#BonfireStories — Introducing Filmmaker Sean Frank

Our Campfire
3 min readMar 3, 2020
Sean Frank | Photo Credit: Julia Khoroshilov

Q: How did you come into contact with Lena Waithe and how did her role help conception to completion?

Lena slid into my DM’s a couple of years back, she’d seen a visual EP I did for H.E.R. We met in New York, chopped it up over some coffee and pancakes, and the rest is history..She was pivotal in ‘Further Away’, firstly putting me forward for the opportunity, connecting Cathy (Writer) & I, while supporting us throughout — she came to see me on set and gave invaluable notes on the early cuts.

Q: What was your visual approach to raising questions on systemic racism?

Art has always been a vehicle to confront wider social issues. In tackling the subjects in the film, first of all sensitivity was paramount, and then not to point fingers, but to shine a spotlight on some uncomfortable complex truths and realities, I wanted to create impacting visuals that could be beautiful on an aesthetic level, but also punch you in the gut with its messaging.

Q:What hidden part of the film are you most privately proud of and why?

Before we started shooting, I got the opportunity to do my research at the kings county hospital in New York. watching the important and challenging work that the staff do and meeting with the patients was not only incredibly inspiring and moving but extremely informative about the stigmas surrounding mental health. I’m really proud of the whole team who worked on this, every detail across every department was carefully considered, taking cues from the conduct and safety precautions that i observed at Kings County.

Q:Tell us about being vulnerable in your work? Do you think there’s a line?

Vulnerability is key. If you are asking an audience to feel the emotions you are trying to portray, you should be prepared to go there yourself. Relating to subject matters is usually drawn from some sort of personal experience. I find with all my projects, I end up living and breathing them (unhealthily) ultimately there ends up being little distinction between work and personal.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a Filmmaker? Was there an exact moment, or was it more gradual?

I began making Aardman inspired…

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