Love is All You Need?, based on the international viral short tackles topics of tolerance and bullying with a twist. We sat down with Director and Co-Writer K. Rocco Shields to hear all about her inspiration and experience making such a powerful film.
See below and be sure to check out the world premiere at Cinequest on March 5th!
The plot has such a thought-provoking and interesting perspective. How did you come up with it? And what was your main inspiration for telling this story?
In 2010, there were so many terrible stories of teen suicide in the media. In the coverage, some reporters made comments about how they couldn’t fathom what would drive a child to take his or her own life.
This film is my solution to ‘put the shoe on the other foot’ – a way to give everyone the perspective to really understand these kids’ experiences and how devastating bullying can be.
I initially considered using inversion approaches founded on race, religion and appearance. I decided the lens of sexuality works best in speaking to intolerance for this story, because love is universally valued and especially pure from a child’s point of view.
The film is crafted so that all viewers can easily connect with our characters’ points of view and vicariously experience bullying …as if they were bullied themselves.
The film began as a short back in 2010. How did you decide to make it a feature film? Any major challenges in doing so?
I always intended for this story to be told as a feature film on the big screen. The short was a test run of sorts, to see if the concept would resonate, affect, educate and be shared.
The response was more than I could have dreamed of – without marketing or promotion the short has gotten tens of millions of views and was self-translated in over a dozen languages. I’ve received thousands of messages of support from people all over the world, and I knew I had to make a feature film.
I’ll be honest, getting the funding to do it correctly was not easy. It took me years. Everyone was speculative of the concept – because it’s never been done before like this. However, this process was completely worth it in the end.
What was the biggest challenge and biggest reward in this filmmaking process?
In reflecting on all the obstacles that I have had to face — and the adaptations I had to make in light of the challenging circumstances of an indie film — it reaffirms that everything does happen for a reason.
All of these decisions, and rolling with the punches, and going on, pulling yet another all nighter — and filmmaking, having faith and BELIEF in how this film could change the world is the biggest reward in seeing the final tangible product on the screen.
What type of response have you received / are you expecting on the film?
The response has been, and I believe will continue to be, tremendous. After seeing the trailer and the short, people have rallied in support of the film. I think that’s because this is everyone’s story – everyone wants to be who they are without persecution – so it’s identifiable for all kinds of people.
How and when can we watch?
Our World Premiere is on March 5 at Cinequest, which was voted USA Today’s Best Film Festival. Tickets for the premiere as well as the 3/6 and 3/9 screenings can be purchased HERE.
Many of our cast members will be joining us, and I’m really looking forward to seeing our fans and partners there!
You can also check out the feature film trailer and the short at: loveisallyouneedthemovie.com
Any future projects in the works that you can share with us?
I am in this business not for the fame or fortune – but because of the love of the art – and how it can emotionally impact everyone as a universal language.
All my projects tell stories that have never been told before – lensing new ideas that haven’t been discussed, or need to be discussed. I’m truly excited to bring some new ideas to the screen – you can check some of them out at roccoshields.com.