Luna direct ‘Skin to Skin’.
A dreamy, kaleidoscopic journey into the real lives and stories of Ireland’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community.
Filmed in Meath and Dublin, Ireland.
Words from Luke & Nathan (Luna) below.
Could you tell us about the process of gathering the interview?
LUNA: Our process with this one was a little different to previous documentary projects. The narrator – who we’ve nicknamed ‘O’ to maintain his anonymity – is actually a friend of ours. We’d heard him discuss some of his experiences with hook-ups over the years and we both realised he had a pretty unique perspective on hook-up culture. And so, we started discussing how we might create a film that would explore this perspective and point-of-view.
The idea evolved over time. Firstly, we gathered long interviews with our narrator ‘O’ – keeping it as casual and conversational as possible – and then cut this down into a shorter voice-over. It took time to condense these conversations into what you hear in the final film.
Originally, ‘O’ told the stories you see in the film in third person. For example, ‘I met a guy whose father had recently died and we went back to his house. He told me this, he said this…etc’ Although we found the stories really moving and personal, there was something missing when we first cut it like this.
We then had the idea of working with ‘O’ to write these experiences as scenes – based on his memory – as though you’re listening to them in real time. We thought this would really capture the emotion and intimacy in a more interesting and engaging way. So, working with ‘O’, we shaped these into actual scenes. Which were then recreated with actors. In this way, the film hovers somewhere between traditional documentary and doc-fiction hybrid.
There’s a distinct use of colours and lighting, was there a key objective for the kind of images you wanted to create?
LUNA: I think the language of the film – the framing, colour palette and lighting – evolved out of a specific mood. Whenever we discussed our own experiences of returning to houses or bedrooms after parties or nights out, we kept discussing the dreamy quality of this time. There’s something about that time of night – when everyone else is asleep – and you’re in a quiet house, with the sun just starting to come up outside the curtains, that is quite surreal and hazy. We really wanted to try to capture this.
The film hovers somewhere between traditional documentary and doc-fiction hybrid.
How would you describe the mechanics of your directing partnership?
LUNA: It varies from project to project. If we’re working with actors, Nathan will usually focus on directing the performances. Or if it’s a documentary, guiding the interviews. And Luke will focus on lighting, composition and camera movement. But it really does change from project to project. We’re both pretty visual.
I think the big advantage we’ve discovered through working together is that we can divide up our area of focus, which means nothing gets overlooked on the day. Directing really is all about making endless small decisions and choices – and it’s easy to miss things in the moment.
Directing really is all about making endless small decisions and choices – and it’s easy to miss things in the moment.
A lesson we learned early is the importance of making decisions during pre-production. We plan and discuss and visualise everything we do in detail before our shoots. This means that, on the day, we’re already on the same page about most choices and decisions. Having said that, things evolve a lot on set and in the moment – it’s really important to be open to this! – so we usually have lots of quick chats throughout the day. Communication really is the key to any creative partnership.
What are you reading at the moment?
NATHAN: I’m reading ‘Everybody’ by Olivia Laing. Which is fantastic!
LUKE: ‘Into the Woods’ by John Yorke.
- Director of Photography
- Joseph Taylor
- Folding Waves