Director Nina Kramer, SixTwentySix Productions, and Disney DCappella have created an incredible and inclusive music video celebrating the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in a series of mini vignettes within the music video, set to the song This Is Me for Disney’s Pride Spot.
DCappella is Disney Music Group’s premier a cappella singing sensation featuring 7 world-class vocalists. Known for their reimagined classics from the Disney songbook, the group originally came together as a result of a nationwide search for the best vocal performing talent in a cappella and stage.
Since their debut on the American Idol stage during Disney Night in 2018, DCappella has completed a 40-city tour through North America and parts of Canada, and they sold out an 18-city tour through Japan. Contemporary a cappella pioneer Deke Sharon is the group’s co-creator, music director, arranger, and album producer.
The group was enlisted by SixTwentySix Productions and the Emmy-winning director to bring to life and reimagine Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Golden Globe award-winning, heartfelt anthem This Is Me from The Greatest Showman just in time for Pride Month.
A member of the Queer community herself, Kramer came out because of this very personal project and was so excited to be working with this team. It felt kismet to her. Ultimately it brought her fully out and she hasn’t been this happy in ages. Nina insisted the film feature an all LGBTQ+ cast only, which it does, however, there are absolutely no sets or actors.
Watch the uplifting video below:
Behind the Scenes
Born in Chile and raised just outside of Silicon Valley, Kramer is an Emmy-winning writer, director, producer, and comedian based in Los Angeles, CA.
For Nina, this film represents a tremendous opportunity to uplift real queer voices from all races and backgrounds in real environments, at home, work, school, etc. The Golden Globe-award-winning song includes the line “I am who I’m meant to be, this is me” and is an anthem of acceptance for everyone, everywhere.
Reel 360 had a chance to chat it up with Nina.
Talk to us about casting this wonderful project
As someone who is semi-recently out (I’m 24 and barely flirting with adulthood), I can’t tell you how huge it would have been growing up to see queer people is portrayed in the Disney cinematic universe. Seeing a positive representation of someone like me would have saved me a lotttttt of time, so my hope is that this video gives someone the permission to be themselves, not that they need permission to begin with.”
What’s really moving about this project for me personally is that we cast real queer people for every vignette. There was no world where we were going to cast straight actors to play out faux scenes about queer people’s everyday lives. This was stressed throughout the process, both Disney and myself adamant that each story and subject had to be as genuine as possible.
Prior to filming, I met with each person and chatted about their experiences which helped me tailor the scenes to reflect their actual day-to-day lives.
Two dancers from Dallas who fell in love as teenagers who now live in LA and work creatively together, a personal trainer and his photographer boyfriend box together, a trans family dealing with the mundanities of parenthood like monitoring screen time, etc.
Everyone involved from the band to the crew were personally invested in making sure this project was about expressing queer joy. It was never going to be a tragedy story about how hard it is to be queer. Being queer is very very cool if you haven’t already heard!
As a young queer director, it was important to me that I felt like I was doing the most I could to represent as many people as possible in organic settings. To my delight, Disney’s team was game for making something super grounded and really let me run with the vision, despite the song’s upbeat commercial appeal.
We understand your DP is also a part of the LGBTQ+ community
It was really important to me that my DP be a queer woman. I wanted to make sure the person I made every choice alongside saw the world through a similar lens and could check the decisions I was making so I didn’t have any blind spots.
Lidia Nikonova, the DP I collaborated with, was the key element in making this feel like a well-rounded and grounded piece.
Any creative challenges?
I’ve worked with Disney in the past on a few other projects and found them to be wildly collaborative and inclusive so they’ve always kept close.
I had originally pitched a different idea for This is Me that was more narrative-driven, following the story of a young girl who decides to cut her hair in an act of rebellion on family photo day.
You can watch this inspirational DCappella video on DisneyMusicVideo.
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Los Angeles and Chicago.