Experiencing Interruptions?

Profile

Jacob opens his relationship—and tries Grindr-ing while black.

Taking place entirely on a phone and made to be watched on your phone, 'Profile' careens through the humor and humiliation of digital gay hookup culture, and gives an uncomfortable look at race in the queer community.

  • Justin Dean
    Writer
  • Joel Breuklander
    Writer
  • Justin Dean
    Producer
  • Joel Breuklander
    Producer
  • Justin Dean
    Key Cast
    "Jacob Rogers"
  • Joel Breuklander
    Key Cast
    "Dom / Chris"
  • Justin Dean
    Creator
  • Project Type:
    Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 21, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    9:16
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography

Justin Dean is an Associate Creative Director, namer, and writer in New York, with a B.A. in Screenwriting from Chapman University. “Profile” is his first post–film school film.

Joel Breuklander is a writer in New York, with a M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University. “Profile” is his first film.

Justin and Joel are IRL partners of nine years.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“Profile” came out of several desires. First, we wanted to make content—even a series—about nontraditional relationships like our own. We wanted to see an open relationship portrayed realistically: by turns awkward, sexy, difficult, weird, funny.

First we wondered why we had never seen a totally normal experience—being frustrated and bewildered by people on Grindr—portrayed in film. Everyone’s seen films and TV shows where text message bubbles pop up on-screen, but never something entirely in-app, with unsent messages, manic swipes, and filters you’d never admit. We wanted to show that.

Once we committed to our film taking place on Grindr, we also knew that we wanted to show the specific experience of a black man on Grindr. The possibility of rejection and fetishization is higher for nonwhite guys; so is the possibility of internalizing the racism that lives on dating platforms, and altering digital self-presentation to minimize blackness.

When we got to production, we found ourselves learning an unusual set of tasks for a film project: recording content in-app, editing tons of images to look “real,” and creating dozens and dozens of effects and transitions. We wanted the phone visuals and sound to feel natural, but to do so required complex editing constructions.

In a film without dialogue, music takes center stage. We were overjoyed to be able to include music by queer and trans musicians in “Profile”—their contributions made the film feel open, frenetic, alive.

All of this came together around the formal constraint of the phone screen. But the way we live on our phones is, by now, the way we live. We hope we’ve captured that in an honest way.