With recent TV series like Transparent, Orange is the New Black, and Transcendent, there has been a lot of progress with transgender representation in the media within the last few years. We’ve seen a rise in trailblazers including actress Laverne Cox, author and activist Janet Mock, model and actress Hari Nef, and make transgender issues more visible on and off the big screen. When it comes to trans representation in media, there is a strong focus on trans women, and little to no exposure for trans men.
That’s where Brothers comes in.
Founded by friends Emmett Lundberg and Sheyam Ghieth, Brothers is an intimate web series that follows the lives of four transmasculine friends (Jack, Davyn, Max, and Aiden) embracing life and love in New York. With topics ranging from being out in the workplace to the realities of dating, Brothers covers the everyday issues transmasculine people deal with that is often overlooked, or even recognized, in media.
We recently reached out to Emmett and Sheyam to talk about inspirations, the importance of intimacy in the series, and what you can expect to see in season 2. Read on below.
What inspired you to create Brothers?
Emmett Lundberg: When I started writing in around February of 2014, I was almost a year and a half into my own transition. I was in a place where I was comfortable and I wanted to see media that specifically had a narrative that represented my experience: what I was feeling, what I was thinking, and the experiences of other guys that I knew and/or talked to. I thought “Well, I’m just going to write this” and “Why not just make it happen?” When I showed it to Sheyam Ghieth, she was totally supportive and on-board.
Sheyam Ghieth: Since we’ve worked in the film industry, we knew waiting around for something like this to come along would have been a long time coming, despite it being futile. So when Emmet showed it to me, I was like we can totally do this.
What was the casting process like?
SG: We did a lot of reaching out through social media posting casting calls. Getting to know them and form them so much and hearing their stories and seeing what they brought to the characters was always really valuable.
EL: Though it was definitely challenging, it was very important to me to have trans people playing these roles. If someone outside of the community were to produce this, they wouldn’t feel the importance of casting the trans roles with trans people.
How long did the filming process take?
EL: Aside from the pilot, which took three days itself, episodes 2-8 were shot over ten days. We did two two-day weekends and a couple three-day weekends just to get it all done. Everyone was working, and we weren’t paying anyone, so we kind of had to work with what we had.
KEEP READING ABOUT UPCOMING SEASON 2.