New Genderation by Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox
Tayler is 14 years old and lives in Wales. He was born in a female body, but living as a female didn't feel right as he identifies as male.
He came out to his school when he was 12 and is currently on hormone blockers. He has a supportive family, skateboards, rides his BMX and plays a range of instruments.
This film is Rated by the BBC Fresh team. Rated films are those the team or guest reviewers enjoyed, and feel are worth highlighting because of their production techniques. Reviews may contain spoilers.
Sharon Hepburn, BBC Fresh producer, says:
Fox and Lewis, the filmmakers, made this film as part of a bigger project about trans issues.
The storytelling in this film is the reason why I have chosen it as one of my Rated films. The central point of the story, the heart of it, is that Tayler is an ordinary person with an amazing and inspiring life-story and he is only 14!
I particularly like the way the story is set up. The sequences of Tayler skateboarding, and playing with his dog, inform the viewer visually that this is an ordinary boy doing ordinary things. And up to 1 minute in, that's the story. At this point, we learn that Tayler has always felt different. Delaying bringing in the main point of the story, after already establishing his ordinariness, serves to heighten the intrigue about what the story is about.
Then we come to Tayler’s mum, another amazing person with an inspiring story to tell. The setting for this interview, amongst beautiful natural surroundings and in bright sunshine, helps with the uplifting story she is telling. It also allows the filmmakers to get some more sequences of Tayler messing about on the river like any kid of his age would.
Fox and Lewis have chosen to have the two interviews as separate sections within the film, when maybe a more conventional way of presenting this would be to have the interviews inter-cut with each other. It might still be interesting to see how this would work. On the other hand, I can appreciate why they might have made this choice. Tayler gets his chance to tell his own story, in his own way, without his mum, or anyone else interpreting or commenting upon it.
The sequences also help to tell the story in a visual sense, they're not just used as a way to cover the cuts in the interview sync. This is something that is really important in documentary filmmaking. (See our How 2 film called "Sequences: What are they?" for more on this - link below).
The picture and sound quality in this film is spot on and, at just over 7 minutes long, New Genderation is a great example of what you can do with a short. It is tight and yet the story has been given time to breathe. Having said that, I can see how this could be developed into a longer film.