Examining the lives of gay senior citizens, Before You Know It, shines a light on these often overlooked members of the gay community. We look at the film and discuss it with director PJ Raval, and he also shares his documentary about the “sex change capital of the world,” Trinidad, Co.: Trinidad.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
PJ Raval was named in Filmmaker Magazine’s ‘25 new faces of independent film 2006? and Out Magazine’s ’100 OUT 2010.’ PJ’s previous films have won awards such as Best Narrative Short at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Int’l Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Cinematexas Int’l Film Festival, the Betty Nowlin Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, and the Director’s Award at the Santa Cruz Film Festival.
PJ’s first documentary feature, TRINIDAD is a feature documentary that uncovers Trinidad, Colorado’s transformation from Wild West outpost to “sex change capital of the world” and follows three influential transgender women who may steer the rural ranching town toward becoming the “transsexual mecca”. Called “a must see” by Ellen Huang (GLAAD), TRINIDAD won the Cleveland International Film Festival Documentary Jury Award and currently can been seen on SHOWTIME as well as MTV’s LOGO network.
PJ recently completed BEFORE YOU KNOW IT his latest feature documentary following the lives of three gay senior men (SXSW world premiere, IFFBoston, San Francisco International). Slant Magazine hailed BEFORE YOU KNOW IT as an “…exemplary example of a documentary that successfully puts human faces on wider issues, eschewing polemics in favor of the personal.” indieWIRE described the film as “…a crucial new addition to the LGBT doc canon.”
00:01 Welcome to BYOD and introducing PJ Raval.
03:05 Three is the magic number of characters.
06:37 BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, clip.
09:03 Queer vs. Gay, and the coming out process.
12:36 Filming and inspiration.
15:47 Gay history and civil rights.
16:27 BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, clip.
17:30 Getting deep with characters and bar culture.
19:47 BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, clip.
21:20 Gaining subjects trust.
27:35 BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, clip.
29:04 Shooting on Super 8.
30:48 Aging properly in the community.
32:37 Getting into the story of Trinidad, Co.
34:32 TRINIDAD, clip.
37:15 The timelines of transgendered transitions.
38:50 Generational differences and blurry gender lines.
42:06 TRINIDAD, clip.
46:06 A great idea that did not happen, and the sex change capital of the world.
48:44 What’s next for PJ and following the films.
51:26 TRINIDAD, clip.