals.