Private Project

Being Less

Being Less is the story of a happy lesbian couple sharing an apartment in Los Angeles, CA, with aspirations of making music together — until an innocent online relationship status change threatens their offline happiness.

  • Vonyse Reeder
  • Vonyse Reeder
  • Amy Palmer
  • Vonyse Reeder
    Key Cast
  • Amy Palmer
    Key Cast
  • Christopher Fritzgerald
  • Brad Durante
    Advising Editor
    Z Nation, Rosewood, NYPD Blue, Entourage, Castle
  • Vonyse Reeder
  • Ron Holden
    Mixing Engineer
  • Vonyse Reeder
    Quiet As Kept, I Am
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 10, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    600 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Vonyse Reeder

Vonyse established herself as a multimedia artist producing comedy segments for the “New Faces” of Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza Comedy festival, as well as being an integral contributor to brand development & marketing for the festival. She has also created online content and web pages for such brands as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Poison, Radiohead, Diana Ross, Amy Grant and more.

In recent years, Vonyse has become more involved with filmmaking. She wrote the title track for the short film “Triple Minority” which Won Best Narrative International Lesbian Short Movie Award at the Annual LGBT Film Festival in Tel Aviv. She collaborated on a number of shorts, in charge of editing, music supervision and graphic animation. Vonyse just finished editing the feature film “Quiet As Kept”.

“Being Less” marks the debut of Vonyse's own body of film work. And is a semi-autobiographical look at finding love and becoming fully self-expressed.

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Director Statement

Although, you may not be experiencing the negative ramifications of being black, an interracial couple, a woman or gay – I’ve caught a glimpse into the pitfalls of my ethnic, cultural, and sexual identity differences and decided that I could no longer be ignorant of them.

Think about what that experience might mean to someone else? What if someone isn't as strong or as guarded as I have had to become? How would these experiences affect them? The lack of consciousness and/or willingness to connect on a deeper level is hurting us. The reason for making and sharing my truths in this film piece BEING LESS is to keep the discussion going.

“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation
or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment
in which to achieve their full potential.” – Harvey Milk

Social media’s expanded awareness pushes us to acknowledge the changes that are occurring within society and helps bring a lot of issues to the forefront of society’s moral meter.
Like each duality in life, social media holds a mixed blessing – it has the ability to bring us closer together or wedge us further apart. Today's generation is enduring a time when a fairly new outlet like social media is butting heads with old religious ideologies, racism, and commonplace homophobia.

Although conversations about gender identity are now occurring more frequently with stories like Kaitlyn Jenner, and countless others who have “come out” sharing their struggles - the conversation on personal levels still needs to be had.
Through social media, we’re forced to look at sexual identity/orientation, gender roles, the strong realities of bullying and the devastating realities of police brutality. At any given moment of the day, you can log on to Facebook and read or view a video about a child being bullied, innocent ex-co-workers being gunned down, a transgender person being murdered, or governments and extremist groups killing in the name of religious views.

“More people have been slaughtered
in the name of religion than for any other single reason.
That, my friends, that is true perversion.” – Harvey Milk

As a society, do we want to wait until the next tragedy to contribute to change or do we want to be a part of the change ongoingly? Unless you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes it’s hard to empathize with their human experience. Social media allows us to walk, most of the time, in the highlights of a person’s life. You can scroll through someone’s life and think they
don’t have a care in the world. People present themselves as happy at all times as if it’s a sin to feel any other way. On some level, we’re desensitizing each other to life’s realities.
The realities that, currently, there are very real atrocities occurring in society, especially with regards to our youth. If we don't discuss them honestly, if we don't get vulnerable, if we don't connect on the most basic human levels - things will only get worse.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death
among young people ages 10 to 24.
- CDC, NCIPC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online].
(2010) {2013 Aug. 1}.

Thinking positively is not change. Learning how to change involves higher knowledge and understanding of another’s situation to create a difference. If people only go on what they know and what they’ve been told, we will have to live with more of the same.

“Educate people who are not going through it
and strengthen people who are”
– The View, Nicole Wallace.

Upon making this film, we realized that the term “coming out”, in a nutshell, is self-discovery in it's purest form. Finding yourself can be messy enough with feelings that you’re alone in the world. It’s increasingly important and beneficial to humanize not only the outcome but also the details of the experience of “coming out”. The journey to acceptance can be traumatizing, not only within our churches, peers, and families but by one’s own self. When people feel afraid to go against the majority and express themselves, their true selves, the negative ramifications can, at their worst, be deadly.

LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth
are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.
- CDC. (2011). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among
Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.

We would like our film BEING LESS to contribute to the possibilities that bring people closer together. We’re trying to open people up to the idea of viewing life as is and not through conditioned beliefs and unquestioned spiritual practices.
With the newly celebrated marriage equality, the assumption is we’re equal now – but a ruling doesn't change mindsets - discussions do. We feel that in order for us to experience acceptance, kindness, and openness in our lives - vulnerability is key to the confidence it takes to fearlessly “be more” even when society might tell us we're “being less”.
We appreciate your time, compassion, and open hearts for viewing BEING LESS.
- Vonyse Reeder, Director