To continue our celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month following our list of film recommendations (here), we sat down with Gilbert McGirr, Lighting Artist at Jellyfish Pictures. Gilbert is currently in the last stretch of a project, a feature animation film with DreamWorks Animation. Today, Gilbert took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about the importance of LGBTQ+ History Month, his future hopes for LGBTQ+ portrayal on screen as well as advice for LGBTQ+ artists who are interested in entering the industry.
In your opinion, what is the importance of LGBTQ+ History Month?
Our history isn’t over, even though I’m able to live my life authentically without fear for my job or safety, that doesn’t mean everyone in our community enjoys that privilege. It is important to remember the people who not so long ago made sacrifices to bring us to this point, and the people that are still fighting for basic human rights across the world.
Are there any LGBTQ+ artists/animators or people who inspire you?
There is this illustrator called Perci Chen, I'm obsessed with his stuff, it’s very cool. @percichen on Instagram.
Can you recommend a piece of media (film/documentary/TV show) which is an educational, inspiring, or informing piece of LGBTQ+ History?
Very basic answer I know but I think Paris is Burningshould be required watching for everyone. If you do one thing this month watch this film!
What industry changes would you like to see in the next 10 years for LGBTQ+ people?
Firstly, I would love to see more diversity in the workplace across Animation, VFX and Games. It would also be cool to see some proper representation from the old money of the industry. Feature animation, from one studio in particular, has had a huge gay following for years but never actually had a LGBTQ+ protagonist. Kind of embarrassing really.
Do you have any advice for young LGBTQ+ people who are interested in entering the industry?
Network! Especially if you are an artist looking to get into industry most people are happy to answer some questions or give you some portfolio feedback so never be afraid to reach out and ask. If you are looking for a place to start, I recommend Access VFX.